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An engagement party is a celebration of your upcoming marriage, usually several months before the wedding. If you’re planning a get-together with friends and family who might not know each other yet, you’re probably wondering how to make the event memorable and fun. How formal should it be? What kinds of food will you serve? Here are seven engagement party ideas to help get you started.
1. Movie Night
Dim the lights and break out the popcorn. For a movie-night-themed engagement party, set up a projector to play a film on a sheet or blank wall. This can be indoors or out, as long as the weather cooperates.
Send out invitations that look like movie tickets and have your guests bring them to your show. You can serve soda, root beer floats, boozy milkshakes and movie theater candy — without the high price, of course. You might also want to serve something more substantial, like hot dogs or chili, to go with the sweets.
A fun engagement party idea is to screen a romantic movie that has something to do with how the couple met. If it’s Halloween, you could also go the opposite route and play a horror flick for your intrepid guests. Play a drinking game to go with the movie. Or, watch a film that’s so bad that it’s good and tear it apart, Mystery-Science-Theater-3000-style.
Since this is a casual party, encourage your guests to wear casual clothes or even pajamas if they’re so inclined. Provide fuzzy blankets and pillows so everyone can get cozy.
Who doesn’t love an old-school sleepover? To host a campout-themed engagement party, you can invite your guests to a scenic location, like a lake or national park campground, and have a campfire. Roast s’mores, sausages and corn on the cob with butter and pepper, and serve hot chocolate and tea.
Your guests can bring their own tents if they have them, but you can also provide tents, rain flies, sleeping bags and ground pads for the most rugged among your group. Or, rent a glamping site and put your guests up for the night in a furnished teepee, yurt or cabin.
Around the campsite, set up hammocks, camp chairs, blankets and pillows for your guests to relax on. You can tell ghost stories and play truth or dare just like when you were kids. Because of the outdoor setting, encourage your guests to wear whatever they’d normally wear when camping.
The next day, you can enjoy even more time outdoors by leading your guests on a hike.
A barbecue is the perfect summer engagement party idea. Grill some ribs, chicken, vegetable skewers and burgers.
Set up outdoor tables with checkerboard table cloths and pitchers of cold lemonade and iced tea, then put out coolers full of ice and beer. Guests will also love an ice cream bar with different flavors of ice cream available.
For entertainment, set up a piñata full of party favors. Some ideas include bottle openers, chalk, magnets and, of course, candy. You can also play engagement-themed bingo or giant Jenga. Since you’ll already be playing some festive music, maybe your guests will have an impromptu dance.
The venue is outdoors, so guests could wear casual summer dresses or semi-formal attire.
4. Wine and Cheese
One engagement party idea is to host an elegant, formal wine and cheese tasting. Decorate the venue with candles, oil lamps and fairy lights. Invite your guests to wear formal dress and enjoy a delectable evening of sampling wine and cheeses from all over the world. But, don’t stop there!
Serve charcuterie boards with salami, crackers, nuts and different bread dipping sauces. Offer sparkling waters to counterbalance the alcohol. You can send guests home with their own personalized wine glasses printed with the date of the couple’s upcoming wedding.
5. Murder Mystery
This is a fun autumn-themed engagement party for adventurous guests with a playful side. Host a masquerade-style evening where everyone comes dressed in formal attire and a mask. Rent an escape room or host your party in someone’s large house, then try to solve a whodunnit mystery.
You can serve caramel apples, pumpkin pie, cider, mulled wine and personal pot pies. Decorate with candles and pumpkins, cornucopias and autumn leaves. Put on some film noir jazz music and let the games begin.
6. Casino Night
For a glitzy, glamorous affair, decorate your house with neon lights and confetti. Set up tables with poker chips and let your guests play blackjack and roulette. Go with a Roaring Twenties theme and encourage guests to wear black tie, old-fashioned flapper dresses and tuxedos.
Serve martinis, cocktails and finger foods like macaroons, deviled eggs, egg rolls and crab rangoon. Complete the Vegas-style theme by sending your guests home with packs of playing cards as party favors.
7. Game Night
For a casual, relaxed get-together that anyone can enjoy, host a game night party. Send out Mad-Libs-style invitations where guests can fill in the blanks with their own funny answers.
Encourage your guests to bring a game, and serve chips, salsa, sandwiches, cake and other finger foods. You could play a humorous trivia game to quiz your guests on how well they know the couple. For example, where did the soon-to-be-newlyweds meet? Where do they work? Give prizes to people who get the most correct answers.
Set up Twister or charades for guests who want to get active. Play a hilarious game of Who Am I by taping names on people’s foreheads, but add a twist by only using your guests’ names.
Since this will be an indoor party, you can make the attire as formal or casual as you like.
Unique Engagement Party Ideas
The best engagement parties have a few common elements: good food, music, activities and small favors for the guests to take home. Whether you’re hosting an event that’s indoors or outside, formal or casual, try to incorporate all these things to please your guests. Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun — after all, it’s a party!
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