Good excuse for a party
Getting engaged is one of the most important events in people's lives.
For couples who want to spread the good news, many hold an engagement party in the lead-up to the wedding.
'With any event, bachelor party, bridal shower or engagement party, the first thing to do is to look at the goal of the event,' says Robert Rogers, a certified special event planner at Eventsman (www.eventsman.com).
'If it's simply to make an announcement, just invite close friends and family. Don't invite everyone, that's what a wedding is for.'
If you are planning to marry in Thailand, then an engagement party can be an excuse to invite everyone important to you.
On the spectrum of how grand you should make your party, Rogers says it depends on the couple and their budget.
Some couples splash out at the Ritz Carlton, while others hold a small get-together at a home. For the bride- and groom-to be, who are trying to keep costs down, Rogers suggests meeting after dinner. 'Hold the party in a venue after dinner hours so you don't have to supply food,' he says. 'Otherwise, if you have it during dinner time, people will leave because they are hungry.'
While couples don't have to go wild with decorations, Rogers recommends creating a subtle theme that will bring the event together.
If you know some elements that will be featured at the wedding itself, then work backwards and present it at the engagement party.
'It could be something really simple. For one wedding we knew an item of d?cor was going to be parasols, so we included it at the engagement party,' he says. Another subtle connection that ties the engagement party to the couple could be about location.
Rogers suggests that if the couple are getting married on a beach the engagement party should also be staged on a beach, or if the couple met in Lan Kwai Fong, then invite the guests to the same place.
Sonya Yeung, creative director at Bliss Creations (www.bliss weddings.asia), says an engagement party is always a good excuse for a celebration. The event is usually held closer to the date of the wedding, about five to six months before tying the knot.
'This builds the momentum up to the big day,' she says. 'It used to be the moment when the father of the bride introduced the engagement of his daughter but, nowadays, there is less of this formality. Traditionally, the party was held for family members of the couple to meet and get to know each other.'