Many couples choose to throw their engagement party in their backyard for a fun outdoor affair. We’ve compiled the best backyard engagement party ideas and tips to help you plan a backyard engagement party.
Whether you’re hosting your engagement party in your backyard due to COVID-19 concerns, to save money on an engagement venue, or just for fun, there are plenty of fun ideas to make it a great celebration!
How to Throw a Backyard Engagement Party
When looking for engagement party ideas, many couples choose a simple and personal location to have as their venue. Use your backyard to your advantage and design your dream engagement party in your own backyard.
Add some glamour to your backyard by adding decoration with some of our favorite ideas. Everyone including your Grandma will be in awe of the creative engagement party ideas that you use.
Make sure you decorate your engagement party similar to how you would for a bridal shower or baby shower. Use table centerpieces, fresh flowers, and other popular decorations to make your party memorable.
How to Throw an Engagement Party on a Budget
First, start out with sending your invitations to your attendees. The people that you invite to your engagement party are similar to who you will invite to your wedding. Your guest list should include your closest friends and family, while including anyone who you may choose to be in your wedding party.
After you send out your invitations, secure what type of party you will be having. If this is a surprise engagement party, it may be a better option to wait to send the invitations until closer to the date so the secret does not come out.
Make sure you stick to your original budget as you plan the rest of the party, as you will have lots of other parties to plan during the wedding planning process.
What Happens at an Engagement Party
Guests at the engagement party can usually expect to have a fun time. The engagement party is simply to announce the couple’s new status as engaged. You can expect to dance to songs, eat some great food, and have lots of fun.
Guests are not expected to bring gifts to the engagement party, but they are welcome to.
Another option for a party is to get engaged at the party, or a post-proposal engagement party. Some grooms choose to plan an engagement party without the future bride knowing so that it is a great memory and you can get some great photography from your attendees.
In our opinion, this idea is great if you feel you can pull it off without her finding out!
The newly engaged couple at the backyard engagement party should follow a certain dress code. Usually the future bride traditionally wears a dress that is a white color, but not the dress she is planning to wear on her wedding day.
Ideas for a Backyard Engagement Party
Check out our favorite ideas for a backyard engagement party!
1. Use the Natural Landscape
Use the natural landscape of your backyard where you are hosting the event as inspiration for your decoration. Ways to do this is through decorating your event space to be authentic to your background, which can save money on your overall price.
Use simple decorations like string lights to light up your backyard party. These are a gorgeous choice for engagement party decorations and add a romantic feel for your celebration.
You can also use decorations like lanterns and tablecloths to brighten up your outdoor space. Depending on the season, you can use the natural color of the leaves as inspiration for your color scheme. Tea light candles are also a romantic decoration and create a charming aura for your guests to be enchanted by the love you have for your partner.
2. Add Personal Details
Kick off your outdoor engagement party by having items that are sentimental to you and your partner. This can be pictures of you as a couple, a sign with your story as a couple, or your favorite foods if you guys are foodies.
Anything that adds a personal touch is perfect for your engagement party that is the beginning of your wedding journey.
3. Cocktail Bar
Drinks are a necessity at your engagement party. Offer a cocktail bar with lots of mixed drinks, and depending on your theme, choose unique and fun drinks to serve. Offer guests a signature cocktail with a personalized name that means something to you and your partner.
Other options for beverages at your party is to serve fun and seasonal cocktails. For example, if it is summer, serve Piña Coladas or Margaritas. The seasonal flavors will be a hit with your guests. If it is colder outside, you may want to offer some warm drinks to keep guests from getting too cold.
If you and your partner enjoy beer or wine, you could make your theme a cocktail engagement party and offer cider tasting or wine tasting.
4. Rent a Tent
For a backyard party, a lot of couples choose to rent tents so that their guests can have shelter from the elements. Keep in mind if you are having an outdoor engagement party that you may need to rent a tent due to inclement weather.
If you have a patio or deck that you want to host the party on, it is also smart to rent a tent to add space to the venue. Tent rentals range in price depending on where you live, but they are not overly expensive.
Ways that you can decorate your tent inside is to put tables and chairs. This will add extra seating for guests. You can also decorate the tables with table runners or patterned tablecloths. Add flower accents to the tables and dishes to eat off of that go with your color scheme.
5. Fabulous Cuisine
Depending on the theme of your occasion, the type of food you should serve will differ. As for a backyard BBQ, the couple may choose to grill up common barbecue foods like hot dogs and hamburgers. You can also get creative with the grill and cook up bacon wrapped scallops or other seafood like grilled shrimp.
As for a garden dessert party, the future bride and groom may serve up various desserts for guests with a sweet tooth. Foods like truffles, pastries, ice cream, tarts, and cakes with edible flowers are perfect for a dessert themed engagement party.
Some couples also choose to have bonfires with a s’mores bar where they include marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers for guests to make their own.
If you want to have a fancier engagement party, serve cheese plates with lots of different cheese and fruits like grapes, strawberries, and apples. Add herbs and jams for extra flavor so your guests can really taste the different cheeses. Caviar is also an elegant dish to serve to guests.
If you want to have more appetizers and finger foods at your party, serve things like crackers, chips, or even finger sandwiches so your guests can walk around and socialize while nibbling on some delicious foods. Some couples also just choose to rent their favorite food truck to cater the event.
6. Have Lots of Seating
Make sure you have lots of seating at your party by placing tables around your backyard. Place table centerpieces to allow guests to know that those are designated seating areas. You can also creatively use a couch or other antique furniture to decorate your space.
7. Custom Signs
Custom made signs are the perfect opportunity for the DIY bride to show off her skills. Write descriptive signs in ornate cursive handwriting to service your guests to see where things are located at your party.
If you write signs pointing to where the entertainment is, or even just where the napkins are located, it will help your guests get around the party.
8. Offer Lawn Games
If you are looking for ideas for activities at your backyard affair, put out lawn games for your attendees to play with. Games like corn hole, bocce ball, horseshoes, or croquet are all traditional lawn games that are typical for outside gatherings.
Other ideas for some fun games for people to play are traditional board games. Put out checkers, cards, or easy to play board games out for guests to play with and to add a unique decoration.
Another idea for a fun activity is a scavenger hunt. Make your guests search through your backyard to find different items. Make the game competitive by adding a prize that they can win if they get through the scavenger hunt first.
9. Adorable Party Favors
A party is not complete without party favors, and your exciting engagement is definitely an occasion that you want to give them out at. Whether you decide to give out favors to the winners of games you play at your party, or if you decide to give them to everyone who attended, they will definitely make your party memorable.
Some couples choose to give out edible favors like a unique cupcake topper that makes guests want to bring a cupcake home. Another idea is simple cards that thank your guests for coming to your engagement celebration.
10. Pick a Backyard Engagement Party Theme
Pick a theme for your engagement party that goes with your natural surroundings. Remember that if you are having a backyard party, you must keep your ideas limited to what you are working with. Some popular ideas include a garden engagement party or a backyard barbecue.
Some couples choose a theme that is special to you and your partner. For example, if you traveled to Paris as a couple and fell in love there, you may bring French elements into your engagement party.
If you and your partner love movies, you may choose to have a movie night party where you use a projector and host a screening of your favorite flick.
These are our best ideas on how to plan an amazing backyard engagement party!
Whether you’re hosting an outdoor engagement party due to COVID-19 concerns, or simply for a lovely backyard celebration, tell us your favorite ideas in the comments.
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.