A complete guide on how to throw an engagement party for your family and friends. These are the fun engagement party ideas, from games to decorations, that will make a celebration truly memorable.

By Kelsey Ogletree
Updated January 25, 2019
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Hooray! Someone you love is is engaged—a family member, a best friend, a coworker—and you want to help that person celebrate the happy news. Whether you’re planning a low-key backyard engagement party or a elegant evening affair, “the key thing to remember with an engagement party is that there aren't many rules,” says Renee Scotti Dalo, owner of Moxie Bright Events. “It's a time for friends and family to come together and celebrate this new phase of life.” From engagement party decorations and games to favors and food, here’s a go-to planning guide on how to throw an engagement party they’ll remember forever.

In This Article

Engagement Party Decorations and Themes

If it isn’t on Instagram, did it even really happen? Urge the couple to decide on a wedding hashtag now so you can incorporate it into the engagement party décor. “Print a hashtag banner in gold glitter and hang it for all to see!” encourages Kristen Blanks of PartyEase. This way, guests can begin tagging their photos with the hashtag at the engagement party, making it easy for the couple to look back and reflect on their entire journey to the aisle. To buy: Custom hashtag banner, from $8, etsy.com.
PaperSupplyStation/Etsy.com

Image zoom Engagement Party Banners

If it isn’t on Instagram, did it even really happen? Urge the couple to decide on a wedding hashtag now so you can incorporate it into the engagement party décor. “Print a hashtag banner in gold glitter and hang it for all to see!” encourages Kristen Blanks of PartyEase. This way, guests can begin tagging their photos with the hashtag at the engagement party, making it easy for the couple to look back and reflect on their entire journey to the aisle.

To buy: Custom hashtag banner, from $8, etsy.com. PaperSupplyStation/Etsy.com

Image zoom Signature Cocktail Bar

Put a beautiful bar cart (or kitchen island or sidebar) to good use by leveraging it to serve his-and-hers themed cocktails. Event planner Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event serves wine punch in two flavors for engagement parties: white wine and citrus with sliced fruit and mint, and red wine with spiced apple cider and herbs. Or, have the couple share two favorite drinks that you can batch produce. Serve in beautiful vintage (or vintage-inspired) glassware.

To buy: Vintage-inspired glassware, $19 for four, amazon.com. Gerber and Scarpelli Photography

Image zoom Sweets Table

For a sweet, low-cost alternative to hosting a dinner, consider planning an afternoon engagement party with light refreshments and a creative desserts table. Serve a combination of cookies, cupcakes, and candies in a designated color palette. You can even get a larger cake from a bakery for the couple to slice, followed by a Champagne toast.

To buy: Cupcakes, one dozen from $56, sprinkles.com. Gerber and Scarpelli Photography

Image zoom Celebration Balloons

Turn plain, white, helium-filled balloons into showstopping décor by adding gold stickers to make happy words, such as “Hooray!” or “Cheers!” on the surface. Use them around the party venue at varying heights to add a festive atmosphere, or tie to the backs of the couple’s chairs at a seated event to spotlight the guests of honor.

To buy: Giant balloons, $12 for six, amazon.com. Gerber and Scarpelli Photography

Image zoom Glittered Bottles

These glittery wine bottles do double duty as décor and festive libations at any engagement party. Buy a few and mix in with regular wine bottles and beverages, placing them together on ice in a galvanized metal party bucket or wine trough. For each bottle purchased, the company OneHope donates 15 meals to a child in need.

To buy: California Brut Sparkling Wine, $59, onehopewine.com. OneHope 1 of 5 Advertisement

Engagement Party Games

What You Need: Two chairs A list of pre-arranged questions Two double-sided signs with the couple’s names on each side How to Play: Place two chairs back to back in the middle of the room and have the couple sit down. Choose a host to ask them pre-arranged questions, such as “Who talked more about getting engaged?” or “Who really picked out the ring?” or “Who said ‘I love you’ first?” Each of them hold up their sign to indicate their answer. This game is cute and guaranteed to bring a lot of laughs, says Dalo.
AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY

Image zoom How Well Do You Know One Another?

