Creative Details of the Engagement Party

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This is the fourth blog post about the engagement party we hosted a few years ago for my oldest son and his fiance. I have a few more creative details about the decor to share and specifics about the menu and bar.

The Engagement Party

I had so much fun planning this engagement party. I hope you picked up on one or two ideas that you can use at our own party.

You can also read my other posts about the Engagement Party.

Part One – How to Plan the Party of Your Dreams

Part two – How I Built an Outdoor Dining Room for Sixty Five Guests

Part three – Adding Decor to the Outdoor Dining Room

Part four – The Final details of the Engagement Party

The Final Creative Details of the Engagement Party

Personalized DIY Ideas for the Engagement Party

Save the Date Favors

Ok, so how adorable are these cookies? I found cookies like these on Pinterest and was thrilled when I found @designer_cookies to make them for me! These were the Save the Date giveaway gifts for all of our guests as they left. Hopefully, they were eaten too. I hear they were delicious!

The Final Creative Pillows of the Engagement Party

Personalized Pillows

As I was planning the decor for the engagement party, I wanted to include lots of surprises for the bride and groom. One of the ideas that I came up with was to create pillow covers that were special to the bride and the groom. These pillows feature the wedding date and the humor of our “California Hamptons” theme. I also made pillows that feature their cat and dog names. When the party was over I gave the pillows to the bride and groom to be.

The Final Creative Pillows of the Engagement Party

Ready to make some personalized pillows? Click on the photos below to check out everything you need to make these personalized pillows, and … the Cricut Maker is on sale!!

The Place Cards

I hand-wrote the place cards on small chalkboards that I purchased here from Amazon. They were .50 each and came with some really cute easels. Unfortunately, it was a bit breezy when we were setting the tables (and they kept blowing over) so we didn’t use the easels.

The Final Creative Place Cards of the Engagement Party
The Final Creative Details of the Engagement Party

Personalizing the engagement decor was so much fun! I used chalkboard place cards and mini-polaroids of our favorite photos. Click the photos below to create your own!

The Bar

I made some chalkboards for the party. My favorite one was the Special Cocktail list at the bar. We featured the favorite drinks of the bride and groom to be. To make the chalkboards I cut a stencil on my Silhouette machine and then used liquid chalk to make the sign from the stencil.

The Final Creative Bar of the Engagement Party

I also had some personalized frosted cups made that we used at the bar. How adorable are these?

The Final Creative Printed Cups of the Engagement Party

Personalizing the bar was so much fun! I used this chalkboard stand to announce the signature cocktails and there are so many cute drink glasses to choose from now. Click the photos below to check out these fun items!

The Menu for the Engagament Party

For the first time in a gazillion years, I did not cook all of the food for a party. I really wanted to focus on the setup and the decor and hired a good friend and her catering company, Craig’s Crew, to handle the food. There was one exception, I did make my famous Crab Cake recipe. I made about 140 crab cakes and if you haven’t tried this recipe, you have to make them!

The menu for the Engagement Party was based on our California Hampton’s theme and the preferences of the bride and groom to be. Andrew’s first solid food was ice cream (I know, I am a terrible mother) so that’s why we had an ice cream bar for the dessert.

Here is the menu for the party:

Appetizers – Tray Passed

Leslie’s Crab Cakes

Mini Grilled Gruyere Cheese Sandwiches, Served with Orange/Fig Preserves

Pork & Vegetarian Asian Dumplings

Main Menu (Buffet)

Spinach and Field Green Salad, Tossed with Gorgonzola cheese, cherry tomatoes, red onion & balsamic vinaigrette

Roasted Beef Brisket

Grilled Rosemary Chicken

Red Roasted Potatoes

Grilled Baby Vegetables

Cornbread and Butter


Ice Cream Bar, Cookie Dough, Vanilla & Chocolate Ice Creams

Assorted Toppings, including sprinkles, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, chocolate syrup

Waffle Cones

I am not exactly sure what I was doing while the food was served because I do not have a single photo of the buffet, appetizers, or dessert bar. In fact, I actually never saw the dessert bar. Not once. How funny is that? But I can tell you the food was fabulous and everyone loved it. It really was wonderful to know that Craig’s Crew would serve a fabulous dinner. And they did!

It’s time to close this chapter on the Engagement Party. I have been talking about the party for years because it really was that special.

Final Thoughts About the Engagement Party

Planning this party was the most incredible experience. It was a group effort as I had so much help from family and friends. Being able to create a magical evening for Andrew and Charlotte was my goal and it truly was a dream come true. Thanks for joining me on this amazing journey.

The Future Bride and Groom
My Family

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Creative Details of the Engagement Party

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  1. What a good mama you are to do all of that work for your son and his fiancé! Everything looked beautiful and I can see why you wouldn’t have time to cook! I wish I was as crafty as you. Anyways..are those all of your sons and hubby in the last picture ? How handsome they all are. You must be very proud ! Congrats!

  2. Love the outdoor room! Half the fun of something like this is the dreaming and planning that go into it, then finally seeing all that come to be is awesome!

  3. You are an inspiration!! My boys aren’t there yet, (only teens), but I’m saving everything you did! I was lucky to find you, and have been thoroughly impressed by your talents and eye for beauty!! I want to come and visit and float in your pool and enjoy a crabcakes and a cocktail!! Thanks for entertaining my weekend!!???? Julie @[email protected]

  4. The tables looked gorgeous and the menu sounds fantastic! Thanks for all of the details. I am planning an engagement party for my godson for late September and you gave me GREAT ideas! By the way, congratulations and YOU looked beautiful!! Love the linen!! Irma

  5. You can “talk about your parties for a month” anytime with me. You did a stupendous job on everything. I pinned several of your ideas for the future for my kids. You need to write a book on your endeavors, I’d buy it. 😉

  6. You did a fabulous job. Loved all your creative ideas. Please tell me how you personalized the pillow covers. Did your order them or was it a diy?

  7. Leslie and friends,
    Just did my first invite thru Leslie’s recommended site, Paperless Post!!! It was really fun. Took some time, only because I had to add to the address book, but great!

    After seeing Leslie’s party, I had the itch to plan something. So a chili cook-off it is! October tho!! Let the planning begin!!!

    Need to find that cute chalkboard!!!

    Take care!
    Julie Skala

  8. Beautiful job Leslie! Everything looked wonderful. Once again You nailed the festivities frim A-Z. BTW…What a handsome couple they make! June 1 will be here before you know it!

  9. As a former wedding coordinator at a country club I loved following your stories for this event! Kudos for an amazing job.

    And, I’m still ooooing and ahhhing over those flower arrangements!

  10. I love your future daughter in laws dress. Can I ask where she purchased it? Your blog was unbelievable and the work in planning the party definitely shows.

  11. Looking for tutorial on how you made your cute pillows with personalized lettering. When I search “pillows”, it brings me back to your engagement party post. Did I miss a step?

  12. Wow, stunning like always even on your social events!!! Your son and soon to be daughter-in-law are so blessed to have you!! Congrats!!

  13. Leslie you are so talented. Your blog and IG posts are my favorite to read. Always learning something new. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thank you for all your great ideas. My son gets married in October and I am planning on using a lot of your ideas (or all your ideas, lol) for his rehearsal dinner.

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