Tables and chairs are set up for a party at Melhorn Manor

The Engagement Party: What It Is, Why You Want It, and How to Plan It

Newly engaged? Congratulations! What an exciting time for you and your fiancé! Celebrate your engagement at an elegant and historic venue with catering in Lancaster, PA, right here at Melhorn Manor! Having your engagement party here gives you time to commemorate and relish in your new status as a bride- and groom-to-be.

This remarkable location in Mount Joy, PA, is the perfect property for your special event. We fully renovated our barns to include modern amenities while still retaining that historic charm that so many people love. Plus, our owners, Allory and Jess, are available for all events to help guide guests, direct parking, and manage vendors. When you decide to host your engagement party with Melhorn Manor, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy this special day.

What Is an Engagement Party?

An engagement party is one of the first special events to celebrate your future wedding. The bride’s parents traditionally host it, but these days, anyone can host it! From the engaged couple to both sets of parents hosting, or even friends of the couple, there is no limit on who can host the celebration. It happens soon after the engagement, generally within the first three months after popping the question.

Why Have an Engagement Party?

An engagement party serves several purposes. First, you just made a lifelong commitment to the love of your life. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, nothing is!

This event allows the newly engaged couple a chance to bring their closest family and friends together to meet, sometimes for the first time. It also allows the couple, if they’re hosting, to practice their event planning skills in advance of the big day.

How to Plan a Memorable Event

There are several steps to planning a successful engagement party. From deciding who’s hosting to the theme and tone of the event, there are plenty of tasks to do to make a memorable event where you can show off your stunning ring. And much like planning a wedding, you can’t accomplish all of these items in one day, so give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

1. Decide Who’s Hosting

The first thing to do when planning an engagement party is deciding who’s hosting. Typically, the host pays for most of the event, makes a toast, and is involved in the event-planning process. If you choose to hold your engagement party, remember to stick to a budget and don’t spend so much on the engagement party that you don’t have enough money for your dream wedding.

2. Where and When to Have the Party

These two steps go together because once you choose the venue, they may not have an opening on the day you want. So, you may have to select another date. When choosing a venue, like our Equestrian Barn or Corn Barn here at Melhorn Manor, consider the number of people who will be attending the event, how long you want to have it, and what kind of activities or features you want.

3. Create an Invitation List

When considering your invitation list, keep in mind you should invite the same people to your wedding. While you don’t have to invite the whole wedding guest list, you can if you want. Just keep in mind the more people who attend, the more expensive it will be for food, drinks, and other catering services.

4. Register for Gifts

Typically, gifts aren’t necessary at an engagement party. However, your closest family and friends coming to your engagement party may want to buy you a present to congratulate you on your upcoming marriage. Having a registry with low- to medium-priced gifts is excellent to have available if anyone asks for it.

5. Send Invitations

Your invitations could be a simple Facebook event, e-invite, postcard, or a formal invitation. It depends on the theme and tone of your party. Choose one that matches the style and how casual or dressy you want the event to be.

6. Plan the Menu

Much like the invitations, the food you serve should match the party’s style and level of formality. When you choose Melhorn Manor, we work exclusively with exceptional catering companies near Lancaster, PA. With everything from award-winning BBQ pitmasters to elegant fine dining, we’re sure to have the full-service catering company you want from Lancaster County.

7. Choose Decorations

When choosing the decorations, you’ll want to keep things aligned with the party’s theme and the existing décor at the venue. Depending on your location, you may only need minimal embellishments. For example, here at Melhorn Manor, we have well-maintained outdoor areas, like the gazebo, fountain, and pond, that are perfect photo opportunities.

8. Plan Your Outfit

As one of the first big outfit decisions leading up to your wedding day, your outfit for the engagement party can be a fun choice. It should also match the tone and formality of the event—you don’t want to wear a formal dress to a casual barbecue. However, planning your outfit to coordinate with the venue, your partner, and the theme will make for a cohesive-looking event.

9. Purchase Inexpensive Favors

Give your guests something to take home to remember this special event. Whether it’s magnetic save-the-date cards, coasters, or a small bag of candy, having a simple token of appreciation shows your guests that you are grateful they came to celebrate with you.

10. Thank You Cards

After your beautiful event is over, don’t forget to send thank you cards to the host, venue, caterer, other vendors, and guests. It goes a long way in showing people how much you enjoyed their services, company, and gifts, if they brought any.

Looking for a Venue with Catering Near Lancaster, PA? Choose Melhorn Manor!

Melhorn Manor is the perfect place for your engagement party. With stunning exterior grounds perfect for photo opportunities and beautifully restored barns, our team will work with you to create a memorable event to celebrate the love of you and your partner. Planning your event with us means you’ll choose from a complete list of catering options in Lancaster, PA, and owners who will be on-site to ensure the party goes smoothly.

Schedule a tour with us now to see all that we have to offer in person, and rest assured that your engagement party will be one to remember here at Melhorn Manor!