In my last post, I talked about a rustic engagement party, but I didn’t get to share all of the fun ideas we had. In this post, I’m going to share a few party stations that could be used at many different types of parties with pretty much any theme. I will include some photos taken at the engagement party and also links for materials, in case you’d like to try some of these ideas yourself!
First, I’m going to start with one of the most popular little stations at our engagement party. My daughter-in-law requested a Sangria Bar, and I was more than happy to accommodate. Originally, I was going to make homemade sangria because it seemed like a great idea. Luckily, common sense kicked in and I realized that was going to be a huge under-taking to make sangria (both white and red) for a party of potentially 80+ people. The brand we bought was called Beso Del Sol Sangria and we bought it at Total Wine & More. It comes in a box, but trust me when I say that it was delicious, and it was definitely a much better idea than trying to actually make it all, so we bought half of the sangria red and half white. I usually don’t drink white sangria, but this one was particularly delicious. I used 2 of those large beverage dispensers for parties, and we added about two thirds of the sangria and one third 7-Up or Sprite. Also, I cut up a few orange slices, lemon slices and lime slices and added them to the dispenser. Be careful, because if you add too much fruit, it will clog up the dispenser.
All around the sangria dispensers, I put little galvanized pails that I’d purchased at Hobby Lobby, and I filled them each with a different kind of fruit so that people could add it to their drink. Some ideas are: Cubes of apple, sliced limes, sliced lemons, sliced oranges, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, maraschino cherries, blackberries. With the sliced citrus, cut the slices into quarters so that it’s small enough for the cups. I also provided striped rose-gold paper straws and decorative picks so that guests could get the fruit out of their cups to eat, if they desired. (sangria soaked fruit = yummy!) And then finally, I put little chalkboard labels on the front of each container to write which fruit was inside. The links for all of these products are below, and you can look at the photos I’m including to see exactly what it looked like. Obviously, you can use this Sangria Bar idea at almost any kind of gathering – it’s a big hit!
Another fun station we had was a Popcorn Bar. My daughter-in-law, her mom and I ALL looked for a picture of this so I could include it. I can’t believe that none of us got a picture of it! Believe me – it was really cute, although that doesn’t really help you, so I’m going to try to talk you through this, and I’ll post a picture of a couple of the items we used.
Again, I thought about making my own popcorn here, but then I thought about how long that would take me. Especially if I went the microwave route (which I don’t encourage). So, I checked with my best friend (Amazon), and yep, they sell large bags of butter flavored, salted popcorn. I have to say that I was hesitant about this, because I didn’t want to serve stale tasting popcorn, but let me assure you that this popcorn was so delicious! I will post a link for you. I had no idea how much to order, so I got two bags. Don’t do that! One bag would have been fine… we all ate popcorn for about the next month!
We bought 2 covered galvanized bins (sorry about the poor picture quality, above; it’s actually silver colored) from our local Ace Hardware, and put the popcorn in them, along with a couple of big scoops. I bought some cute little popcorn holders for people to use, and then I put out toppings to add to the popcorn. Here are a few ideas: M & M’s, Reece’s Pieces, sweetened coconut, mini-chocolate chips, honey-roasted peanuts, Seasoned Salt, and Cinnamon. You could really get creative with this, and add things like chocolate syrup and/or caramel sauce to the table, if you’d like.
If you read my last post, then you may remember that I mentioned it was raining very hard the day of the engagement party at my house. We had anticipated mild weather that day, so I had prepared lawn games for our guests to mingle and it would hopefully give the two families the opportunity to get to know each other better. Since this was obviously not going to be feasible during a torrential downpour, I needed to come up with a Plan B. Luckily we have a door that goes from our backyard into our garage, so we cleaned up our garage and put a few of the games in there. One of the games I had prepared was a ring toss. An “Engagement Ring” toss. Again, I’m probably the only one amused by these clever little names. Anyway, I took 6 bottles that were all the same size (root beer bottles or beer bottles work well), and spray painted them. I set them up in a wine box that I got from Total Wine, while I was buying all that sangria. Then I used embroidery hoops to use for tossing. If you don’t know what embroidery hoops are, they are…. Well, they are hoops people use to embroider. Sorry, I really don’t know anything about embroidering, but I found these metal hoops at Hobby Lobby and thought they were a good size to use for my ring toss, so I bought them. My craft skills don’t encompass embroidery. Anyway, they are a lightweight metal, but I didn’t want them to break the bottles, so I wrapped 4 of them with twine and 4 with ribbon. It was very tedious, but it did the job. Some people make rings out of thin rope, and that, actually, might be the better way to go. I did find some on Amazon that are made of bamboo, and these could actually be painted or marked in some way to show the two teams, so I’ll include that link below this. If I had it to do over again, I think I would use these instead of the metal ones.
One last important tip. We’ve had countless parties, and unless they were a birthday party for one of our children, we usually serve some form of alcohol, whether it be sangria, wine, beer or a mixed drink. We also make water bottles plentily available, as well as sodas. Since we do serve alcohol, though, we are always trying to be hyper-aware of any of our guests over indulging, and we certainly don’t want anyone to leave our party after drinking and then driving home. So, for celebrations where your friends and family may celebrate too much, I highly recommend making a breathalyzer available. You absolutely do not want anyone to leave your party and hurt themselves or someone else because you served them alcohol. The breathalyzer’s really aren’t that expensive and are worth every penny, so I will post a picture of the little table that I had set up by the door, encouraging people to check themselves before leaving our house. Again, I’ll list the link below.
I hope that these ideas will help inspire you to try something new at your next event. I will talk about these ideas and the ones from my last post, “Ideas For a Rustic Engagement Party” on my next video that will be available on my YouTube channel on Friday, August 20. I hope you will check it out, and please subscribe to my channel if you are enjoying the content.
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Celebrate your day! xoxo