54 Engagement Party Ideas & Themes That Will Wow Guests

Celebrate your engagement with one of these unique (and Instagram-worthy) themes.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
by
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Jan 13, 2023

You're engaged and now it's time to celebrate! The first step: inspiration. We've rounded up the ultimate list of engagement party ideas that will seriously wow your guests. If you and your partner are hosting the gathering, or you're a loved one who is taking on planning duties, these engagement party themes are cute, creative and perfect for honoring such a major relationship milestone. (Not to mention, some of these party themes will kill it on the 'gram.)

From simple backyard get-togethers to fun themes inspired by pop culture moments, there are so many different ways to celebrate. Browse through our collection of ideas to get inspired, and then get to work on planning the best engagement party ever.

In this article:

Backyard Engagement Party Ideas

There's no need to rent out a glamorous event space if that's not the couple's style. Here, we outline the best engagement party ideas you can pull off at home—all you need is a great backyard.

1. I Do BBQ

If you have a backyard fit for entertaining (or you find a friend who's willing to lend their patio), bring together loved ones to toast with an "I Do BBQ." Deck out the space with romantic string lights and set up a picnic-style feast with homestyle dishes. Incorporate fun lawn games like cornhole or bocce ball for a true backyard party.

2. Backyard Bonfire

Pitch a few tents and invite guests over for a camping-themed excursion in your own backyard. Build a bonfire to roast hot dogs and s'mores while sharing stories and enjoying the great outdoors. Think of this outdoor engagement party idea as your very own version of grown-up summer camp.

3. Love Blooms

Avid backyard gardeners can host the engagement party among blooming flowers and lush plants for a picturesque evening that won't need much additional decor. (If keeping plants alive isn't your forte, search for local greenhouse venues that are available to rent out.) Regardless of where it's hosted, an engagement party held among fresh flowers and greenery is always a romantic setting.

4. Lei'd Back Luau

Dreaming of a tropical getaway? Host a Hawaiian-style engagement party with a backyard luau. Serve piña coladas, mai tais and fresh seafood dishes, and ask guests to arrive in tropical-style attire.

5. They Found Their Main Squeeze

Bring back childhood memories with this bacykard engagement party idea. Nothing tastes quite as refreshing as a cup of hand-squeezed lemonade, making it the perfect drink for the main squeezes who just got engaged. Yellow accessories are a must for this engagement party theme—deck out the space with lemon slice garlands, citrus-filled centerpieces and send guests home with mini bottles of limoncello.

6. Carnival Fair

Fuel nostalgia with a carnival-themed engagement party. Rent popcorn machines and cotton candy spinners to give guests a taste of their childhood memories spent at a summertime neighborhood fair. Classic games like ring toss and prize wheels will delight guests. (And if you feel like being bold, rent a dunk tank to take the theme up a notch.)

7. Ice Cream Social

Stock up on a variety of sweet flavors to mark the moment the engaged couple said (or screamed) "Yes!" There couldn't be a sweeter way to recognize the special experience.

8. Meant to Bee

This engagement was meant to be, so party in style with a witty theme. Weave in a bumble bee motif with themed invitations, decorative banners and table accents. Guests won't bee-lieve how cute the party is.

9. Nacho Average Engagement Party

Ideal for the couple who loves Taco Tuesday almost as much as they love each other, a nacho-themed engagement party will make them as happy as can be. Build a menu with dishes like nachos, tacos, quesadillas and chips and guac, with a build-your-own margarita bar to entertain guests. Another option: Hire a taco truck for late-night snacking.

10. Brews and Bites

Give guests a taste of neighborhood breweries by offering a selection of locally made beers. (Don't forget small, beer-friendly finger foods like mini hot dogs and soft pretzels.) A great alternative to a wine tasting, this engagement party theme is great for the couple who loves entertaining as much as they love sampling the newest microbrews.

Simple Engagement Party Ideas

Not into an over-the-top celebration? No problem. Whether you're keeping budget in mind or simply want a small engagement party without the fuss, these ideas will help you stay low-key.

11. Eat, Drink and Be Married

The core of any great party comes down to good food, great drinks and even better company. Whether you make a brand-new recipe together or order your favorite takeout, enjoying each other's company (and that newly-engaged bliss) is always a win. Invite a small circle of friends or keep it extra-simple with just the two of you.

