The Makings of a Pin-Worthy Engagement Party

Because pretty parties are always more fun. 

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Wedding and holiday season have come to a screeching halt, but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop anytime soon. Not to fret, party-people! Engagement season is still in full swing until Valentine's Day, and I’ve got the scoop on how to pull off a pin-worthy engagement party of any to-be-weds' dreams.

 Theme

Eclectic Rainbow and Gold Wedding Cake With Southwestern Steer Head Topper

Eclectic Rainbow and Gold Wedding Cake With Southwestern Steer Head Topper

A spectrum of color and sparkle, this wedding cake is topped off with a steer head and adds a whimsical touch to the southwestern reception.

Photo by: Courtesy of Katie Kalafat

Courtesy of Katie Kalafat

Pinterest inspires endless theme options, one of which is guaranteed to be a match made in heaven for the to-be-weds. But how does one narrow down all of those choices? First, build off the season, then consider the couple. The chilly months make an ideal backdrop to throw the fiancés a fireside fete, complete with flannel throws and a (spiked) hot cocoa bar.

Hosting a spring or summertime soiree for a lively, fun-loving couple? A tropical luau or tequila-tasting fiesta will not disappoint. Bonus points if Hawaii or Mexico are their dream honeymoon destination.

 Invites

Engagement Party Invitations

Engagement Party Invitations

Photo by: Etsy

Etsy

Once your theme is in place, it’s time to spread the word. Guests form their first impressions of the engagement party from the invitations they receive, so attention must be paid! The colors, patterns and fonts used will set the tone of the event, giving guests a proper sneak peek of what to expect when they attend.

$16.09; etsy.com

 Eats

Food Truck Wedding Shower Theme

Food Truck Wedding Shower Theme

For a wedding shower that is far from typical, a food-truck theme is the perfect way to celebrate with the bride and groom in a fun, casual setting.

Photo by: Carlie Statsky

Fancy foods aren’t for everyone. But tacos? Tacos are universal crowd-pleasers. Pleasing though they may be, they won’t work for every menu. The rule of thumb for the menu is opting for thoughtful, themed dishes that are both simple and scrumptious. For example, carne asada tacos are to a fiesta fete as chicken and waffles are to bubbly brunches.

 Drinks

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Jason Kisner, Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Use theme as an ultimate point of inspiration for all things booze. Our spiked berry lemonade or DIY watermelon keg are seamless complements for casual barbecues. Want to spice things up? Our coconut mango (plus jalapeno!) margaritas will bring the heat to any tropical festivity.

Trying to keep it simple, without losing significance? Pop open a bottle of burgundy or blush from the year the couple met, or supply beers from their favorite local brewery. Trust me, the thoughtfulness will not be lost on them.

 Sweets

Engagement Party Cookies

Engagement Party Cookies

Photo by: Etsy

Etsy

Nothing quite spells out "engagement" like a diamond ring. A close second, though? A diamond-decked dessert table.

Decadent, frosted doughnuts, iced-out cookies and a "carat" cake by the slice — yes, yes and yes. Who knew this romantic occasion could get any sweeter?

$42.00; etsy.com

 Barware

DIY Drink Flags With Metallic Tissue Paper

DIY Drink Flags With Metallic Tissue Paper

Whip up some drink flags by wrapping metallic tissue paper around straws. These examples by Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio would be festive for your bar or beverage station.

Even the smallest (and least expensive) decorative details can deliver the biggest style impact on a party. Case and point: barware accessories.

Cheeky cocktail napkins, sparkling stir sticks and personalized keepsake cups are all the stylish necessities a host needs to dress up their bar.

 Banners

Engagement Party Banner

Engagement Party Banner

Photo by: Etsy

Etsy

String their future wedding date, initials or even their future surname. Too many options? I’ll narrow it down for you.

This glittering "She Said Yaaas" number goes with any and every theme and, in turn, is everything. Trust me when I say the bride will say “yaaas” all over again when she sees it.

