8 Engagement Party Ideas Worthy of a Celebration

Looking for a bit of inspiration? Check out these fabulous affairs.

An engagement party is a unique way to showcase your distinct style before your wedding day. Casual or formal, your party can vary from a chic sit-down dinner to a laidback backyard affair. We tapped the minds of some wedding industry mavens for ideas that will guarantee a timeless soiree no matter your preferred style.

Stick with a theme.

“Farm-to-table florals, candles, gentle linens, and tableware add ethereal details to a garden party table setting,” says Matthew Robbins, owner of Matthew Robbins Design. For this display, delicate herbs and floral details aided in the romantic design concept.

Include a bar.

If you want to avoid a sit-down dinner, craft more of a laidback atmosphere by creating a space—like an open bar—where guests can easily assemble. “This outdoor bar not only looked great but served as a casual yet elegant way to present and serve cocktails,” says Neillie Butler, owner and executive planner of Mariée Ami.

Play with your preferred style.

No matter your venue choice, this celebration is one of the first opportunities to showcase your unique eye for design. Draw inspiration from where the party will be hosted and infuse your personal style,” says Candice Coppola, creative director of Jubilee Events. “It's a wonderful way for you to play around with a theme, as we did here, with romantic elements in a modern and industrial space,” she adds.

Incorporate exclusive cocktails.

Specialty drinks are a great way to integrate detail into your dinner party menu. Demi Meeker, senior sales manager at Cannon Green, suggests customizing this celebration staple with options that add a touch of whimsy. “Don’t be afraid to stray from traditional champagne and add a personal touch with signature cocktails,” Meeker says.


Integrate your story.

"We love the idea of weaving a couple’s story into the design of their engagement party,” says Brooke Osborn, wedding director of The Hidden Garden. If your first date was at a clambake on the beach, then why not take that fond memory and recreate it to share with your friends and family. “You've found that thing, that love that everyone searches for and wants to celebrate, so make it fun and personal!” Osborn states.

Cater bite-size hors d’oeuvres.

“With so much to celebrate at an engagement party, and often only a few hours to do it, you may not want to ask your guests to sit in one place for too long,” suggests Carly Katz-Hackman, event director at Great Performances. "A cocktail party with bite-size yet hearty hors d’oeuvres is just the ticket to inspire your guests to mingle and make memories while still satisfying their palate,” she adds.

Host alfresco.

Utilize your backyard space by planning for an outdoor affair that includes an assortment of chairs, tables, and decor. Joe St. Cyr, director of Joseph Todd Events, recommends drawing inspiration from your surroundings when it comes to finalizing your color palette and design scheme. This outdoor setup by David Beahm Designs included elegant green linens, a nod to the surrounding greenery.

Keep it light-hearted.

With a celebration that is playful and carefree, dessert options that pay homage to the events to come—like a miniature version of your future wedding cake—is something Sarah Banasiak, Chief Creative Officer of Limelight Catering, suggests for an engagement party sweet treat.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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