Checklist for Planning Your Engagement Party – A Step by Step Guide
Planning a wedding keeps you pretty busy and I remember that when I got married, the thought of having to plan an engagement party seemed like a lot of work! If you feel a bit overwhelmed you can take a deep a breath because I have made a Checklist for Planning Your Engagement Party, and it is going to make the process of planning your engagement party super easy!
I have broken the process down into a simple (and easy!) step by step guide which you can follow and tick them off as you go. These steps are assuming you will do everything yourself, but if you are hiring or paying anyone to do some of these jobs for you, you can tick them off as done!
Stage 1 – Start Thinking about Your Engagement Party
This is the stage where you start clearing some mental space for your engagement party. Here is a checklist for planning your engagement party right at the start of the planning process:
- Decide on a suitable date to have your engagement party. Check with family members and your bridal party to find a date that works for everyone.
- Decide on a venue – where will you hold your party? At home, a family member’s house, or a local venue? Book it in so that your party date is official.
- Decide on a theme – what colours or style would you like your engagement party to have? Much of your planning will be centred around this, so now is a good time to get some basic ideas together and have some colour schemes in mind.
- Write out a list of guests to invite
- Start looking for engagement invites to send out to your guests. Check out Sail and Swan’s beautiful collection of Engagement Invitations here.
- Find/create a gift registry. They are a great way to avoid double ups in gifts. Many stores like Myers and offer a registry service – just make sure you know the full terms and conditions of how it works. You can also set up your own ones online to include a mixture of brands and stores if you prefer, such as My Gift Registry.
Stage 2 – Getting Into a Bit More Detail
This is the stage where you will need to start thinking things through in a bit more detail, and actually start organising some of them. Here is a checklist for planning your engagement party in more detail. This is the bulk of the work and once this is done, you will feel much more organised:
- Send out your invitations. Remember to include an RSVP date, and also your Gift Registry Details.
- Start thinking about decorations and styling your venue. Items you may want to consider include:
- Table and Chair Hire (if you don’t already have enough)
- Table cloths
- Candles/Lanterns/Fairylights/Hanging Light Bulbs (if at night time)
- Any signage like welcome sign, gift table sign, food labels etc.
- Start thinking about food and catering. I wouldn’t recommend doing this yourself on the day – you will be busy talking to guests and having fun on the day, so its best to have family members or a catering company help out. If you are keen to cook or bake, think of simple recipes you can do ahead of time and then freeze or store away.
- Remember drinks. You don’t need to buy them now, but think to what drinks you would like to have, and how many of each. Will you need an esky and ice on the day, jugs or self serve drink stations? Now is the time to start planning this.
- Include tea and coffee when you think about drinks. Do you want a tea and coffee station on the day or coffee cart?
- How will you serve all your food and drinks? Now is the time to think about napkins, plates, cutlery and glasses. If you need to order anything online, think ahead and do it now so that everything arrives in time. Alternatively if you can source what you need locally, this can be done closer to the time.
- If you want live music on the day, now is the time to contact professional musicians and book them in.
- Are their any jobs that your friends and family can help with? Now is the time to ask them ahead of time. Be clear in your communication and exactly what job(s) you need them to do, and find out if they are happy to do it.
- Photos – will you want photos of your engagement party? Plan ahead and ask a friend or family ahead of time if they can do this, or hire a professional photographer.
Stage 3 – A Bit Closer to the Day: Final Details
Well done! You’ve done a great job planning and organising your engagement party so far. You are almost there now, and now it’s time to get some final details finished off. Here is a checklist for planning your engagement party toward the end of the process:
- Write out your speech. This is usually done as a couple (you don’t need to write one each) and it only needs to be quick and simple. The most important thing to include is a thank you to all your friends and family for their presence and support on the day, as well as any help they have given in organising the event.
- Put together your music playlist (if you aren’t using live music).
- Plan your outfit
- Buy and store all your drinks so they are ready to go.
- Buy all your food ingredients
- Buy any last minute napkins, cutlery and platters that you may need for serving food.
Stage 4 – On the Day
Yay! Your Engagement Party is finally here! The most important thing is enjoy yourself and have fun!
Let’s think about last minute/on the day details. I’d recommend keeping them to a minimum so that you can spend more time relaxing and having fun, and get as many family members to help out as possible:
- Set up chairs and tables
- Put all table cloths and decorations out
- Set up any signage
- Put music playlist on
- Set up drink station, esky and ice
- Set up tea and coffee station
- Get ready and dressed up
- Make sure you have your speech on you for later
- Start putting all food out
- Welcome guests as they enter
And that’s it! I hope this Step by Step Guide Checklist for Planning Your Engagement Party will help make your planning as quick and easy as possible!