If you would have told me years ago that I would be getting married, I definitely would not have believed you. BUT, here we are in 2023 and I AM ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED!!!!! AHHH, I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT!
God is truly amazing, because I never imagined this for myself, but God has seen me worthy. In my single years, I learned so much about God’s love and embraced it. I embraced His love so much that I learned how to love and how to accept love, and I’m so thankful that I did not give up on myself and I embraced the lessons God placed in my path. I’m so thankful to have met the man of dreams!!! God did His BIG ONE!!
Alright, sis…let’s get into it!
Brief Back story…
What I thought was a regular “date night” actually turned into our proposal. My now fiancé proposed to me on November 10, 2023 in the most beautiful way. We were surrounded by our friends and loved ones and I could not have been more happy! After the proposal we all went out to eat to celebrate this beautiful moment.
Now, let’s discuss engagement party details! Before we got engaged I loved the idea of an engagement party, which is a celebration of your engagement. Engagement parties are not necessary or required, but I was so excited to have one that I planned one for my fiancé and I!
I’m a very non-traditional bride, so everything I read on the internet surrounding “pre-wedding” parties just wasn’t doing it for me, haha! I decided, it’s OUR love and it’s OUR life…let’s celebrate the way we want, traditions out the window! From what I read online, engagement parties can be hosted by whomever, so that was my green light to start planning!
Since we knew we wanted something small and casual, we kept it simple and had it at my house. I planned for a month because we were going to have our party right before Christmas.
The holidays felt like a special time to have our party, so it was perfect!
With the party being at my house, it was easy to plan everything since I was familiar with the “venue.” So, let’s talk logistics!
First of all, shout out to Pinterest for helping me solidify a fun and easy theme!
We centered the food around our theme, ‘I Love You With Every Pizza My Heart.’ We had pizza, a charcuterie board, mini sandwich wraps, a veggie platter, salad and desserts! We kept the food simple because one: we were on a budget and two: I loved the theme, and I love pizza! Easy right?
I used local small businesses for our custom desserts and went to Wegmans for our cake! Everything was amazing.
We planned to use the backyard, but it was super cold the day of our engagement party! Although we set up tables outside to allow for more space, naturally everyone stayed inside because of the weather. We did have a hot cocoa station for those who wanted to warm up, but nonetheless it all worked out perfectly!
With my home being quite small and with our guest list being around 20+ people, we worded our invitations in a way to allow people to “drop-by '' between a certain timeframe, that way the space never felt overly crowded. I highly recommend doing that if you also have a small venue to work with and want a lowkey engagement party.
However, there are other ways to celebrate! You can have an intimate dinner at a restaurant, host a few friends over for celebratory drinks, or celebrate with just you and your fiancé. Engagement parties can be as informal or formal as you’d like, just have fun with it!
I ordered our “Engaged” and “She Said Yes'' balloons from Amazon and Target. Basically, Amazon and Target were my go-to’s for decor! I also had my lovely friend create an amazing balloon arch for our pictures, she did an incredible job! Thank you so much Destinee!
I also ordered LED candles from Amazon to serve as “centerpieces.” Flowers can be pricey so I opted for a more “chill vibe” and dressed the tables up with table runners and candles.
Since I’ve hosted parties before I already had a few items to place the food on, BUT since we ordered pizza we needed a “fancier” more “elevated” way to present the pizza. I ordered some pizza stands off of Amazon to provide some height and contrast from the other food that was displayed.
Pro Tip: I learned this from admiring my best friend, Adera, host gatherings — create dimension and use textures. Have some food items displayed on tiered trays and some food displayed lower. This creates a nice balance and doesn’t overly crowd the area you’re displaying your food on. It also helps create space, and of course it’s aesthically pleasing!
D.I.Y (sort of) Projects:
I knew I wanted signs around the party to give it a more personal touch. I DIY’d our signature drinks sign, food sign, and a sign for everyone to upload pictures to our Google drive!
I ordered the frames from Amazon, but I would recommend going to your local thrift store or look around for frames at a more reasonable price. I really liked the look of the frames and I knew I could reuse them whenever so I went with the frames from Amazon. I used Canva to create the signs and I printed everything at home! If you’re doing very simple signs I recommend using Canva for all of your creative needs and using an at home printer or Staples for printing. I definitely recommend shopping around for cost effective options.
Although I did not DIY this, I also had a sign that said “Pics or it Didn’t Happen” with a polaroid camera next to it to allow everyone to feel comfortable capturing moments using the polaroid.
Our welcome sign (also did not DIY this) was from Zazzle! But if you're creative you can easily create a sign using Canva and having it printed elsewhere, you can save some coins this way!
I ordered my engagement party dress weeks prior to the party, but the material was very light and thin and I knew I needed a dress that was better suited for the weather. Since I was short on time, I resorted to Amazon. Do you see a trend here? The dress was PERFECT! I could not have asked for a better dress, the fit, the length…everything was PERFECT!
My shoes were simple, silver strappy heels from Forever 21!
I wanted everything to be chill and casual. I played music everyone could enjoy, I created mocktails and cocktails, and overall I believe that everyone had a great time. The most important thing is that you and your fiancé enjoy this day. Make sure to spend time with each other, because the day goes by fast.
If you’re thinking about having an engagement party, DO IT! Have fun! This day is to celebrate such a major milestone, YOU FOUND YOUR PERSON! That in itself deserves to be celebrated.
Enjoy your engagement. Bask in this season, because, God willing, it only happens once. My advice to any bride would be to pray, enjoy the moment, and do what makes you and your fiancé happy. Yes, your family may want to input their two-cents, but this season is about you and your fiancé. Please don’t let anyone pressure you or stress you out about how you envision your special day being. You deserve to be celebrated, cheers!
I can’t wait to share this journey with you all! Let’s plan a wedding, OH MY GOSH!