Creative Engagement Party Ideas for the Fun and Fabulous Couple

Tips and TrendsWedding Inspo | January 23, 2024
Engagement rings

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now that all the initial excitement has worn down, we know what you’re thinking. What do I do now?! Well, we’re here to welcome you to the party planning committee. Now begins a series of chic and fabulous events to celebrate your love as a couple. If you’ve made the announcement and set a tentative wedding date, you’re probably looking to plan an engagement celebration next. To get you started, here is our favorite engagement party inspo to make planning a breeze.

Want a head-start on your engagement season? Make sure to follow us on Pinterest to get all the latest inspo and must-know information for your future wedding!

What is an Engagement Party?

An engagement party is a party that is thrown when a couple gets engaged to announce the good news to their friends and loved ones. It’s all about you, and your unique love story. Be prepared to answer all kinds of questions about your time dating, the proposal, and just how in love you two are because everyone’s there to celebrate this huge step with you!

PC: Ryan Goold Photo | Max Vickery

When Should I Have an Engagement Party?

Because there are going to be so many events set up to celebrate your marriage to your sweetheart, it’s good to spread them out by throwing your engagement party soon after you get engaged. Trust us, between bachelor/bachelorette parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and receptions, there will be no shortage of partying. Plus, with our help, you’ll have all the engagement party inspo you need to get this celebration going in no time!

Who Throws the Engagement Party?

Traditionally, the bride’s parents throw the engagement party. However, lots of couples have been moving away from that stereotype. The groom’s parents can pay, they can split the cost, or the couple themselves can pay for it to have total creative freedom!

PC: Ryan Goold Photo | Jose Alvarado Photography

Who Do I Need to Invite?

Figuring out the guest list for your engagement party is great practice for narrowing down your wedding guest list. Basically, everyone you and your families want to invite to your wedding should be on the guest list. That can include extended family, friends, your bridal party, etc.

Engagement Party Inspo to Make Planning a Breeze

PC: Audrey Rose Photo | Jose Alvarado Photo

Decide on a Theme and Venue

Time to pick out your engagement party venue! You can hold your gathering anywhere, but when choosing your location, you will want to keep cost and travel ability in mind. At the end of the day, having the wedding of your dreams is your main goal, so make sure not to max out your budget on the party. Additionally, if you have a lot of guests traveling for your wedding, consider hosting your engagement party somewhere more local.

Additionally, choosing the general vibe you want for your engagement party is the first step in picking a theme and venue. Choose something that feels totally you! A cute idea? Think of a location or activity that you and your fiance love and introduce your friends and family to your love story by setting the scene for them.

PC: Lucy Cuneo | Ryan Goold Photo

Need some help? We have you covered. Here’s our favorite engagement party inspo for choosing your location:

  • Venues:
    • Private home or backyard
    • Restaurant
    • Beach or park
    • Country club or banquet hall
    • Winery
    • Art gallery or museum
    • Boat
    • Greenhouse
  • Party Ideas:
    • Dinner
    • Cocktail party
    • Brunch
    • Wine tasting
    • Dessert sampling
    • BBQ
    • Picnic
    • Pool party
    • Bonfire
    • Craft party
    • Boat party
    • Game night

PC: Unknown | Amanda Sutton Photography

Send Invitations

Once you have your venue and date selected, (preferably within the first few months of being engaged), and your guest list finalized, go ahead and send out invitations! This should be done at least a month ahead of time. Make sure to include a way for your guests to RSVP so you have a headcount and can get appropriate seating and food. Check out these examples for more engagement party inspo!

PC: Dewitt For Love Photography

Here’s a quick checklist for you as you plan your invitations:

  • Set a date, time, dress code, etc.
  • Put together a guest list: engagement parties are more intimate, so think 10-75 people, all of whom would also be invited to the wedding.
  • Collect physical addresses or emails from guests. This takes some effort – be sure to enlist the wedding party!
  • Purchase stationery or a digital template. Typically, an engagement party invite is just a card, maybe an RSVP insert or website link, and an envelope.
  • Purchase stamps for snail mail and set a date for friends and family to help you assemble the invites!
  • For digital templates, use mailing software or the company’s native platform to input email addresses.
  • Assemble and address the invites. Make it a party by bringing snacks and making a toast!
  • Press send or put everything in the mailbox.
  • Track RSVPs to collect a final guest count.

