This post was sponsored by Basic Invite, a company specializing in helping you create the perfect cards and invitations. As with all sponsored posts, these opinions are our own. We love helping people experience and travel on a budget, so we are thrilled to be able to work with a company that can help someone save money while planning their next event!
It happened. You’re engaged to the person of your dreams and noticed on your wedding checklist, there was a task giving you a timeframe in which you should plan your engagement party.
If you’re thinking like how we were thinking when were planning our wedding, the first thing that may come to mind for you is “another thing I have to pay for?”
Perhaps it’s just me, but when it came to planning our wedding, I was so focused on the wedding that I did not think to plan an engagement party. This is a sentiment I commonly heard from people I know as well when it came to their engagement.
With that said, there’s a lot of benefits to having an engagement party that we learned later on.
Engagement parties serve as an opportunity to not only formally announce your engagement, but there are other purposes for it as well. For example, you can share your wedding date, if you have one set already.
Engagement parties are a great way to really enjoy the moment of being engaged, basking in all of the pure sweetness of being a fiance to the person you love and will soon marry.
However, engagement parties, like other wedding-related events, cost money, but they don’t have to be expensive. In today’s post, we’re going to share with you how you can plan an engagement party on a budget!
The Guest List
Decide on a Small Guest List:
For your engagement party, if you’re looking to save some money while in the planning process, start by making your guest list a small one. As much as you may want to invite your friends at work, it may not be financially feasible or cost-effective when you’re also saving up for the wedding. Instead, focus on inviting people who you are close to and try to stick to inviting no more than a handful of people.
Now that you have an idea of who you want to invite, it’s important to lock down a venue as soon as you’re able to. However, venues for engagement parties are a lot easier to find than wedding venues because the guest count at engagement parties are usually a lot smaller.
Rent a Home for the Night:
Did you know you can actually rent Airbnbs for the purpose of hosting events? In various cities, you can set your search for event spaces only to find small venues you can rent for special events. However, if you’re hoping to find a house sitting, you can still use a home-sharing app, but I recommend contacting the host beforehand to ask them if they would allow something like that. Some hosts do not allow parties or get-togethers, so you want to be clear what you would be using the house for and how many people you expect to be in attendance before booking.
Have it at Home or at a Loved One’s House:
If you’re inviting a small number of people, consider having it at home or at a loved one’s house for a more intimate gathering. The benefits are not only that it’s inexpensive, but you have more freedom to decorate it as you choose than you would have if you rented in a room in a restaurant.
Have it Outdoors:
Depending on the time of year of your engagement party, having it outdoors in a park area is a great way to save money on the venue. While there is a fee attached to renting a pavilion or a patch of space for an event, it’s usually a lot cheaper than renting a venue.
Of all of the items, food can easily be one of the most expensive. Normally, even if you’ve saved on the decorations or the venue where you’re hosting it, the food is something that’s often hard to skim on…or is it?
Buy Catering Trays from Your Favorite Restaurant:
Are you and your guests’ huge fans of a certain restaurant? Buy some items from their catering package and have them set it up at your venue for a delicious dinner. Believe it or not, many restaurants and even fast-food chains have options for catering trays that you can order. During our wedding events and even during events for work, we reached out to restaurants to get a catering package from them. Some restaurants will even provide staff to help serve the food. It’s a great way to have food for your wedding while saving money you’d have to spend if you went with a venue caterer or a catering company.
While in a Pinterest perfect world, we’d all love to have engagement parties or rehearsal dinners under twinkling lights with catered food, not everyone can afford that and that’s okay.
For our rehearsal dinner, we actually ordered pizza from one of our favorite pizza shops for our guests. Part of the reason behind this was because we knew that pizza was something everyone would enjoy, but we also did it because it allowed us to save that money for other expenses we needed. If you’re hosting it at home, you can display the pizzas on a nice tray rather than keeping it in the box, so it looks presentable.
Make it yourself:
If you’re entertaining a small group of loved ones, perhaps you can prepare the food yourself. A great way to make a ton of food for guests is to do something like a taco bar, a mashed potato bar, or a french fry bar with all of the fixings. It’s inexpensive and a nice treat for guests to enjoy.