12. Movie Night

Commemorate the moment they "popped" the question with a movie night at home. Create a cozy setup indoors with floor pillows and blankets or take it to the next level by screening a flick in the backyard (you'll need a projector and a white sheet to make it happen). It's the perfect time to rewatch some of the best wedding movies of all time.

13. Slice, Slice Baby

Who doesn't love a good pizza party? Keep it casual from the comfort of your own couch with—you guessed it—a few pies. See if your local pizza shop can take it up a notch by creating the pizza in a heart shape to make it an extra cheesy celebration.

14. Sip, Sip, Hooray

This fun but simple engagement party theme gets straight to the heart of the celebration. Whether the party is being held at an upscale restaurant or someone's home, you can find plenty of decorations to match the champagne-inspired theme.

Find your kind of venue

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15. Weekend Getaway

Your engagement party doesn't need an extensive guest list. Grab your new fiancé and plan a weekend trip to your favorite city or a new place that's been on your bucket list. Feel free to invite a few close friends to tag along, or keep it between the two of you to enjoy your just-engaged status.

16. Say Cheese

You'll love this simple engagement party idea if you're not big on desserts or other sweet treats. Instead of the traditional cookies, cupcakes or macarons, make an impressive charcuterie spread for the couple who prefers savory snacks. Set up a photobooth for guests to show off their cheesy smiles and use their photos to create a guest book recapping the party.

17. Bon Voyage, Single Life

Honor the couple sailing into married life with a nautical-themed engagement party. Whether you rent out a boat or keep the festivities on land at a waterfront venue, you'll have a whale of a good time with this theme. The best part: You can skip the elaborate decor and focus on the scenic water views instead.

Fun Engagement Party Ideas

Engagement parties don't have to be formal gatherings at swanky restaurants or event spaces. For the couple that's truly one-of-a-kind, pick a fun engagement party theme that captures their personalities.

18. Barcade Takeover

If hosting an engagement party at a regular bar doesn't sound exciting, take it up a notch by hosting it at a barcade. Guests can sip on cocktails while playing games like darts, ping pong, Mario Kart and air hockey. Who says an engagement party can't get competitive?

19. Beach Clambake

You found your lobster—it's only fitting that you host a beach clambake engagement party. Cover tables with classic gingham cloths and decorate with string lights, seashells and burlap accents. Offer classic seafood dishes like lobster rolls, crab legs, oysters and mussels, with potatoes, corn on the cob and other seasonal veggies on the side.

20. Casino Royale

Bring the famed Vegas strip to you with a casino-themed engagement party. Decorate the space with black and red motifs and encourage a semi-formal dress code inspired by James Bond to elevate the theme. (Pro tip: Gold playing cards or mini slot machine gumball dispensers would make excellent party favors.)

21. Top Chefs

Calling all foodies: Upgrade your culinary game by booking a private cooking class as an alternative engagement party idea. Not only will attendees learn a new skill or two, they'll get to enjoy their delicious creation as a reward. How's that for a win-win scenario?

22. Love Wins

Show off your competitive side with an engagement party full of games and prizes. The options are endless, whether you organize a flag football tournament or keep it relaxed with classic board games. No matter what you play, a little friendly competition will break the ice as guests get to know each other while celebrating the engaged pair.

23. Whodunit Party

Any dinner party is instantly more fun when there's a problem to solve. A murder mystery themed-engagement party is a great idea for the couple that loves true crime podcasts or is always in search of their next adventure. Plus, with everyone dressed up in costumes and role-playing a character, it'll make the party all the more memorable.

24. The One Where They Got Engaged

Could this theme be any more fitting for Friends fans? Channel the cult-favorite '90s sitcom with this fun engagement party idea. Stock up on decorations and memorabilia, like lobster entrees, cat-shaped cookies and a Central Perk-inspired lounge area. Check out these Friends-themed wedding shower and Friends-themed bachelorette party ideas for even more inspo.

25. What Do You Meme?

Meme culture isn't going away anytime soon, making this unique engagement party theme a must for the couple who's pop culture- and internet-obsessed. The sky's the limit with this idea—invite guests to come dressed as their favorite meme or decorate the space with art that reflects pop culture's most defining moments.

26. White-Out

Get in the wedding spirit with a white-out engagement party theme. Encourage guests to come dressed in all white and serve a menu of white food and beverages. Weave in gold or silver metallic accents to give the party glam vibes.

