Monday, November 16, 2009

Partee Time!!

I love me a good party, and if there's one thing I've learned so far in the wedding planning process, it's this: If you plan things right, getting married can consist of not one, but several awesome parties, all thrown in your honor. Hmmm, do I enjoy being the center of attention? Maybe. Just maybe.

About a month after the Architect and I got engaged, we experienced the first of these parties. My parents were kind enough to throw us an engagement party at their house. While my parents wanted to host this event, party planning seriously stresses my mom out, so we all decided together that this should be a pretty laid back affair. (I helped my mom with the planning, to keep the level of stress to a minimum.) I knew I wanted cupcakes. Also, the Architect and I conveniently had 6 bottles of champagne sitting in our fridge leftover from a party that we threw after I defended my dissertation earlier in the spring. (Another party for me?! You shouldn't have...) Other than cupcakes and champagne, we decided that we would serve wine and beer, sparkling lemonade, and apple juice for the little ones. For food we checked out a number of options, and in the end we decided to go with a local catering company who would provide platters of assorted sandwiches, along with several different salad options. Since the party was planned to take place mostly in my parents' backyard, we also needed some additional rentals. We used another local company that my mom knew of to rent tables and chairs, some serving implements, ice buckets for drinks (plus a keg cooler !), and 40 champagne glasses -- yes, we used real glass. Mama don't like no plastic champagne glasses. The outcome was an amazing party for 40 of our closest friends and my parents' closest friends (many of whom have known me since I was just a baby). The weather even managed to (sort of) cooperate. If you live in New England, then you probably remember how TRULY AWFUL the weather was this past spring and for most of the summer. The fact that the weather managed to behave for at least two-thirds of our engagement party was nothing short of a miracle.

Ok, enough of my blubbering on. I'll let the pictures of the event speak for themselves.

MOH M. (a.k.a., my lovely sister) and me, posing by the food and waiting for our guests to arrive

My mom found these lovely napkins from Marimekko

My mom also picked out these lovely yellow flowers, and the Architect and I supplied a variety of glass vases to put them in

Food porn. Yum. Our sandwich and salad spread was just asking to be devored by hungry party-goers.

A rare picture of Groomsman C and his girlfriend

Our guests (including one of our little guests!) enjoying themselves.

My parents' friends took the chance to do some catching up

What a coincidence! My friend S and my mom ended up sporting nearly identical dresses.

There's the bubbly! I'm really happy that my mom insisted on using actual champagne flutes. The effect was quite nice.


My dad made a lovely speech. (At this point we moved the party indoors, since the New England weather decided to cease cooperating with us.)

Really, could you think of a better meal than cupcakes and champage? I wish I could eat like this every day.

The kids' parents all decided to make their little ones eat their cupcakes on the stairs, so as to avoid ruining my parents' furniture. How thoughtful! Plus, it made for some really cute pictures.

Someone told us that we had to feed each other the cupcakes. Thanks, but I think we'll save that tradition for the wedding.

There. That's better. What a wonderful party!

In case you are interested, here is the list of (Boston-area) shops and vendors who we used for the party. I would recommend all of them, however I can't speak to the costs, since we were not involved in the budgeting for this event:
Cupcakes -- Sweet
Wine / Sparkling lemonade / Juice -- Trader Joe's
Beer (pony keg) -- Downtown Wine and Spirits
Napkins -- Marimekko
Flowers and Other Paper Goods -- Whole Foods Market
Catering -- Bakers' Best
Rentals -- Peterson Party Center

Did you have an engagement party? Was it a high class affair, or a low-key shindig?

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