$10.00; etsy.com

 Balloons

Engagement Party Balloon

Engagement Party Balloon

Photo by: Etsy

Etsy

Love is in the air, but there’s always enough room to float a few fancy balloons. Longtime birthday staples, balloons are now the ultimate “x-marks-the-spot” for all of the best parties. Use balloons as photo props, easy-to-assemble backdrops or as a simple “welcome” at the front door.

They’re available in a myriad of colors and complement every theme imaginable. Best of all, they're so cheap, serving hosts as the perfect, polished and pop-able touch of festivity for the engagement party without breaking the bank.

$10.00; etsy.com

 Photo-Ops + Backdrops

Wax Paper Backdrop

Wax Paper Backdrop

Soft and airy, this wedding backdrop definitely doesn’t look homemade. Lucky for you, it is, and you can recreate it with string, ribbon and wax paper.

Photo by: Allie Rae Photography , Project By: Katie M. Kulper

Allie Rae Photography , Project By: Katie M. Kulper

"Pics or it didn’t happen!”

This is the era in which we live, and for this reason photo props, backdrops and custom Snapchat filters are of utmost importance. Millennials have grown accustomed to trendy backdrops at any curated event, and their engagement party is not the time to disappoint.

So how to make this night one for the Instagram feed? Start by selecting a space with optimum lighting for your DIY photo booth, then clear away any surrounding clutter. From there, let your imagination (and theme) be your guide. Use a crisp, white bedsheet (hand-painted with the couples' wedding hashtag), metallic streamers or hand-strung flowers and foliage. Another jaw-dropping option? This ultra-etheral paper and ribbon draping situation. Gorg.

Now, Time to Plan a Pinterest-Perfect Wedding

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A Thousand Times, Yes!

Any avid wedding-pinner will tell you: no engagement is official without a proper social media announcement! Pics or it didn't happen, right? The big announcement should be both timely in manner and creative in appearance.

Be sure to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment with one another, then start calling your closest friends and family. After that, social media is free game. Photo: First Comes Love Event Design

Photo By: Devon Donnahoo Photography, Styling by Katie Kalafat

Plan, Plan, Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail, friends. Keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Pinterest-perfect wedding we all dream of likely took months upon months of meticulous planning. Get a binder, set a realistic budget and get a 12-pack of your favorite pens. And, no—it is never too early to plan. Hey, we are aspiring to perfection, after all. One of our planning essentials? The Wedding Book by Lucy Sui.

Photo By: lucysui.com

#WeddingHashtag

The perfect wedding is not possible without a wedding hashtag that is uniquely yours. This is a (basically) scientific fact. The hashtag should be one of the first details that a couple pins down when planning their big day. Hashtags can be used throughout their engagement to mark significant wedding-milestones on social media. So crucial, friends. So. Crucial. Get 14 tips for creating the perfect wedding hashtag >>

Photo By: Brass Penny Photography

Engagement Photos

You’re only engaged once and only for a very small window of time. Milk the moment and book an engagement photo session to prepare for the big day. Pinterest is jam-packed with show-stopping styled shoots, complete with color-coordinated outfits, adoring looks and expertly posed ring fingers. Pro-tip: Having engagement photos taken gives couples a really great way to feel out their photographer before booking them to capture the most important day of their lives. 

Photo By: iStock

Pop the Question!

Alright, Bride-to-be—your true love popped the question and now it’s your turn! A big trend we’re seeing in wedding-world is bridal party proposals. While you aren’t required to get down on one knee, creativity and thoughtfulness is key in executing this special moment to perfection. You can gift your girlfriends a pretty pendant necklace, a “bridesmaid” tee-shirt or even their all-time favorite wine. Whatever you do, just be sure to ask your besties to stand by your side in a stylish and sentimental way. 