27. Bravo-Holics Unite

Celebrating a Bravo lover? Host an engagement party inspired by the beloved reality TV network. From Housewives franchises to spin off shows likeVanderpump Rules and Below Deck, there's no shortage of inspiration for a Bravo-themed engagement party. Whoop it up with cocktail napkins, wall banners and party favors inspired by unforgettable show moments. If this theme doesn't work out for the engagement party, there's always a Bravo-themed bachelorette party instead.

28. For the Feyoncés

They put a ring on it, so celebrate the feyoncés as Beyoncé would. A playlist featuring the singer's best hits is a must, as well as decorations inspired by iconic song lyrics. If one thing's for sure, this party will be flawless.

29. Netflix Marathon

Give your favorite TV series a nod with an engagement party that encourages guests to come dressed as their favorite characters from a Netflix original show. Follow a theme inspired by the couple's favorite binge-worthy show, or invite guests to come dressed as a character from their own favorite series.

30. They Said "Oui"

Avid travelers and francophiles will appreciate this imaginative theme. Bring the romance of Paris to your own event space with a French-inspired menu (cheese and baguettes, s'il vous plaît).

31. A Trip Around the World

Perfect for the couple who's always planning their next trip, a travel-themed engagement party will fuel their wanderlust alongside their closest friends and family. Elevate the theme with globally-inspired dishes and thoughtful decorations like passport-inspired invitations and a travel-inspired guest book.

32. Après Ski

Planning a winter engagement party? Skip the physical activity and host bash inspired by après ski activities. Serve warm drinks like spiked hot chocolate and hotty toddys while guests mingle in a ski lodge-inspired venue. No snow boots required!

33. By the Decade

Travel through time with a decade-inspired engagement party theme. Ask guests to come dressed in their best looks inspired by the decade of your choice, whether it's a glamorous 1920s theme channeling Jay Gatsby's extravagant soirées or a '90s-themed bash filled with childhood nostalgia. Prepare a playlist with hit songs, serve food and drinks from the era and decorate accordingly.

34. Something Blue

After the proposal, it's never too early to get in the wedding spirit, so why not host an engagement party inspired by the something blue tradition? Stay on theme with blue decor, blue drinks and desserts topped with blue icing. Bonus points if guests come dressed in blue attire.

Surprise Engagement Party Ideas

Chances are the engagement came as a surprise. If that's the case, follow it up with one of these thoughtful surprise engagement party ideas.

35. Family Gathering

What's sweeter than a surprise engagement? A surprise family gathering immediately following the proposal, of course. The couple will appreciate being surrounded by their loved ones from out of town to toast to their next chapter. Have them waiting in a nearby restaurant (or even just down the block) to make the day that much sweeter.

36. Happily Ever After

They got their happily ever after, so surprise them with a magical engagement party to follow suit. Any Disney fan will appreciate an engagement party theme inspired by classic romantic flicks. Even better? Organize a surprise trip to Disney World, Disneyland or another amusement park to soak in that just-engaged bliss at the happiest place on earth.

37. Rooftop Soirée

Add to the element of surprise by planning an engagement party on a stunning rooftop with sweeping views of the surrounding city. The skyline will make the perfect backdrop of an evening of toasting and partying.

38. Take Me Out to the Ball Game

If you're celebrating die-hard sports fans, round up a group of friends to catch a game—but don't tell the guests of honor that it's actually their engagement party. Get group tickets to fill your own section of the stadium or splurge on a private box. The newly-engaged couple will love nothing more than cheering on their team alongside their friends and family. (Bonus points if you get an engagement shoutout on the jumbotron!)

39. Vineyard Hopping

Fall is the ideal time to schedule a vineyard-hopping trip, and this is an easy way to catch the newly-engaged couple off guard by making them think it's a simple day of wine tasting. Coordinate a tour bus (or find an organized winery trail in your area) to sample the best local wines and ciders. Call ahead to arrange a private room or reserve a special table for your group.

Brunch Engagement Party Ideas

Who can say no to an engagement party brunch? Be sure to stock up on champagne and OJ if you choose to carry out any of these chic engagement party ideas.

