Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Try it Tuesday!: How to Throw an Engagment Party + a little tutorial diddy for favors...

Some really amazing friends of ours just got engaged...and I've never in my life been to an engagement party, but we decided we should make one happen!  There's not a whole lotta helpful info on this massive online web, so I thought it'd be fun to post this;)

Through a tish of google research...I found engagement parties are typically thrown by the parents of the couple but especially if the couple doesn't live too close to home, the party can be thrown by mutual friends (if appropriate, the friends should ensure it's cool with the parentals that they are taking it on).  Timing of the party should happen at least 3-4 months before the wedding or close after the engagement announcement (sometimes the announcement is at the party itself!).

My 2 all time favorite engagement party postings I found are below {click on photo for link}:
 Lumberjack and Jill engagement party!  Complete with a lumberjack photo booth...such a great idea - wish we would've done this for our own with my bearded lumberjack;)  

 A backyard carnival themed engagement party! 

So...I was lame and got a little sick during the week of planning and our enchanted backyard engagement party I was hoping to do would have also been coupled with a gross heat wave + mosquito mischief.  Here's how we did it, though!

*Invited people via online with Facebook (this came together in a week...should there be more time for you, definitely go for the cutesy printed invites to match whatever you do!).  Asked the couple to be sure to include anyone we didn't know who they'd like to have there.  One important note we found was the hostess should be sure guests invited are also ones who'd be invited to the wedding = prevent awkwardness...  

{Sidenote #many:  an engagement party isn't to give gifts...more to purely celebrate.  It's recommended via the great Martha Stewart to not include anything such as "gifts not expected" to keep it classy.  She says to trust if people aren't sure they'll do their homework or ask the hostess.  However, she also says it doesn't hurt to be prepared for those who do come baring gifts such as a small extra table for them.}

*Decided with the couple if they wanted formal vs. casual.  We leaned towards the dressy cocktail.  Thinking, too, that informal, fun should be in the mix since the rest of wedding festivities tend to be more plan-y and programmed.

*Wanted to ensure both the guys and the girls would enjoy the night which equaled renting a room at our totally sweet Billiards Gastropub.  Intimate, loungey, and pool table in room (esp for the guys!).  We informed the guests that, yes, you should dress up!

*Planned a simple, yet *sweet* dessert ensemble.  Included cake because some of the fun for engagement parties is the couple gets to "practice" cutting the cake together.  Which is especially great as the couple isn't sure they want one at the wedding.  Yeow!  (and so agreed!)

*Used a tish of decor for fun...which were coordinated with the little diddy favors...

*And had cutesy personalized party favors to enjoy during and post party for guests...(simple tutorial below).

*Allowed for time to just chill and have cocktails...
*And, though not too typical of engagement parties, had 2 super laid back trivia games...but seriously, who wouldn't want to win a super soaker when the heat index is 117 outside?!

(The first was "that's what she said" where we asked the couple 12 questions prior to the party and chose one's answer from each...asked guests "who said in response to 'what is something you cannot live without' - 'my hair, i'd lose all my godlike abilities'".  The second was the Newly Engaged Game where each of the couple had a whiteboard and wrote their fiance's answer on the board to questions such as "who is their celebrity crush.")  Many laughs ensued...'twas sweet.

*Toasts...someone should definitely toast at the party!

Just keep it simple so everyone can enjoy a lovely evening!

I wanted there to be some sort of sweet little favor...this is the simplicity of it:

Cut really mini squares with the color you're going for.  Cut even straight lines off each corner towards the middle (this can be accomplished by folding the square into fourths as you can see I did to help you know how deep to cut them to the middle evenly).

Put just a tish of glue in the center.

Using a toothpick for really little pinwheels, cross one corner that's been cut over to the center and hold just a sec...

Work on taking the same side of each corner into the middle, being sure a little bit of the dot of glue attaches each.

Done!  We definitely found that if your pinwheel has sides pop off the glued center, they'll stay better if you press the looped-ness down a bit to not be quite so curled up.

We printed normal sheets of paper with 2 columns that said the couple's names repeating along with some lyrics from songs he had written...in one of the colors they'll probably have a part of their wedding...

Cut the paper into fourths and looped into a little holder.  Just a scant amount of glue at the bottom of a quarter-page fold like this will hold it together.

Attach pinwheel!  Or button...ribbon...paper flower...

We filled them with rock candy so we could have a sign in the front later that said "gavin and jenni rock!"  Justin spray painted the top of a box and cut little x's to hold these guys up.

Have you ever been to an engagement party?  Thoughts?

2 comments (+add yours?)

Anonymous said...

it was AWESOME!!!! you are amazing! and thank you so much again!! =)

Linnea said...

Umm.. hello Martha? Hahaha. Can I have an engagement party? A little belated of course...