How To Decorate A Table For An Elegant Engagement Party
An engagement party is usually hosted by the couple or family members to officially announce and celebrate their engagement. Setting the tables to require more forethought not just laying down the plates and the napkins. The decorator should also bring out the cohesive theme of colors and textures. The way the tables are decorated sets the mood of the engagement party. It is thus important to choose a good combination since the guests will sit around these tables during the entire party. By choosing unique and beautiful table decorations, this enables the party to have a touch of beauty and class
Step 1: Choose the tablecloth, placemats, and napkins which meets your color desires. Ensure that the colors you choose do not clash. Let the colors of the tablecloth match with the placemats and the napkins. For example, if the tablecloth you are using has flowers, you can in return use solid color placemats and napkins. You can choose a romantic look such as the combination of red, black and white colors. This can be achieved by buying clothes of different colors such as a black tablecloth with different red rose patterns. Use white candleholders topped with candles of different colors such as red. The decorations create a romantic and party mood environment.
Step 2: Create an attractive centerpiece in each and every table. Make sure that the centerpiece is not so tall such that guests within the same table cannot be able to see each other clearly. A simple and yet beautiful centerpiece can include a basket of flowers or even a bowl of fruits.
Step 3: Set the table neatly. Arrange the plates, the silverware and the glasses in an orderly manner. Ensure the silver placement is in the order of the meals to be served. You can have the salad forks on one side and the soup spoons on the other. The dessert fork should be nearest to the plate since that the last part of the course meal served.
Step 4: Buy place cards or create your own. Using calligraphy pens, write the names of your guests on the place cards. If you can be able to add some meaningful decorations on the place cards, its okay you can.
Step 5: Place the cards according to how you ant your guests to be seated. This makes it easy since the guests will have an organized way of sitting
Step 6: Set the final touches properly in order to help in setting the right mood even before the party begins. Use candles, music, and photographs in a way that will make the party more worth of remembering. It is advisable to set the mood with natural lighting as engagement parties are usually celebrations of love and candle lighting especially brings out the extraordinary romantic atmosphere.
Engagement Party Checklist And Planning Ideas
This is a comprehensive engagement party checklist and some ideas to help in planning your engagement party.
- Engagement notice in the newspaper, Facebook etc
- Arrange Engagement Party (easy to create an event in Facebook to invite your friends)
- Date & Time (most Engagement Parties are held on a Saturday night, but a Sunday breakfast or brunch option is also a popular option. Always check any events held locally or nationally that may clash with your date, you don’t want to find out you’ve chosen the football grand final – unless you want to include it in your theme!)
- Guest List (not usually as many guests as the wedding, but it’s entirely up to you! Also don’t forget about whether children can come)
- Location (usually a parent’s home or your house, but venues can be great for fuss-free entertaining, or even a River cruise!)
- Budget (it’s hard not to get carried away when your excited by the wedding, but try and look at the entire amount you can afford and work backward from there. For example, if you have a $1200 budget and 40 people, then you have $30 per person, which will determine whether you can get catering etc.)
- Dress code – Casual/Formal/Black tie etc (remember to include on your invites)
- Theme & Color Theme (good time to introduce your wedding theme on a smaller scale and try out some ideas)
- Entertainment/Music (Hire a Band/DJ or even a jukebox)
- Food & Catering (another way to save money is to get guests to “bring a plate” instead of gifts, but there are many options such as a barbecue, or getting it catered for with a spit roast or cocktail style. Some caterers supply just platters of food, which can be a good option to “top up” what you may already be providing)
- Alcohol & Drinks (guests usually expect some alcohol, wine, and beer are the most economical with some fruit juices. Also, a good time to introduce a “signature cocktail” to be used at the wedding, or try a few out and get guests to vote on the best one!)
- Cake (to save money DIY, or enlist family or friends instead of a gift. Cupcakes are another option you can make yourself and freeze ahead of time, you can defrost them and decorate the day beforehand. Some bakeries allow you to buy “blank” cakes which will save time in cooking and you can just decorate and ice. Fresh flowers are great for an instant and effective decoration on a cake)
- Invitations (a lot of people just email invites now, and you can get email templates or customizable printable invites from Etsy and Madeit, alternatively you can have them printed professionally)
- Decorations (add instant color with balloons, most party shops can do custom helium designs quite economically, or hire your own cylinder, enlist some friends and do them yourself depending on your climate the later you have to do the balloons, the hotter the less time they last.
