A couple of weeks ago, Glen and I hosted our engagement party. So far, this has been the most fun – and the most overwhelming – part of being engaged. I love planning events and parties (it’s my job so I love it) and I love being a hostess, so I expected to have a lot of fun. I just had no idea how exciting it would be to have a garden full of people that I know and love!
I’d love to share with you how special the afternoon was for us, along with how we planned our engagement party.
How do you decide who to invite?
Glen and I decided to make our engagement party guest list before planning the actual party and deciding where it would be. This is how we’re planning our wedding and it’s a formula that works for us! We began by listing our parents and siblings [my brother said he couldn’t be there and he ended up surprising us by coming down from Joburg for the party!], the people we intend to have on our bridal party, and then we listed friends that we are very close with. It is implied that anyone who is invited to the engagement party will also be invited to the wedding, so we kept that in mind when making our guest list.
Should an engagement party be formal?
There is no right or wrong way to host a party. We decided to give ours a little bit of structure by incorporating a couple of activities. In order to facilitate this, we decided to host the party in Glen’s garden. We put out picnic blankets, we had parasols for guests to hold, we arranged drinks in jars (they were super cute) and we asked guests to bring a plate of something to share. That way, there would be sweet or savoury treats to eat but we’d still have money to put towards our wedding (haha). We have also been to lovely informal engagement parties and those are awesome too! We just wanted to make ours a little more structured.
Games and activities
We picked two games to play with our guests. We’re trying to avoid doing cheesy things at our wedding, so we decided to be super cheesy at our engagement party.
The Sticker Game
Each guest got 5 stickers. Along with that, we picked 3 words that guests could not use for the afternoon: “Wedding”, “Marriage” and “Love”. If someone heard another person using one of those words, they could steal their sticker. The goal is to have the most stickers at the end of the day.
The Shoe Game
I saw this one on Pinterest and I co-ordinated a wedding in which this game was included in the festivities. We got guests to write down questions for us. The answer to the question had to be either “Glen” or “Kelly”. An example of this: Who is the most organized? Glen and I then sat back to back and we each had one of Glen’s shoes and one of mine. Glen’s sister, Lauren, read out the questions and we had to raise the shoe to answer the question. If the answer is “Glen” we’d raise Glen’s shoe. It was quite a fun game and a cool way for our guests to get to know us a little bit.
Save The Dates
We decided to create our Save The Dates and give them to guests at the engagement party. We still have a whole bunch of them to give away, but we figured that if we’ve got 50 of our guests in the same room, lets give them a Save The Date now!
All in all, we had a really fun afternoon and we wouldn’t have changed anything if we could! If this is a glimpse of what our wedding will be like, I think it’s going to be the best day ever, and purely because we have the best friends. Having them all in the same place is going to be crazy!
Next week: Now that we’ve started giving out our Save The Dates, it’s time to talk about wedding themes. We’ve chosen ours and we are making our wedding decision around the theme.
Kelly Jane Mole is an on-the-day wedding co-ordinator that recently got engaged to the man of her dreams. She will be blogging about her wedding planning journey in the hopes that readers will learn something from her triumphs and mistakes. Follow the Illuminate My Event blog to see more!