40. Afternoon Tea

Royal-watchers and brunch-lovers alike will appreciate an afternoon tea-inspired engagement party. Serve finger sandwiches, scones and pastries with a variety of tea flavors. To take the engagement party brunch theme to the next level, encourage guests to attend in their fanciest cocktail attire.

41. Breakfast at Tiffany's

Channel Audrey Hepburn's classic romance flick with a Breakfast at Tiffany's-themed engagement party brunch. Stick with a classic Tiffany blue and white color pattern and serve up classic brunch favorites like eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles and pastries. Don't forget to have accessories like pearl strands and diamond tiaras on hand to help guests stick with the theme.

42. Pancakes and PJs

No one is ever too old for a pajama party. Throw the ultimate cozy engagement party brunch by allowing guests to attend in their favorite PJs. Offer beloved brunch foods like pancakes, waffles and omelettes, or get creative with a cereal bar, a potato serving station or a self-serve mimosa stand.

43. Doughnut Mind if "I Do"

If it feels like you see a doughnut wall at every wedding related-event you attend, you're not imagining it. Equal parts delicious and Instagram-worthy, doughnut-themed celebrations are a must for anyone with a sweet tooth. Give a nod to the soon-to-be weds with this inventive engagement party idea.

44. Love You a Latte

Prefer coffee over champagne? No problem. Instead of a cocktail engagement party, provide guests with a variety of espresso beverages instead. Attendees can raise lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos and espresso martinis in honor of the couple.

45. BYO-Cocktail

If you've got a group of aspiring mixologists, encourage your friends to come to your engagement party with the fixings to make an original cocktail recipe. The to-be-weds can judge the competition. (Pro tip: this creative engagement party idea can double up as research for the couple's signature wedding day cocktails.)

46. Rosé All Day

Celebrating a wine lover or two? Go with a rosé all day theme for your brunch engagement party. Stock up on the couple's favorite bottles of pink wine and scour the web for the cutest rosé-inspired party favors. (Psst: A pink balloon arch and rose gold fringe curtain are also must-haves for an Instagram-worthy photo backdrop.)

Romantic Engagement Party Ideas

Celebrating an engagement is a romantic thought all on its own, but there are a few engagement party themes that will make the night even more special for the newlyweds-to-be.

47. After the Final Rose

As any Bachelor superfan knows, an engagement on the show is followed by a final rose. Give the couple of honor their own After the Final Rose special with a Bachelor-inspired engagement party. Red long-stem roses are a must, as well as flutes of champagne for cocktail hour—and don't forget the candles for added ambience.

48. Love at First Swipe

With dating apps being the most common way that couples meet nowadays, there's a chance that the recently engaged couple falls into that category. If that's the case, honor their digital beginning with a "Love at First Swipe"-themed engagement party. If they matched on Bumble, incorporate a bee theme. For Tinder users, red decorations would be perfectly suitable. If they met on Hinge, fill the venue with purple flowers and decor.

49. Love is Sweet

Satisfy your sweet tooth by arranging a mouth-watering dessert table (or candy bar) at your engagement party. From towering cupcake and cookie displays to rows of colorful candy (along with customizable take-home bags), guests will love indulging in a few treats. Because after all, love is pretty sweet.

50. Perfect Pairs

Life is full of perfect pairs: peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, chips and salsa, and the newly engaged couple of course! Throw an engagement party with a menu designed in honor of the best culinary duos—perfect for the latest pair that found their perfect match.

51. Stuck Together Forever

Celebrating dedicated plant parents? Give a nod to their green thumbs with an engagement party theme inspired by cacti and succulents. Not only will potted plants serve as great party decor, guests can take the plants home as unique party favors.

52. Two Less Fish in the Sea

This engagement means there are officially two less fish in the sea. Stay on-theme with an ocean-inspired menu (blue margaritas and fish tacos, anyone?) and give the venue a blue makeover to create an underwater effect.

53. Written in the Stars

Download the Co-Star app and let the stars inspire your zodiac-themed engagement party. A great idea for the couple who can list off their sun, moon and risings signs (along with their element and house signs), start with a black and gold color palette accented with Instagram-worthy decor pieces like a moon phase banner and a metallic star garland.

54. The Apple of My Eye

Forgo a pumpkin patch for an apple orchard instead. The couple did pick each other, after all, so it's only fitting to pick a few delicious apples during their prime season. Make it sweet by hosting a competition to see who can bake the best apple pie.

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