Destination: Party Time!


Throwing an ‘Engaging’ Party

As a Destination Bride-to-be, part of the sacrifice my Fiance and I have made to have our dream wedding in New York City meant that we’ve had to keep our wedding an intimate affair.  This was a tough decision, as we both have lots of extended family and friends that we would have loved to be there to share our special day.  As a solution, we have decided to throw ourselves an Engagement party prior to our wedding and invite along everyone that we would have ideally liked to have at our wedding!

My fiance and I made each guest a personalised little favour that tied in with our vintage, destination New York theme!

Low-Key = Low Costs!

My fiance and I are pretty low-key people, therefore we decided to keep it a relaxed affair and have opted to have a BBQ in the park.  We chose a spot that has existing tables, seating with great views of the bay that we knew would be the perfect setting for our casual get together. 

 Whilst we were keen to keep the party fairly basic in terms of planning, we also wanted to ensure that our guests felt like this was their opportunity to celebrate our day with us, and to do that we went with a New York/Vintage theme that will reflect our actual destination wedding.

To do this, we made a lot of the party favours and decorations ourselves.  Not only was this cheaper, but it meant that we could personalise and inject our own quirky personalities into everything we planned. 

If DIY is not your thing, don’t forget there are lots of great companies that hire out party decorations too.  I’ve arranged to hire a large glass drink dispenser through  Sharnell Dollar rather than spend a fortune on buying one brand new.  It will look a million dollars on the day, but in reality cost lest than $50 to hire! There are lots of other great products available too, and it means you get the look you want without having to blow your budget.

Choosing a Palette

I was completely overwhelmed when it came to choosing a colour palette. I started out by heading to Spotlight to find some fun fabric to make up some decorative bunting. My mum had pointed me in the direction of some fantastic New York themed fabric that had cute iconic NY images printed on it.  The colours were simple and neutral (biscuit, white and red) so I found some other designs to compliment this, and went from there! I decided to build upon the theme and added in some fun additions, including a decorative wooden apple, a miniature statue of liberty (that we bought on our last trip to NY), and few other bits and pieces to decorate tables and help carry the theme throughout.  Once you find your groove, the colour palette is easy but if like me you were slow to start, check out The Perfect Palette who specialise in colour palette possibilities – If you don’t find exactly what you are looking for you will at the very least get an idea of where to begin.

I chose my palette after finding these fabrics that I loved, which we used to make decorative bunting!

Choosing a Theme

It’s not easy choosing a theme or colour palette, however if you are struggling to come up with your own, try talking to the experts!  I met the lovely girls from Enchanted Empire recently at a Brisbane Bridal Expo, and they did some amazing stuff! They have a gorgeous website and had some beautiful original ideas.  If you are on a lean budget and can’t afford the luxury of an event planner or stylist, I recommend looking to blogs for inspiration, I know they are a constant source of inspiration to me! Check out our Facebook page for some of our favourites. 

Once your theme is in place, you can decide how you are going to replicate it in other aspects of your party. I decided to stretch the New York theme throughout our menu for the day, so steak, mini hot-dogs and coleslaw will all be featured on our menu.  We’ve also decided to do up a big batch of ‘Arnold Palmers’ (a popular iced-tea/lemonade drink) to keep our guests cool and hydrated throughout the day.  We tried our first ‘Arnold Palmers’ at the famous Magnolia Bakery (of SATC fame) in the US last year, and have been longing for them ever since so we figured this was the perfect occasion to try making them ourselves.

I love Enchanted Empire's take on this 'Pink Lemonade' theme

It’s all about You!

Whilst most of what I’ve planned for our Engagement Party is all about pleasing our guests and ensuring everyone enjoys themselves, remember that at the end of the day this celebrations is all about you and your partner! Make sure you inject your personality and some of the things that make your relationship special, and then remember to sit back and enjoy your day….as it’s not often you get a room full of your friends and family and an opportunity to Party!

Please check back with us soon for the second part of our blog, which will include some pictures and the wrap up from our engagement party on Saturday! Wish

xx DWB

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