Today on the CM Blog we're hosting our first guest blog post. After sharing one of For The Love Of Pearls Wifey Sashes on our Instagram, you all went wild for it! So we spoke to lovely Sadaf about creating a blog post for our site. Sadaf is going to chat with you all about planning the perfect engagement party.
I’m Sadaf, founder and designer behind For The Love Of Pearls. Just over a year ago, I had made myself a bridal denim jacket and was planning on wearing it to Mykonos for my hen do. However, as Covid-19 hit the world and so many precious moments were affected by it, including my own hen do and wedding, I needed a creative outlet – this is when FTLOP was born!
With a background in Architecture and Graphic Design, I absolutely love design and anything creative, starting FTLOP was my way of blocking out the world around me. Over the past ten months For The Love Of Pearls has grown quicker than I ever imagined and I am SO incredibly grateful for this.
I was absolutely honoured when Charlotte Mills team asked me to take part in their blog and share my top tips for planning an engagement party. I have broken down Engagement Party Planning into 8 steps:
STEP 1: BUDGET
Before planning any event, whether it is an engagement party, hen do, bridal shower, wedding or even a birthday party you must know your budget.
Having a budget right from the start will guide you throughout the planning and will help you take control before you end up spending your wedding budget on your engagement party.
STEP 2: SET THE DATE
I suggest choosing a few dates that works out with you as a couple, then running them by the people that you absolutely want at your engagement party, just to check their availability. Having a few dates will also give you flexibility with your venue and vendors.
STEP 3: GUEST LIST
Engagement parties can be as big or small as you’d like, we believe having a set budget from the start will more or less determine the size of your event.
My opinion is that engagement parties are lovely kept small and intimate, and any guest that you are inviting to your engagement party should also be invited to your wedding.
STEP 4: VENUE
The venue you choose depends on your guest list and budget. You can go as formal or informal as you’d like.
With Covid and restriction taken into consideration, a lovely at-home event in the back garden is just so dreamy and much more flexible, as you can serve the food you want and the drinks you want – especially if you are working on a tight budget.
If you are looking to have a more formal event, you could look into hiring a private dining area at your favourite restaurant or a private area at a club or lounge for more of a party vibe.
STEP 5: DÉCOR
I am a huge believer of less is more so keep the décor to the minimum – don’t start mixing up different décor/themes just because it is available. Consistency is key, choose a colour scheme right at the start and stick to it from start to finish, i.e., from invitations to favours etc.
STEP 6: DETAILS
Detail is everything, some people may find these a waste of time and money but, details make an event stand out.
Let’s start with invites, you can create your own invites online using Canva or you could purchase beautiful invites from Etsy. If you don’t want to print them out, you could always send out e-invites.
Remember, consistency is key, now you can follow the theme and colours your chose for your invites to create more details, such as, food menu, drinks menu, favours, a polaroid station etc.
STEP 7: FOOD
The food you serve depends on the theme/event style you choose. If you decide to go for a daytime event, I could not recommend M&S party food enough. I have hosted many day events where I have created an afternoon tea menu using the M&S party food – trust me, you cannot go wrong with these!!
If you are having an evening event and looking to do more of a party theme, then I would create a huge sweet and savoury grazing platter. Not only do they look incredible in photos (obviously, got to have the insta perfect shot!) they also are so popular with everyone as you can create such a lovely mixture of cheese/crackers/falafels/meats/fruit etc. I’d say get on Pinterest and save as many inspiration shots as you can!
You can make your event more special with a small engagement cake, this is always such a cute touch!
If you are choosing to have your event in a restaurant/club/lounge, you will be limited to their menu and offerings.
STEP 8: OUTFIT
Your engagement party will be your first event as bride and groom-to-be so you deserve a special outfit. Raid your wardrobe or shop for something new, but just keep in mind the party setting and the venue.
If you are having a garden party or an at-home event, go for a mini or a midi dress, something romantic and easy to add jacket over for the evening (if it gets a little cold). If you are having a more formal event, then go all out - treat this as a wedding rehearsal!! Get yourself a maxi dress, maybe with a slit, just to make it more fun!
You can complete your outfit with one of our beautiful hand finished pearl denim jackets and pair it with Charlotte Mills Henrietta Pearl shoes. What else does a girl need?