An engagement party can be fun and a great way to bring both sides of the families together. We turned my oldest daughter’s birthday celebration into an engagement party after we found out he proposed to her.
Ask the bride her favorite main dish and ask others to bring side dishes. On the invitation we shared the main dish of Huli Huli Chicken and Hawaiian Macaroni. Using Facebook invite we kept a running list of who was bringing what for variety. The groom’s mother brought some of his favorites and the cake with a great picture of them on the cake. Most places can actually put the picture made with icing on a cake!
One of the groom’s favorite recipes is Hot Virginia Dip. I’ll have to share that later in our Just a Grillin’ section. Huli Huli Chicken and the Macaroni dish are in that section–great dish for a Luau theme.
We centered our decorations around pictures of them and of the proposal.
Keeping with the Luau theme the bride’s grandmother hung fishing net and attached pictures of them using miniature clothespins. You can get creative things like this at the dollar store, party city, Wal-mart, and local craft stores. Most families have beach decorations, so we took ours and placed them on the mantel.
One of her bridesmaids, Chelsea Longbottom, purchased a great chalkboard story of their journey–a great gift!
Shopping for food was done prior to the weekend and yard work was done over weeks, and days leading up to the event. Interestingly, we had one of those mosquito bug spray folks come out–and it worked! I knew we had a huge crowd coming and wanted the yard to be mosquito free! We did that two days prior. Grass has to be cut and no rain. We purposefully scheduled the party for Sunday evening from 4 – 8:00, so we could cook food and do the last-minute things that can only be done the day of. About a year or so prior this event, I found a tent at a local drug store for only 20.00 dollars–it was that crazy sale of 75 percent off. It’s just a mom’s intuition to purchase things like this and hold on to them.
The father of the bride and groom spent time together the day of cooking the chicken, and he brought his grill over. What a great way to start the day and their future.
With so many children coming, we had a special play area for them with lots of outside toys from the dollar store–like bubbles, catch games, hula hoops, and we added a dress as the bride, groom, bridesmaid dress up area! We used clothes from our closets and dress up toy chest! Side walk chalk, if you have a side-walk, is great, too!
Even some of the teenagers enjoyed dressing up…
There are so many things to do just before the hour–ask for help. My teenager and her friend, as well as my youngest, were put to work. We had a rain shower just before the party and had to roll with it. The extra hands provided care in wiping off the furniture and re-doing some things that were wet! I remembered that rain is a symbol of the Holy Spirit–we welcome you here! He was present. Learn to dance in the rain. I loved the banner my youngest made for the future Lamb family.
There was a special time of welcoming and prayer just before the food was served. Looking back, I wish we would have been more prepared for this moment, but that’s my personality! If you like order, write your thoughts down, and it’s okay to read a special sentiment.
Of course we had the limbo with a disco ball that we found on sale at Lowes. That was my youngest’s idea.
I enjoyed taking a dead flower/bush and bringing it to life. I spray painted it and added lights, their favorite Bible verse with some of their pictures.
For those who stayed late, we had left over sparklers and fireworks for them to use and a pick up game of kick ball with Uncle John.
Later when my daughter opened her gifts, it was amazing to see the personal touches and notes from those we love. My daughter’s theme is lavender, and she received special gifts of lavender lotion, salts, and soaps. She also received a cookbook from the groom’s side of the family with all his favorite German recipes–family recipes. A soap box with all the herbal scents she loves with a great letter from her Aunt Linda, and a picture of the lighthouse where he proposed from another aunt and uncle, were personal gifts that were unique. Each gift had a special note of love. Picture frames were good gifts, too! We used many of those the day of! The financial blessings she received as gifts were quickly put away for upcoming wedding expenses!
Woman of Worth Mentoring Ministries’ girls were there after all these years to support and love.
And the next generation of WOW came to celebrate, too.
We had puppies…
And Bradley the bride’s Westie was all dressed up
Will you be my bridesmaid?
Eleanor asked when the “engagement” would start. “We can’t leave yet”, she told her mom. “The engagement has not started!” We showed her the bride’s ring.
Thank you family and friends for a great celebration!