What You Need:

  • Two chairs
  • A list of pre-arranged questions
  • Two double-sided signs with the couple’s names on each side

How to Play:

  1. Place two chairs back to back in the middle of the room and have the couple sit down.
  2. Choose a host to ask them pre-arranged questions, such as “Who talked more about getting engaged?” or “Who really picked out the ring?” or “Who said ‘I love you’ first?”
  3. Each of them hold up their sign to indicate their answer. This game is cute and guaranteed to bring a lot of laughs, says Dalo.

AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY

Image zoom Ring Straws

What You Need:

  • A large bowl
  • An assortment of inexpensive silver and gold plastic rings from a party store
  • Enough straws for each guest

How to Play:

  1. Place the rings inside the bowl. Pass out straws.
  2. Each guest takes a turn holding a straw in their mouth while trying to get as many rings onto the straw as possible in 30 seconds. You can award bonus points to anyone who collects all one color on their straw, says Blanks.

Etsy

Image zoom How Many Kisses?

What You Need:

  • A large glass jar with a lid
  • Wrapped chocolate kisses to fill the jar
  • Slips of paper
  • Pens or pencils

How to Play:

  1. Fill the jar to the brim with chocolate kisses and count how many you use. (It will likely take several bags.)
  2. Make a sign to put next to the jar bearing the question, “How many kisses?”
  3. Invite guests to guess how many kisses are in the jar, writing their guess on a slip of paper. At the end of the party, review the guesses, and the guest closest to the number gets a prize (or, to take the kisses home!).

Catch My Party

Image zoom Engagement Mad Libs

What You Need:

  • Wedding-themed Mad Libs forms (you can download some for free at Something Turquoise)
  • Pens or pencils (you create custom pencils for with the couple’s names on Etsy)

How to Play:

  1. Pass out Mad Libs forms or stack them on a designated table at which guests can fill them out.
  2. Have guests put the completed forms in a basket to preserve later in a book for the couple, or have them read their Mad Lib out loud, “which is always extremely fun,” says Hovik Harutyunyan, creative director with Hovik Harutyunyan Events.

Harutyunyan Events

Image zoom DIY Photobooth

What You Need:

  • Fun props that tease the theme of the upcoming wedding, from chalkboard signs and vintage jewelry for a romantic affair to oversized sunglasses and beach towels for a tropical destination wedding
  • A volunteer to take photos on his or her phone
  • An instant photo printer

How to Play:

  1. Set up the DIY photobooth against a clean background near the entry to the party.
  2. As guests filter in, have them pose with the props for a photo.
  3. The volunteer sends each photo to an instant photo printer, which prints 2x3” images.
  4. Hang a long string along one wall of the venue and use glittery clothespins to tack up each photo. They double as a game and engagement party decorations, and the photos are a special memento for the couple to take home afterward.

Melissa Fuller Photography 1 of 5 Advertisement

Engagement Party Favors

If the couple is planning a destination wedding, get guests excited for the trip when they leave the engagement party with a fun tote bag they can use for their travels. To buy: White canvas tote, $2, Hobby Lobby. Customize totes with the couple’s wedding hashtag or a photo by printing them out on iron-transfer paper ($10 for 10 sheets, Michaels) and ironing onto the totes.
Be Photography

Image zoom Clever Tote Bags

If the couple is planning a destination wedding, get guests excited for the trip when they leave the engagement party with a fun tote bag they can use for their travels.

To buy: White canvas tote, $2, Hobby Lobby. Customize totes with the couple’s wedding hashtag or a photo by printing them out on iron-transfer paper ($10 for 10 sheets, Michaels) and ironing onto the totes. Be Photography

Image zoom Local Goodies

If you have out-of-town guests attending, show off your area with fun local goodies. It makes it a more personal experience for them and is a great way to channel your creativity.

