Monday, July 15, 2013

Engagement Party

My parents threw us the most amazing engagement party. I am so excited to share some of the details. We had it on Long Beach Island at my parent's beach house in Surf City. Next May we will be married on Long Beach Island (we also met and got engaged there, too) so it only seemed right to have the engagement party there as well. Plus, most of our family and friends live in New Jersey, so most, if not all of the wedding festivities will be taking place there.

Because my fiance and I live in Virginia, all of the party planning kudos go to my mom and my sister. So before I show you all the beautiful details of the day, I want to give a special "thank you" to them. It meant so much to us to be able to celebrate our engagement with all the people we love and care about.

So without further adieu, our engagement party...

My parents rented a tent and had it set up on the front lawn of their beach house. As you can see, the linens and decor perfectly reflected our wedding colors of coral and turquoise.
A combination of pom poms, lanterns and lights were used under the tent. My mom could not find any coral colored lanterns so she spray painted them. Genius!
We had more than 60 people attend the party. I balked at first at the thought of renting a tent and tables and chairs, but thank goodness they did. It was hot and that tent made it bearable to be outside in the middle of June.
 My mom made this pom pom herself using coral colored cupcake papers. So cute!
 My future mother-in-law helped put together the centerpieces. My mom picked up some turquoise vases and they added coral flowers. Seashells filled with sand and a tealight added some ambiance once the sun started to set.

 My sister turned us on to this trick to pass out utensils easily at a buffet meal. All you do is pile a fork, spoon and knife together, wrap a napkin around then, then tie them all together with a ribbon.

 My mom took it a step further this time and used twine and starfish to tie in the theme we'll be using for the wedding. Starfish will make plenty of appearances on the big day.
My mom even included a tiny "diamond" ring on a finger of each of the starfish. Such details! And speaking of diamonds...
Check out the "diamond" engagement ring pops on each of the delicious cupcakes my sister made. She even stuck to the color theme using turquoise cupcake papers and coral icing that she custom mixed and matched herself.
My sister even made us our own "smash cake" cupcake complete with a giant fake engagement ring on top. This one was not edible however. So creative!
And speaking of food. My fiance and I had recently been to a party down here in Virginia where the couple cooked up a shrimp boil. We thought that'd be a great way to bring some southern flavor up north. My brother-in-law manned the steamers, and we followed this recipe from Pinterest. It was a hit. I totally recommend it for anyone trying to feed a lot of people. So yummy and I don't even eat the shrimp!
We set up the food in a seperate pop-up tent just off the main tent so people could work their way around and sample all of the food. In addition to the shrimp boil, we had a salad, sausage peppers and onions, pasta salad, smoked chicken, cornbread and more. We are Italian so there was enough food to feed an army of course!

Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves and it was nice for the two sides of the families to meet. My fiance has a very large extended family with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins, while my family is smaller but we have a very large circle of friends.
Of course, helping everyone have a good time was our good friend Mr. Alcohol. My parents got a keg and had red and white wine, but the biggest hit was the sangria bar.
The fresh fruit skewers to add to your sangria was a genius idea I took from Centsational Girl. I think I may have made one too many trips up to the sangria bar! We plan on taking this same idea and using it at the wedding, but with bellinis.

 A few of the other touches I loved about the party were the card box, a gift from one of my bridesmaids. I believe she got it on etsy. I'll have to find you all a link. It'll pull double duty and will be out on display at the wedding. I love it so much, I'll have to find a way to use it after we say "I do!"

 My fiance wasn't so psyched about this giant poster (he's a lot shier than me), but it was such a nice idea to gather well wishes from our guests. They just wrote along the edges.
This wasn't necessarily a detail of the party, but my parents recently added this to the side yard of the beach house. We call it the casbah. It's really just a pergola from Home Depot, then my mom made curtain panels out of drop cloths so they can stay up there through the elements. They then added some seating and benches and bam, you have the most popular chilling spot at the whole party! Love the way that came out!

 And I guess a post about our engagement party wouldn't be complete without a picture of us celebrating. So here we are, a few drinks in I'm sure, but nonetheless thrilled to be on this journey to marriage together.