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Engagement parties are a great way to celebrate your engagement with close family and friends. They are also a great way to have both sides of the family meet if they haven’t done so already. They are joyous, intimate gatherings that are thrown by either the couple or the parents of the bride or groom. You can plan an engagement party yourself or hire an event planner. This is a great way to test out a planner you’re interested in hiring for your wedding. Here are eight things to consider when throwing a backyard engagement party. 

Things to consider for a backyard engagement party

1. Time of Year

An engagement party doesn’t need to be done right away. Depending on when and where the couple gets engaged you may want to wait for warmer weather. A backyard engagement party may be a better option than having it indoors at your home. Especially when you take into consideration the amount of guests you will be inviting.

2. Use of Space

Depending on the size of your yard and what type of party you want to throw, you can divide the space into sections, offering your guests different areas they can enjoy. For instance, you can set up cocktail or dinner tables in one part of the yard, while providing addition lounge seating and an area for games elsewhere, making full use of the space. 

3. Rentals

There’s no right way of how to throw an engagement party. It can be done simply with a cocktail hour or more elaborate with a dinner party. With what you decide to do will determine what type of rentals you will need. If doing a cocktail hour, hightop tables will be needed, verses with a dinner, tables and chairs will be required. Additional lounge seating may also be required if the repurposing of the patio furniture does not enough extra seating for your guests. Weather is something you cannot predict when doing outdoor events. If by chance, the weather is not in your favor that day, a tent may also need to be rented.

4. Lighting

Lighting is not an issue if the engagement party will take place outdoors during the day, but if it is to go into the evening, then lighting is something you need to take into consideration. For an intimate setting, both bistro lighting and candles are great options that can be used. Bistro lights can be hung around the yard providing sufficient lighting as well as candles being placed throughout on tables and in lanterns. 

5. Catering

Catering depends on the size of your party and what type of food you would like to serve. For a small gathering, catering may not be needed if you would like to prepare the food yourself. For larger gatherings, I would recommend ordering catering so that you don’t have to stress so much about making the food and can enjoy the party as well. There are many different restaurants and catering companies you can order from.

6. Alcohol

The great thing about throwing an engagement party in your backyard is that it doesn’t require a liquor license unless your home is also a place of business. You can have your guests serve their drinks themselves or hire a bartender. You can also get creative and have speciality bars, such as a bubbly bar, at your party.

7. Entertainment

Good music and a few games will be a great addition to your engagement party. You can hire a DJ or just setup an outdoor speaker with a good playlist to set the mood. Be considerate of your neighbors and know the cut off time for outdoor events in your neighborhood. Games, such as jenga and cornhole, are a great way to get your guests to mingle and bring out their competitive side.   


8. Personalization 

There are a few ways of how you can personalize your engagement party. Place pictures of your relationship throughout so your guests can see how you’ve grown as a couple. Also consider having a theme for your event. If you met at a Mexican bar for instance, cater Mexican food and serve your guests margaritas. They’ll love the thought behind this.

I hope these eight tips are helpful when planning a backyard engagement party. If you’re recently engaged and are reading this, congratulations! If you’re located in Toronto and would like to hire a planner, feel free to send us a hello. We’d love to help you plan an awesome engagement party to kick start your wedding planning journey!