The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

Engagement Party Interactive with Wedding Paper Divas


Getting engaged should be a happy time in your life. But if you’re like most newly engaged couples, you can easily become overwhelmed by taking on too much too soon. What you should focus on instead is enjoying the moment.

You can do this by capturing your excitement as a couple with an engagement party! Traditionally, the groom’s parents plan this event but times are changing and this something couples are taking on.

If you and your fiancé are planning your celebration, check out this engagement party interactive by wedding stationery company, Wedding Paper Divas. It includes 50 amazing ideas with everything from fun party themes to irresistible menu options your guests will love.

Below we also made a list of to-dos to make sure you don’t miss a thing when planning your engagement party!

Ten to Eight Weeks before the Party

Agree on a Host Traditionally, the Bride's family throws the engagement party, but often the Groom's family likes to share in the festivities by co-hosting the affair. Part of the fun of an engagement party, is letting your two families get to know each other, as well as friends or extended family you don’t often see.

Pick a Date Generally, the engagement party is held three to four months after the proposal.

Compile a Guest List Make sure your invitees are also on the guest list for the wedding ceremony and reception.

Register... or not. Decide if you want to register (preferably for gifts in the low to middle range of prices – don't forget, the wedding is still to come), or include a note in the invitation kindly requesting no gifts. If guests do bring presents, wait until after the party to open them so as to not obligate or offend the other guests.

Four to Six Weeks before the Party

Send Invitations The tone of the party should be in keeping with that of your upcoming wedding. These can be as formal as you like but the engagement party is usually a more relaxed, playful occasion.

Decide on Decorations and Centrepieces If you wish, choose a theme that reflects you as a couple or something that reflects your two families. No need to go overboard though, the point is to celebrate your engagement. If you’ve already decided on your wedding stationery / theme motif, including it in the engagement party lends a welcome element of cohesion.

Plan a Menu Whether your party will be held at a restaurant or a private home, you should be mindful of any allergies or food specifications of your guests.

The Week Before

Go Shopping, if Necessary If the party will be in a home, give yourself a comfortable margin of time to buy the food, drinks, party goods or anything else you may be contributing.

Prepare the Venue Make sure there are plenty of places for guests to sit and eat as well as an area to store gifts. For a party at someone's home, arrange to have the lawn cut and the house cleaned and be sure the air conditioning/ heat works. Let the neighbours know you will be having a party so as to preempt any complaints of disruption.

Lineup your Help Need some extra hands to get everything done? Involve the members of your wedding party if you've already chosen them, or ask for help from willing friends and family members.

Decorate Just because it's not the main event, doesn't mean you can't go a little overboard on the decor. Especially if you're using a house, this is your chance to turn an ordinary flat or home into an opulent reception venue for your engagement party for the evening, and if it's a family home, you'll always have the memory of how beautiful it looked! Look what we did to a Remuera flat (home to 6 boys!!) in just the space of a few hours!

We'd love to help you style your home or venue for your engagement party!

For further advice on planning your engagement, why not check out our Engagement Party Etiquette guide and once you're ready, our guide to Choosing your Wedding Planner!

Checklist for the Newly Engaged

Checklist For The Newly Engaged

If you’re newly engaged there is no doubt that you will be floating on cloud nine right about now. It is all so surreal and the days and weeks following the proposal are likely to be a whirlwind, there are so many things to do, think about and people to contact. This is why, to ensure these initial weeks or months aren’t too overwhelming, we have put together a basic checklist of what to do after you have said yes to kick-start the whole wedding planning process.

Tell Your Friends And Family

Personally tell your nearest and dearest the exciting news, your parents, siblings, grandparents and best friends. They will be especially happy you took the time to tell them personally in today’s social media crazed world – then you can show your ring off on Facebook!

Dream Up Your Wedding

Sit down with your partner and talk about what you envision your dream wedding day to look like and what kind of styles and vibes you want to create. This could be anything from a church ceremony to a barefoot beach wedding.

Either way, discussing what you are both wanting early on can help to eliminate any misunderstandings further down the road. Have a look at out Pinterest boards to get some wedding day inspiration!

Size And Insure Your Ring

If your engagement ring doesn’t perfectly fit your finger, you will want to get it sized as soon as possible – you would hate to lose it moments after saying yes!

While you are dealing with your ring, you may want to decide to insure it to give you piece of mind. This can easily be done by adding it as an extension to your existing homeowners or renters insurance.

Talk Budgets

Before starting the planning, sit down with your partner and other family members to discuss what your budget will be and what people are wanting to contribute. Having a budget is important because it will affect every decision that you make regarding your big day.

Draft A Guest List

Sit down with your partner and determine a guest list and the amount of people you want to invite. Keep in mind that the more people you invite, the more expensive it is going to be. It is also helpful to have an estimate amount of attendees in mind before deciding on a venue, as some venues accommodate to a maximum amount of people.

Think About Potential Dates

When thinking of potential dates to have your wedding on, keep in mind the time of year you would prefer, including the weather, work schedules and holidays.

To be safe, you may want to choose two or more different dates in case the venue you decide on is already booked out. This is especially important during peak wedding times as venues can be booked very far in advance. Read on our blog our top tips for deciding when to marry.

Research Venues

The venue for your wedding day will become the backdrop for all your photographs and can heavily influence your budget and the all round atmosphere of the day. Do research online, visit and call different venues and get information on pricing and availability.

Hire A Wedding Planner

Many couples decide to hire a wedding planner to take unnecessary stress off their shoulders. By hiring a wedding planner they can take care of the details, liaise with vendors and have everything ready for you on your special day, not to mention take care of those last minute vendor mistakes - or better yet, ensure they don't happen in the first place!

Here at Harlow Garland have a range of packages available to help you with your planning. These range from assisting with just one select part of your wedding planning process to taking on the entire event in our full service packages. Click here for a full view of our services. Having been in the business for over 16 years, we have unparalleled experience that many of the latest 'pop-up' wedding planners simply do not have - this means we've seen it all, we know how to handle it and we have the knowledge and expertise to manage all aspects of your wedding.
Read our post on how to choose a wedding planner over at Auckland Weddings.