From planning cocktails to getting the lighting right.

The holidays are prime season for engagement announcements. Whether it's the celebratory spirit that comes along with this time of year or simply the time away from work, it's no secret that all our Facebook feeds light up with news of happy couples preparing to plan a wedding. If you've been tasked with the challenge of throwing an engagement party this time of year, we have a few tips on how to pull off an event that'll be well attended and well received.

1. Schedule smartly

The holidays are a tough time of year to plan any kind of party that'll be well attended, since most people are committed to work parties, family events, gift shopping, cooking, and more. So the number one priority is going to be scheduling this engagement party on an off-night. Most holiday parties fall on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. So, maybe set this event up as a Sunday brunch or sunset cocktail party. Try to keep to early end hours, as people are generally worn out in December and not up for too many late nights.

2. Inject some holiday spirit

Sure, you're planning an engagement party and that would traditionally be full of wedding-themed ideas, but incorporating the holiday spirit seems only natural this time of year. If you're planning to serve cocktails at the party, consider setting up a wintery cocktail bar. Maybe you serve Aperol spritzers for a pop of red. Another cocktail might have a sprig of rosemary and rind of lemon.

3. All-white always wins

Winter whites are always a winning combo for holiday décor, and double the glory for an engagement party since wedding whites work well, too. No need to go all out and create a winter wonderland, but maybe you can have a mix of wintery white flower arrangements and a white wreath on the door.

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4. Entertainment is important

We all have a fondness for a house party with a pianist playing Christmas carols in the background during holiday season. Rather than going too festive with the carols, a pianist playing classical music, or a great engagement party playlist, would do just fine for an evening party, while still injecting a bit of holiday spirit.

5. Deck the halls

If you're throwing an at-home engagement party, the inclination might be to take down the Christmas tree and holiday décor, but there's really no reason to do this. If anything, holiday décor feels festive and cozy and makes a warm environment to welcome guests into. Consider adding candlelight and some pops of sparkles and metallics to formalize your traditional holiday décor and step up the party atmosphere.

6. Get the lighting right

Twinkle lights are a must during holiday season, and you can easily use white lights for an engagement party glow. The bigger bistro lights have become really popular at weddings, so it could be fun to drape your backyard with them if you're hosting an outdoor evening engagement party in a warmer climate.

7. Get festive with foods

Everyone loves sugar cookies during the holidays. Rather than making them in the traditional snowflake shape, see if you can find a cutout of a ring and frost your sugar cookies in white. While your party foods might run the gamut of savory and sweet, the desserts can be easily shaped to feel a little more wedding-inspired. Maybe you set up a dessert table of wedding cookies, white petit fours, and lemon sandies.

However you go about setting up an engagement party during the holiday season, using that celebratory spirit to your advantage is always going to be well received. Plan ahead as much as possible to beat the holiday crowds and you should be in good shape.

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