PC: Lucy Cuneo

If you feel like getting a head start on checking out wedding photographers, consider hiring a professional photographer for these photos and include them in your invitations. You can use this as a trial run for your wedding!

Finalize the Menu

The menu is totally up to you and your family. Some people opt for an upscale dinner at the couple’s favorite restaurant, while others prefer more of a cocktail party aesthetic. Wine and charcuterie boards, a dessert tray, or a relaxed backyard barbeque. The sky is truly the limit, and it’s completely customizable to your vibe and budget.

PC: Jose Alvarado Photography | Ryan Goold Photo

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Cake! If your budget is tight, a simple homemade confection will do just fine.
  • A brunch spread. This is easy to potluck among friends and family. Plus, mimosas!
  • Charcuterie boards make for simple and visually appealing displays.
  • Italian food is a crowd-pleaser and catering favorite.
  • Tex Mex or Mexican fare is a great option for feeding a crowd. Guests can assemble their own tacos, nachos, or salads at the buffet table.
  • The bar! Whether you’re going mocktail or cocktail, fizzy drinks and chic garnishes are sure to make a classy celebration. Speaking of…
  • Themed cocktails inspired by your love story. Was your first date at the local gardens? Concoct a drink with rose or lavender syrup to tie in those beautiful floral elements of your relationship memories!

PC: Unknown | Christine Change Photo

Choose an Outfit

Here at Maggie, we understand that when you look your best, you feel your best. Your engagement party is the perfect time to debut your fashionista side, and lucky for you, we have some beautiful dresses to choose from for your pre-wedding party look! Engagement party inspo? We have it! Consider choosing a gown that’s a little bit sexy, a little bit casual, and a little bit glam. While anything you choose to wear will be stunning, we have a few suggestions.

Engagement Party Dresses

Lorraine by Rebecca Ingram

This beaded chiffon sheath dress with a slimming silhouette is perfect for making a statement at your engagement party. Plus, it’s light and breathable in all kinds of weather.

Drew by Maggie Sottero

Drew is for the show-stopping girl who wants to drop jaws at her engagement party. You’re bold. You understand the vibe. You’re ready to glisten in any lighting. Drew is a celestial-inspired beaded illusion corset dress with luxurious satin lining. If you’re ready to turn heads, look no further.

Martinique by Sottero and Midgley

A simple open V-back bridal gown with a square neckline, crepe fabric, and 3D lace straps. What could be more perfect for an engagement party? Effortless, glamorous, and simple. Martinique is giving us all the summery laid-back feels.

Hayes by Maggie Sottero

Hayes is an easy-breezy and featherlight crepe dress with a delicate illusion back and sleeves. She’s practical and relaxed, but still a head-turner. If you’re looking for a dress that will catch eyes but is still simple and won’t outshine a more glam wedding dress, Hayes is our pick for you.

Zoe by Rebecca Ingram

Want to save the floor-length dresses for the wedding? If you’re after a fabulous engagement party look, this short floral bridal dress is inspired by all things young love and happily ever after. Shimmery, playful, and totally unique. Just how you want to feel at your engagement party. 

Next Steps

PC: Madison Richards Photo | Birds on a Wire

Now that you’ve seen all of our engagement party inspo, the real work begins! Next on your list of things to do is start your wedding planning process. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Once you’re about 9-12 months away from your wedding, you will want to start wedding dress shopping! Take our Style Quiz to narrow down your style based on budget, aesthetic, and must-haves, and then book an appointment with one of our Authorized Retailers. If you’re on a tighter deadline, don’t worry! Take a look at our Quick Ship gowns! Make sure to allocate enough time for your fittings and alterations!
  • Determine your wedding budget.
  • Start looking at Pinterest to get some wedding inspiration! This is the best way to get inspired ideas for your wedding on color schemes, photography styles, bridesmaids’ dresses, centerpieces, etc.
  • Read Maggie Sottero’s blogs for more wedding tips and trends!

And don’t forget to take a peek at some of our most popular dresses!

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