Engagement party ideas come in all shapes and sizes but there are a couple of things you need to start with before you seek out those brilliant ideas. The first things to consider are the venue (where the party is going to be held) and a color scheme.
Regardless of where you have the party you want to be able to create some sort of celebratory atmosphere—after all, this is a special event.
You can go all out with elaborate decorations or just add a few simple touches to let everyone know that this truly is a celebration.
Creating a really festive atmosphere can be done just as easily at home as it can be, in a restaurant, club, or reception hall. It's all in the details, how the whole party is put together, and what kind of atmosphere you're trying to create.
Creating Atmosphere & Decorating: The easiest way to create atmosphere is by choosing a color palette and infusing it through all aspects of the party.
For example, if you use white as one of your colors, you can use white dishes (that you probably already own) and pair the white up with a vibrant color. Either color, or both can be brought in through napkins, balloons, flowers, streamers, table cloths, place mats, name cards etc...
Unless you have professional party decorators, we wouldn't suggest you go with more than two colors (plus white) because it can be difficult to get the same impact with multiple color party schemes unless you're a professional.
Below are a couple of examples of a white and red color scheme. It's a classic color combination for love and romance. Just think Valentine's Day! You can dress it up or you can dress it down, and it works well throughout the seasons.
Below is a shot of red and white themed engagement party we attended recently. Yes, those roses running down the table cost a fortune but the same look can be achieved with less expensive flowers, tissue paper flowers, or little cinnamon flavor heart shaped candy placed in shallow glass trays along the table with the pillar candles set inside.
What made the table so special was not the flowers but the repetition of the same element running down the entire length of the table. That's what made the statement and wowed the guests.
The other great idea they had was to take a sculpture of a Buddha that they already owned and placed it in a large plastic pot at the entrance to the party. They adorned it with the same red roses where it greeted the guests and gave a hint of the decorations to come. So look around your house or those of friends and family and see what you can use to extend your theme and greet your guests.
For spring or summer engagement parties choose sunny and fresh colors for your gathering. Below is one of the more popular color schemes for the spring and summer seasons. The yellow and green combination is light and fresh. It can be a little less formal but works exceptionally well for garden or outdoor events.
Another elegant color palette starts with Tiffany blue paired up with neutrals or white, gray/silver and black. It can be dressed up or down depending on what your needs are and is perfect all year around both indoors and outdoors.
It's so recognizable that it inevitably turns the party into a Tiffany's theme which is one of the most classic engagement party ideas of all time—after all, nothing says "engagement" like that little blue box we all dream about.
The choices for color schemes is really endless but we wanted to show you some of our favorites.
If you're more daring with color in your personal wardrobe extend that to your party. Your guests will admire your boldness when they show up and see hot pink and orange balloons to match your party color scheme. There are no hard rules, go with your personality and what feels right.
The same can be said if you are more understated—classic black and white always makes a huge impact.
The best engagement party ideas come from taking stock of what YOU already have—chances are that you'll find some great inspiration in what you already own. It's also a great chance to use those special dishes you've been saving or that rarely get used. Build your color scheme around them and have fun picking up all the extra party favors and decorations!
Now that you've seen how just a few simple touches can create atmosphere, let's look at the options for venues. There are basically two choices here—an at home party (at anyone's house) or one held at a public venue (like a restaurant or club).
Like with everything else, there are benefits and drawbacks for each but if you put some effort into the planning of the engagement party and stay organized, then things should run smoothly.
An at home engagement party can be in anyone's home, it doesn't have to be in the couple's home, or their parents' house.
You can have any type of party you choose, a cocktail party, a backyard barbecue, a sit-down formal dinner etc... The best part about going this route is that you can easily control cost, because you provide your own food and drinks. You can cater some of it, all of it, or none of it...you have complete control and freedom. You can also decorate without any time or space constraints, which many venues won't let you do.
The downside however is that you are responsible for everything from the planning to all the prep and setting up, to all the clean up. You may also be limited to a certain number of guests depending on the size of the home being used.
A venue engagement party is easier because you don't need to worry about setting things up, cleaning up, or the logistics of the party and you can enjoy the party along with your guests, but you will be paying for those luxuries. You're not limited to a certain number of guests because you can just choose another venue if one isn't big enough.
The downside is you have much less freedom on everything and have to abide by their rules. You will likely have to buy food and drinks from them, are subject to their wait staff, and can't bring in any outside catering. Finally, it'll cost much more than an at home party, even one that is fully catered.
Engagement party ideas can be found everywhere. Keep an open mind and look around at what you have and what you like. It's great training for thinking through ideas for the wedding.
Want more? Read about party theme ideas.