DIY tips from a bride's BFF.
Cupcakes and Cashmere
Credit: Courtesy of Emily Schuman

Throwing an engagement party for your best friend may seem like a daunting task at first, but it should be fun, simple, and full of sweet little details. Here are some of the things I kept in mind when throwing this special party for my bestie a few years back. Plus, I'm sharing the items to buy to make the biggest impact.

Make the space feel festive.

Growing up, any celebration in my family meant we would fill the entire house with balloons. Stick to a specific color palette (white always works for a wedding) to make a big impact. Make sure the rest of the space smells good with lit candles, and is filled with flowers in complementary shades.

Cook her favorite food.

My best friend, Rachel, loves barbecue, so we made sure that the menu was based on that. It wasn't fancy, but once she saw the table with homemade ribs, potato salad, chicken, and rolls, she was ecstatic. Don't worry about sticking to the classics or what's expected-the way to your friend's heart is through her favorite dishes. When it comes to presentation, I like to stick to neutral serving platters and bowls to let the food be the main focus.

To buy: serving bowls, pitcher, slate board (you can write down the entire menu in chalk so people know what to expect).

Create personal notes to guests.

Set out little cards that the bride-to-be can grab and write sweet messages to her friends and family on. Then, each person will take theirs home that as a souvenir from the day.

Add funny details.

For my engagement party, my friend added subtle humorous nods to one of my favorite things: cats. She gold spray painted little cat figurines for the tablescape and framed pictures of cats for other surfaces, like the sink by the restroom and the entryway table. It was such a funny little touch that reminded me just how well she knows me.

Create an impressive dessert table.

The dessert table is where you can get a little thematic without making the entire party feel cheesy. Have a bowl full of Ring Pops and "Apple of my Eye" apple candies, make (or buy) sugar cookies in either heart or champagne flute shapes, and whip up her favorite cupcakes (they always make a party feel festive). And don't be afraid to add pops of color-in the frosting, the candles, and plates-because dessert should never feel too serious!


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