The Engagement Party
It might seem counter-intuitive, but holding an engagement party offers an opportunity to save money on your wedding. Wherever you decide to hold your wedding, there will likely be friends and family unable to travel there.
If you are planning a small wedding, an engagement party affords a good way to include friends and associates you are not inviting to the wedding. An engagement party allows a wider circle of friends, associates, and extended family to share in your happiness.
How can spending money on a party help you save money in the long run? Simple: Engagement parties don't require the expense of a wedding reception.
Engagement-party food can be simpler, the cake less elaborate (if you even want a cake), and you needn't worry about special flower arrangements or wedding favors. Better yet, you can hold the event in a private home so there's no need to pay to reserve a hall
When you combine an engagement party with a holiday celebration, the decorations can serve both occasions, and the holiday will put everyone in a celebratory mood. Many couples become engaged at Christmas or on Valentine's Day, festive occasions for an engagement party.
Be up-front about your wedding guest list. Tactfully make sure everyone at the engagement party knows that though you want to celebrate with them, you are having an intimate wedding ceremony. That way no feelings will be hurt when people don't receive a wedding invitation.
Making the Food Without Stressing Out
Save money by making as much of the food as you can, and save time and stress by keeping the menu simple and using shortcuts.
Like barbecuing? Buy chicken when it's on sale at the grocery store, and stash it in the freezer. Brush on a homemade or bottled barbecue sauce and serve corn on the cob and pasta salad.
If you don't cook much or you're uncomfortable preparing food for a crowd, visit Allrecipes.com or About.com Food & Drink. The Web sites list collections of recipes, enabling you to choose the type of food you want to serve.
Dessert? Serve apple pie or order a cake filled with ice cream and decorated with an icing picture of the happy couple.
Explore inexpensive catering options if you don't want the hassle of cooking for your guests. Many grocery stores and delis provide a catering service allowing you to reserve dishes ahead of time.