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5 Steps to Throwing a Destination Engagement Party

As the oldest daughter and first to get married, the wedding planning process was a new and overwhelming one. Once engaged, we quickly found out that in addition to that one giant event we (thankfully) had an entire year to plan, there were also mini-events along the way (bridal shower! bachelorette party!) that would take a surprising amount of time to plan themselves. One of which, of course, was our engagement party. With a Long Island, New York (my hometown!) wedding planned for the fall, it only felt right to celebrate our engagement in St. Louis, Andy's hometown and where our story began.

1. Setting the Tone

The sky's the limit for engagement party themes, from classic 'He popped the question' to the Kate Spade favorite 'Pop Fizz Clink.' Yet to get our out-of-town guests excited to visit St. Louis, we made sure to make our invitations extra inviting! These invites were designed on Etsy and featured the St. Louis skyline with the line "Meet Us in St. Louis."

2. A Warm Welcome

While some of our family had visited St. Louis before (some have even lived in St. Louis), others were visiting for the first time. We really needed to roll out the toasted-ravioli-red-carpet for this special weekend. To get those good St. Louis vibes going, we created custom welcome bags for our out-of-town guests.

3. Ideal Itinerary

We couldn't imagine a better way to show our family the city in a short amount of time than to get everyone on a bus and set out on a tour. Bob the Driver took us on a fun-filled tour to the St. Louis Gateway Arch, Ted Drewes' Frozen Custard, and the Budweiser Brewery (home of the Clydesdales!). It's not easy to organize a group of this size, but with some organization and planning, special time with cousins was had & great memories were made!

4. Think Ahead

Our Engagement Party was held at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Clayton, Missouri. There were games hosted by the bridesmaids, delicious food, and lots of personal touches. One of the best parts were our escort cards, special luggage tags featuring our wedding hashtag #LeavingStLouToSayIDo, with inserts for our guests' names and tables. Why luggage tags? The engagement party is often the first wedding-related celebration, and we wanted to get our guests excited for the big celebration still to come. We encouraged our guests to use the tags when they travel to New York for the wedding. And so that there was no confusion, a custom sign greeted our guests.

5. A Sweet Surprise

Everyone looks forward to a wedding cake. They're elegant, multi-tiered, and delicious! How could any other cakes compare? Don't try to compete with a smaller version of a wedding cake- instead, we went in a fun direction with bold s'mores flavors and toppings on a giant sheet cake. Even more special was that our special cake came from Natalie's Cakes & More in Ferguson, Missouri, chosen by my aunt who had followed the shop's story after the riots in Ferguson. We loved raising awareness about this business and staying local. Finally, going back to the idea of 'thinking ahead' once again, we had guests thinking about the wedding day to come once more with a custom sign telling guests that there's S'MORE to come at the wedding next fall!

We had such a wonderful time celebrating our engagement with family & friends from near and far!

Ready to plan your own engagement party or other event? We're All Ears!

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