You've got the ring and the man of your dreams, so now it's time to celebrate! And while you can't go wrong with a classic engagement party, we've rounded up 13 unique engagement party ideas. Whether you and your future husband are movie buffs, art aficionados, sports lovers, or just love an excuse to wear a good costume, you'll find plenty of creative engagement party themes and ideas that are guaranteed crowd pleasers.
14 Unique Engagement Party Ideas
1. Outdoor Movie Night Featuring the Future Mr. and Mrs.
Throw up a sheet, rent a projector, and turn your engagement into a real life rom-com with an outdoor movie theater-themed party that's bound to be a box office hit. Sunny Ravanbach, president of White Lilac Events, recommends screening montage edits of your favorite moments as a couple. "Also, be sure to have care packages for guests on hand including all the classic cinema treats. Think popcorn, Kit Kat bars, Sour Patch Kids, and Twizzlers," he says. (Don't forget the 21-and-over beverages, though!)
2. Luau for the Lovebirds
Bride-to-be Reynaley Buenaventura was inspired to throw a luau for her engagement party by her fiance’s surprise proposal in Honolulu. “I wore a Hawaiian print dress, and so did my fiance’s daughter," she says. "We both wore flowers in our hair. The guests got into the spirit by wearing leis. We served traditional Hawaiian dishes including egg rolls, pineapple upside down cake, and kabobs.” Decorate an outdoor space with bright flowers and tropical décor. Pineapples will make for perfect table centerpieces. Make a Hawaiian playlist and add a Tiki bar and you’re good to go!
3. Rent Out a Suite at a Sporting Event
Cheer on your favorite professional or college team and toast to your engagement at the same time. Renting out a suite at a sporting event is surprisingly affordable, especially considering the fact that food and beverages are often included in many packages, points out Tracie Domino, founder and creative director of Tracie Domino Events. "The event will be casual allowing a lot of interaction among guests and the game will keep things interesting all night," she says. "To really save on this idea, plan on a weekday night, which works great for baseball and basketball games."
4. Disco Party at a Roller Rink
Channel your inner kid and celebrate your newly-engaged status with an adults-only disco party at your local roller skating rink. Rent out the place, hire a great DJ, and ask everyone to dress in their best '70s look, advises Ravanbach. You can't go wrong with classic tunes, retro outfits, pizza and four-wheeled fun.
5. Pay Homage to Your First Date
Your friends and family can share in the history of your romance when you hold your party at the location where you first met or where you got engaged. Or you can turn an inside joke into a party theme. Did you first set eyes on him when your cars were stuck side-by-side in a traffic jam? How about inviting your pals to a bumper-car rink? Is his nickname Party Animal? Ask your local zoo if they'll rent out space for a party. Yours can be an event for your memory book.
If you met on a dating site, you can pay homage to that, too. Let’s say you met on the app Coffee Meets Bagel—why not serve coffee and gourmet bagels at a brunch buffet? Found your sweetie on Match? Craft DIY items with match books. If you hooked 'em on Plenty of Fish, incorporate undersea décor. Make it fun!
6. All American Picnic
An engagement party doesn't have to be a stodgy affair. The old-fashioned, all-American backyard barbecue can be a perfect way to celebrate. Decorate the trees with streamers, unfurl mini flags for your table centerpieces, and artistically place your condiments in a small picnic basket in the middle of the table. Don't forget the backyard touches: potato salad, chips, bottled beer—and music by Bruce Springsteen, of course.
7. Bowling Alley Affair
Want to surprise your friends and family with your news? Invite them to bowl a few games before you knock 'em silly with your announcement. Notify the alley in advance to ask for super-special treatment like customized soundtrack, lighting, or culinary options. Talk about a unique engagement party theme! When's the last time you went an engagement party at a bowling alley?
8. Throwback Sock Hop
Gear up for your impending vows with a '50s sock hop. Rent a jukebox so your guests can scroll through the playlist to find perfect songs for the happy occasion. Options for the sock hop setting can range from your parents' finished basement to a private room in a restaurant.
9. Wine and Cheese Party
Celebrate in style with a wine and cheese party. Highlight certain cheeses and their complementary wines on small tables decorated with strewn flowers or elegant linens. Let your guests sample Brie with Cabernet and Beaujolais, Stilton with port, and Gouda with Riesling and Champagne—just like you and your groom, they’re all perfect pairs.
If Champagne is your preference, you can't go wrong with strong cheeses and appetizers such as prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe and asparagus with lemon butter. As you sip and savor, everyone can share your joy.
10. Dessert Party
If you've got a sweet tooth, paradise is a dessert party. Create a little piece of heaven-on-earth with a white-chocolate macadamia-nut cheesecake, strawberries, and truffles. Serve up a selection of dessert wines (port, white Riesling, Merlot, and Cabernet) and typical dessert-time beverages such as espresso, coffee, and tea.
11. Famous Couples Costume Party
Here's another one of our favorite unique engagement party ideas: Invite your guests to dress up as famous couples for a fun twist on a traditional engagement party, says Tessa Lyn Brand, owner of Tessa Lyn Events. From Romeo and Juliet to David and Victoria Beckham, guests can really have fun getting into character for a celebration of love!
12. Host an Art Gallery Party with Your Own
Roll out the red carpet and premiere your engagement photos with an art gallery opening party. Celebrity wedding planner Donnie Brown of Donnie Brown Weddings and Events in Dallas, Texas, suggests blowing up your engagement photos to poster size and having them mounted on foam core. "You can then display them around your event space on easels with spot lighting," he says. "This creates wonderful décor and inspires conversation as people take in the shots. Serve butler-passed canapés and wine and champagne for this event."
13. Casino Night
You've already won the jackpot by finding the love of your life. Keep the good times rolling along with some dice and cards at your own casino night, says Tessa. "Give out play money to guests when they arrive to play on rented blackjack and craps tables. The last man standing gets a prize!"
14. Paris Perfect
When people think of Paris, they think of love. Celebrate your engagement with a party that embraces the city of light. From a vintage Parisienne playlist (think Edith Piaf and Juliette Gréco) to macaroons and champagne, live it up. You can use Eiffel Tower décor and even write menus or signs in French.