Yep, so you know that I’m engaged, right? After the squealing and the jumping up and down comes the scary bit. Oh my gosh the planning. So, so much stuff needs to be planned! I guess I hadn’t given it that much thought beforehand, but boy was I thinking about it when the whole ‘going to be married reaaal soon’ thing sunk in.
The first step was the engagement party. Matty and I wanted to have it as close to our engagement date as possible so that we could celebrate the event itself with all of our friends and family in one space, at one time. Saturday the 2nd of August it was.
So the venue, the guest list, the decorations, whether we would be serving drinks and food… all of that stuff needed to be sorted asap. Ugh. So here comes the budget part.
For the venue Matty’s parents kindly agreed to let us use their backyard. Booyah, free! The decorations were of course crafted by me, no question there. The number of guests (we had approximately 100 or so) and therefore the food/drinks was the only real expense of the night.
Matty designed the gorgeous invitations above and had them printed for a very reasonable cost.
We sussed out a catering and serving price from a company that I used to work for. Wow-ee am I glad that we did our homework. It was WAY WAY WAY out of our budget. I knew their food was good, but we couldn’t justify the expense. So we had a look around and found a company that could provide kitchen staff and servers for a much more reasonable price.
I used my beloved Pinterest to help decide what food would work and could be made for 100 guests, as well as sticking to the party basics, then Mum and I got to work checking out prices. We scoured Costco (and took photos of everything!) and then the supermarkets to find the cheapest price for all the food stuffs (and liquor) that we needed.
The creation of the ‘honeymoon fund’ envelopes
Costco ended up being an absolute life saver. We bought 90% of all the party supplies there. The rest came from Coles, Liquorland, the fruit shop and $2 shops.
The food, aside from being cheap, was very time consuming to prepare. I may have over extended myself when I decided to make lolly skewers, cookies, antipasto skewers, fruit skewers and meatballs with dipping sauce. It was sort of fun though.
The sign to accompany the envelopes
My snazzy fabric envelopes were handmade with fabric that I found for super cheap at a recent craft fair and the wooden tree sign was from a discount craft store outlet.
I did have a whole lot of support from everyone. Mum helped me shop for all of the nourishment, as well as helping me thread skewers last minute. Sharon organised the entire marquee set up, and of course offered her house for the venue. My dad provided heating, chairs and fancy whiskey. Ron (and the other “uncles”) served as barmen. Matty set up the sound system and complained about being tortured whilst threading lollies onto skewers, haha. On the day we were actually pretty damn organised. Matty and I made some last minute food stuffs and then I was treated to a super fancy professional make up experience by my sister in law to be, Jess.
How all brides to be should look at their engagement party
The night itself was fricking freezing. So much so that blower heaters iced over and many feet went numb. But the company was great, if not a little darn scary. Who knew that 100 friends and family in one place is reaaallly overwhelming? The food was delicious, the drinks were consumed, some terrible photos were taken (more on that in a later post), the kitchen/serving staff did a pretty good job, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.
Our little ‘honeymoon haul’ definitely made us feel loved, as did all the sweet things that were written in our cards.
But back to the budget part. All up, the party cost a little over $2,000. For a guest list of 100+ including food, alcoholic drinks and kitchen/wait staff I feel that it was money well spent.
My tips are: research, research, research (and document everything), shop around, do what you can yourselves and don’t be shy to ask for assistance (or to accept it!).
And I’ll just leave you with one of the many giggle worthy messages that we received. This one was from Matty’s indoor cricket buddies.