A million ways exist to create the perfect engagement party for soon-to-be newlyweds. Some people go all out and plan an elaborate, multi-course meal at a restaurant or hotel. Others keep it simple with cake and champagne shared with close friends and family.
We’ve gathered some ideas to help you create the best backyard engagement party!
1. Engagement Parties are Easy to Have in Your Backyard
Engagement parties are a great way to celebrate the engagement, especially if you have lots of space for your guests. You can have an engagement party on your patio, in your backyard or even in a park or other public area if you’re adventurous.
Engagement parties are also enjoyable because they allow you to invite people who maybe wouldn’t come to a wedding later on down the line — your friends from high school, your cousins and their kids, anyone! The most important thing is that it gets everyone together in one place to celebrate this significant moment in your life!
2. Keeping It Simple and Allowing Your Loved Ones to Help Out
One way to eliminate undue stress surrounding your engagement party is to allow your loved ones to help. Your parents, bridal party and other close friends are great candidates. To ensure everything goes smoothly, we recommend the following:
- Have a list of jobs to do and divide up the work.
- Make sure you have enough people to help.
- Make sure you have enough food and drinks for everyone.
3. Sending Out Invitations to Your Engagement Party
You can invite your guests in several ways, but we recommend keeping it simple. Here are some tips:
- Use a cute font and fun color that matches the theme of your party.
- Include a photo of the couple on the invitation.
- Include a photo of where you’re having the engagement party so people know where to go and what to expect when they get there.
- Remember to include all pertinent details like date, time and an RSVP contact.
4. Make it Personal and Handwrite Each Invite
- Grab a calligraphy pen and some thick cardstock and start writing.
- Write your message or use a template.
- Add a sticker or stamp to the envelope for added personality (and to make it look more like real mail).
- Seal it with wax!
5. Use the Outdoor Space Available to You
When it comes to backyard engagement parties, you must remember that less is more. If you’re looking for a way to make your party feel special without spending a lot of money, here are some tips:
- Use what’s already there. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the space in your backyard — you may even have an unused shed or tool storage area that can serve as a perfect photo booth!
- Make do with what’s available. If you don’t have enough chairs for everyone coming, try using blankets and pillows instead. This gives attendees an option for seating and adds additional color and texture to the space where they’ll spend most of their time at the party!
6. Decorations to Enhance the Natural Beauty of the Space
As you start to plan your backyard engagement party, think of decorations as an opportunity to use what you have or can find for free. If you’re planning a casual get-together with friends and family, consider using items already in your home. For example:
- Use candles on the tables or around the house.
- Hang streamers from trees and bushes.
- Use string lights around the patio area for an elegant touch that won’t cost much money but will add ambience to your event. You can also hang paper lanterns or string together battery-operated fairy lights!
7. Create a Balloon Backdrop
Balloons are the perfect way to add fun and color to your engagement party. They’re also easy to create a backdrop for photos or even just an extra bit of decor.
Here are some ideas:
- Use balloons in the colors of your wedding. If you want a more natural look, get paper lanterns in these colors (but ensure they are treated before putting them up).
- Buy string netting from a party store and hang it behind your venue. You can then place small groups of colored balloons on top of it to create the effect shown above!
- Using fishing line would give you more flexibility when taking down everything after the event.
8. Create a Wooden Pallet Wall – Cheap and Easy
Wooden pallets are cheap and easy to find. You can put a bunch of pallets together if you are handy or know someone who is and make the cutest backdrop for photos! Hang lights, fake greenery, flowers and pictures on the pallet to set the scene!
9. Have a Vintage Tea Party Themed Engagement Party
If you and your fiancé are lovers of all things vintage or want to try something a little different, why not have a tea party-themed engagement party — perfect for spring!
Consider adding something different to each guest’s plate to make your tea party unique. You can take advantage of the season by using fresh berries or apples and cinnamon sticks as garnishes. Or, if you want to go all out in the cuteness department, purchase some small floral picks at a craft store and stick them in your salads!
It’s essential to have plenty of tea on hand so that guests can refill their teacups throughout the afternoon.
10. A Backyard Garden Party
If you want to celebrate your engagement with your friends and family, consider having a backyard garden party. Not only does this theme allow for plenty of photo opportunities and incredible decorations, but it also allows you to have fun while helping the environment by planting flowers and herbs.
To have an authentic garden party, here are some tips:
- Use flowers, plants and herbs to decorate. You can use fresh flowers as centerpieces or place them around tables. If you want something more permanent (like actual wedding flowers), plant them in pots so guests can take them home at the night’s end! Make sure they look nice; don’t just stick dead or fake plants in a pot because it’s easy!
- Have fun with homemade props like gardening gloves or watering cans – anything that will help set the scene better than just using regular household items would do alone! This will make it easier for everyone to take photos during their visit.
11. Adding a Chalkboard to Your Party
Who doesn’t love writing on a chalkboard? A chalkboard for your backyard engagement party adds personality and activity for guests. Other reasons why we love adding chalkboards to backyard engagement parties and tips can be found below:
- This is a great way to set the tone for your backyard engagement party. It’s so much fun and easy to do!
