Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Engagement Party

So, our engagement party was planned shortly after our engagement and roughly 9 months before our wedding, all done correctly according to Martha Stewart who was basically my end all be all for the wedding planning. My husband was sponsored by an energy drink called Motley Bird and they have a corporate headquarters here in Los Angeles that was the perfect spot for the party. The Nest is a private space on Beverly Drive located above Diane Merrick. We invited about 40 friends, all local. I didn't want it to seem like we hoped anyone would make a special trip (from the east coast) for the party or that we were fishing for gifts. Before I get ahead of myself I want to give you my first tip:

Tip 1: Do not ask a friend/photographer to shoot anything of importance. Hire a professional.

My husband had a friendship with a photographer, who was a legitimate photographer, and he did a really bad job. His pictures were nice and good quality but we were barely in them. There was literally ONE picture of the two of us together on his entire role. I cried my eyes out and it made things really awkward with my husband's friendship. But at the end of the day it sucked. Had I purchased his photos I would have more to show you than I do below but they would mostly be of the photographer's friends, other couples and the waitstaff. I wasn't even sure if he knew I was the fiance after seeing his photos. There were like ten photos of another couple at the party. WTF? Lesson learned. Which brings me to my second tip:

Tip 2: When you are hosting an event such as this, make sure you spend at least a little time together as a couple.

We were both so busy playing host/hostess, it may have led to the whole one photo of us by the photographer. Not that it is an excuse, he should have made the photos happen. The night is ultimately about the two of you, spend it together. At least we realized this before the actual wedding. Lesson learned as well.

So unfortunately I don't have a whole lot of photos to share but I do have a few. These are some of my husband's black velvet paintings that hang in The Nest. The space was decorated with sofas, side tables, chairs and artwork so we just added some votive candles and the decor was very chic.

We ordered food from Buddha's Belly, an Asian fusion spot a couple of doors down. I asked a few of the waiters from a place I eat lunch during the week if they would be interested in passing hors dourves and pouring drinks, it was that simple. We bought glassware instead of renting them and picked up things like cocktail napkins and the alcohol and mixers at Costco. It was inexpensive and relatively easy with the exception of walking everything up two flights of stairs to set up. A small price to pay for saving thousands!

The Nest had a rooftop deck with to die for views. The weather was perfect that night and we didn't even have to turn on the heat lamps. There were comfy banquets the circled the deck and an additional bar. Those colorful bottles to the right are the energy drinks which made great mixers and kept my dead tired self going.

My mom and step-dad did make the trip from Philadelphia so they were a big help and they picked up the Costco bill, score! Could my mom be any cuter?

It was on this trip that I convinced her to grow her hair out. I told her the one thing I really wanted for my wedding was to see her with a different hairstyle. My mother had never looked any different my whole entire life and doesn't necessarily like change so needless to say I was shocked when she agreed. I think she stopped chopping her 'do after this trip.

We purchased a wire birdcage to deposit cards into. The little take out boxes made perfect bowls for the Chinese chicken salad. Since the whole menu was Asian we ordered chocolate covered fortune cookies and had custom funny sayings about us and playing on the word fortune baked inside. They were delicious and came indivdually wrapped. We tied a yellow and black ribbon around each one. The guests really enjoyed them.

"Fortunately fate believed in us. Fate meaning Josh loved Hooters and Lucinda worked there".
"We were fortunate to find each other. Unfortunately for everyone else we are off the market".
"Thank you for sharing our engagement. Unfortunately this party cost a lot of money".
"The Engagement of Josh & Lucinda. Fortunately their kids will be really, really hot".
"We are fortunate to have friends like you. But let's face it, you are really lucky to know us".
My friends Reza and Melanie enjoying the rooftop. Most of these are Melanie's pictures, thank God she had a camera. I would have been even more upset.

We had a friend DJ (who did do a good job) and just asked him to play jazzy, down tempo type music. He brought his whole system but the place was wired with speakers upstairs so that took care of music on the rooftop as well. We had made a DVD slide show of photos of us as kids and growing up and families, etc. and played it on the flat screen above the fireplace. It did a nice job of keeping movement throughout the party as some people were downstairs and some were upstairs.

My good friends Sussy and Tara showed up early and helped set up. They were a Godsend. My next tip:
Tip 3: If you have several events for your nuptials spread out, friends will hopefully be able to attend at least one.
My friend Tara had work schedule conflicts with my shower and my wedding day, but she was able to make the engagement party. So that is nice about having a few different dates to celebrate with everyone.
The entrance had a floor to ceiling curtain wall that separated the kitchen area and the stairwell to the rooftop. This was at the end of the night, I barely remember taking this photo.

Hubby and his friends enjoying the sunset. At least we did get to catch up with some old friends during the night.

One of the two photos of us from the evening. Hubby wore a Ben Sherman suit and black Chuck Taylor's. I wore a French Connection dress and pink Christian Louboutin heels. My feet were killing me by the end of the night. Way too many trips up and down the stairs.

So after this fun and special night the real work starts, the planning! I would definitely recommend an engagement party. It's a good way to get your feet wet and figure out some do's and don'ts before the actual wedding. Check back later for my Save The Dates.


Jill said...

This was a really fun post.

The Townhouselady said...

O.k...I deleted that because in 3 sentences I managed 3 spelling errors jeezzzz. Here's how it should read...


That view was to die for. Love the Chinese containers and personalized cookies idea. Brillz.

Bravo Melanie saving the day with some great pics.

Arlynn said...

This is SO fun & I love that you had an Asian theme to your food!!! I'm a BIG Asian food lover, but had a different "theme" for the big day; this is a totally perfect opportunity to incorporate many different loves : - )

I recently went to a wedding (an older couple) who had a GIANT white chocolate covered fortune cookie as their wedding cake, adorable!

Can't wait for the rest of the wedding posts...

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh excellent tips...and yes Martha is the wedding goddess!