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P.O. Box 50622, Phoenix, Arizona 85076   (480) 921-7891


August 11, 2017


Dessert Photo:  Roberts Catering, Inc. call 480.963.4040 for catering, cakes and desserts.

You just got engaged, and what is the best way to get the word out?  You’ve got it, have an engagement party traditionally within three months of the date you officially became engaged.


Traditionally the bride’s parents host the party, yet you may have someone close to you who offers to host this for you.  If your families live in different states, you may have more than one person host in different states.  You may have the groom’s family host something in their area, or both families come together to host one party for both sides to meet and mingle.


Will the host/hostess be offering their home for a location, or another venue?  Will the host/hostess be selecting and paying for their own vendors for your engagement party, or are you able to select your own?  What is the budget?  Who is paying for what?


Think about the type of atmosphere you want, and if you want everyone in the same room, or if you are okay with them mingling.  To send out invitations you will need the address, city, state, and zip code, as well if you are planning to have valet parking, or if there are parking restrictions, especially if your guests are not familiar with the location.  The size of the location may only accommodate 100 guests, so you want to know the capacity of the location prior to mailing invitations.


Check with your families for their holiday, work, and school calendars so your date selection works for you and your immediate family.  What time does everyone get out of work, school, plus transit time to the location, especially if you are in rush hour traffic, or have construction delays.


Are you having a theme, or a theme which reflects both of you as a couple?  This needs to be denoted on the invitation so guests know what to expect.


Your theme may set the tone of the event, yet if you are requesting a dress code, this should be on the invitation too.


Mailing invitations sets the tone for the rest of your wedding, as well as how your guests RSVP.  Emailing, texting, or social media invites are informal.  Send out invites at least a month in advance (six weeks in advance if a lot of guests are coming from out of town).  There’s no need for a formal save-the-date, yet once you’ve selected a day, it’s best to let guests know by word of mouth before you mail the formal invites.


Traditionally anyone invited to your wedding may be invited to the engagement party with a +1.  If you choose to invite someone who is not invited to your wedding, those guests may wonder what they did wrong to not be invited back.  Consider your guest list size for your wedding and the capacity of the venue prior to deciding on your guest list for your engagement party.  Make a master guest list so you only have one list separating the last name of the guest from their first names, and putting various fields you may sort to help you on various events, versus having to make a new list for each event.


Is your host/hostess selecting and paying for your vendors, or are you?  The engagement party sets the tone for the rest of your wedding celebrations.

  • Caterer
  • Bartender
  • Desserts
  • Live Music, Band, DJ
  • Invitations
  • Valet
  • Photography
  • Video
  • Favors
  • Decor
  • Rentals – tables, chairs, linens, furniture
  • Photo Booth
  • Games


Select items on a gift registry you want from a low to middle price range, and if not, include a note in the invitation requesting no gifts, or suggest a favorite charity they may donate to in lieu of present.


You don’t want to compete with your wedding, so a five course meal is probably not an option.  Think about the atmosphere you want to create.  If you are not serving a full meal, then you should select a time in between typical meals, and make it clear on the invitations so your guests know what to expect.

Copyright 2017, Kim Horn, MWP™

HIRE expert, Kim Horn, MWP™ to help design, negotiate, mediate, plan, and implement your wedding details.

Kim M. Horn, MWP™

Master Wedding Planner | 1 of 75 in the World

Couples’ Choice Best Wedding Planner 2016 Wedding Wire

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner |

Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner |

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