The Ultimate Engagement Party Checklist

Welcome to the engagement bubble! Being engaged is an exciting time that marks the start of many fun adventures together. One of the first experiences you'll share as an official couple is planning your engagement...

Welcome to the engagement bubble! Being engaged is an exciting time that marks the start of many fun adventures together. One of the first experiences you'll share as an official couple is planning your engagement party.

The Importance of a Checklist

To help you get started on this journey, we've put together the ultimate engagement party checklist. Our checklist contains everything you'll need to craft a unique celebration with maximum fun and minimum stress. No need to worry about missing any important details - we've got you covered!

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One thing you'll quickly notice when planning your engagement festivities is the amount of research that's required. Deciding what kind of engagement party you'll have, finding the right venue, and booking services like caterers and entertainment means a lot of searching, reading, and asking questions online.

Avoiding unnecessary tasks is key to making the most efficient use of your time. Our Engagement Planning Checklist keeps you on track by breaking down tasks into a manageable to-do list. We give you questions to ask yourselves at key points in the planning process to help you stay focused and productive.

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Top 10 Engagement Planning Tasks

Before you dive into researching venues, caterers, and chap-wearing barmen for hire, have a read through our Top 10 Engagement Planning Tasks. By following these steps, you'll save yourself hours of research and stress.

1. Decide what engagement events you'll have

Narrow down your engagement plans by confirming a few fundamentals:

  • Will you or your parents host the engagement party?
  • Who will pay for it?
  • If you're paying, what's your budget?
  • How big will the event be? Just close family and friends or a whole street affair?
  • What do you want your engagement party to be about?

One of your first decisions as a newly engaged couple is agreeing on how many pre-wedding events you'll have and who's hosting them. If a "diy foodie affair with a backyard taco bar" is non-negotiable for you but your parents are talking about a "formal dinner," you may find yourselves having more than one event. Regardless of what celebrations you decide on, keeping the purpose of your get-together in mind now will make decisions easier down the track.

2. Choose your bridal party

If you want your bridal party to attend pre-wedding events, you'll need to agree on who these special people are sooner rather than later. Getting them onboard early means you can ask for their help. It also gives you the opportunity to honor them during the festivities or host a special event just for them to share in the excitement together.

3. Create the guest list

Your budget will determine the size of your guest list. But don't let this reality rule your plans. Start by naming everyone you'd like to (or need to) invite, and worry about budget limitations afterward.

Once you've created a comprehensive list of names, organize them into an A, B, and C list. Your A list will include must-have attendees such as parents, grandparents, family, and close friends. The B list is for your next most VIPs, and if budget issues arise, it'll be your C list on the chopping board first.

4. Choose a venue

The type and theme of your event will help narrow down your venue options. If you're hosting an outdoor movie night, for example, your choices might be limited to someone's backyard. If you're on the hunt for an event space, use location and venue capacity to filter the most practical options. You can find local event spaces, private dining rooms, destination venues, and holiday homes on Wedlockers.

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Other options include the family farm (think bonfires and marshmallows), picnic rugs at a local park or beach, an intimate dinner party at home, or throwing the same dinner party in the local independent movie theater. Think outside the box to create lasting memories that you and your posse will still be talking about in your 80s.

5. Set the date

The ideal time to host an engagement party is 6 to 8 weeks after getting engaged. This gives you enough time to book a venue and organize the event while that newly engaged buzz is still buzzing. This lead-time also provides your guests with sufficient notice to prioritize you in their calendars.

Here are a few things to consider when setting the date:

  • Major sporting games
  • Superstitious dates of relevance to particular cultures
  • Limitations of your A list (pregnancy due dates, weddings, etc.)
  • Public holidays and long weekends

6. Book an engagement shoot

An engagement shoot provides images for your wedding invitations, signage, and guest book. It's also a great opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer. Before you start emailing photographers, have a think about what type of experience you'd like on your wedding day. Narrow down the type of person you want to spend the day with. Are they fun and easygoing? Will they need to be great with kids or directing large crowds?

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Now that you've narrowed your list, look at images and find a style you like. Do you prefer fashion-style shoots or very natural and candid shots? Email your three favorite photographers explaining why you've chosen to inquire with them.

7. Decide on styling

By now, you've already chosen a theme or color palette. If you don't have time to DIY or can't envision the details to execute your styling ideas, you may want to hire a stylist or planner. Stylists know how to bring your vision to life and will offer styling suggestions of their own. Planners save you time by organizing the tasks you set for them.

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If you're styling your own events, find inspiration by browsing the work of our listed vendors. Use the search filters to compare images of 'tablescapes,' etc.

8. Send invitations

Invitations can be emailed, posted, or sent via wedding websites and apps. However you choose to deliver your invites, tie the design in with your styling. Incorporate images from your engagement shoot and provide information about gifts, dress code, and accommodation if required.

9. Plan the menu

What type of event you're having will influence your catering options. Caterers are ideal for backyard soirees, and intimate dinner parties are best served by private chefs. If you're catering yourself, make sure you plan well in advance.

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Create a signature cocktail to welcome your guests and don't forget to organize a cake. Always over-cater - it's better to have too much than not enough!

10. Set the mood

What kind of ambiance do you want to create? Laid-back or high-energy? If you're hosting a private party at your house, all the options are available to you. From hiring an 80's rock band to organizing a DJ or pushing play on your own Spotify playlist. Other things that set the mood are lighting, decorations, theming, furniture choices, having an MC, games, and centrepieces.

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If you want to ensure your guests are thoroughly entertained, you can hire private event entertainers. On Wedlockers, you'll find bands, DJs, caricature artists, comedians, famous magicians, ice sculptors, and all manner of eclectic fun.

Make your engagement party one you'll never forget!

Download our detailed Engagement Party Checklist for a hassle-free planning experience.