- Try to do your decorating the day before, it’s also important that if the party is at night to see what the venue is like then, you may need to add in some hire fairy lights, uplights under trees, candelabras and bamboo torches etc to set the mood. Another option is flowers in vases, you can often buy in bulk at market sellers, and just sprinkling masses of rose petals around the tea light candles on tables, gardens and the driveway can make a cost-effective but amazing impact. Most party shops have disposable plates, crockery and cutlery which will make cleaning up a lot easier too! )
- Gifts (consider how far away from the wedding the party is, as you don’t want to impose on guests too often. If you are already set up in your house, money in lieu of gifts is OK to ask for on your invitations. Guests will need some direction so making it easier for them on the invite is the best way, a donation to a charity is another option)
- Organise any Hire items – such as tables, chairs, lighting, crockery & cutlery etc. (Party hire places to have many options that you might not be aware of such as small, good for rain marquees, carpet runners for your entrance, archways, vases, lighting, eskies, fabric draping etc for decorating. Most have a price list you can download or get them to email you so you can find out all your options before purchasing items)
- Videographer/Camera (ask a few guests who have video cameras if they would mind videoing through the night, try and follow up with friends afterward for photos. It can be a great regret later in life that you didn’t capture everything that you wanted to on the night. If your budget allows a videographer can be a great way to capture memories. If you’ve found your photographer already for the wedding, a lot of them offer engagement photos as part of a package which can be great for invitations and keepsakes as well)
- Games/activities (depending on your guests and venue you can add in some fun activities such as wine and cheese tasting, karaoke machine, Trivia contests, Twister, Wii or PlayStation contests etc. If this is the first time your families are meeting, then you might just have to gauge the night as it goes along, but it’s always good to have something preplanned if you may need to “break the ice”. Don’t expect to do everything you’ve thought of, but you might be surprised at how happy guests are to indulge in some fun once they’ve had a few drinks!)
- Contingency Plan (If your party is outside you may need extra cover for rain, or to move to a completely different venue. You can check the previous year’s weather at the Bureau of Meteorology, but always be prepared no matter if it’s “never rained that time of year”)
- Do a run sheet (all event organizers have run sheets which is basically a timeline of what’s happening when it also includes all your suppliers and contact details and numbers on one page of all the relevant and involved people. You will need an overall run sheet that has each item listed on a table with two columns, one for whether it’s been organized and the second for confirmation and payment. A run sheet for the week and day leading up to the event is handy also (depending on how involved your party is). If you have friends/family doing (delegated!) certain things for you it’s good to give them a checklist of their own if they have multiple things to do.)
1 week out – bake cake and freeze, clean driveway, haircut, check RSVPs etc.
The day before – decorate the cake, pick up hire items, check the weather forecast, get flowers, set up lighting and check that night etc
Day of (this list needs to include the time as well) – Pick up balloon decorations, put drinks on ice, set up tables and chairs etc.
The easiest way to make a run sheet is to literally look at each item on your list and work out what needs to be done in relation to it – for example –
- Venue (Mum and Dad’s house) –
- Clean patio
- Get Dad to fix the gate
- Draw up lighting plan give to Brother
- Put flowers and extra toilet paper in the bathroom etc
- Me –
- Find a dress and accessories to wear
- Get hair done
- Take emergency kit to Mum and Dad’s (makeup, hairspray etc)
Notes – If you are doing a lot of the setting up yourself make sure you allow time to have a shower and freshen up before your guests arrive, and don’t forget to eat and hydrate! If budget allows an Event Organiser is always a good option, but ensure you have solid ideas on what you want beforehand to save you money. A “mood board” of pictures you’ve found, cut out and placed on some pages to give them a visual idea of what you want also is a great help. You may find that family and friends want to “say a few words” at your Engagement Party, make sure you talk to those people first to ensure there aren’t any surprises on the day. Most of all have fun, and see this as a “dress rehearsal” to the next exciting event – your wedding!