10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (2024)

Paperless Post BlogWedding > 10 engagement party ideas you’ll fall in love with

January 1, 2021

7 min read

Congratulations! While you’ve probably been asked (more than a few times) about your plans for the big day, you don’t have to decide immediately. Slow it down and celebrate all the moments along the way to the wedding. An engagement party certainly isn’t an expected part of the wedding, but why skip sharing such happy news with close friends and family? Since they are typically one to three months after the proposal keep the festivities simple—you shouldn’t feel like you’re planning two weddings. Pop some bubbly and get inspired with our engagement party ideas to suit any love story, and theengagement party invitationsto match.

Table of Contents

Seasonal engagement party ideas

Consider the season. Do you head to your local pumpkin patch as soon as the weather dips below 60 degrees? Use your favorite season rituals as inspiration for your engagement party. Do a cider tasting and apple picking in the fall, a sunset sail in summer, apres-ski in winter, or move the party outside for a party in the garden in the spring. Lean on the season to decide the venue, decor, and activities to make planning easy. You don’t need to do a lot to make an afternoon on the water or a morning at an orchard magical.

1. Love in bloom garden engagement party

Show off garden-fresh flowers while staying close to home with a garden party in the backyard or at a local botanical garden. Make it a family-friendly affair by hosting in the early evening.

  • Wear: Lean into nature’s maximalism with a mix of print & pattern inspired by spring greenery or oversize blooms.
  • Serve: Keep it light & bright with spritzes, Pimm’s cups. Top petite passed apps withedible flowers.
  • Play: Badminton, croquet, or horseshoes are all games that guests of all ages can play while chatting and sipping.
10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (1)“Muget” by Felix Doolittle x Paperless Post

2. Fall in love at a vineyard engagement party

Oenophiles will fall for a wine-tasting and vineyard tour followed by a picnic on the grounds. Stick with one winery to allow everyone time to catch up with each other. If it’s harvest time, you may be lucky enough to make a vintage that will be ready to serve by the time you walk down the aisle.

  • Do: Walk guests through a wine tasting at your favorite winery. Offer a flight that includes a variety of styles that will have something to please everyone. End with something sparkling for a toast.
  • Wear: Keep it casual with creamy white jeans and a sweater or a fall floral dress.
  • Serve: Linger longer with an outdoor plowman’s lunch or cheese and charcuterie boards. Some vineyards will cater a meal, while others may encourage you to bring your own and spread out on the lawn or nearby picnic tables.
10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (2)“The Great Pyramid” by Paperless Post

3. Over the moon celestial engagement party

If you found out your partner’s astrology sign and knew that your love was meant to be, play up the dark, moody feel of a starry night sky with a celestial theme.

  • Decorate: Get your venue in celestial shape with Mylar star and moon balloons or twinkling lights above you.
  • Do: Hire a tarot card reader or astrologer to do readings for your guests. Head outside to stargaze and hand out sparklers as guests head home at the end of the night.
  • Wear: Go for materials with luxe textures like velvet and satin or shine bright with shimmerypaillettes paired with statement jewelry.
10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (3)Evoke” by Kelly Wearstler x Paperless Post

4. A lobster bake on the beach

Get things cracking with a feet-in-the-sand kind of clam bake. Off-the-cuff is the name of the game, so feel free to let your shellfish feast consist of whatever is classic in your neck of the woods, whether that is crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters, or crayfish.

  • Serve: If you’re lucky enough to be near a beach, use a company that will serve right on the beach. Keep wine and beer on ice in oversized galvanized steel tubs for easy access.
  • Do: Bring along frisbees and beach-friendly games and see whether your area allows beach bonfires as the sun (and the temperature) drop.
  • Decorate: Prepare for the inevitable with newspapers and load up onnapkins(that are actually tea towels) and seafood crackers, because we aren’t animals.

5. Getting hitched hike

For outdoorsy couples who want to gather their group for low-key fun with high vibes and amazing views, they head to the closest hiking trail.

  • Do: Go on a day hike, followed by a few pints. Look for a trail with spectacular views but well within the experience level of everyone involved. You may also want to look for a hike that welcomes dogs and include furry friends on the invitation.
  • Serve: End the afternoon at a nearby brewery to toast the couple with a flight of local brews.

