An engagement party may be the happy couple's last chance to indulge in the joy of being engaged before the chaos of wedding planning begins.
- Throw the party in the evening when people are much more inclined to dance and be romantic.
- Create unique party invitations with a fun or silly picture of the couple on the front.
- Go overboard on decorations. Things that might be tacky or over-the-top at a wedding might be perfect for the engagement party. Think heart-shaped Mylar balloons and plastic silver champagne glasses.
- Find a good picture of the couple. Either frame it or have it blown up to poster size at Kinko's and hang it in a prominent place.
- Serve food that is fun, romantic and easy to eat and serve. Ask your caterer for tasty finger foods and appetizers and several decadent deserts. Also make sure you have plenty of champagne as well as some fun “themed” drinks.
- Set up a microphone in a prominent location so that, as the evening progresses, people can make toasts to the happy couple.
- Buy two large white sheets of poster board. Write “Wedding Advice From the Women” across the top of one and “Wedding Advice From the Men” on the other in heavy, dark marker. Attach a pen to each and encourage guests to leave notes about things they learned while planning their own weddings.
- Give these two sheets to the couple when the party ends.
An engagement party is probably not a good candidate for a surprise party. You don't want to risk having the couple stumble into the party in the middle of a "where to have the wedding" fight.