We got engaged in June 2016 and booked our wedding in July 2017 yep there are no flies on us… well me anyway I’m Holly and my Fiancé is Stephen.
Once we booked the venue I felt like something was missing I was desperate to start wedding planning but didn’t want to overload myself or my family and friends with wedding talk, too early. So we faced the question of should we have an engagement party ? Having parties in my family is common practise my sister had 18th 21st 30th engagements my parents both had 40th/50th as well as a silver anniversary… and well little old me I had nothing my last party was probably my 6th birthday with Uncle Alf making balloon animals, this of course was always my choice mainly due to the fear of nobody turning up.
Fast forward to July 2017 I had overcome this fear and wanted to celebrate our engagement with all of our family and friends. A lot of people questioned why we were having an engagement party if we had already booked the wedding and the fact that the wedding was just over a year away, was it silly spending money on a party when we should be saving for a wedding ? and to be honest we did question this ourselves was it too much to ask of people and ourselves ?
Luckily we decided we should definitely have a PARTY
We booked a room upstairs in an amazing Thai tapas restaurant in Newcastle Upon Tynes with views that looked over the River Tyne. We booked the party in September just under a year until our wedding, we invited our close family and friends and spent the night eating Thai food, drinking …yes lots of drinking and dancing the night away.
The night was a huge success and I had an amazing time celebrating with family and friends but something that I didn’t expect was the insight it would offer us for the big day….
What I learnt from having an engagement party
1. Guest list – we got a real feel for who we were going to invite to the wedding day and evening. There were a handful of people who couldn’t make the party with reasonable explanations and notice but there were a few people who did not bother to rsvp or turn up. On the other hand there were people who had went out of their way to come celebrate with us and made a real effort, people who we decided we would love to spend the whole day with. This sounds brutal but when it comes to the guest list for a wedding it really does come down to the little things.
2. Decorations – I wanted to decorate my wedding venue including my tables and even flowers and erm yeah this would have been a terrible idea I had a melt down just blowing balloons up and trying to arrange them by size. This took up so much of the morning of the party and when it came to the actual party I felt pretty tired and exhausted.
3. Hair and make up- I booked to get my hair and make up done before the party and although my make up wasn’t quite what I imagined the over the top smokey eyes made me look like a real life panda (a few make up wipes soon sorted it out) this is something that really took the stress out of the evening I literally had to throw on my dress and was ready. I decided there and then hair and make up was a MUST on the morning of the wedding.
4. Entertainment – I booked a singer/guitarist he was a friend of friend and I had seen him play at another party and knew he wouldn’t charge me a lot. He was an astounding success, everyone loved him and he had everyone up dancing I would go as far to say it was the best part of the night. Our mind was made up there and then we definitely needed a band for the wedding.
5. Time – This just disappeared and I felt like I spent quite a bit of the night making sure everyone was having a great time, and although I did have the best night I felt like I wish I had made some time to relax and soak the evening in.
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to have had a ‘mini dress rehearsal’ for the wedding and if possible would definatley recommend having a engagement party.