My groomy and I thought it’d be fun to corral all our loved ones for an engagement bash.
I wanted the shindig to be fun and beautiful. The setting was critical: It had to be outdoors. I was aiming for a garden party feel, yet still wanted it to be casual enough so that guests would feel comfy lounging and eating/drinking themselves silly for the night.
We decided to throw the party at my mom’s, since she has a cozy backyard and she won’t charge us for using her space. Score! Plus, she liked the idea of having it at her house so she could take on a key piece of the grunt work – arranging the table/chair rentals. Those rental people are always so troublesome! I was grateful she took on that task.
I sniffed around party planning blogs, looking for clever ideas I could recreate and tweak. After weeks of list-making, lunch-hour shopping trips, after-work shopping trips, weekend shopping trips, menu research, and remedial arts and crafts projects, here’s what we ended up with…
This party was a kick-ass trial run for wedding planning. And, yep, the bash was everything we wanted it to be! I think our party peeps loved the food and libations, which is the most important part of a celebration, hands down.
Here’s what I learned: Hosting 40-plus human beings for dinner is wild! It’s so special and exciting to spend that time with them. But it’s a BIG task that probably requires a paid staff member who can tend to food and beverage needs throughout the party. My soon-to-be mama-in-law, Bette, and granny-in-law, Nannie, filled this role and worked their tails off during the whole event – restocking appetizers, setting us up for din-din. My mom and best friend helped a ton too, especially before the party and even after. So did our de facto family members: Donna, Tom and everyone else, we appreciated your help!
Thanks a million, pals and family, for all that you did. You helped make it a perfect night!
And don’t worry: For the wedding, we’re definitely not taking the DIY route. I’ve got wedding planners/caterers/bartenders on speed dial.