An engagement party is simply a way for those close to the happy couple to celebrate the news and to get to know each other. The event does not have to be particularly lavish or formal, and a more casual event is an entirely appropriate way to congratulate the couple.
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There are many great location choices that are also free to use. The key factor to take into consideration is the number of people that will be attending, which influences the amount of space needed for the celebration. One of the easiest and most affordable locations would be at a private residence, indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather and preference. A local park is another great choice for a sunny day. If you or the couple has a favourite neighbourhood pub, this could provide the perfect low-key atmosphere. Guests can purchase their own drinks and you can provide snacks or appetizers for the tables.
Food will be one of the important factors, but there are several ways to bring the cost down. First of all, a full meal is not required. Canapes and small bites pair well with "getting to know you" conversation. Consider a spread of gourmet crackers, vegetables, fruit, cheeses, spiced nuts and dips. If you would like to provide something more substantial, bruschetta, mini slices of pizza, small wraps and vegetable sushi rolls are also fuss-free and relatively inexpensive. Full meals are also not out of the question, but consider serving lunch instead of dinner delivered by a local restaurant. Try your favourite Chinese, Indian, Thai or Mediterranean restaurants and see what they can offer you based on your per-person food budget. For a do-it-yourself meal, a barbecue is both simple and affordable. Finally, a potluck, or a co-hosted party, is a proven way to keep things simple, keep costs down, and to invite group participation.
Drinks can also be another cost concern, and alcohol would be one of the more expensive drink options. First, remember that a party can still be fun without alcoholic drinks. Guests would be perfectly content with sparkling water, juices, tea and coffee. To incorporate alcoholic drinks at a lower price point, batches of a favourite mixed drink such as sangria or fruit punch will use less alcohol. Another choice is substitution. For example, Prosecco, a fine Italian sparkling wine, is a tasty and affordable substitution for champagne.
Decorations and Entertainment
The conversations among family and friends getting acquainted should be sufficient for ambient background noise and party entertainment. If you prefer, play some icebreaker games to get the celebration started. To supplement the party atmosphere, use mood-appropriate music playing from a preset play list. For a more festive look, some well-placed balloons and colourful flowers won't empty out the wallet.
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