Photo By: iStock/Scott & Zoe

Mark Your Calendar

It’s no secret that weddings require couples to do extensive planning (seriously, see slide #2). Even so, it is crucial to remember that weddings require guests to do some planning of their own. Enter the considerate Pinterest-perfect wedding trend: Save the Dates. By sending these 4-6 months before the wedding, couples are not only giving guests a first look of their wedding theme but they are also gifting guests with time to plan accordingly. Pro Tip: For couples on a budget, skip the traditional paper invites and create a 'Save the Date' event page on Facebook.

Photo By: iStock

Bachelorette Bash

You’re getting married and kissing the single life goodbye once and for all. This calls for major celebration (and major margaritas) with your main chicks. Make this weekend legendary with fizzy cocktails, photobooth backdrops and all kinds of bride-tribe gear. See 5 Fun Bachelorette Weekend Ideas >>

Photo By: Mary Costa Photography; Project created by Studio DIY on behalf of Balloon Time

Boozin' + Losin' Bachelor Party

Vegas isn't every guy's cup of tea. Instead, get the groomsmen together and celebrate the groom's upcoming wedding with a couple of rounds of poker (and whiskey, while you're at it)! See 20 Super Fun Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Ideas >>

Painted + Pretty

Watercolor invitations are winning over the hearts of wedding-pinners everywhere. This paper set displays delicate, grey watercolor and soft, hand-painted calligraphy. The final outcome? An elegant, ethereal event guests will be sure not to miss. Photo: First Comes Love Event Design

Photo By: Devon Donnahoo Photography, Styling by Katie Kalafat

Bridal Brunch

Brunching is always a good idea, right? Pretty decorations and a pot of piping-hot tea is just what the doctor ordered to celebrate a bride-to-be. Be sure to indulge in some pastel buttercream, buttery croissants and a bounty of Bloody Mary’s to make the occasion one for the books.  

Photo By: iStock/knape

Today's the Day

It’s finally here, the day you’ve been dreaming of for months (okay, years… no judgment). Freeze the moment by having your photographer take a snapshot of your wedding day’s morning papers. While these photographs won't stop time in its tracks, they are a special way for to revisit that exceptional morning. Photo: Erin Turner Photo

Photo By: Erin Turner Photo

Morning Mimosa Fix

Worried about waking up with “I’m-getting-MARRIED-today" morning-jitters? That’s what mimosas are for. This sparkling grapefruit mimosa is sure to do the trick. Just sit back, take a deep breath, a long sip and soak it all in.

Get Ready in Robes

Whether they be bold florals, silky with monograms or striped and polka-dotted—personalized bridal-party robes are all over Pinterest, and for good reason. These pretty robes enable the bridal party to feel extra comfy while getting ready, all while still looking put-together for photos. Not to mention, robes make the best keepsake gifts that will keep the bride’s besties warm and snuggly long after the wedding. Photo: Brass Penny Photography

It's the Little Things

Pretty paper invites paired with beautiful bridal accessories make a pin-worthy wedding snapshot that captures the small details of the big day. 

Photo By: Erin Turner Photo

Swoon-Worthy Blooms

This vibrant bunch is a total stunner, no? With free-flowing, vibrant fuchsia blooms and loads of leafy greenery, this bride is on trend and definitely worth a pin. See 40 Ultra-Lush Bridal Bouquets >>

Sparkle + Shine

Bridal fashion is ever-evolving but always glam. The newest trend that’s spilling onto all fashion-savvy brides’ wedding boards? Delicate, yet ornate, hair accessories. This sparkling crown is a stunner, and offers just the subtle hint of glamour a bride needs to elevate her wedding-day look.

