Is it shameful to admit that I never wanted to have an engagement party? I thought I would rather spend the money on the wedding, and splash out on something fabulous (for me, natch) instead.
Until I got engaged. Suddenly it became all the more important to create an event to centre celebrations around, and to provide a focal point for this special time.
Luke and I were keen to have a laid-back, casual affair in the summertime, as our wedding will be in chilly August and quite formal. Despite being lifelong Melburnians, we banked on a hot late November Sunday for drinks in the sun – oh silly us! The weekend we chose ended up being drenched in buckets of rain, which caused me to obsessively check the Bureau of Meteorology site almost hourly in the preceding week, but had the satisfying side-benefit of reassuring us that our decision to have an indoor ceremony and reception would save us oodles of worry.
We were thrilled when we found the perfect venue for our planned sunny drinks (fools!). Holliava is relaxed, has ample indoor and outdoor areas, and best of all, they were even happy to let us bring our own food. Booked!
Luke, being a designer, set about creating our invitations. With help from our good friend Jess in sourcing a fabulous printer, we came up with this to reflect the relaxed and slightly silly theme we wanted:
(That’s our puppy Sam at the bottom – isn’t he the most adorable!)
I decided that for decorations, cheap’n’cheerful was the way to go (and isn’t it always?), and promptly settled on the cheesiest thing I could find – plastic cocktail glasses filled with Skittles and topped off with multi-coloured paper umbrellas and heart-shaped swizzle sticks! I may not know much, but I sure know how to do Miami-neon-trash!
On the day of our engagement party the sun hid away, but the clouds thoughtfully refrained from pouring. Our wonderful guests flowed in throughout the afternoon, slowly moving outside as the weather warmed up and the children went exploring.
Although it was exhausting – exhausting! – to meet, greet and farewell so many people, that’s certainly not something we can complain about. We had a blast chatting away and mingling, and then apologising to people who we had to leave, to say hello to someone else! It was, all cheese aside, completely incredible to see almost 200 of our friends and family all assemble in the one place to wish us well, and our hearts were well and truly warmed.
Picture courtesy of Uncle Jim – thanks for saving the day! (I don’t know why I have a slightly maniacal grin though. Luke looks a little concerned.)
Miss T’s Top Three Tips for Engagement Parties:
1. In my view it is totally acceptable to invite people to the engagement party who you are unable to invite to the wedding, especially if you have large numbers. You, and they, may still want to celebrate and this is the perfect way to include them even if your wedding guest list is full. Naturally, use your discretion, and if anyone assumes that they have been invited to the wedding a simple ‘We haven’t done the guest list yet’ should swiftly end the discussion.
2. Sending out invitations is a great way to get all the names and addresses you’ll need for your wedding invitations. Do not delete them!
3. Do not do what we did and forget to take photos! Thankfully we have many wonderful photographers amongst out friends and family, including generous Uncle Jim and Aunt Paula who even made us a personalised CD and slideshow.
Ms Polka Dot says: Miss T is back with a humorous story about her engagement party. Rachel and Luke as always, remind us to keep our sense of humour when planning our wedding! Love the touch of ‘Miami-neon-trash’ – so cute!
Miss T says: Organised to the max; fan of all things sparkly and organic; vegan (but no hemp or dreadlocks); proud mama to a Chihuahua princeling and two snooty cats; drinker of beer; and thrilled to her little cotton socks to be marrying the sweet, silly, smart and snuggly Buzz.