Congratulations on your engagement! No doubt you want to celebrate this huge step with some family and friends, but you don’t want it to cost a fortune. You need to save up some money for the actual wedding, after all. But your engagement party doesn’t need to be an extravagant affair. You can have a more casual, intimate party in the comfort of your own home. In this blog post, we’ll share some budget-friendly tips and ideas to help you create the perfect celebration without overspending.

1. Set a Realistic Budget

The first step in planning any budget-friendly event is to establish a clear budget. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your engagement party and stick to it. It will be good practice for the wedding planning where costs can really get out of control if you’re not careful.

2. Choose Your Theme and Decor Wisely

This is optional of course but remember your theme doesn’t need to be something out there like “Star Wars” or “Medieval” (but no judgement if you go that route). Picking a theme can just be as simple as picking a colour scheme or style to make the party seem a little more thought out. Plus it can make the whole event more personal. 

This is one area where you need to be careful not to go overboard because decorations can definitely eat into the budget. Junk stores can have surprisingly nice things or you can even go with some DIY décor, such as handmade banners, string lights, or mason jar centrepieces. Check out Pinterest for ideas on cheap recycled decorations. Definitely use your Cricut if you’re lucky enough to have one! Your guests will be impressed that you went to the effort, you’ll save money, and you’ll have some truly unique decorations too.

3. Send Digital Invitations

Don’t waste money on printing and postage costs sending out paper invitations. It’s kinda old-fashioned anyway. There are so many free or low-cost apps or online resources that allow you to design beautiful and personalised invitations. Plus, it’s the eco-friendly choice. I love using Canva but I’ve also just searched my App Store for “Invitations” and used whatever came up.

4. Plan a Potluck or DIY Catering

Food can be a significant expense at any event. Prepare your own home-made appetisers and finger foods. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just things you can pop in the oven are fine. Ask a couple of close friends to help you out if it’s going to be too time-consuming. Or If you really want to go the budget option, consider hosting a potluck-style engagement party. Invite your guests to bring their favourite dish or dessert to share. Just make sure you get a good balance of savoury and sweet.

5. BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage)

Alcohol costs can quickly add up. To save on drinks, make your engagement party a BYOB event. Provide a limited selection of beverages and ask your guests to bring their favourite drinks to share.

6. Use Your Backyard or Indoor Space

Hosting the engagement party at home already eliminates the need to rent an expensive venue. If you have a decent backyard, consider a garden party with a barbecue or picnic-style gathering. If the weather isn’t favourable or you don’t have the space, move the party indoors and make use of your living and dining spaces. Just make sure you have enough seating and everything is neat and tidy.

7. DIY Entertainment

Entertainment doesn’t have to be costly at all. Just create a playlist of your favourite songs for background music. It’s always fun to throw in some classics from your teenage days, things that will get your friends in the dancing mood.

If you really want the party to be fun, you can even do some engagement party games. 

8. Capture the Moments

Don’t even bother with a professional photographer for your budget engagement party. Odds are you have a photography enthusiast among your friends or family that you could ask to take pictures. If not, just encourage all your guests to take photos for a more fun and interactive way to capture memories. Set up a nice backdrop with a sign requesting guests to share their photos using a special hashtag or just send them straight to you after the party. The photos will take care of themselves.

9. Keep It Intimate

Remember, an engagement party is about celebrating with your closest friends and family. Keeping the guest list smaller will not only save big on costs but also allow for more meaningful interactions with your loved ones and a more relaxed night for you and the partner.

Hosting a budget-friendly engagement party at home is not only possible but it’s also a fun challenge. By planning thoughtfully, prioritising what matters most to you and your partner, and involving your loved ones in the process, you can create an intimate and memorable event that will be more special than some ostentacious la-di-da soiree. Remember this party is about celebrating love, family and you and your partner as a couple – not about showing off.