Engagement parties are the BEST because let’s be honest….it’s the party BEFORE the party!

We waited a while to throw our engagement party after getting engaged last November because we had over a year and a half until our wedding plus we really wanted a backyard summer engagement party.  Nothing like sipping on cocktails with great music surrounded by your closest friends and family!  Our engagement party couldn’t have turned out better and the ONLY regret I have is that I sadly didn’t take enough pictures!  This was a huge mistake on my part, especially since I put so much into every little detail surrounding this big event – I mean all the way down to the napkins and calligraphy food labels for the hors d’oeuvres (sigh).  I guess the good part is I was having waaaay too much fun to snap some photos, but I did get a few good ones in before everyone arrived.

So as much fun as I had creating this party, I know I’m going to have as much fun sharing it with you!  I DIY’ed everything from the glitter drink signs to chalkboard stands to tissue paper garlands and so forth.  Finished off with some fresh blooms and my tables were complete!  It was a lot of work, but it sure saved me a lot of money and turned out pretty cute if I don’t say so myself!  But first…..no summer party is complete without some fancy cocktails.  I will say that one of the main requests after my party were all the recipes for the cocktails so of course I’m going to share them with you!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it) recipes

The sangria recipe is my absolute FAVORITE and it’s actually inspired by the restaurant Legal Seafood’s famous sangria so trust me you will love it!  It is a pretty strong sangria recipe, but oh is it gooood.  The whole recipe perfectly filled one glass jug, but I suggest doubling it because I guarantee you it will go fast!  Oh and don’t forget, paper straws are a MUST with these cocktails!  I threw mine inside my little LOVE mugs that I found at Anthropologie which I thought made the perfect little touch.

The chalkboard signs are from Michaels, (but I’m sure you could find them at any local craft store) and I used a permanent white chalkboard pen to design the signage for the drink table and sweets area.  The “drink” sign was made using thin wooden letters that I also found at Michael’s – I drilled holes, completely covered them in glitter and strung twine through the holes.  I also did the same with our “C & K” centerpieces that were on the dessert table and I’ll do a post soon on how to exactly make them.  One word…..EASY!

Oh and can we just talk about our save-the-date cups??

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I got this idea from an engagement party I saw featured on Southern Weddings and I just HAD to duplicate, I was obsessed.  Especially since our save-the-dates haven’t been sent out yet, this was a great way to remind people of our wedding date and it also gave them all a little something to take home!  In case you are curious, I had these made from a little shop called Confetti Grey – they do amazing work!

We had our party catered by R&R Catering (mostly because there was no way I was cooking for 75 people!), but I was so glad we did because the food was delicious!  As I said before (and something I’m still kicking myself over) I forgot take more pictures throughout the night, but I did have the cutest little calligraphy labels made up for each appetizer designed by the super talented Rachel Carl.  She also did all the name tags for my bridesmaids’ bridal brunch so I knew she would do an amazing job, I just adore her!  My sweet cousin Shannon baked all the mini cupcakes and I bought mini plastic diamond rings to put on top of each.  It was a cute little touch that everyone just loved!  To complete the dessert table I left some cute striped gift bags on a tray so that each guest to take home some treats.

And yes, I spray painted that wooden tray gold – I couldn’t resist.

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drinksAll in all it was an amazing day spent with some pretty incredible people!  I couldn’t ask for better friends and family and am looking forward to celebrating with them all on our special day.  I was really happy with how everything came together, especially since I hustled and threw this party together in under two weeks!  Can you tell I’m just a little obsessed with gold and glitter??  If you’re throwing an upcoming engagement party (or any party for that matter!) I urge you to have fun and get crafty!  I’ll plan on sharing each of my DIY projects in the next coming days so you can see just how easy it all is.  Hope you all enjoy the drink recipes as well!

Cheers!