HOST THE ULTIMATE ENGAGEMENT PARTY

It's one of the most exhilarating seasons of your life so why not host an engagement party to suit? We are all for letting friends and family shower you with love and well wishes as you gear up for the big day. We're sharing Jayna and Carl's engagement party by Esther Funk Photography and we got the scoop from stylist and wedding planner Sharon at Sharon Webb Events on ways to make sure your's goes off without a hitch.

From Sharon.. First things first, I always love to start my couples off with a few creative tips to kick start their planning. Consider the following..

• Time of day.. It doesn’t have to be in the evening; consider a brunch that leads into an activity you both love doing or have wanted to do. 

• Unique venue.. Consider hosting a party at a venue that has a cool factor. This would be a great opportunity for your photographer to take some great photos! 

• Arrange a class.. Find a venue that can offer cooking classes, wine and food pairings, creation of signature cocktails, or learn more about a hobby/interest you have. 

Send out a formal invite.. Now that you have selected a theme and guest list, it’s time to send out the invitations. The invitation should reflect the type of party you are hosting, as this will help ensure your guests dress accordingly and feel comfortable. Is it formal or casual, inside or outside, and is there anything your guests need to bring? For remote or unknown locations outside the city including a detailed map is a great way to start the event off ensuring your guests are completely taken care of.

Don't shy away from a theme.. Selecting a theme will help with the creative styling of all the other elements for the party, such as invitations, décor, food and cocktails. When selecting a theme, go with one that is a reflection of you as the couple. You can definitely have fun with this and go all out, or go for more of a minimalist approach. Many select a theme around décor, culture or food, but you can take it a step further by incorporating your interests as a couple. For Jayna and Carl, I kept things simple and elegant using a natural palette paired with soft pinks and a touch of effortless whimsy in the details.

Planning food.. Food is always the highlight at any event, and you can go in so many directions with your theme and menu. If food is going to be your primary focus, you can incorporate an array of finger food options highlighting your theme. This is where you can be creative and have that cooking class, or wine and food pairing you’ve always wanted. Think about what you love to eat and be creative with it. If you’re a carnivore, consider a meat tasting. For bread lovers, how about pairing oils & vinegars. Did someone say sushi? What fun would it be to have someone make sushi rolls right in front of you and your guests. Take it a step further and have a food truck cater your event, cause who doesn’t love a good food truck! It’s easy to get overwhelmed or carried away with all the details. 

Test out a signature cocktail.. Or for all of you wine lovers serve a favourite wine! If you go for the cocktail angle you can have a lot of fun with this through décor, barware, menu planning and garnishes. We all know Pinterest is a great source for finding delicious eye-catching cocktail recipes and décor ideas. Another option that will have your guests talking about it for days is hiring a Mixologist to create a custom cocktail that will be sure to stir their senses. Let’s not leave anyone out. For guests that won’t be drinking, consider a mock-tail version of your signature cocktails.

Cake is always a good idea.. Who doesn’t love stumbling upon a beautiful cake at a party…and then eating it too! While keeping your theme in mind, you can be creative with this, or go with a ‘less is more’ approach. Cakes have really stepped it up and become a show-stopping highlight for many events. You need to determine where you want to place that ‘wow’ factor. If it’s the cake, consider incorporating a new trend or make it unique to you. 2017 will be trending with glitter, meringue kisses, geode & agate cakes, and ‘anything but cake’ in cake form. Just remember that whatever touches the cake should be safe for your guests whether it be glitter or proper handling of fresh flowers. Also, don’t forget some tasty treats for those guests with speciality dietary needs. 

Lastly keep in mind, you don’t have to go big in everything. Select one detail that is most important to you as a couple and run with it. At the end of the day it’s about celebrating your engagement with the people who love you. Have fun with it!