On Dec 30, 2018 James finally asked me to marry him. Roughly seven months later, we finally celebrated our engagement with an “I Do BBQ” themed Engagement Party.
With our hectic schedules and busy summers we decided early in the summer we would celebrate our Engagement Party on July 27th, 2019. We planned to celebrate our engagement at our apartment complex – since there is ample lawn space, grills and gazebos to hang out at. With a tent, some folding tables and some decoration, we were able to throw a fun and casual engagement party without having to worry about a venue.
Since we planned to do a casual BBQ, J and I stocked up on all the BBQ fixings.
- Beef and vegie burgers, speciality sausage and hot dogs
- Veggie Skewers and Vegetable Tray
- Crock Pot Mac&Cheese, Pasta Salad and Salad
- Charcuterie Platters
I was very fortunate to have help from all my loved ones. I managed to make a killer crock-pot Mac and Cheese recipe for the first time ever. My bridesmaids Janet and Jen helped me prepare the salad, veggie skewers and fruit salad. Jen kindly made an amazing charcuterie platter for us – I’m convinced she needs to start a business. James’ mom made a delicious pasta salad that everyone devoured! Last but not least, Harry and Eric were the grill masters on the day off, serving up some dogs and burgers. Everyone really came together and helped us create this amazing feast which we really appreciated.
For dessert we served the following:
- Fruit Salad
- Engagement Cookies made by my momma, thanks mom!
No feast is complete without refreshments! J and I made sure our guests had a wide variety to chose from. We served the following:
- Water with lemon slices, soda, sweet tea, and cider.
- Fresh Mojitos & Lemonade
- A Mimosa Bar & Assortment of Beer
For our Mimosa Bar we utilized our bar cart, and served peach, orange and berry-mix juice with some Prosecco, in clear carafes. We provided some fresh fruit and lemons/limes to top off these delish mimosas!
The mojitos, lemonade, sweet tea and water were all served in drink dispensers with mason jars and paper straws.
For the beer and soda we opted to serve them chilled with ice, in silver rustic-style tubs.
Eric was kind enough to make us some home-made cider and brought bottles of it for our Engagement Party. We ended up forgetting to serve the cider but we definitely had our fair share of it the night before and the night of the Engagement Party.
I knew early on I wanted to incorporate the decor in our food and drinks. I wanted the decor to be as functional as possible. The main intent was to avoid lugging a ton of stuff down to the lawn and then back up to our apartment.
I took mini frosted donuts and put diamond toothpicks in them so they resembled an engagement ring. Additionally I arranged cupcakes in the shape of a diamond ring to tie into the Engagement Theme. My mom made hand-decorated cookies that said Future Mrs., Michelle and James, a mini calendar showing our wedding date and a heart and ring.
I wanted to somehow tell “our story” in a quick and cute manner and decided to this chalkboard summary. Detailing when we had our first date, when J asked me to marry him, and when we plan to say I Do.
I personally love Red Wine, and a Sangiovese is my favorite. We decided instead of doing a guest-book we would have our friends and family sign a bottle of wine and we would drink it at our wedding.
A week before the engagement party I decided I wanted to create an insta-worthy frame. Instead of paying someone $50 on Etsy to make it for me I got my crafty skills together and made my own for less than $10. I also splurged for a fun Snapchat filter, because you know us millennials document everything.
Last but not least, one of our best friends Seth gave us the most amazing engagement party gift. He created a beautiful backdrop made out of a palette. It’s currently sitting in my living room and is my favorite decor item. Thanks Seth!
Last but definitely not least, the party wouldn’t have been complete without the amazing people that attended.
We used our Engagement Party to formally ask our bridal party to be part of our wedding. I gave all my bridesmaids adorable (and budget friendly) proposal boxes. James instead asked each of his groomsmen by giving them an alcohol that represented a memory.
Meet The Ladies
All my girls are family to me in one way or another. I am so happy I have such an amazing squad to celebrate this amazing moment in life with. Thank you ladies for saying yes to be involved in this crazy ride!
- Maid of Honor – Janet. Janet and I have been friends since Middle School and I knew that I couldn’t celebrate this big day without Jan present.
- Matron of Honor – Paige. Paige was my first friend when moving to Long Island, and I always envisioned her standing by my side when I got married. Thankfully Paige was married before me, and made my maid-of-honor decision a lot easier! Seriously, thanks for that Paigey!
- Matron of Honor – Nicole. Nicole is more to me than James’ sister. She’s the sister I never had, and I am so lucky to have her be a part of my bridal party.
- Bridesmaid – Mikayla. Mikaya is easily one of the craziest, and best friends I’ve ever had. I couldn’t imagine a life without Mik being a friend to me and I am so happy I get to celebrate our big day with her!
- Bridesmaid – Jennifer. Jennifer was my very first friend at Coastal, and I never looked back. Seriously, thanks Jen for be-friending me that day and for becoming one of my best friends since.
- Jr. Bridesmaid – Kali. I’ve watched Kali grow from diapers, and I couldn’t imagine a wedding to her Uncle without her involved. I love my Kals and I can’t wait to celebrate with her.
- Flower Girl – Brielle. While Brielle may not be my niece by blood or relation, she is my favorite little person. There was no thought whatsoever in picking her to be my Flower Girl.
Meet The Gents
James is equally as lucky as I am, to be surrounded by an amazing group of guys.
- Best Man – Eric. This was a no brainer. We originally wanted Eric to officiate us, but with the whole legal marriage in Italy thing, didn’t really pan out.
- Groomsman – Nick. James has been best friends with Nick since Kindergarten, and we are so happy he will be celebrating with us.
- Groomsman – Ryan. James and I have both known Ryan since Middle School. Time after time Ryan has shown himself to be a great friend to us both! Our day would not be complete without him there.
- Groomsman – Seth. Seth was my friend first, I swear. But unsurprisingly, Seth, James and Eric kicked it off. I was going to ask Seth to be a BridesMan – but James won.
- Groomsman – Harry. Janet’s twin brother, Harry and James have been friends since Middle School. We are pumped to see Italy Harry in full action.
- Groomsman – Jared. Jared also moved to Miller Place at the same time that both James, Eric and I did. There was no surprise that they all became friends, and have been since then.
- Groomsman – David. Our wedding day wouldn’t be complete without David, James’ brother in law, standing by our side!
- Ring Bearer – Alex. My baby brother, 13 years my junior is somehow 10 years old already. I knew I wanted him to be a part of our wedding. There is no better person to present our bands of unity to us than my little bro!
In addition to celebrating with our Bridal Party, we also got to throw down with their significant others and our family and friends, and colleagues. We truly were so blessed to have so many amazing people show up and celebrate with us!
Following our Engagement Party there was a l o t of cleaning up to do. Everyone was extremely helpful in putting things away and cleaning up before we relaxed at our pool. Later in the evening everyone corralled in our apartment, before we hit the town. We truly had the most amazing weekend celebrating with our friends. Whether it was playing board games and eating Domino’s, too enjoying our Engagement Party, or visiting bars in Charleston, it was a a blast
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