Yesterday afternoon we celebrated our engagement with our dearest family and friends by way of an outdoor tent party. It was a beautiful afternoon filled with happiness and love that quickly rolled into the evening. There’s something to be said about spending time with those who mean so much and celebrating the love between my fiancé and I. We are blessed to be surrounded by supportive, sweet, caring people. When my parents offered to host our engagement party during the summer months, I was excited to make all my rustic chic dreams come true. I got to planning straight away and handmade all the decorations with a little help from my very talented aunts and friends. I’m so excited to share all of my ideas with you and hope to inspire you while you’re planning your own special party!
I decided to make my own signs that I would frame and put around the backyard. I thought it added a sweet touch to an already sweet day. You are free to download them as PDFs and use them if you’d like to!
I thought a nice idea would be to write out the 3 special dates in our lives: our first date, the day he proposed, and our wedding date. It was a neat way to reveal our wedding date to our guests as well.
I handmade signs using a program on my Mac called Pages. It’s something that I really enjoy doing and doesn’t take too much time for me to create. I love the way these signs act as a special decorative piece in a party space. The placement of these signs has to be strategic. You don’t want them hanging too low and you need to be sure it’s sagging just right. Please feel free to email me here if you have any events coming up and need fun banners to go along with them!
I had a vision of creating a welcoming space as soon as people entered into the party. I went to Michaels (a craft store) and purchased wooden letters of our initials. They came in white so I painted them a dark brown to give it more of a rustic feel. I used our “Welcome to our engagement party” sign here. My grandmother borrowed me her rain barrel and so I placed them on top with artificial flowers. I hung photos of us and a wooden sign I purchased at the craft store as well. I bought these wooden frames and stained them because they came in a light wood. Next to this station was an old wooden box that we used if people were to bring gifts, though we asked for well wishes only. If you notice in behind, my aunt helped me make three Origami banners of diamonds, which we hung in the tree.
We used three drink containers to set up our drink table. I created a sign that says “Sip Sip Hooray” as a play on words from the traditional hip, hip, hooray you hear at parties. We had lemonade, iced tea, and water infused with lemon in the containers, along with beer, wine and champagne for our guests to enjoy. I also created a banner of lemons that we tied on the edge of the table to give it a fresh sense. For all of the food and drinks, I created little name signs to differentiate between what was what.
Our centre pieces were mason jars that my aunt helped me spray paint silver. We filled them with baby’s breath and placed them on each table. I also placed little wooden signs inside each vase that said something sweet about love or marriage, it was a fun little touch. We filled one vase with silver diamond Origami that was leftover and tied a straw like string around it to give it a rustic charm.
One major problem with one of our tents is that the centre was sinking in. My dad had to put a piece of wood right down the centre in between two tables in order to keep it up. My aunts had a great idea and tied burlap and flowers around this wood to blend it in with the rest of the decor. I added the chalkboard sign. My grandmother has beautiful handwriting, and it’s her penmanship you see here. This is a perfect example that not all hiccups are necessarily bad things.
The final touch to the party was our Polaroid Guest Book which was a hit among everyone! People loved posing for photos and seeing them printed right away, and my 4 year old nephew loved his job of hanging them on the board. For this station, we already had the FujiFilm Polaroid camera so we went out and bought lots of film. I created the sign which was a fun touch: “Snap it, Shake it, Sign it, Hang it” …though no one had the time to actually sign it. For the sign itself, I went to Home Sense and bought a frame that has a burlap background. It is supposed to be used to hang reminders from – kind of like a chic cork board. And so I hung five pieces of string from it with sewing needles. I purchased the mini clothespins from the craft store.
And so you have it… our rustic chic engagement party! Lots of planing, lots of creativity, and lots of fun! Feel free to use any ideas you see here, or email me if you’d like to collaborate on something fun you have coming up!