Tag Archives: engagement

How To: Engagement Party Planning

12 Jun

We’re planning an engagement party for my sister and her fiance in a few short weeks so I’ve had good reason to dive back into all my favorite things: food, decor, and party planning. Since we’re a smaller group, I’m leaning toward hosting a dinner party. I love the idea of a long table, intimately lit with candles and lots of wine and champagne and leisurely toasting the couple all evening.

I’m imagining this really incredible all-vegetarian menu, possibly done completely in my tagine which I’ve been dying to use since I first read Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard. Vicky loves Indian so I thought doing Moroccan could be a fun twist on cuisine she’d probably enjoy. I also love the presentation of this salade niçoise. Aside from the tuna, etc, of course. My vegetarian sister might not like that.

engagement party/ our address and contact information was edited-out obviously /

Since we’re on a tight schedule as far as the date is concerned, I opted to skip the mailed invites in favor of my favorite e-vite company, Paperless Post. We used them for our 2011 Christmas party and loved the ease of use. I just purchased 25 credits for $5, and after confirming the guest list with my sister, emailed them out, easy-peasy. Don’t worry, there was really fun animation that accompanied them that included an envelope popping up, flipping over and then opening to reveal a fun envelope liner before the invitation popped out. But my favorite feature of Paperless Post is that you’re able to track RSVPs online and communicate event updates to guests easily and in a way that is a bit more special than throwing together a Facebook event.

I wanted the feel of the event to be simple and elegant, but still playful — it’s an engagement party after all — so the invitation needed to feel equally spirited and celebratory but not necessarily overly formal. For dress I’m thinking semi-formal. Dressy, jacket and tie welcome, but not a must. As I researched engagement party ideas and etiquette I was really surprised to learn that engagement parties are typically less formal affairs than the bridal showers and rehearsal dinner to follow. Barbeques and clambakes were two top engagement party themes in fact, which makes perfect sense when I think about it. Basically, you don’t want to out-do the wedding events to follow with anything overly lavish. So I’ll have to think more about this menu. My next step will be to talk to Vicky and Dan about what they like and go from there!

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life – boys — etc :)

5 Aug

Just recently, I discovered the loveliest unread e-mail in my inbox from one of my best friends and bridesmaids. She’d sent it this past December, just after Brian and I got engaged and her subject line: “life – boys — etc” just makes me smile.

Here is an excerpt:

There’s a line in When Harry Met Sally, where Sally’s friend is dating Harry’s friend and they are in bed together when Harry and Sally both call to bitch about each other. Sally’s friend looks at Harry’s friend and says something to the effect of “Just tell me I won’t ever have to be out there again” and Harry’s friend says to her “You’ll never have to be out there again”. They get married later in the movie.

Congratulations for being one of those people who never has to be out there in the dating world again!!! Your fiance is a great guy, but he also got a good catch in you, Wendy. You’re one of my favorite friends and such a good person 🙂

Awww, right? I have the best friends.

*EDIT* – Staci got engaged later in the day that I posted this!!! How crazy is that?!! I’m so happy you you, Staci.

The Proposal: Her Side

4 Aug

Exactly 8 months ago today, Brian proposed! You may have read Brian’s re-cap of the proposal in the last post, so I thought I’d give my side of the engagement story, flushed out with a bit more back story detail. Some of you may have already seen the Facebook album, but this is really the whole story, from my POV. Hope you guys like!

To begin…Brian and I love NYC. This cannot be overstated.

On our 1st trip ever together, we visited the Big Apple and  Brian brought me to this gorgeous little spot in Central Park called Poet’s Walk. I’d seen the spectacular, tree-lined path in a photo Brian had framed in his apartment and fell in love immediately (read more on that here), and finally seeing it in person did NOT disappoint.

Here’s a pic from that very 1st trip:

But another little fact about us? We also love Christmas. Once the leaves start to turn, we get excited.  We love the Christmas movies, the decorations, the cookies, the lights and the music. (OH THE MUSIC!)

Our weekends book fast in December as we try to cram in every possible Christmas-related party, activity, or show so I was thrilled when Brian surprised me with tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. We’d seen the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and The Nutcracker the year before, but I’d never been to see the Rockettes.

Being the Christmas-cheer-hoarder I am though, I wanted to squeeze in a quick trip to the Nutcracker in Boston with my girls the night before…


Friday, December 3, 2010 @ the Nutcracker with Caitlin & Mallory

It was so fun. We got all dressed up, saw the ballet, and then hit Finale for desserts.

I was definitely a little suspicious of the timing of the trip to NYC during one of our favorite times of the year, but Brian gave what I can only describe as an Oscar-worthy performance of throwing me off, right down to the day before he actually proposed. I think he actually told me he was out “ring browsing” up to the day before he did it.

So, it’s Saturday, December 4th and we’re headed to NYC. Late. I’m not great on long car trips and obviously had no idea what was ahead, or I’d have channeled a little bit more “demure-about-to-be-proposed-to-lady” and less ridiculous/bored girlfriend on long-ass car trip:

We park and I debate wearing my super puffy, ankle length (RE: not cute) coat because it is biting cold. Brian advises against it (THANK GOD), so I wear my much thinner, less warm black coat with a scarf and we head out.

My younger sister Vicky is in the city visiting some friends so I’m texting and calling her like crazy trying to establish a meet-up at some point before the show. We are on the southeast side of Central Park, near the Plaza, so after I drag Brian through Tiffany’s to see the decorations and drool over the jewels (yep, this happened), and do the usual just let me run into Bergdorf’s, we think ice skating sounds like a good idea, so we head up to the park.

[In hindsight, it did seem odd that we raced to Central Park so quickly and Brian did seem a bit agitated, but I chalked it up to the late morning start, long drive in, and freezing cold!]

At the ice skating rink, thinking about it:
ice skating at Central Park, pre-engagement

Decision: Um. no. [It was freezing]
So this is where Brian’s brilliant plan to corral me down to our spot in Central Park could have gone astray. But it didn’t.

Brian: Do you want to go do Poet’s Walk?
Me: Yea, sure.

EASY. Haha! So this is what we see next:


And the rest is really exactly how Brian’s post described.  I always ask if we can get a picture together, but won’t ask anyone, so we do the usual:


FINALLY a responsible-looking couple approaches.  I tense up like I’m about to ask them for a date.

Brian steps in.

The wind was whipping my hair all over, so I turned away from Brian into the wind a bit just to get it to blow off my face!

I hear Brian mumbling  “…camera..push this button…” etc but the camera hand-off itself had taken a bit longer than usual, which I remember noticing, so when I turned around and saw Brian with a little box in his hand, I nearly died as I realized what was really going on.

The next few moments went by in a happy blur. Brian on one knee, holding my hand in his, (my mittens still on); our impromptu photographer snapping away; passersby snapping pics and cheering and clapping; Brian standing up and slipping the ring on my finger! All caught in photos we will treasure for the rest of our lives.



We spent the next 20 minutes of so calling and texting our friends and family to share the news and then met up with my sister to celebrate. She was pretty pumped for us!

My sister told me, “Take off your mitten; show off the bling!”, but I’m so deliriously happy, look at what I did, haha

After, we tore around NYC to visit some of our other favorite spots, found some postcards of our engagement spot to save as mementos, had an absolutely incredible dinner and eventually retired to our hotel for some champagne.

The next day we wrote out the postcards, had a little photo shoot with my sparkly possession, and finally saw the Rockettes! It was the most perfect weekend ever.