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What Is An Engagement Party


November 13, 2023

A couple who just got engaged taking photos in the mountains of California.

What Is An Engagement Party

Getting married is universally known as one of the most exciting times in your life, but that doesn’t always look the same for everyone. Maybe you have a private engagement and desire to run away to elope, just you and your fiancé. Or, perhaps, you get engaged in front of your close family and friends and then plan an unforgettable luxury wedding, complete with multiple events and parties. There’s no wrong answer. But no matter your style or budget, there is one wedding event that can kick off the rest of the festivities: an engagement party

Is An Engagement Party Right For You?

Like a wedding, an engagement party can be formal or relaxed, depending on your preferences. From a large soirée to an intimate dinner with just a few loved ones to everything in between, throwing an engagement party is a great way to share your exciting, life-changing news with the people you love. Because there can be lots of events leading up to and following a wedding, it can be nice to plan an engagement party somewhat soon after the engagement itself to help spread out the festivities. 

What Is Engagement Party Etiquette?

Rules are meant to be broken, but it can be helpful to lay out the standard etiquette of an engagement party to help inform your planning process. Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party, but it is common for the couple to host their own. In terms of the guest list, it’s typical that all attendees of the engagement party would get invited to the wedding as well. When it comes to invitations, you don’t need to go all out as you might with your wedding invite. However, some couples prefer to coordinate the invitation style for all wedding events, starting with the engagement party. Generally, gifts aren’t customary at engagement parties in the same way they are at the wedding, although it would be helpful to clarify the gift expectations on the invite so your guests don’t have to wrestle with the idea of whether to gift or not to gift. 

How to Plan an Engagement Party

Before you dive into party planning, allow yourself some time to relish in the moment of being newly engaged. There’s no need to rush into planning–spend time celebrating just you and your new fiancé before taking on the task of planning an engagement party. But once you’re ready to dive in, here are some steps you can follow.

Decide on a Theme

An engagement party theme doesn’t have to be elaborate–it can be as simple as deciding if you want to host an afternoon brunch or an evening BBQ. Some other fun options include a cocktail hour, tea party, dessert social, picnic, or formal dinner. Perhaps you could opt for something more outgoing and interactive, like a scavenger hunt, casino night, murder mystery, or pool party. There’s no wrong answer, but whatever you choose will inform the rest of your decision-making. 

Choose a Venue

Whichever engagement party venue you choose will be dependent on the type of party you want and how many guests will be in attendance. You can’t go wrong with an outdoor event space and view. However, if you’re planning a party in the winter months or want to light up a dance floor, an indoor event space may be the best option. If you don’t want to rent out a private room, you could host at a restaurant or a public park or beach. If you host in San Diego County, check out The Centre Escondido. With private event spaces of all types and sizes and an incredible restaurant on site, we have offerings fit for all kinds of engagement parties. 

Food, Drink, & Decor

The food and beverages that you serve depend on the theme you choose. But, unlike a typical wedding, at an engagement party, there’s no expectation of a multi-course meal or full bar. It would be entirely acceptable for you to serve an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, delicious desserts, and a few creative signature cocktails. Of course, you could also choose to provide an entire meal and drink menu. Similarly, engagement party decor is not expected to be as extravagant as the wedding itself. You could keep it simple with twinkling lights, glowing candles, and seasonal floral arrangements, or you could go all out with a theme and transform the space. The beauty of an engagement party is that no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong–as long as you follow your heart!

If you’re looking to plan the engagement party in San Diego County, let our team at The Centre Escondido take the reigns. Contact us today to start planning the perfect engagement party to kick off the rest of your wedding events.