19 Amazing Ideas to Celebrate Your Engagement that Beat a Basic Party

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by  Kate Parker | Last Updated: 
engagement celebration ideas

Celebrating your engagement may even be more fun than celebrating the wedding itself. 

Before you start the wedding planning it’s time for you and your significant other to treat yourselves to whatever you want to do. 

Let’s check out some unique ways to celebrate taking the next step together that don’t involve a standard party. 

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19 Ideas to Celebrate Your Engagement That are Way Better Than Just a Party

Go on an Engagement-Moon 

You’ve heard of honeymoon and babymoon, well now get ready for the even more fun engagement-moon. 

An engagement-moon can be as big or as small as you’d like, since it’s just the two of you there’s no pressure. Whether you decide to do something smaller like a weekend road trip, or a little bigger like going abroad, the focus of this engagement-moon is just to enjoy yourselves as much as possible.

Here are some fantastic engagement-moon options:

  • Disneyland
  • Staying at a local Bed and Breakfast
  • Camping in nature
  • Booking an Airbnb somewhere nice

Have an Engagement Photoshoot

The months after the engagement tend to fly right by, so there’s no better way to remember them than a fabulous photoshoot. 

Wedding pictures have their own upscale style, however you can take your engagement pictures anywhere. The idea behind an engagement shoot is to capture the pure, excited energy of the couple. 

The time after an engagement is such a novelty, filled with romance and the excitement of not only planning the wedding, but a whole future together.

An engagement shoot will help to immortalize that feeling forever. Some romantic engagement shoot locations include:

  • The location of the proposal
  • The place where you first met
  • The location of your first date
  • Your favorite hang out spot together
  • The beach
  • The forest 
  • A park
  • A harbor, or anywhere near a body of water

Plan a Game Night at Home

Whether you already have a closet full of board games at home, or you needed an excuse to run to Target and stock up, a game night is a fun and low key way to celebrate. 

This option is not only very affordable, but also very customizable. You can turn it into a potluck so there’s less food prep, and even ask everyone to bring their favorite game from home. 

If you’re looking for a fun way to invite both of your families over then this could be a great option for you. It pairs well with a barbeque and campfire, or maybe your family prefers red wine and appetizers. 

Some fun game options that will keep you laughing all night are:

  • Taboo
  • Scattergories
  • Pictionary
  • Jenga
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Cranium

Book A Spa Trip

Nothing says relaxing like a day at the spa, this super relaxing experience is a great way to spend quality time together while bonding. 

Spa prices vary according to which packages you buy, but a good starting point would be couples massages and then adding on amenities from there. 

If you’re looking for a stress free way to celebrate then this is undoubtedly the option for you. Imagine a professional masseuse working the knots out of your shoulders, while you listen to zen music and smell lavender essential oils. This is a foolproof way to celebrate so everyone is happy. 

Do Pinterest DIYs

Do you have any arts and crafts supplies kicking around in a closet somewhere? If so, now is the time to break them out and create something you’ll cherish forever.

Even if you aren’t art savvy, Pinterest breaks down their instructions into very manageable steps, so everyone can have fun. Even if your crafts turn into “Pinterest Fails,” that makes the whole event even more fun and picture worthy.

Grab your favorite snacks and check out these great Pinterest engagement DIYs:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Wishlist jar
  • Mixed sand jar
  • Monogram embroidery–Engagement date
  • Personalized vow paper
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Go on a Camping Trip

Escaping the endless stream of questions about the wedding from family and friends might sound appealing, and there’s no better option than nature.

Taking a few days to put your phones on silent and enjoy the peace and serenity of nature together can be healing and bonding. If you and your partner aren’t into pitching tents then there are so many campgrounds that offer a furnished bungalow.

Many couples prefer “glamping,” which basically means to camp but with all the modern amenities of a house. This is also a great option if you don’t feel like brushing your teeth with a water bottle. 

Go to a Roller Rink 

Honestly, when was the last time you went roller skating at a roller rink? Probably when your shoes were at least three sizes smaller.

That’s what makes this activity so much fun, it brings out your childhood nostalgia and joy. Whether you’re a good skater or not isn’t important, just get out there and enjoy the throwback music and neon colored lights. 

It’s likely that you won’t go to another roller rink for a long time so this place will hold a lot of memories, bonus points if you bring a Polaroid instant camera and capture these fun memories.

Celebrate Virtually

If you want to celebrate with your family and friends, but don’t want the added stress of planning and hosting yet another party, a virtual meeting is a great option.

All you need to do is choose a date, time, and which platform you want to connect with your loved ones with. Then your job is done, that’s the extent of all the planning this event requires.

A great way to pass the time is by telling everyone to bring their favorite beverage and snack, and telling stories about your fondest memories together. 

Book a Cruise for Two

Depending on which season you go, some cruise lines offer fantastic deals on couples packages. 

Imagine a relaxing week-long cruise to Mexico, filled with sunbathing and pina coladas. Or, for the more adventurous couple maybe a week on a breathtaking Alaskan cruise would be better. 

Whatever cruise you choose you’ll have peace of mind knowing there’s absolutely nothing you need to plan, and it’s all inclusive. It’s a fantastic way to travel while getting quality time with your partner.

Volunteer for a Local Charity

This is a great way to help those in need and give back to your community. It can be as simple as serving at a soup kitchen or just helping with your town’s community garden. 

This is a very fulfilling and enriching experience, most couples never think to volunteer together but those who do find it to be a bonding experience. Not only do you get to meet new people and help them with the person you love, you also have a new sense of gratitude and grounding before planning for your wedding.