- You can use a chalkboard or paint one onto an existing wooden pallet. You can also use whiteboard markers or chalk/crayons on a plain piece of wood.
- When writing out the event details, include when and where the party will be held and any other necessary info such as dress code.
- You can keep the chalkboard as a memento of the party, filled with good wishes from loved ones.
12. Food and Drinks for a Backyard Engagement Party
Food and drinks are essential to any event. Your backyard engagement party is no exception. There are plenty of ways to make food and drinks more festive for your guests.
If you want to include food in your backyard engagement party but avoid the hassle of cooking every dish yourself, consider hiring a food truck to come out and provide catering services for the event. This is also a good idea if you have friends who have dietary restrictions; a variety of vegan and gluten-free options can be found on many food trucks today! Hiring a food truck is a great way to get people to your party. Food trucks are fun and casual, but they can also be elegant. They’re a good budget option, too!
You could have a ‘backyard garden’ party theme where everyone brings their favorite fruit or vegetable dish from their garden plot (or their kitchen). You could also make this part of the decorations by hanging flowers everywhere — they’re beautiful!
13. Have a ‘Make Your Own Pizza’ Station
You can have a ‘make your own pizza’ station. Let people choose their sauce first, and have a variety of toppings available, like cheese, meat and vegetables. This way, your guests get exactly what they want for food and you only have to worry about preparing ingredients, not an entire meal.
14. A Toast with Your Beverage of Choice
Here are some toast options that would work well at your engagement party:
- Champagne. This is a classic choice, but it’s also the most popular option, so you might consider an alternative.
- Iced tea. If you want something special but not too fussy, try serving iced tea to give your guests royal treatment without breaking the bank. You can even get creative and use flavored teas to add individuality!
- Signature drinks. As an alternative to champagne or iced tea, why not let everyone toast with their signature drink? The idea here is to make them feel like they’re celebrating with friends instead of strangers — and what better way than having each guest bring their favorite beverage?
A backyard engagement party is easier and more cost-effective than you think. As long as you have a few basic supplies (like balloons, streamers and paper plates), you’re ready to go! Plus, it’s great fun for everyone involved — including yourself!
With all the planning involved in an upcoming wedding, it’s nice to know that your engagement party will be easy to put together. Now go forth with this knowledge and make some memories with those closest friends and family members who want to celebrate with you both!
15. Plan for a variety of entertainment
Unlike with the wedding, there’s no pre-planned schedule to follow at an engagement party. People are bound to get bored at some point. You can stay on top of things by planning various entertainment stations with games and activities that are bound to keep people reeled in and break the ice between your two groups of friends. The last thing you want on your hands after putting in so much effort is a dead party.
16. Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails
Help your friends let loose by welcoming them with colorful seasonal cocktails. You can take this up
a notch by creating a DIY cocktail bar and allowing your guests to play around with different combinations. If you have more bottles than you need, you can even have a little competition to identify the mixologist in the group. Who knows their services may come in handy when you’re out and about celebrating your bachelor’s or bachelorette parties.
17. Keep the food easy to serve and eat
It’s natural to want to go all out in the kitchen when hosting however, easy-to-serve foods are better for your backyard engagement party. You want people to move around and get to know each other and hauling around a plateful of foods that require a dinner setting to eat will not help the case. On the plus side, it will take you less time to whip these menu options up.
18. Fire up the grill
If the weather is right, fire up the grill and bring out some great cuts of meat. It’s a great way to get the boys bonding and will let you focus on serving other things. If you think about it you’ll get the most of the help from your guests as they man the grill bickering on who the real master is. It’s you! You’re the real master for using this energy to your advantage.
19. Open up the pool
If you have a pool in your backyard, now’s the time to really get your money’s worth on that extra amount you spent for it. Open up your pool and allow your guests to enjoy their time at your home. Doing this could also help you save money since you’ll not have to go out of your way to find a way to seat everyone in the same place as people will be distributed all across your backyard.
20. Consider glamping
If you have busy schedules around your engagement, you can pitch up tents over the weekend and invite your friends for a night in the ‘wild.’ This would be great for couples who love adventure and outdoor activities as you can indulge in all your favorite round-the-campfire activities within the comfort of your backyard.
21. You can always go inside
Just because it’s a backyard party does not mean the rest of your house is closed off to guests. If it gets chilly outside, you can move into the house and continue your celebration until everyone is ready to leave.
Check out these other top picks for a memorable and fun party:
- A List of the Best Bachelor Party Games
- Bachelorette Party Themes for Your 2023 Wedding
- Complete Guide to Organizing a Tea Party Bridal Shower
As a multi-passionate creative and a self-proclaimed frequent flyer of weddings, Kiara combines her love for the wedding industry and experience as a professional wedding photographer with her writing abilities to share tips, tricks, and helpful information with couples. She is the owner of Switech Studios a popular wedding photography business. With tons of insider information from behind her camera lens on how to have the best wedding possible, Kiara’s in-depth knowledge is sure to put you on the road to wedding planning success.