Here at Ready To Ask, we’re firm believers that you should celebrate as much and as often as you can, and this is definitely true in the run-up to your wedding. That’s why we’re big fans of engagement parties, even though you don’t have to have one. But, if you are thinking of having one, we’re sharing our top tips for hosting an engagement party after the proposal, from how to plan them, where to host them, and who to invite!
Why might you want an engagement party after your proposal?
This one’s pretty simple to answer – to celebrate, of course! Your nearest and dearest will be so excited for this new chapter for you, and an engagement party is the perfect way to commemorate the proposal.
Plus, if you’re planning a longer engagement, it gives you something to enjoy sooner rather than later.
Getting started with engagement party planning
Traditionally, after a proposal, the bride’s parents planned and hosted the engagement party, but nowadays, anyone can host them – in fact, the couple themselves usually do so.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to plan it all by yourself: engagement party planners exist, and they’re there to help (some wedding planners even offer it as part of their services and may include it as part of their full planning fee).
Whether you’re planning it yourself or looking to call in a professional, there are many exciting things to get started with!
Firstly, engagement parties can be as formal or informal as you like. You may want to celebrate your engagement by gathering your friends in your favourite bar and dancing the night away, or, after your proposal, you might want a slightly more structured engagement party akin to a milestone birthday or anniversary party.
You also might want to plan more than one, particularly if you come from different places: it might not be possible for everyone to travel once for the engagement party and then again for the subsequent wedding, so multiple engagement parties in different locations for different family members or friends is quite common too.
Now it’s time to get into the more logistical side of things…
When to plan your engagement party
No matter how long you want your engagement itself to be, the engagement party should happen as soon after the proposal as possible. This way, everyone’s still caught up in the whirlwind of the excitement and novelty: like when you brush your hair out of your eyes and catch sight of your ring glinting in the sun, and you giggle and think, “I have a fiancé now!” Plus, planning your engagement party for the first couple of months after you’ve said yes minimises the chance of wedding planning stress causing any interference (although, hopefully, you shouldn’t have any!).
Some people plan their engagement parties straight after the proposal to surprise their unsuspecting other half. What’s more, family parties can very easily become engagement parties, too, if they happen to be the setting of your proposal. However, of course, these should only be considered if you’re 100% sure your partner is going to say yes!
Who should you invite to your engagement party after the proposal?
Just like at a wedding, the guest list is also a hugely important part of planning an engagement party. You’ll need to decide how many people you want to invite: do you want to invite a small, select group of people, for example, or do you want to go big? Do what feels right for you.
However, something to keep in mind is that the general understanding is this: if you’re invited to the engagement party, you’ll be invited to the wedding. Remembering this when you’re sending your invites out should prevent any awkward situations further down the line.
Alternatively, of course, if you’re planning on having a super small wedding, an elopement, or even a wedding abroad, an engagement party is a great way of celebrating your love with all your friends and family in person: just make sure what you’re planning to do is clear.
What happens at an engagement party?
After the proposal, deciding on the running order of your engagement party could be tricky. However, it should be based on how formal you want the event to be: some engagement parties are nothing more than a celebratorydrink after work, suiting people who prefer to keep things simple. However, if you’re planning something bigger, you might want to say a few words to your guests. You might also want to use the opportunity to introduce members of your families if you haven’t already done so.
It’s also likely to be the only time your wedding guests are all together other than on the day itself, so you can use it to gather any words of wisdom or messages from your guests, which you might want to use in your ceremony, speeches, or even as a super creative part of your wedding decor.
More engagement party details
Engagement party themes
Planning an engagement party after a proposal also gives you the chance to do something a bit quirky. Though you should absolutely throw the wedding you want, it can sometimes feel like weddings have to be timeless because the photos will be on your mantelpiece forever. But, if you love the idea of throwing a party with a theme but don’t want a themed wedding, why not do it at your engagement party instead?
What to wear to an engagement party?
There’s no set dress code for engagement parties after a proposal: traditionally, to mimic the wedding, brides would wear a white dress, but of course, there’s no right or wrong. What we would say, though, is wear something you feel fabulous in; it’s not every day you get engaged!
Are you planning an engagement party now you’ve had the proposal? Let us know what you’re planning in the comments below! And if you’ve already hosted one, we’d love to see the photos!