(Closed) Engagement Party – where do I even start?!

posted 5 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
Member
4034 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

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sunshinebubblesandrainbows :  My husband and I had a stress-free engagement celebration. We invited friends out for drinks in the evening and scheduled dinner beforehand for just us at the restaurant where we had our first dinner date. We didn’t reserve anything at the restaurant/bar because we weren’t serving drinks or food. Our friends just came out to celebrate us and we packed the bar. How many people are you looking to invite? Are there any restaurants with bars that you frequent and could use? Good luck! 

Post # 3
Member
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

See if there’s a restaurant in town with a back room they use for special events. Some restautants (like the one we’re using for our wedding) have no fees to rent the room, you just pay for the food & drinks. If you do it during the daytime, a lot of restaurants will waive the fees, as the dinnertime bookings are more profitable for them. That’s what we’re doing for our rehearsal… another restaurant (that all of us frequent) with no fees because we’re doing it during the day on a Saturday. 
Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
4034 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

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sunshinebubblesandrainbows : I see what you mean. Our engagement celebration at the restaurant and bar was just for friends, and our families threw us dinner parties. Maybe you can think outside of the box for venues? Do you have a budget set for this event? A lot of people in my area host mixers at art galleries and museums, boat houses,the botanical gardens, even a manuscript library. Maybe something different would work?

Post # 7
Member
1415 posts
Bumble bee

Try local sailing clubs/yacht clubs, those often have function rooms with a bar that you can hire out, and bring in your own catering. So you would have alcohol to help ease any tension, and the underage guests would be able to go.

Post # 8
Member
1415 posts
Bumble bee

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ladyvictoria :  local art galleries are a great idea too, the art can act as a conversation starter and ice breaker 🙂 

Post # 9
Member
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

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sunshinebubblesandrainbows :  I know cocktail style was an option at our venue 🙂 I think it would depend on the setup of the room and if tables and chairs are bolted down (which in our case, they aren’t), and if they have high tables available. 

You could maybe try museums, too? Some museums have meeting rooms, or open areas for events. 

Post # 10
Member
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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sunshinebubblesandrainbows :  I see where the hesitancy comes in for dinner! Have you checked your city or parks? A nice laid back BBQ at the beach or park (have someone pick up catering trays) could be inexpensive and allow people to mingle. Perhaps the kids could be occupied by the play equipment? Sometimes kids playing together can make it easier for parents to talk… 

Just an FYI, I hosted and engagement party at my house for just immediate family. There was alcohol and everyone got way too drunk because they didn’t like each other. My dad apparently wanted to “fight” DH’s dad, and I had to intervene. My dad was angry at me for weeks! I’d really recommend going light on the booze.

Post # 11
Member
1447 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

We just had a backyard party and it was a blast! Do you have an area you could do this? You could even use a park, or if it’s cold then rent a room at a golf club or museum?

Post # 12
Member
8368 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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sunshinebubblesandrainbows : Do you have a backyard or if you live an an apartment, is there a clubhouse? Or a park nearby where you could rent a pavillion? Also, it’s definitely ideal if the families can get along and enjoy each other’s company, but it’s not always realistic. Do you think a party is likely to make the tension better or worse? You can’t force them to get along, and if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world.

Post # 14
Member
144 posts
Blushing bee

My Fiance and I had an enagagement party that we called a “Family meet & greet”. It basically was a houseparty. We got tons of drinks (cans of pop, beer, and wine) with food from a local caterer (pulled pork sliders, potato salad, etc). We made a playlist and decored nicely and people came over. It was really easy and so much fun. Save your cash for the wedding. 

Post # 15
Member
616 posts
Busy bee

I too had my engagement party in the “back room” (it was actually the upstairs) of a restaurant. The restaurant we’re getting married at has a cap of 55 for sit down, more for cocktail type mingling. I’m not sure how many friends you plan to invite on top of the 35 family members, but I do think a restaurant could be doable! Wouldn’t hurt to look around.

Alternatively, a cookout/potluck at a local park would be far less pressure and a more relaxed vibe.

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