How do you… throw an engagement party?

Engagement parties, like weddings, are one of those events that everyone has an opinion on. I’m not engaged but it still doesn’t stop me being asked what I’ll do when the time comes.

You’ve probably been to plenty of such functions & I’m sure you have a pretty good idea of what you liked and what you would’ve improved! While you should obviously go for the option that best reflects you & your partner, there’s so much that goes into putting it all together that it’s worth doing a bit of research.

Do you have an all-in affair or do you just do a backyard barbecue with friends? Do you do speeches? And, do you really have to invite your Mum’s third cousin Bertha that you apparently once met, age 4?

I thought I’d grill a mate of mine Lee Isherwood (graphic designer & the bird behind Bluebirdmill) to get the behind the scenes scoop on her recent engagement party.

Us with the happy couple

Us with the happy couple

Being the wonderfully creative type she is, Lee quickly found a hall to hire, locked in a Mexican theme for the evening and then got to planning the important stuff – the decorations!

“I love decorations,” Lee gushes. “My favourite place to look for ideas was Pinterest. I allocated a decent budget for decorations but I shopped around to get the best price so I didn’t blow it all on a handful of things.”

“I also had a few friends & family members get in on some DIY projects too.”

The card-eating pinata was a definite decoration win!

The card-eating pinata was a definite decoration win!

Budgeting is always the elephant in the room with anything wedding-related. The optimal price range varies for everyone & how much you spend on each component of your night will always depend on your priorities. Be sure to think through what matters most to you & your partner & allocate your funds accordingly.

While Lee & her partner had chosen a budget for the party, the addition of catering pushed them beyond what they originally wanted to spend overall, let alone on feeding everyone.

“While we really wanted to stick to our budget, we decided to book a caterer to minimise stress on the night,” Lee said. “We also organised a couple of friends to make some Mexican-themed nibbles to go around before the catering was to start.”

“For the catering, we opted for canapé style food which, while it was tasty, I probably wouldn’t choose if I had to do it all again.”

“I spoke to a few people after the night & although they all enjoyed the food, some people just didn’t get enough of it.”

Lee found a picture of this cake on Pinterest & her sister-in-law had it made as our present.

Lee found a picture of this cake on Pinterest & her sister-in-law had it made as our present.

It can be tempting to try & do everything yourself but, when it comes to your engagement party, it just isn’t worth missing out on sitting back & actually enjoying yourself.

Lee said the most special part of the evening was seeing all the family & friends who had travelled to share the event with her & her partner.

“Most of my partner’s family live a few hours away & we have friends interstate so it was lovely they were all able to join us,” she said. “I really felt like it was important for me to focus on having a great night, no matter what, as everyone was there because they love me & my partner.”

“Keeping in mind that everyone was there to celebrate our love for each other also helped me not sweat the small things!”

Stunning bride-to-be Lee & her proud mum

Stunning bride-to-be Lee & her proud mum

Lee said she definitely couldn’t have done it all on her own & greatly appreciated all the help she got from her friends and family.

“My mum and dad were absolutely amazing,” Lee said. “They got up super early & spent the entire day setting up & then spent most of the night running around making sure everything was running smoothly.”

“Other friends made food & decorations, lent cars to transport the ice & booze, & my high school best friend even hit the early morning markets in Sydney to fill the hall with dozens of flowers.”

“If you’re planning an engagement party, I’d recommend getting over any fears you might have about asking for help!”

Lee's friend hit the early morning flower markets to decorate the hall with fresh blooms.

Lee’s friend hit the early morning flower markets to decorate the hall with fresh blooms.

As a reveller that had a fantastic time, I’d have to say Lee’s function was a success! Planning is obviously a big part of the night but I loved Lee’s sentiment that it’s so important to take the time to share the night with your family & friends.

Preparation is the key, as well as having a great support crew – having some trusted friends and family you can rely on to handle any problems during the party will help diffuse your stress levels & keep you smiling throughout.

4 Thoughts on “How do you… throw an engagement party?

  1. Aw! So lovely, it was such a great night!!

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