Keep it simple:
As for the decorations, I would recommend saving most of your decor budget for your wedding day. If you desire to have decorations at the engagement party, I would keep it simple by sticking to a few pieces that are important to you. For example, as much as a flower accent wall with your future wedding hashtag in gold hanging above it sounds like a dream made for Pinterest, but if you can’t afford it, is it worth it to have it for your engagement party? If you want something that hangs, hang a nice piece of fabric and have a banner in front of it with something general on it such as “Mrs. and Mr” on it or “Engaged.” If you’re having it outside, string some lights around and drape some tables in ivory table clothes for a beautiful, but simple touch.
Ask a friend:
Did a close friend of yours recently get married? Do they have any decorations left over that they were planning to throw away? Ask them if you can use them for your engagement party! Even for our own wedding, since we DIY’d most of our items, there were a lot of items left over that we’ve either repurposed for our home or considered selling. Maybe there’s something they had at their wedding that would look perfect as a decorative item for your dessert table.
Skip the decor:
Something to ask yourself is if decorations are truly necessary for the engagement party. Personally, I would say of all of the items included on this list, this is definitely something you could skip. People coming to your engagement party are there to celebrate you and your future nuptials. I have never really heard of anyone complaining about there not being enough floral arrangements or cute photo-ops at someone’s engagement party. If you don’t want decorations at your engagement party, don’t feel obligated to have them. By doing so, you could save yourself some money for your wedding!
Lastly, but most importantly, are your invitations. Once you’ve set a date and have begun you’re planning, it’s time to send out those invitations to the guest list you created.
If you’re looking for invitations on a budget, Basic Invite has a great selection of shabby and chic engagement party invitations to choose from. While we did not get the opportunity to use them for our wedding invitations, I wish we would have used them for some of our other wedding-related events, because they make it so easy. You can customize the engagement invitations and cards to your liking, and you can even receive samples so you can try it before you purchase them in bulk. This is great if you’re still unsure of what design would work best with your theme. You can even buy your Thank You cards at the same time, which is always helpful.
Speaking of thank you cards, they have over 900 wedding invitation sets! This means that if you’re interested in a particular invitation card, there’s a set that includes save-the-dates, wedding menus, enclosure cards and more that all fit the same theme! This is great if you’re looking for a one-shop stop as opposed to having to go to different sites for different things. It makes preparing all of the stationary for an engagement party and wedding a little less stressful.
Not only that, but Basic Invite provides over 40 different colors of envelopes, your own customized wedding site, and almost unlimited colors for the invitations themselves so that you can create invitations that truly represent you and your future spouse. As if these weren’t impressive enough, the website is incredibly user-friendly and allows you to customize just about everything.
You can customize the colors and even the script fonts included in the invitation. If there’s an invitation design you like, but you want to change it to a different font, you can do it with ease. If you like the fonts, but want to change the colors in the background of the invitation, you can change to just about any color you need to.
Although there was an issue with the invitations before they shipped them which affected the arrival time for the invitations, the way they handled it all was so professional and so conscientious of my time. Before they were sent out, there was something wrong with the foil on one of the cards, which they spotted and immediately sent me an email notifying me of the error. They not only informed me of what was going on, but they kept me in the loop and were very responsive when I had questions about the new timeframe. Keep in mind, the people shipping and creating the samples had no idea I was testing these out for a sponsored post, so the level of customer service I received is indicative of how they treat all of their customers.
This was so impressive to me! The fact that they spotted the error and immediately notified me to fix it let me know that they care about the product they produce and want to make sure their customers are getting the best result – even if they are sample invitations, says a lot about their company.
After this experience, I would highly recommend you check them out and use their service for your invitations!
Ultimately, your engagement party serves as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate love. It’s an exciting day and a great opportunity to truly enjoy the moment before the craziness of wedding planning begins to set in. Hopefully, these tips have provided you with some advice for saving some money so that you enjoy your engagement party without worrying about how you’re going to afford the big day. Now it’s your turn to let us know!
Did you have an engagement party? If so, what did you plan? If not, what was the best engagement party you’ve been to?