To buy: Head to local boutiques and shops to track down tiny treasures, like miniature soaps, sweet and savory snacks, postcards, and other items the town is known for. Package them in simple kraft boxes, tie with a pretty ribbon, and arrange on a table near the door for guests to take with them as they depart. Stephanie Yonce Photography

Image zoom Sweet Treats

Who doesn’t love to leave a party with a sweet treat? Wrap up the couple’s favorite dessert or a special item local to the area for guests to take with them and enjoy later.

How to Make: Get baking and whip up a batch of chocolate-chocolate whoopie pies, fancy florentines, or strawberry dust meringues. Package in clear treat bags and seal with a pretty “thank you” sticker. Stephanie Yonce Photography

Image zoom Mini Popcorn Bags

Popcorn bars are very on trend right now—and always delicious. Go for classic buttered popcorn along with the couple’s favorite flavors, like caramel or cheddar.

How to Make: Set up large bowls of each variety of popcorn with scoops, as well as smaller bowls of mix-ins like M&Ms, pretzels or marshmallows. Put out bowls or cups for guests to scoop their own mix to eat at the party, or offer inexpensive clear treat bags for them to take home. Stephanie Yonce Photography; LLC

Image zoom Functional Fans

If you’re having an outdoor engagement party during the warm summer months, your guests will appreciate a favor that is both pretty and practical. These fans are a great way to stay cool and keep bugs at a distance.

To buy: Portable iPhone fans, $12 for four, amazon.com. Stephanie Yonce Photography; LLC 1 of 5 Advertisement

Engagement Party Food Ideas

Everyone loves tacos. Create a build-your-own taco bar where guests can choose their own filings and toppings. Offer ground beef or grilled vegetables, plus add-ons like tangy slaw, salsa, avocado, sour cream, pickled jalepenos, and cheese. Get the recipe: Spicy Ground Beef
Greg DuPree

Image zoom Taco Bar

Everyone loves tacos. Create a build-your-own taco bar where guests can choose their own filings and toppings. Offer ground beef or grilled vegetables, plus add-ons like tangy slaw, salsa, avocado, sour cream, pickled jalepenos, and cheese.

Get the recipe: Spicy Ground Beef Greg DuPree

Image zoom Slow Cooker Pork Adobada Chili

If you’re hosting an engagement party during cold winter months, hearty bowls of chili are sure to warm everyone up. Prep a make-ahead recipe like slow-cooker chili that can easily be served straight from the vessel with a side of skillet cornbread.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Pork Adobada Chili Antonis Achilleos

Image zoom Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Bombs

An engagement brunch calls for bagels! Pick up a selection from a local spot and offer a variety of spreads, from flavored cream cheeses to peanut butter. You can also surprise guests with these homemade bagel bombs, which have a little sweetness that pairs perfectly with mimosas.

Get the recipe: Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Bombs RealSimple.com

Image zoom Brussels Sprout Pizza With Lemon and Pecorino

If you’re hosting a super casual engagement party, you might consider ordering in a variety of pizzas from a local pizzeria. Or, to go a bit more upscale, try making your own flatbreads. Start with prepared pizza dough to save time; then, get creative with toppings. This Brussels sprouts flatbread with lemon and pecorino is bursting with flavor and perfect for spring.

Get the recipe: Brussels Sprout Pizza With Lemon and Pecorino Brie Passano

Image zoom Baked Brie With Cranberry Compote and Pecans

Seasoned party hosts know baked brie is an easy appetizer that looks as delicious as it tastes. With a round of brie, fresh cranberries, and toasted pecans—plus some seasonings you already have in your kitchen—you can whip up this engagement party appetizer in less than 30 minutes. Serve with toasted crostini or crackers.

Get the recipe: Baked Brie With Cranberry Compote and Pecans Greg DuPree 1 of 5 Advertisement