Who, What & Wear of Engagement Parties
You’ve just gotten engaged. Congratulations! Now to celebrate with all your family and friends by hosting an engagement party. Here’s where to start:
The ring’s barely on your finger, and guess what? It’s already time to start thinking about your wedding guest list. Why so soon? Because you should avoid inviting anyone to your look-at-my-bling fiesta who won’t be invited to the actual wedding –it’s just tacky. If you don’t feel like hashing out your whole guest list, or if you haven’t decided whether you want a big wedding or a small soiree, limit the engagement party list to your closest friends and family. You might want to choose your wedding party beforehand, though, so you have a built-in group ready to help with party planning (you’ll be happy you did!).
The engagement party can be anything from a casual barbecue to a fancy dinner at your favourite restaurant to a no-holding-back, 100-person cocktail fete (just don’t outdo the wedding). Make it clear with the invite what guests can expect. For a low-key get-together, you can even go the paperless route and use paperlessweddings.com.au< or paperlesspost.com, or opt for playful invitations. Thinking formal? Opt for upscale invites in your wedding colours (if you’ve picked them) so guests get the hint to dress up. It’s up to your friends and family members whether or not they want to bring a gift, but if you’re nervous about making them feel obligated to buy a present, say something simple like “No gifts, please” at the bottom of the invites as well. You’ll get the point across and guests will feel less pressure.
You might be tempted to run out and buy a new outfit –and if that’s what you want, more power to you –but remember that the $350 dress you just love could pay for your bouquet…or your celebrant…or the bottom layer of your three-tiered cake. Our advice? Play up a simple cocktail dress with a funky necklace and bold heels (fine, you can splurge on the shoes, but that’s only because you can wear ‘em to the hens party, too). Remember that you want a look that’s fun and sophisticated. Slightly (and we really do mean slightly) sexy is okay, too, but don’t push it –you’re not going clubbing.