Just engaged? It’s party time! And we’re not talking about the wedding (yet). The engagement party is the first, but certainly not the last time, your family members and close friends will celebrate you and your future spouse. It’s usually a relatively casual, fun event, where all of your nearest and dearest can mix and mingle, but there can be some engagement party etiquette issues that arise. Check out these tips to planning a successful engagement party!
Emily and Ian were married at Pack Square Park in Asheville, N.C. on October 12. “We wanted our wedding to be integrated into the combination of urban and rural landscapes that surround and make Asheville so special,” Emily said. “The Century Room was an extension of this idea. Placed certrally within downtown, it offered the perfect location for our guests. The interior with it’s beautiful wood finishes and striking beams running the length of the event space made you feel at home and comfortable, as if you were almost nestled into a North Carolina cabin for a picturesque fall night.” The bride wore a sweetheart lace a-line wedding gown with straps, accessorized with her hair in an updo, jeweled tiara, sash, and a pair of Kate Spade wedges, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a patterned tie. Bridesmaids wore long-sleeved green dresses and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, berries, and seeded eucalyptus. “The moment we saw each other for the first time, and all the emotion that had been building for months spilled over,” she said. “It was really happening. It was incredible because only the two of us shared it (along with our awesome photographers).” The ceremony took place at 5 o’clock. Guests, approximately 90, sat in white folding padded chairs organized in a half-circle to witness the exchanging of vows before it was official! Fun fact: they each wrote their own! Cocktail hour began followed by the reception shortly thereafter. Tables were decorated with white linens, red runners, mercury glass centerpieces, and votive candles. “Our first dance was to ‘Higher and Higher’ by Jackie Wilson, a la Ghostbusters 2,” Emily said. In lieu of a traditional cake, there was a groom’s cake as well as cupcakes. “It was of Ian’s beloved cake Gandalf holding a University of Florida flag,” she said. The newlyweds’ best advice? “First, make a decision and move on,” Emily said. “It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with so many options and that just adds unneeded stress. Secondly, the day of the wedding most things can’t be changed or fixed. Allows this to relax you and just stay in the moment with the person you’re marrying for as long as possible.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Charleston.
Grandma’s kitchen — there’s something about this time of year that makes our stomachs a little more excited for comfort food. Think: oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green been casserole! But what about at winter weddings? We asked four real caterers on the crowd-pleasing homemade favorites, from hors d’ouevres to entrees, that guests will most likely gobble up in mere seconds. Read more here.
Jenna and Michael were married at Riverhorse on Main in Park City, Utah on June 21. The bride wore a strapless sweetheart satin mermaid wedding gown with a tiered, ruffled skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of Sam Edelman high heels with ankle straps, while the groom wore a navy blue suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched long chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of peonies, ranunculuses, and seeded eucalyptus. Fun fact: Each one wore a piece of gemstone jewelry that came from local artist Katie Waltman. The ceremony took place at the Town Lift Bridge overlooking the scenic Wasatch Mountains. Even the ski lift ran overhead! Guests were greeted with wooden pews, aisle markers featuring quotes like “she loves him for always wanting one more kiss” and “she loves his voice,” and an altar before the fence. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! “Jenna is a professional wedding planner in Park City, so I was excited to see the decor when I entered the reception,” Melissa Kelsey of Melissa Kelsey Photography said. “The space features brick walls, dark wood floors, and a hanging glass orb ceiling installation.” Tables were decorated with gray linens, black napkins, geometric terrariums filled with wire numbers, geodes atop moss, votive candles, and rock candy wands, which served double-duty as favors, surrounded by cross-back chairs. “The color palette was ery sophisticated,” she said. “It was just so unforced, layered, and not matchy — rich red, soft purple, marine blue, metallic gold, a little pink.” Dinner included a baby spinach salad, warm goat cheese flatbread, vegetarian tofu, and lemon pepper pasta primavera. A two-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert along with honey ice cream. At the end of the night, an after-party continued downstairs with even more dancing!
After a year of planning and prepping, I FINALLY got married on September 20, 2014! And guess what? My mother and father were right when they said, “It goes by so fast. Really, really fast. Take a deep breath, loosen up, and enjoy it while it lasts.” Because I wish I could do it all over again (and again). In order to keep the post-big day blues away, find out how to deal with your withdrawal here.