So you’re engaged! You’ve called your family, posted about it on social media – now it’s time to celebrate with an engagement party! While traditionally engagement parties were designed for the soon-to-be merging families to meet today these celebrations are also an excuse to celebrate the couple. These parties can range from a formal sit-down dinner in a restaurant to a backyard barbecue to a party at a reception venue.
Deciding on what kind of party depends on your budget, how much time there is between your engagement and your anticipated wedding date, and whether the couple wants to do something low-key or all-out. Since the wedding is usually a formal event, an engagement party is the perfect time to have some fun and choose to have a themed party.
Should I Have a Themed Engagement Party?
In many cases when you hear “themed party” you think of something silly or childish, but that doesn’t have to be the case! A themed engagement party is simply a party that follows a specific theme and can be as formal or casual as you prefer. Here are some of our favorite themed engagement party ideas:
Wine Tasting Engagement Party
For this type of party you can ask guests to each bring a bottle of of their favorite wine to share for the party. Or you can provide all the wine and encourage guests to take home a bottle of their favorite. Be sure to plenty of wine glasses on hand along with plenty of delicious food pairing options. Some great food ideas for this type of theme party include a cheese spread including fresh, aged, soft and hard cheeses, a variety of bread and crackers, olives, and fruit.
Backyard Luau Engagement Party
Class up the traditional backyard luau by using a tropical color scheme and accenting with chic and classy pineapple and palm tree decor. Mix up tropical cocktails like margaritas, mai tais, sangria and mojitos and serve up BBQ-style food like grilled pineapple and shrimp skewers, pulled pork and rice.
Chocolate and Champagne Engagement Party
Nothing quite screams engagement party like bubbly glasses of champagne and some chocolate. For this type of party, you can set up a table full of gourmet chocolates, truffles, flourless chocolate cakes, a chocolate fondue station and anything else you can think of. If chocolate isn’t your thing, consider a dessert spread instead with a variety of treats.
Cooking Class Engagement Party
This type of themed party is ideal for smaller groups and perfect for foodies. Many local culinary schools and restaurants offer cooking classes. Or you can hire a chef to teach the class at your home if you have a big enough kitchen. Try to find something that reflects your personalities – for example, if you have a sweet tooth do a dessert only party, or if you love Mexican food you can make tacos and fajitas. For a special touch send guests home with recipe cards of the meal they prepared.
Beach Clambake Engagement Party
This is a perfect engagement party theme for those who live near the water and love the beach. Host a clambake or fish fry and serve a seafood spread of grilled shrimp, lobster and scallops. When it comes to the sides you can choose clambake classics like corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and fresh watermelon. Keep the drinks simple and serve bottles of local beer and spiked seltzers. Set up tables and chairs right on the beach and when the sun goes down, lay beach blankets and pillows on the sand to keep guests warm. If it is permitted, a bonfire and s’mores are the perfect way to end the night.
Brunch Engagement Party
Perfect for the couple who loves to brunch. Serve us all your breakfast favorites like waffles, french toast, quiche, omelets, fruit, yogurt, fresh fruit and more! Pair it with your favorite lunch options or stick to breakfast foods. For drinks serve up coffee, juice, mimosas and Bellinis.
Tips for Sticking to Your Budget
When it comes to your budget for a themed engagement party, it’s easy to get carried away and spend too much. Instead, focus on buying or renting key pieces of decor that accent your theme and focus on the food. Encourage guests to come dressed for the occasion and take advantage of the location. For example, if you have a party on the beach buy tiki torches which will serve a dual purpose for light and decor.