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!

Engagement Party Etiquette

Your engagement party is a way to share and celebrate the news of your future wedding with your beloved family and friends. Traditionally the bride hosts the engagement party, but in todays modern times, the couple often plans it themselves. Here are our basics on engagement party etiquette.

When To Have It

It is always nice for the engagement party to take place soon after the engagement. They typically take place anytime within 1 week to 3 months after the engagement. This way the news and excitement is still very fresh. Although, its is a good idea to give yourself time to envision your wedding first, as you may want the style of your engagement party to be cohesive with the style of your wedding.

Who To Invite

Traditionally the rule of etiquette is that whoever is invited to the engagement party, should also be invited to the wedding. Although, as many people now have more small intimate weddings with just close friends and family, the engagement party often includes people who are not invited to, or can not make it to the wedding. Typically the families of the bride and groom are invited, close friends of the families, and any other good friends.

Formal Or Informal

How formal or informal your engagement party is is entirely up to you. Many couples often opt to hire a restaurant as their venue while others have something very casual at their own homes.


Giving gifts to the bride and groom is not customary at the engagement party although, guests will often arrive with gifts for the couple as it is part of the celebration manner of weddings. If you are creating a wedding registry, you may want to add some low to middle price ranged gifts early on as guidance for those wanting to give you a gifts at your engagement party.


The type of invitations that are sent are completely up to the couple. If your engagement party is going to take place a few week after getting engaged, it is acceptable to send out electronic invites. This could be via social media, email or even inviting your guests over the phone. If your engagement party is months away, you will have the time to mail out your invitations to your guests.

Remember The Wedding

When planning your engagement party keep in mind that you do not want to upstage the main event – your wedding. We suggest trying to create a different mood for your engagement party, while still keeping the style cohesive with the wedding to come.