First of all, hello and welcome to the first of my “Wedding Wednesday” posts! I aim to try and write one post a fortnight about all things wedding. Sometimes it’ll be about planning our own wedding, and sometimes it’ll be more focused on sharing tips, knowledge or advice for brides (and maybe grooms!) to be.
This week, I’m beginning the series by writing a little entry about our engagement party.
One of the first things that Sam and I found out that we had in common, was our mutual love of a little TV show called Friends. We both grew up watching it, and have re-watched the whole 10 seasons at least 3 times over since we’ve been together.
I’ve always said that wherever I am in the world, if I have a cuppa tea, a KitKat and Friends on TV, the world is a pretty good place to be. Out of 365 days in a year, I’d say at least 350 of those days there will be at least one Friends quote or reference that leaves my lips and pop up during my day somewhere.
Could I *BE* any more obsessed…? *ahem*…
So, anyway, when the idea of having a small gathering to celebrate our engagement came up, we thought about what we wanted the decoration to look like, and whether there was anything specific about us as a couple that we could use as a theme, to make it a little more fun, personal and meaningful to us. We’ve been watching Friends on Netflix a lot in the garden during the summer evenings, and we came up with the idea of perhaps trying a little Friends theme.. depending on how difficult it would be to source decorations and all that kinda stuff.
We looked at dates that we could have the gathering, and were sad to discover that the only definite day off together we both had for a month and a half, was 8th September… which, at that point was 6 days away. We didn’t wanna wait too long to host the gathering, as we had already decided on a nice chilled out day in the garden with the barbecue going and everything, so it kinda had to be while it was still sunny and relatively warm.. which, if we waited until the end of October when we’re next off together, it definitely wouldn’t have been. And, it was important to us that we had the party quite close to us being newly engaged, as everyone would still be quite excited about it all.. whereas if you wait a few months, all the excitement has died down and it’s no longer new and fresh, and as I haven’t posted photos of my engagement ring on Facebook yet, some of our family hadn’t seen the ring.. so… yeah. That gave us 6 days. 6 days to plan a Friends themed engagement party. I went into pure panic mode, went a little crazy and just started buying everything we needed.
A few of the decorations I made were DIY, including 3 sets of Friends themed bunting and some Friends quote signs. They took ages to make but looked really nice which made it worth the late nights and early mornings.
I also made up six centerpieces which were dotted around the garden and spare room, all of which featured props that you’d associate with each main Friends character, some more obvious than others, and some that only true Friends fans would understand. 😉
We also had a Central Perk poster printed that people could sign as our guestbook. We’re gonna have it framed.
Lucky for us, Primark have recently launched a Friends homeware range so we took a trip to Lakeside in the evening and had lots of fun shopping for other decorations to include in our themed party, including the yellow peephole photo frames to put our own photos in, Central Perk cushions, Friends themed candles and Central Perk latte cups.
I also found two lobsters in Skinnydip, so that was just perfect!
I mixed these Friends themed decorations with various other more traditional engagement party decorations, including some garland to go over the french doors, hanging paper pom-poms, hanging ring decorations, a swim ring to pose for photos with and helium balloons.
It looked really nice when it was all put together. It turned out exactly how I pictured it in my head.
For food, the main theme was obviously our “I DO BBQ” but we also had a table set up in the spare room for some traditional Friends inspired nibbles including Phoebe’s cookies, Monica’s candy, Ross’ sandwiches, “The Joey Special” (2 pizzas) Chandler’s favourite meal – macaroni cheese with cut up hot dogs and Rachel’s traditional English trifle. (Yep, beef, peas and onions included…just for the laughs.)
*We also made a seperate trifle without the beef, peas and onions, and set more traditional nibbles out on the table too*
Our cake was made by my mum, who made us her specialty – the rainbow cake, and we had a topper that said “He’s her lobster” which was super-cute!
She also made us cupcakes and cookies. She really spoils us.
The day itself was fantastic. We had the barbecue going from around 1pm, and a fully stocked bar (yeah, we also have a bar now. lol) and were visited by all our immediate family and some close friends. Everyone seemed to have a great time, loved the decorations, loved the food and we had such a lovely day. We received some lovely cards and amazing presents, which were very unexpected but very much appreciated.
During the evening, Sam’s workmates came over and we continued the barbecue, lit the fire pit and toasted marshmallows, chatted with everyone and continued eating, drinking and partying into the night.
Sam and Iain celebrated by smoking some really fancy cigars that Iain bought as a present to Sam, as it was a special occasion.
We had the most amazing engagement celebration, and we’d like to thank everyone who came for taking the time to come and celebrate with us. It really means the world.
We’re gonna give ourselves some time to rest, recover, relax and take it all in, and we’ll probably start heading into wedding planning in a few weeks time.
We’re still very much enjoying being newly engaged, and I can’t see the excitement dying down any time soon.