Being wedding season, it’s also the season for throwing all those parties for your bride.  This is always my favorite part of being a bridesmaid – I love a good party!  Today, I’m posting about the first party you’ll throw- the engagement party.  Next week I’ll address bridal showers.  The week after, bachelorette parties. 

Now don’t freak out – you are not solely responsible for throwing parties all on your own.  This is why brides and grooms have bridal ‘parties’ and families. 

Who should be invited to the engagement party?

My advice is to get a list from the bride and groom.  If you are throwing a surprise party, get help from the bride and grooms’ families.  Rule of thumb: invite people to this party who will also be invited to the wedding.  It will hurt feelings to be invited to a party, but then snubbed on the wedding invite.

What will the party theme be?

-If you have a bride who has been planning her wedding since age 5, you may already know the location, theme, and color scheme of the wedding.   If it’s too early in the planning process, be creative and make it personal… 

-Incorporate the couples’ hobbies/interests.

-Do a honeymoon themed party and create a “Honeymoon Registry” online for the couple.  Encourage guests to donate to the registry as an engagement gift.  We used HoneyfundIt’s free and flexible – you don’t have to know the trip location.

Special Touches

-Place photos in frames around the room of the couple, with descriptions of each photo. 

-Run a slide show to music during the party.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law did this for our engagement – it was a nice surprise and also something we’ll have to keep. 

-Place the bride’s (or groom’s) favorite flowers in vases around the house.

-Ask guests to share special or humorous stories about the couple.


Depending on your bride and grooms’ personalities and lifestyle, decide whether this party will include a formal (or informal) dinner, or you’ll have more of a cocktail party with finger foods and appetizers. 

-Will you have it catered, or are there enough decent cooks in the group to pitch in? 

-To save money on alcohol, you could serve beer and wine and create a special engagement punch, martini, or margharita.  Name it after the couple and everyone will love it!