7 Ways to Celebrate Your Engagement (Without a Party!)

It’s the most exciting time of your life! But even with COVID-19 restrictions loosening in most areas, you (and your loved ones) may not feel 100% comfortable with a large gathering yet. So how can you celebrate sans a traditional engagement party? Here, wedding industry pros share their favorite ideas.

marriage proposal
Photo: Bobbi + Mike Photography

Engagement Photos with a Twist

Get dressed up and take engagement photos with your new fiancé — but "don't just let those engagement photos gather dust on your computer; do something fun with them," recommends Sarah Blessinger, owner and designer of Kindred Weddings and Events. "Get creative by sending cutouts of your faces as props that your friends and family can pose with in various locations as if you were celebrating together." Compile these fun images into an online album for everyone to see, or create a slideshow to view on your big day.

Video Message Montage

Curating messages from your loved ones will help you feel the warmth and support from your friends and family, even when you can’t be together in person. Hire a video editor or ask a savvy friend to create a congratulations montage. "Each person can submit a 30 second to 1 minute video with advice, a toast, or a blessing for the engaged couple," says Blessinger. "This video can be posted on social media, or you can view it together over Zoom with your loved ones to help foster connection during this time where large gatherings are not happening."

"Propose" to Your Wedding Party

"Gift-giving is such a universal language of love," says Blessinger. "Create your own rose ceremony! For local friends and family who will play a role in your wedding day, plan a surprise visit to see them. When you present them with the rose, ask them to be a part of your wedding party." For out-of-towners, curate a gift box to send via mail. "Inviting guests into your wedding day int his special way can create tons of joy as you celebrate without gathering for a party."

Family Affair

Toast champagne and take a trip down memory lane with just your immediate family. "Have everyone share their courting and engagement stories, and look through family wedding photo albums. You'll also want to watch your parents' wedding videos – open commentary on their choice in '80s/'90s hairstyles and formal attire are totally acceptable!" says Jen Ganson, owner and lead planner of A Fresh Event.

Spread the Celebration

Why have one large party when you can have several mini-parties? "Spread the merriment out over the course of a few weeks with small gatherings of people from each part of your lives," says Ganson. "Having a handful of intimate events is a way to toast this happy milestone moment with everyone that is near and dear to you, while also helping to alleviate any anxieties of large gatherings."

Party-By-Mail

Spread the happy news of your engagement with custom celebration packages sent via mail. "Consider including items such as an engagement photo, champagne, and confetti to pop," says Bri Marbais, bridal stylist at The Bridal Finery. "Come up with a fun hashtag to share with friends and family receiving the box in order for everyone to share a photo or video while enjoying their goodies."

Drive-By Parties

Celebratory car parades were one of the biggest trends to emerge during the pandemic, and for good reason: "This is an awesome way for couples and their loved ones to get together physically but still practice social distancing," says Marbais. "Couples should definitely go all out with balloons, signage, and décor for the drive-by party. Consider dressing up in wedding attire for an extra element of surprise and enjoyment for guests!"