Budget Engagement Parties

Keep your budget healthy and host the perfect engagement party for the happy couple.

Engagement parties are traditionally hosted by the parents of the bride, but these days, anyone can offer to take over. Friends, other family members or even the bride and groom can host this party. Usually held a month or two after the engagement, this party's primary focus is offering the families and close friends of the bride and groom a chance to begin to get to know each other. If you find yourself trying to balance a tight budget and the desire to host an engagement party, explore the Budget Engagement Parties Guide for ideas to host the perfect party without spending a fortune.

Guest List for an Engagement Party

The only hard and fast rule for engagement parties applies to the guest list. Anyone who is invited to the engagement party must be included on the wedding guest list. Guests who would have to travel are not usually included, but family members would be an exception to this rule. Unless the wedding plans are mostly in place, it is best to keep the engagement party guest list limited to close friends and family. This party is not meant to rival the bridal shower or wedding reception. This is simply a small gathering of those who are close to the bride and groom and a way to celebrate the happy occasion of an upcoming wedding. By keeping things simple and low key, you will find staying on budget a much easier task.

Budget Engagement Party Locations

The cheapest and easiest location for an engagement party is the home of a friend or family member. If the weather will cooperate, host this gathering in the backyard or on the patio. The living room of a family home is also a great location. If your guest list is too large to comfortably host the event in a home, a restaurant can be another option. Try to find a location with a conference room or closed off section where your guests can visit and move around without disturbing other diners.

Budget Engagement Party Decorations

Party decorations are not necessary for this type of gathering, but if you want to add a festive air to the location, there are plenty of economical options. Party Cheap offers discount colored balloons, food picks, tableware and tablecloths to keep you on budget. If the planning is far enough in place, you can qualify for bulk discounts and order your supplies for the rehearsal dinner or reception all at the same time. Clearance sales can be another money saver, as the engagement party does not need to follow the wedding colors. Go through the holiday decorations you have stored in the attic for wreaths or garlands which can be easily converted to party decor.

Budget Food Options for an Engagement Party

What to serve the guests takes a big chunk out of the budget. The time of day or evening when you plan your party will have the biggest impact on your food choices. Think about holding the party between two and five in the afternoon. A full course meal will not be expected and you can concentrate your budget on finger foods and cocktails.

All Recipes has a selection of easy appetizers which includes suggestions for finger foods you can make ahead to save time and money. If you find your budget will not allow you to host the party you wish, consider co-hosting with another family member or friend. By sharing the financial impact between several people you can pool your resources and offer a full meal or have the party catered.

The most important thing to remember when hosting a budget engagement party is to create an atmosphere where the bride and groom and their families have an opportunity to get to know each other. Make your food, decoration and location decisions based on creating a friendly atmosphere which encourages guests to mingle and chat. Save the major decorations, elaborate food choices and elegant locations for the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner.

Written by: Caroline Retzer