Congrats on your engagement! Are you considering having an engagement party? It is a fun way to get your friends & family together to kick off your wedding festivities, so Rich & Kitch definitely recommend having one! After your significant other proposes & you spend time celebrating being engaged, why not keep the proposal celebrations going? If you're looking for engagement party tips & inspiration, keep reading to find out what we did for our engagement party!
Since we knew we were going to get married in Mexico, we decided to make our engagement party Mexican-themed (& wedding-themed, of course)! Our initial planning consisted of picking a date that worked for our friends & family, getting everyone’s email addresses, then I sent out digital invitations on Paperless Post which made it super easy to track responses. I sent out the invitations about 3 months before our party which we decided to have at my parent’s house.
Richie & I love to cook, and to save money, I thought it would be a great idea to make the food for everyone. This was a big task, but we managed to get it all done & everyone loved the food! We made ground meat tacos, crockpot chicken tacos, Pico de Gallo, guacamole, had other toppings, and my Maid of Honor & her mom brought the cutest cake pops for dessert! We don’t regret making the food, but we wish we had hired someone to replenish the food throughout the party, so my mom & Richie’s mom didn’t have to spend time doing this. I tried to help too, but once I had a white dress on, I didn’t want to risk getting it dirty! We also considered hiring a bartender, but having a bar setup & coolers full of beer, white claw, & wine worked out fine. My Maid of Honor’s mom also made a bunch of jello shots! We also got lucky with the weather. We set up the food in the kitchen & rented a few tables/chairs/tents to put in our backyard for people to eat/enjoy being outside. It wasn’t super fancy, but it was a great way to get everyone together for a party!
For the decorations, I got a lot of them from Amazon or Target, and we had super generous friends that donated other Mexican decorations. We didn't go too crazy with the decorations since we weren't trying to spend too much money on this party, but we definitely had enough to tie the theme together & make my parents house look festive for an engagement party!
Here are some of the decorations we bought!
Photo clip lights to hang our engagement pictures
Photo props for the photo booth
My dad also had an amazing idea to rent a photobooth! We used Booth by Demand and they ship you an iPad inside of a selfie light that takes the pictures, a mini printer, printing paper, & a backdrop for the photos. This was probably the highlight of our party, and as the night went on, the pictures were super funny as you could imagine. I ordered some Mexican photo props off of Amazon, and since we go to Mexico so much, we had other fun props like sombreros & Mexican blankets. Some of the decorations throughout my parents house also got used as props which was hilarious!
The only regret we had about our engagement party was not having it sooner. We got engaged & I got right to work on prioritizing wedding plans over engagement party plans. Our engagement party was still super fun, but it was 4 months after the proposal, so the fresh engagement feel wasn’t there as much anymore & I felt like I had planned a decent amount of the wedding (in reality not that much was planned, but at the time it felt like it lol.)
Also, a lot of articles I read said that you need to register for gifts before your engagement party. We did get started on our registry before our party, but we said no gifts for our engagement party. We still got gifts, but nothing from our registry, so I don’t think it is necessary to register for gifts before your engagement party!
Lastly, is it ok to invite guests to your engagement party that won’t be invited to the wedding? We decided it was (before I read a bunch of wedding articles that said this wasn’t ok… oops!). We don’t regret doing this though because we wanted our destination wedding to be intimate. Since our engagement party was in Cleveland, it made sense to invite more people since it would be easier for them come to this, and we thought it was a nice way to include people that are still close to us for our celebration! We also kept our party to my side of the family, our friends, and my parent's friends. We did invite Richie’s parents & siblings, but we couldn’t invite his entire family, since he has a huge family, and my parent's house couldn't handle doubling the amount of guests we had (75 people attended!) Richie’s family also doesn’t live in Cleveland, so keeping it to one side of the family worked out well. Richie's parents also hosted a couples shower for us a few months before our wedding with his side of the family only, and you can read about it here!
If you decide to have an engagement party, I hope all of these tips help you plan yours! And if you're looking for the perfect white dress, check out my favorites here!
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