Some great volunteering locations include:

  • Museums
  • Soup kitchens
  • Animals shelters
  • Second hand shops
  • Community gardens
  • Nursing homes
  • Red cross locations
  • Lion’s Club

Paint Night

If you’ve never attended a Paint Night, you’re truly missing out on one of the funnest activities out there. Paint Nights are usually held at a local cafe, bar or gastropub and include around 20 attendees. Each of you will be given a painter’s easel, brushes and paints as a fun and enthusiastic teacher shows you step by step how to paint a picture.

This is usually accompanied by a drink of choice from the bar, as well as live music and lots of laughter. Even if you’re not a talented painter it’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours, plus you get to keep your canvas at the end of the night. 

This activity is light hearted, loved by all and actually quite affordable with prices ranging from $40-$100. 

Attend a Couples Cooking Class

Before spending the rest of your lives together it’s a great idea to see what kinds of foods your partner likes to eat. For that matter, what kinds of feeds they can cook as well.

A couples cooking class usually has several groups of couples in a large kitchen, each couple will have their own private area to cook as the teacher gives guided steps. 

Not only is it a great way to learn more about your partner, but food is always a great way to connect with each other. Search your local Airbnb for tons of couples cooking classes near you.

Go to A Drive-In Movie

Is there anything more romantic and timeless than a Drive-In movie? Since this is something most people do rarely, it’ll be a unique and lasting memory forever. You can choose to invite others, or keep it low key.

Make your Drive-In night even more special by bringing fairy lights, cute blankets, and your favorite snacks. This is a great chance to whip out a disposable camera and start clicking away. 

It’ll leave you with vintage style photos that you can look forward to printing out later. Plus, because you can’t see the photos at that moment it’ll help to keep your attention on your celebratory night. 

Make a Vision Board Together

The stress of planning a wedding can often cloud your vision of your future together with your partner. Spending quality time together making a vision board is a great way to start this next chapter on a positive note.

Turn on your favorite music and grab as many magazines as you can get your hands on. This is a fun way to cut our pictures of the life you want to live together, while communicating and laughing. 

The best option is to buy a large poster board or canvas from your local arts and craft store, then all you need to do is flip through magazines and cut out anything that you want in your future. 

You can take turns and make it into a fun game, let your partner choose the future car while you get to choose the future house. After you’re done you can take it to a nearby printing shop where they can laminate it for you so it’ll last forever. 

Try an International Celebration

Cultures all over the world celebrate their engagements in unique and beautiful ways. Some of them are deep and meaningful, others are purely for fun and pleasure.

Here are some ways that people celebrate their engagement around the world:

  • Japan–choosing a special gift for your partner
  • Turkey–preparing Turkish coffee for both families at your home
  • Egypt–painting henna on your partner and friends 
  • Vietnam–bringing fruit to the homes of your immediate and extended family for good luck
  • Russia–preparing a traditional salty braid of bread that signifies your union

If you’re a couple that loves traveling, or if you just want to make this engagement celebration unique and memorable, then incorporating one or more of these international traditions is a great idea. 

Enjoy a Special Brunch

Is there a bougie, upscale restaurant you’ve been dying to try for months but haven’t had a reason to drop three figures on brunch? 

Well now’s the time, set your reservation at a beautiful restaurant that you don’t often go to and enjoy trying new food together. If this option doesn’t feel special enough for you feel free to invite close family or friends, and bring some engagement decor to sprinkle onto the table. 

After you’re done with the mimosas in champagne flutes and taking all your celebratory pictures, you can end the date with a special cake that’s brought out to you by singing servers. 

Book a Couples Meditation Retreat

A couples retreat is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in nature while experiencing a once in a lifetime journey with your partner.

These retreats promise a full of activities that will encourage communication in your relationship, healing old wounds and appreciating each other. 

There are endless locations with varying prices to suit your budget, in the US some popular retreats are located on the secluded beaches of Florida or in the serene mountains of Colorado. If you’re looking to go abroad then hop on a quick flight to places like Jamaica, Costa Rica or Mexico.

The activities are pre-planned out so you can expect some of these on your weekly schedule:

  • Daily yoga classes
  • Oil massages
  • Vegetarian/Vegan friendly meals
  • Daily meditation classes
  • Breathwork
  • Workshop activities

Make Gifts for Your Family and Friends

Rather than having a lavish engagement party try preparing thoughtful gifts you can send to those around you.

This is a great couples activity from beginning to end, you can go shopping together for the boxes and gifts, then spend the evening assembling them. 

As you prepare each box you can reminisce about the person you’re sending it to, not only is it a lovely way to pass the time with your partner but your friends will be over the moon to see a surprise package in the mail.

Some great great, simple gift ideas include: 

  • Customized tea bags
  • Monogrammed stamps
  • Hand written cards
  • Homemade candles
  • Vials of decorative flowers
  • Homemade or store bought sweets
  • Lavender sachets
  • Handmade coffee mugs

Go Bungee Jumping

You might be surprised at how many people propose to their partner on a bungee jumping trip.

The mix of adrenaline, fear and excitement make this an emotional experience already and is such a great way to bond with your partner. Imagine diving off a 500 meter high bridge with your partner, in a way it’s symbolic of the diving into the next chapter of your lives together.

If bungee jumping isn’t your thing you can always try skydiving or paragliding, and just imagine some of the amazing engagement pictures you’ll get while doing these.

Final Thoughts

Remember there are no rules when celebrating your engagement.

Whether you choose a local, low key event like a karaoke night or a big trip abroad, the main point is to have fun. Be sure to calculate the budget for your engagement celebration and choose the option that suits you best.

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