How To Pull Off An Awesome Engagement Party

The lowdown on throwing an engagement party everyone will still be talking about at the wedding.

by The Knot

So that moment you’d been playing over in your mind since your were, oh, maybe fifteen, finally happened and your one and only got down on bended knee and asked you to be his happily ever after. And now, it’s time to celebrate! Rounding up your best mates and family to celebrate this most precious of milestones is a big deal – so honour it with the party it deserves! Read on for our top tips on pulling off an awesome engagement party.


Image: Merge Photography

Save The Date

An engagement party usually takes place within a couple months of the proposal. That said, if you’re planning to have a longer engagement, feel free to wait several months. A good ballpark idea – just make sure that your engagement party takes place closer to the time of your engagement than it does to your wedding date!

The Guest List

According to tradition, anyone invited to your engagement party should generally be invited to your wedding, so the size of your engagement party guest list is really dependent upon your actual wedding day guest list. You might have as few as 10 or you may invite over 100. When penning your guest list, start with your closest family first, followed by your best of friends, then go from there.


Image: Merge Photography

You’re Invited

Your engagement party invites can be as simple or formal as you like, and really depend on the vibe you’re going for. Word of mouth or an email invite is totally appropriate for a small, casual gathering at home. Then again, if your parents are throwing an elegant dinner at a restaurant, you may want to look into sending out formal paper invites. Get those invites out about a month in advance to give guests a good heads up, or within four to six weeks if guests are from out of town.

Food & Drink

You certainly don’t have to serve a five-course sit down dinner. Trays of hors d’oeuvres and tasting menu stations are both great ways to go. Another idea: theme your food. If you had your first date over Asian food, order up dumplings and sake-tinis for your guests.


Image: Merge Photography

Make It Pretty

You may choose to pick a style and theme for the engagement party that’s completely different from the style of your wedding day. So if you’re planning a formal ballroom wedding, you could go for a laidback beach-themed engagement party with vibrant tropical colours and a casual outdoor setting. The idea here is that you don’t want to upstage the wedding day – so if you’re planning to have simple decor at your wedding reception, skip the OTT formal floral centrepieces for the engagement party tables.

What Happens When

It’s tradition for the father of the bride to make the first toast of the party, officially announcing the engagement. But your mother, your fiancé’s parents, or the host of the party can also do this. After the first toast, you and your fiancé may like to take a moment to thank everyone before opening up the floor to other friends and family who may want to speak. Other than the toasts, you’ll want to have some music – so hire a DJ, a local band, or keep it simple and ask a friend to man an iPod.

How did you celebrate your engagement party, Knotties?

WANT MORE? Engagement Party: Etiquette Essentials

by The Knot


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  1. Great list, planning can be such a pain but I think your right when it comes to keeping it quite opposite to how your actual wedding day will be; in fact the more opposite the better to ensure your guests will be taken aback! I love the fact you have mentioned to be careful who you invite- a lot of people forget that it is etiquette to ensure those invited to the engagement party are invited to the wedding!

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