July 27, 2016

Five Tips for Hosting an Engagement Party

I think engagement parties are an awesome way to celebrate a couple without having to wait for the wedding. Here are five tips for planning your engagement party:

1/ Choose a Fun Theme
When I was planning my engagement party, I had so many ideas. I think I changed my mind at least 5 times before finally arriving on a Cinco de Mayo theme. When picking a theme, choose something that has some meaning. T and I eat Mexican food at least once a week. It is our go to whenever one of us (mostly me) is grumpy or to celebrate an occasion. The day we got engaged we actually went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. So when the weekend we had selected for the party fell on Cinco de Mayo it felt like a sign.

Even Bo was in theme with his Baja Dog Poncho

When planning your party, keep in mind you don't need to keep the same theme or colors as your wedding and this is your chance to do something totally different. The engagement party is a chance for you to just have fun and mingle with your future family.

2/ Set a Budget
This is my weakness. Although I plan every little detail from the menu to the decor, I always end up over spending when I host a party since I almost never set a budget. I tried really hard this time to stick to the strict budget T gave me. This meant doing research about how much food, liquor, and decor I really needed, not necessarily what I wanted. We were able to save money by selecting my mom's backyard as the venue and making all the food ourselves. It was a lot more work though as well so be prepared to run around like crazy if you are going this route. We also utilized Goodwill and Amazon for so many of our decorations. Even the cactus and succulents came from Amazon!

3/ Accept Help
If your friends and family offer to bring something or help out, let them! I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little bit of a control freak and I have a hard time accepting help especially when I'm playing hostess. I quickly realized that cooking food for 50 people, decorating the party space, and getting myself ready within 24 hours probably wasn't going to be possible on my own. Since we were having the party at my mom's house (about an hour and a half from where I currently live) there wasn't much I could do before the party other than gather all my supplies. My grandma and dad offered to make most of the food like homemade churros and a fajita bar, while my mom and a few of my bridesmaids were there to help set up the tent. Without their help I don't think I would have made it through the day.

4/ Create Activities 
I found that activities really helped the bonding between both families and our good friends. I created a Photo Booth out of streamers and paper flowers with some fun props that definitely helped to loosen people up (those margaritas may have helped this as well). We also had a piñata that served as decoration until we strung it over a tree and took turns trying to hit it. It definitely was harder than it looked and provided a few good laughs. We also had a game of corn hole and some more adult games when the kids went to bed.

My Bridesmaids (minus a few) having fun with the photo booth 

5/ Have Fun!
You're engaged! Enjoy yourself! Parties are always a little bit stressful, especially when you and your fiancé are the only ones who know everyone at the party. This means a lot of floating around and spending time with every single person who came out to celebrate you. It is a great time to catch up with family and get to know your future family even better. The night flew by and I'm so happy with the end result. 

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