One thing that sort of surprised me after we got engaged and told everyone about it was how excited some people were to make things happen! And by some people, I mean my sister.
My sister is two and half years younger than I am and took a job in Chicago after she graduated from college last spring. It was so exciting that she had finally graduated and might be close to home… and then she accepted a stupid job in a stupid city far away. Luckily for me, stupid Chicago messed everything up and my fantastic sister had to move back to Boston, where she can be excited about wedding stuff close by.
So we got engaged and some of the first questions we got were, “Should I be planning a party? What are my responsibilities as your mother/sister/important person?” And we thought to ourselves, Hm, this would be a good excuse to throw a party.
What the internet told me was that the engagement party is a place for families to meet for the first time and to announce the engagement. This was kind of silly, since we’d already announced it, and our families had mostly already met. So we just used it as an excuse to surround ourselves with people we care about and have a good afternoon!
My sister organized the whole thing along with one of Turtle’s best friends, who lent us his house. It was a potluck lunch, so no one person had to worry about providing for everyone. My sister took charge of putting together a jeopardy game and Turtle and I put together a human scavenger hunt. We even got prizes for everyone! I think we may have been more excited about the party than anyone else, but I guess that’s how it should be.
While Turtle & BF were out getting food for our potluck contributions, I set to work being crafty.
Here is our pretty stamp and squares I spent way too much time cutting up. It didn’t take too long before I stopped caring whether the edges were straight. Careless = the new chic.
I found some ribbon I had bought years ago and never found a use for… until now! Used our three hole punch in a creative way to get two holes into the cards. Just for the record, I LOVE the ColorBox inks. The other stamp pad worked fine for what we needed it for, but is not very high quality, so steer clear if you want something nice.
One challenge I ran into was stamping things evenly! The tree had a knack for being faded right in the middle, but if I pressed too hard then I would get bad brown edges all over everything. Stamps are hard.
Once I ran out of prizes to stamp, I decided we needed party favors! M&Ms to the rescue! I think we ate more than we bagged, but here they are! My mom had bought me this little heart- and star-shaped paper holders probably 5 years ago, which came in handy. It was great how much stuff I already had for this impromptu project.
One of our really good friends gave us this beautiful frame for Christmas, but we hadn’t put anything in it yet – perfect for thanking everyone! I stamped our special stamp lower down on the paper so that the date and names were hidden, and then used individual letter stamps to spell out the “thanks for coming.” Again – casual = chic, right?
At this point I stopped letting the little lines on the edges of the stamps bother me, as you can probably tell.
Prize number one! Well, number two, since I showed the bottle of wine a few posts ago. This probably gives you a good sense of our friends and family. We also spent our first date EVER doing the Sunday NYTimes crossword, so of course it felt important to represent that.
Other prizes: a coffee/tea mug from REI, a bottle of our favorite wine (PromisQous), a coloring book with colored pencils, a gift certificate to Not Your Average Joe’s (one of our favorite local restaurants), and two CDs of music that we like and have been important in our relationship. I would have been excited to get any of these, if I may say so myself. I suppose I’m somewhat biased, since they are all or they represent some of my favorite things.
Here is our human scavenger hunt! Again with the somewhat sloppy spelled out stamps.
We wanted to get people who didn’t know each other very well to start talking to each other, and to find interesting facts and want to learn more. For example, one of the questions was, “Who met (me) in a swimming at (college)?” The funny part was that the person it was didn’t know she was the answer, which led to more funny conversations. (Side note: I’m realizing I talk about Rumble a lot on this blog. Hi Rumble!)
Turtle and I came up with the questions out at dinner one night. It was a lot of fun putting together this list, and even more fun watching everyone try to figure out the answers!
Up next: the party itself, scavenger hunt and jeopardy included!