With so many celebrations leading up to your wedding day, it can be hard to find the time to plan an engagement party in addition to your wedding. Whether you got engaged over the holidays or any other time of year, it's tempting to try to tack on your engagement party to any other type of celebration, whether it be a birthday celebration or holiday festivities — but should you? Here's what our experts think about combining your engagement party with another event.
We say "Why Not?"! If you've already got something on the calendar and want to add your engagement to the celebration, go for it. However, make sure you pick a holiday or event that makes sense. Says Amy Nichols, owner of Amy Nichols Special Events and co-founder of The Poppy Group, "It won't work for all holidays, but if you're having a holiday cocktail party or a 4th of July barbecue, you could definitely celebrate both together." Avoid holidays where people will have other plans and will be focused on family traditions, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or a date like Valentine's Day when people will want to celebrate with their special someone.
Do you or your fiancé have a birthday coming up? Perfect! A birthday-meets-engagement party is a great idea, since you'd be in the spotlight either way. (However, don't add your engagement party to anyone else's birthday, even if they say it's okay — the focus should be on them on their big day.)
To make sure the dual celebration is clear, weave it into the invitation wording. "For a New Year's Eve engagement party, try something like 'Help us RING in the new year and celebrate Joan and Bob's engagement,'" says Nichols. Or for the 4th of July? Try "She said YES! Cue the fireworks!" You don't need to worry about weaving your engagement any further into the event's décor, since engagement parties are usually less "themed" than other wedding-related parties. Once everyone is together, make a toast to thank everyone for coming to celebrate with you. "And don't forget to serve some champagne!" Nichols adds.