Engagement Party Ideas & Venue
Before starting on the details, you need to consider the venue, and there are basically two choices—an at home party (at anyone’s house) or one held at a public space (like a restaurant or club). Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
The At-Home Engagement Party
At-home engagement parties can be in anyone’s home, it doesn’t have to be in the couple’s home, or their parents’ house, or even a relative’s. There are also no limits to the type of party to have. You can have a cocktail party, a backyard barbecue, a sit-down formal dinner, an afternoon tea, and the list goes on.
Our best tip for choosing the type of party to have at home is to consider the location within the home and the size of the spaces available.
If you’ve got a great backyard and a house with smaller rooms crowded with furniture, then a barbecue, clam bake, or outdoor cocktail party are likely your best bets.
The best part about at-home parties 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 can also decorate without any time or space constraints, which many venues won’t let you do.
The downside, 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
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. You get to enjoy the party along with your guests, and you’re not limited to a certain number of guests.
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 anywhere and everywhere. Keep an open mind. Look at things through a ‘party ideas’ lens. Really look around when you’re out on the town, surfing the web, or flipping through magazines, note what appeals to you and what doesn’t.
Survey your own stuff for inspiration. The perfect color scheme for your engagement or wedding may come from a favorite item of clothing you own or a friend’s couch upholstery fabric that you’ve always loved. And, the type of party can be inspired from your collection of Fiesta ware, old tea cups, favorite TV show (think Mad Men), movie or book.
Inspiration is everywhere. When you look at things through the right lens, you’ll come up with your own engagement party ideas—ideas that you’ll be able to carry right through to the wedding.