Ideas for a Rustic Engagement Party
I’ve hosted three engagement parties, two of which had a rustic theme but each managed to be unique. I think there are a lot of different things you can do with a rustic themed engagement party, and a lot of the ideas that I will share with you in this post will be easy to apply to many other kinds of celebrations.
The latest engagement party was for my son and his fiancée and took place in the middle of March. We do live in Northern California, though, so even if it wasn’t warm, I knew the weather would be mild. We planned an indoor/outdoor event in the late afternoon, so although we were expecting about 85 guests, we prepared our large outdoor covered patio to be the main gathering area for eating and mingling.
As the date came closer, however, rain was forecast for the day of the party, and panic was starting to set in. I figured the lawn games we had prepared were not to be, and we would be very much relying on the patio heaters we had set up. I know I told you that this engagement party was in March, but did I mention that it was March… of 2020? Yep. Who could have predicted that a pandemic would hit? Who could have predicted that rain was going to be the least of my worries?? We, of course, knew about COVID, but it wasn’t until just a few days before the party that we were starting to realize how serious things were getting.
The morning of the party was raining. No, it was pouring. But worse than that, the news was showing that the COVID situation was becoming scary in California. A few days before, I was worried about being able to house all of our guests, but now I was worrying that nobody would be able to come to the party.
The party ended up being a huge success, but the day after the party was the day California announced the “stay at home” orders, and we realized that we had either just dodged a bullet or facilitated a huge outbreak of COVID-19 for our family and friends. For two weeks after the gathering, my husband and I held our breath as we waited to hear if any of our guests were getting sick or testing positive for the Corona Virus. It was terrifying. By the grace of God, none of our guests became ill, but I can tell you that the word ‘relief’ doesn’t even cover how we felt when we realized that our friends and family were all healthy after that two week period was over.
So, now that I told you about the drama of that party, let me give you some of the details that made that party so successful and personalized.
See above YouTube video for full tutorial.
BLANKETS TO SHARE
Nobody wants their guests to feel cold and uncomfortable at their party, so having blankets available for them to use is always a thoughtful gesture. This is a good idea if you have an event that will take place outdoors and when you aren’t sure if the weather will get colder as the evening approaches, or if you are having an event during the cooler months where some of your guests may be sitting outside.
I ordered some very inexpensive blankets from Amazon, link below. They come with a plastic sticker on each one, so I removed the stickers, rolled them up and tied them each with a piece of twine. You can stack them in a basket or a crate and make a little sign that lets guests know that the blankets are for them to use if they get cold.
VOTIVE PARTY FAVORS
I love to send my guests home with something to remember the event by (a party favor), and it helps if it’s actually something they can use. For my son and daughter-in-law’s engagement party, the guests went home with a votive holder, a tealight candle and a personalized book of matches. Ours said “Marissa & Kevin – a Match Made in Heaven”. Get it? “Match”, as in “match book”, coupled with the fact that I rhymed Kevin and Heaven.
Sometimes, when you are planning these events, it’s ok if the only person thinking you’re so clever is yourself! (Right?) Anyway, we put the favors in little white organza gift bags and put them all by the door so that guests could pick one up as they left the party. I will include the links below.
If you are hosting a gathering, like an engagement party, where guests are not likely to know everyone, I think it always helps to have some nametags. At this engagement party, I made the nametags ahead of time with the guest’s name and then included their relationship to the bride or groom. This is helpful for the guest to see who they are speaking with – the bride’s mom, the groom’s brother, the couple’s friend. It just makes it easier for people to mingle and get to know each other.
confetti wooden hearts, pictured
TINTED MASON JARS WITH FAIRY LIGHTS
The final decoration I will show you is one that is really cute to put on the tables or anywhere you want to add a little bit of light and color. They are mason jars that I have tinted with Mod Podge that is mixed with Wilton icing colors and then baked. Then I added some small battery operated fairy lights and there you have a really pretty little decoration.
To make: put approx 1/4 cp Mod Podge in a plastic cup or bowl. Add in desired colored Wilton icing color, a little at a time until you have the color that you like. Stir until completely dissolved. Paint onto outside of mason jar in a thin coat. Place them in the oven on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet at 180 degrees F. Leave them in for about 20 minutes and check to see that they look clear. If still opaque in some areas, leave in a few minutes longer. Take out of oven and leave it to cool off. You can use it as a vase or put fairy lights in it.
These jars are surprisingly easy to make and look so pretty. You can see the full tutorial on the link to my YouTube channel, above.
I hope this has given you some inspiration and fun ideas for your next rustic-themed celebration. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog!
Celebrate your day! xoxo