Monday, 29 August 2016

ENGAGEMENT PARTY: PLANNING, TIPS AND IDEAS


Hi lovelies! Another Engagement/ Wedding themed post today, I promise eventually I'll post about something else, but I thought I'd get this post up while it was still fresh in my mind to do so! So, I mentioned in my Bridesmaid Gift post and my Engagement Party OOTD that I'd get a post up all about our Engagement Party, what we did, why we did it, who we invited and some little DIY's that I did for the day!

So, we held our Engagement party at my Parent's house and had a garden party that started in the afternoon and went on into the night. We decided to do it this way as we wanted a really chilled, relaxed environment for everyone to get to know each other and socialise before the wedding. We kept it fairly small and only invited those would be invited to the wedding, some people may not agree but I think this is quite important, we're keeping the wedding quite small as you can definitely go crazy on the guest list, so I didn't want to invite anyone to the engagement party who then wouldn't be getting an invite for the big day! The main thing for us was to get the majority of the two families together so that they'd at least know who everybody was when the wedding comes around.




We kept the decorations fairly minimal but I did want to DIY a few just for a bit of a personal touch. One of my favourite things was this 'D Heart C' hanging sign. I made this simply by cutting the letters out of thick card and gluing scrunched tissue paper to them. It was really cheap and really easy to make. The pink and blue bunting was from The Range and the tassel bunting was a DIY that I found on Pinterest. I won't even try to describe it, so if you'd like to give it a go, I used this tutorial! I got the tissue paper from card shops as I used the kind that you'd typically use to wrap presents, if you could though, I'd recommend using craft shop tissue paper, as the kind I used had creases!

Something that went down really well, particularly with Darren's nieces and nephews, was our party favours. For these, I used cellophane bags filled with various treats. I used Popcorn for the 'He Popped The Question' bags, Party Ring biscuits for the 'He Put a Ring on it' bags and Peppermint Rock for 'She Got Her Rock'. I really loved how these turned out. They were really easy to make, but I did have to make 50 in total, so it took a while. I enlisted the help of my sister with these so that saved some time and I did the rock bags in advance as the sweets were wrapped. If you're going to do the popcorn or party rings though, I'd keep it to the night before or morning of, as they can go stale if they're not tied tight enough!




One thing I'd highly recommend doing if you can is this polaroid guestbook. I had the polaroid camera already and I just bought lots of films to replace throughout the day and evening and guests could snap pics from the party from their perspective (this is just a small selection of the ones we got!) and stick them in with stickers and either sign their name or leave us a message. I think we may even do this sort of thing again on our wedding day as I love silly pictures like this and it's so lovely to look back on.

I absolutely loved our engagement party and I'm so glad we did it the way we did as it was just lovely to have almost everyone that'd be attending the wedding together and getting to know each other in such a chilled out way. As it was during the day,we just did buffet food which was perfect for everyone as we didn't do anything too formal and everyone could pick and choose what they wanted. My sister and I also made a huge completely vegan cake, which I can't for the life of me find a picture of, but that went down extremely well, which I was super pleased about - as a vegan you can't help but feel slightly smug when people enjoy your food!

To finish this post, I thought I'd share a few quick tips for anyone throwing an Engagement party - this is just my opinion, of course you can throw your party any way you like!

  • Keep it simple, too many organised activities or forced dancing can feel very awkward and uncomfortable for people who don't know each other too well yet.
  • Invite only your wedding guests. I think it comes across a little rude inviting anyone who won't be coming to the big day. If you're having a very small wedding, or are planning to elope though, it could be nice to throw an engagement party for those who won't be attending, but I'd make this clear from the get go.
  • Expect gifts, but don't make it a big deal! We didn't ask for or expect gifts at our engagement party at all, but our friends and family were so generous. We kept it low key though and put any gifts away in another room so that anyone who didn't bring something wouldn't feel awkward. We waited until after the party to open them and sent out personal thank you cards to everyone.
  • Say thank you! This ties in with the last point, I do think you should send thank you cards to everyone, not just those who bring gifts. Every person you invited has made an effort to be there and I think it's really important to recognise that.
  • Make an effort to introduce people and chat to everyone. I made sure that I introduced everyone to each other so that everyone knew who they were talking to and I tried my best to take some time to get around and talk to everybody. As I said before, they've made an effort to be there and the least you can do is give them a moment or two of your time! 


So, that's it! I've kept this post as short as possible, but if there's anything else you'd like to know, I'd be more than happy to answer any questions in the comments!


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