Surprise engagement party ideas

We love to see the engagement party planned as part of the proposal. If there are people that you can’t imagine celebrating without them, invite them for drinks on a nearby rooftop or a co*cktail party at a classic hotel in your town or as part of a weekend of surprises. Another perk—it’s quick. You’ll party all night, and then you can shift all your attention back to planning your wedding remotely.

6. Bling ring engagement co*cktail party

“Let’s see the ring” is a phrase engaged couples hear again and again. When the ring plays a leading role (was it passed down from grandma or picked to match your personal style from Blue Nile?) lean into the proposal’s excitement with cheeky nods to the engagement ring throughout the party.

  • Wear: Metallics like silver, platinum, and gold or weave the color into the celebration if the ring is a colored stone.
  • Decor: Hand out oversize ring pops at the door and use diamond or jewelry-inspired shapes for the invitation, balloons, or dessert.
  • Serve: Keep the party small and festive with a Champagne tower and bites of blini and caviar.
10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (4)Met their Match” by kate spade new york x Paperless Post

Brunch or tea engagement party ideas

co*cktail parties aren’t the only way to celebrate a recent engagement. A party early in the day is a sweet and civilized way to host, especially if you’d like to include older relatives or skip the alcohol. Channel decades past with a vintage-inspired tea party, a nod to New Orleans with a jubilant jazz brunch, or host an ’80s-themed breakfast club party.

7. High tea engagement party

If you’re planning an outdoor or low-key wedding, mix it up! Consider heading inside for a formal tea at the engagement party.

  • Where: Host at home or at a hotel that serves a daily high tea. If your guests are flying into town for the event, suggest they stay at the same location. An early hour means the couple can head out on the town with friends afterward to drink or celebrate with close family at an intimate dinner.
  • Decorate: Go for a vintage throwback vibe (and potentially inspire the wedding day fashion) with photos of parents and grandparents scattered around the venue.
  • Serve: Tea, scones, finger sandwiches (we love egg and watercress, cucumber, smoked salmon), tarts, and teacake.

Backyard engagement party ideas

Nothing says “welcome to the family” like a party in the backyard, but this isn’t Father of the Bride. Work with the landscaping you have and add simple touches to make guests comfortable. Rent additional tables and seating if you’re expecting a crowd. Channel your favorite restaurant with bistro lights and hurricane candles that will last all night and stand up to a mild wild. Plan on spending some TLC in the garden in the weeks leading up to the event. Lastly, add pops of color with fresh potted flowers that will last for the rest of the season.

8. Say I do to a classic backyard barbecue

Think about the backyard as an extension of your home. Create rooms or separate areas for guests to mingle and move throughout the party. A drink station tucked away in a shaded area, long tables on a patio, and any lawn games in an open grassy spot.

  • Decor: Add a focal point with a bonfire (or fire pit) for s’mores after the sun goes down.
  • Food: Put a local twist on traditional cookout food with a food truck. Think Frito Pie in Texas, sausages in the Midwest, pulled pork in the South, or an outdoor pizza oven. Serve ice cream or lemonade for an afternoon event.
  • Do: Play low-effort lawn games like ladder toss, bocce, or horseshoes. We also love the less-expected Kubb, KanJam, and giant Jenga.

9. Tropical engagement party

Set the tone for a destination wedding with sultry tropical-themed festivities in the backyard. Think: hot nights and cold drinks with pineapples and poke.

  • Decor: Go for tropical foliage like oversized monstera leaves that can withstand heat and humidity. Or blooms like anthurium or birds of paradise. With long, hardy stems, just a few stems in a vase will make a colorful statement placed along outdoor tables.
  • Wear: Pass out freshorchid leisstraight from the Big Island to members of the wedding party.
  • Serve: Frozen co*cktails! For instance, think about renting a restaurant-style frozen drink machine to keep guests with frosty drinks in their hands all night.
10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (5)“Ring on It” by Paperless Post

10. Movie Night engagement party

Host a movie night for couples with a cinematic love story or flair for the dramatic. Was the proposal captured on film? Relive the moment with a viewing.

  • Do: Use a projector and a white sheet to view a movie in the backyard. Surprise the couple with childhood video clips or a screening of their favorite classic film.
  • Serve: Lean into movie snacks with popcorn in theatre-style boxes along with Twizzlers and Junior Mints. Rent a popcorn machine from a local vendor to simplify serving.

