While weddings are almost inescapably expensive, engagement parties can be a little less costly. As it is part of the preamble, as opposed to the wedding itself, you can afford to be a little less flash, and a little more personal.
If you are planning an engagement party at home, either for yourself (congratulations!) or someone else, you may feel a little under pressure to “wow”, especially if the proposal was ‘wowing’. When it comes to weddings, “wowing” usually comes at a price. But it doesn’t need to be. Nor does it need to be a cheap and tacky affair, no different from the halloween parties you also throw at your house.
Below, you’ll find some relatively cheap engagement party ideas, that all look to add a personal touch to proceedings. They can help the engagement party stay in the memory even after the wedding party has outshone it.
We’ll start with something that can be used in good fun, or be turned heartfelt. Everyone likes to rush forward with advice for newlyweds (or soon-to-be-newlyweds in this case), and so much can be overwhelming, not to mention conflicting at times! One way to make use of this good will, and to create unique decorations, is to get guests to write their advice down.
Once you have sorted a colour scheme, either send out a small piece of coloured card in with the invite, or hand them out at the door. If everyone scribbles down a short piece of advice, either of the “Tell each other you love one another every day” or “There is still time to run!” varieties, you can them stick them to the walls around the party. This will give guests something to do, and give the couple a lasting memory.
In the grander scheme of things, look to keep things bright and colourful. Weddings traditionally have less wiggle room on colour palettes than engagement parties, so try to pick favourite colours of the couple. They might not be able to have bright greens and electric blues at their wedding, but they can at the engagement party! It is a start of a bright new future, so match that with big expressive colours.
The go to engagement party decoration, photos of the couple being placed everywhere can be a little overwhelming. On the other hand, nothing quite captures the couple’s history, or their “story”, quite like old photos. So a compromise is necessary.
Our solution is to isolate the photos to one area. If you make a big collage of photos, tailored to move from the couple’s first few months together all the way to now, it can be a concentrated “story”, that people can look at if they want. The room on the walls that would have been taken up by photos can now be used for more colourful, eye pleasing decor items.
Small candles (gifts)
Everyone wants a piece of the party to take home. Why not make it a decor item too, as then you are killing two birds with one stone? Small candles, picked out in the colours of the design scheme, can be scattered on all the tables. Everyone coming has a candle of their own, which they can either light at the party, or keep as a keepsake. These candles can be personalised, but multi-pack ones work just as well.
Finally, if you have the time and the tech, you can set up a video booth, for people to record their messages for the happy couple. It is an easy process to automate, so you don’t have to be on hand for every recording. If you don’t have the room, try using social media to your advantage. Invite guests to record a video message on their phones, and then post it online using a hashtag. You can then easily track, and then combine all of these videos into one nice video package from the day.