Three Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate Your Engagement the Very Same Day It Happens
Your parents and in-laws have been talking about your engagement party since before you even looked at rings, but you shouldn't wait for a formal family party to mark your move from "dating" to "engaged." Celebrate your "I said yes!" moment the moment it happens with something special. "You're going to be so over the moon that you got engaged that you're going to have fun no matter what," says wedding planner Christy Thiessen of Hello Gem. "It's such a special feeling." Strawberry Milk Events planner Julie Savage Parekh agrees: "Just enjoy it and soak it all in before the chaos of wedding planning begins!"
Throw a party.
One of the most popular post-engagement celebrations is a surprise party put together by the proposer—think walking into your favorite restaurant to find your parents and siblings waiting for you, or showing up at your go-to bar where you see your college roommates and high school best friends. "I love the idea of having a surprise party with closest friends and family that are waiting at a bar or favorite restaurant around the corner," says Savage. "The first thing a gal wants to do is call her parents and her BFF so the extra thought to involve the people you're closest to immediately only adds to the joy and excitement, if the proposal itself is intimate and private."
If you're the one popping the question and you don't feel up to the task of planning a second surprise, enlist your sister, a best friend, or your parents to organize a small group for an understated event—you want it to be celebratory, but it shouldn't include your entire wedding guest list. "I would say keep it small and intimate, just your best friends and closest family," says Thiessen. "Just your core people would be the best—then it can really be about you, and when there's a lot of people it might just lose its intimacy."
Take a trip.
If your proposal happens on vacation, then you're already set up for a few quiet days before you experience the whirlwind of post-engagement calls, parties, and wedding date-related questions. But if you're at home, you might want to carve out some time alone together with a weekend getaway or overnight stay. "The proposer can have a surprise planned trip, or they can do something spontaneous and find a really cool hotel they could celebrate in," says Thiessen. "It's a good way to get a little r&r before they dive deep into wedding planning." One of her favorite ways to celebrate an engagement is with a day out that takes you to all the most important spots in your relationship. "A really cute idea would be to have a date where they do a walk down memory lane tour and hit up all the special spots in their life," she says. "Where they met, their first date, their first 'I love you,'—I find that really charming, and it would be fun to hit up all the old spots in one day."
Keep it low-key.
The perfect proposal is different for each couple—and so are the perfect post-engagement plans. "I think it all depends on the personality of who you are popping the question, too," says Savage. "Some people may love to be on the Jumbotron at a sporting event and others may die of embarrassment." Celebrating with a meal at your favorite restaurant or a relaxing spa visit can offer a little bit of calm before the rush of planning a wedding kicks in. "It's so important for the newly engaged couple—this is their final moment of zen before family and friends and planning logistics start bombarding them," says Thiessen. "Personally I think the simplest dates are the best: Just go somewhere special or beautiful, pop a bottle of champagne. Go to a spa and get a massage. It's nice to have that quiet moment—just the two of you."