Ready to host anengagement party? Get started with classic stationery-inspiredCard invitationsor fresh, textableFlyers. Then find our ultimate guide toinvitations that spark romance for more tips.

Browse Engagement Party Invitations

10 engagement party ideas you'll fall in love with (2024)


What should happen at an engagement party? ›

Usually, toasts, speeches, dancing, and some fun engagement party games are included to honour the couple and their recent engagement. Other than that, these events are a great opportunity for guests to mingle and get acquainted with each other, ensuring that they will have a great time together at the wedding.

Who pays for engagement party? ›

Whoever hosts the engagement party is usually responsible for covering the costs. Historically, it's been the bride's parents. However, as celebrations for engagements have evolved, Mae notes that she often sees both parents paying a portion of the total bill. Some couples even chip in.

How many hours should an engagement party be? ›

In terms of the length of the engagement party, couples typically choose a two to four-hour window. If you do not plan to serve a full meal, it's best to choose a time frame in between typical mealtimes, such as 2-5 p.m.

What is expected of guests at an engagement party? ›

When it comes to engagement party etiquette, don't expect your guests to bring a mountain of gifts. Some guests might come bearing presents for the happy couple, but many won't — and that's absolutely fine. Your friends and family members are there to toast to your love and celebrate you!

Do parents give gifts at engagement party? ›

While engagement gifts from parents to their children aren't required, they're certainly welcome and appreciated, especially if the couple is having an engagement party hosted by someone that's not one of their parents.

What is the average cost of an engagement party? ›

"The cost for these varies in region, but in general, you will expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 plus." It's also worth pointing out that some venues will have a booking fee in addition to a minimum that you need to spend on food and beverage. Make sure you read the contract carefully before you sign.

Who speaks at the engagement party? ›


The groom's father will give a toast following the father of the bride. After these first two toasts, the floor is open to anyone, but usually the best man and maid (or matron) of honor, if already chosen, are next. Then, other family members and friends can follow.

What is a good dessert for an engagement party? ›

Engagement party desserts
  • Lemon Cheesecake Mousse - Cooking Classy. Neetsie Gary. ...
  • Oreo Cupcakes. Neetsie Gary. ...
  • Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars. ...
  • Mini Lemon Meringue Pies | Bite Size Dessert Ready in Just 10 Minutes! ...
  • Indulgy. ...
  • 75 Divine Easter Desserts Full Of Spring Flavor. ...
  • Tequila Lime Pie Mini Bites | co*cktail Recipes.

What kind of music do you play at an engagement party? ›

Engagement Party
  • Sugar. Sugar. Maroon 5. ...
  • Paper Rings. Paper Rings. Taylor Swift. ...
  • Calm Down. Calm Down. Rema, Selena Gomez. ...
  • Sucker. Sucker. Jonas Brothers. ...
  • Snooze. Snooze. SZA. ...
  • Love You Still (abcdefu romantic version) Love You Still (abcdefu romantic version) ...
  • Moment 4 Life (feat. Drake) ...
  • favorite kind of high. favorite kind of high.

Do people expect gifts at an engagement party? ›

Gifts are not always expected at engagement parties. However, it is a nice gesture to bring a small, thoughtful present to celebrate the couple's commitment. It's essential to consider the couple's preferences and cultural expectations when deciding whether to bring a gift.

Do you give gifts for an engagement party? ›

To put it simply, you aren't required to bring a gift to an engagement party, so don't feel embarrassed if you show up empty-handed. There'll be plenty of other events—like the couple's shower and actual wedding—that you'll be able to show your congratulations with a present.

How long do you stay at an engagement party? ›

Last but not least, you might be wondering how long you should stay at an engagement party. While it's optimal to stay for the entire time, some engagement parties can go on for 4-5 hours. Chianese points out that the longer you stay the better.

Are there speeches at an engagement party? ›

As part of the celebrations, it's common for there to be speeches at an engagement party to thank everyone for coming. It's also likely that other members of your family, friends and future wedding party will want to say a few words as well, and offer you love and encouragement for the journey you're about to take.

How soon after getting engaged should you have an engagement party? ›

Planning your party two to four months after the proposal is standard. This is the sweet spot between relishing in your newly engaged life and getting serious about planning your big day.


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