Tags: 
  1. bridal crown

Photo By: Style Me Pretty/ Greg Finck Photography

Hang With the Best of Them

We’re seeing personalized bridal party hangers pop up on all of our favorite wedding-boards. This is an easy, low-cost DIY that can take your getting-ready photos to the next level.  All you need is a metallic paint pen, an eye for hand-lettering and basic wooden hangers to up the ante in a major way. Photo: Erin Turner Photo

Photo By: Erin Turner Photo

Mix + Match

Mix and match bridesmaid dresses for an extra pop of personality to the wedding party. Not sure where to start? Take inspiration from your wedding flowers to help pin-point the prettiest palette to enhance your day. Check out this year's hottest bridesmaid trends >>

Photo By: Michael & Carina Photography

Beaus in Bow-Ties

The classic bow-tie is a wedding staple but tying it can be tricky. Clip-ons are a no go, so be sure to lend a helping hand for the nervous groom that day. 

Photo By: Erin Turner Photo

Love at First Sight

More and more couples are opting to break tradition and have a "first look" photo session before the ceremony. The results are always ultra-romantic and deliver all of the feels.

Photo By: Marc Millman

Aisle Style

Work with your venue's natural elements to create an enviroment that is stylish without distracting from the romantic moments at hand. This collection of weathered, white-washed seating gets it right — nestled organically into the sand for a cliffside ceremony. Photo: First Comes Love Event Design

Photo By: Devon Donnahoo Photography, Styling by Katie Kalafat

Personal Promises

Freeze the moment and create a keepsake of your handwritten vows. A photographer captures this bride's most romantic and meaningful promises, gifting the couple a forever-reminder of their magical day. Photo: First Comes Love Event Design

Photo By: Devon Donnahoo Photography, Styling by Katie Kalafat

Involve Paws

If you have to invite your second-cousin, twice-removed to the biggest day of your life, your fur-babies deserve an invite, too! Just check out this pair of positively dashing pooches.  

Photo By: iStock/andriikobryn

Signature Sips

Cut costs and still have the wedding of your dreams by serving beer, wine and 1-2 signature cocktails like this Rose and Mint Champagne Cocktail. This is a wedding trend guaranteed to keep your guests and checking account very, very happy. Check out more creative + delicious signature cocktail ideas >>

Sweetheart Seats

Snuggle on your sweetie at a reception table that is as special and memorable as the rest of your wedding day. This couple claimed their fame with funky, fuchsia agate slice name cards, gilded (and gorgeous) in gold. Table for two? Don't mind if we do. Photo: First Comes Love Event Design

Photo By: Courtesy of Katie Kalafat

Tulle, Taffeta + Tacos

Why break the bank when you could break the norm? The traditional 5-course meal is taking a back seat to the fast and fun, local flavors found in food trucks. Street tacos and an open bar? Get ready for some rave-reviews. 

Photo By: Brass Penny Photography

Ring Shot

Whimsical, watercolor name cards serve as a prime backdrop for a trendy snapshot of the couples’ brand-new wedding bands. This flaunt-worthy frame is a must-have to grab during the reception. Photo: Brass Penny Photography

Photo By: Brass Penny Photography

Sugar Style

Almost too pretty to eat, right? This art-deco inspired wedding cake features glossy grey embellishments and is guaranteed to prompt many-a-praise from guests. Having a Pinterest-perfect cake means thinking outside the Bundt and letting creativity be your guide. Get Inspired: 27 Beautiful Wedding Cake Design Ideas >>

Photo By: iStock/petrenkod

Favors with Flair

When picking a parting gift for guests, be sure to think beyond the basic wedding mints or matchboxes. Our current favor obsession are these pint-sized rose petal cocktails-in-a-jar. Not only are they super pretty but they gift loved ones with a complimentary round-two (or six) of the reception's signature cocktail. What's not to love? Get more creative wedding favor ideas >>

A Classic Departure

A classic car getaway is a no brainer when planning a wedding. Use strong twine, cans and a hand-painted wooden heart to get your ride ready to cruise off into happily-ever-after. This is a timeless tradition will always be on-trend. 

Photo By: iStock/andriikobryn

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