How Much Does an Engagement Party Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

An engagement party, as the name implies, is held to celebrate a couple’s recent engagement.  It can even help the future wedding guests get to know one another.  Usually, the bride’s parents will host the engagement party at either a local restaurant, rental hall or a home.

Engagement Party by alliecreative, on Flickr
Engagement Party” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by alliecreative

How much does an engagement party cost?

The costs for budgeting an engagement party is hard because, like most parties, there are so many factors to consider.  A simple at-home party could be done for as little as a few hundred, whereas a private room rented at a local five-star restaurant could cost well into the thousands.  According to our research, however, a budget of about $1,000 to $2,000 would be enough for an engagement party attended by mostly family, some relatives and close friends.  If you want to price “per person,” then it’s safe to budget $15 to $30 per person.

For a middle of the road party that includes dinner, some drinks and a rental, for example, the cost can be around $15 to $25 per person, but f the party will include an open bar, a premium entree, such as prime steaks and a dessert, the price can increase to more than $35 to $50 per person.

If you want to price out your own party, figure out what the event venue rental fee if you’re choosing one, the table/chair rentals, again, if you need it, the alcohol, food and decorations.  These items, according to How Stuff Works, will help you budget for what’s important and help you keep within your budget.

Forum members on, for instance, talked about the costs of their engagement party.  Browsing through the forum thread, it appeared as if people paid as little as $500 to have it at home to more than $15,000 for a sit-down dinner with decorations at a local higher-end restaurant.

Factors that affect the price:

Location of the party

If you want to hold the party in a hotel, beach or other outside locations, expect to pay more.  Your rental halls, and, of course, your home, will be the cheapest option.


This is not an optional facet in a party.  After all, your engagement would be very dull if decorations are not present.  If you want to place flowers and other decorations that go with your theme, you need to really stretch your budget.

The number of guests

The number of guests does not only determine the amount of food and drinks but the size of the location as well.

Foods and refreshments to be served

The more lavish the foods and drinks are, the more expensive it gets.


If you choose to hire a DJ, then you’ll likely pay more for it.  Providing an open bar is the most expensive route.

Photography and filming

Because they will want to remember this occasion, many people choose to hire a professional photographer or videographer to document the day’s events.

What are the extra costs?

Outfit for the couples

Of course, you need to look best on this special day.  Because of this, you should consider the outfit you and your partner will be wearing when you figure the cost of the party.  You will likely spend a few hundred dollars or more on a dress and a suit depending on how “formal” or “casual” your party is as well as your style.

Engagement cake

Most people consider this an extra expense and would allocate a separate amount for it.  Cakes can vary depending on the style.  A simple cake can cost $40, while a three-tier elaborate cake can cost more than $400.

Tips to know:

Theoretically, an engagement party is usually planned by the parents of the bride.  This also means that the parents will spend for the necessary expenses for the party.  However, the customs of society have changed over time.  Today, it is a common sight to see the bride-to-be planning her own engagement party.

As per, December is still the most popular month of the year to get engaged.

The average length of an engagement can be around 10 to 15 months.

Questions to ask before planning an engagement party:

When and where should the engagement party be held?

Who should be invited?

Who should host the engagement party?

What kind of budget do I have?

What kind of food to I want to serve?

How can I save money?

Make it a simple engagement and don’t picture it as a mini-wedding.  You can save a great deal of money if you opt for a party that is in line with your budget.  Never treat your party as a mini-wedding.  You need do not need to have an expensive dress or lavish food.  Save this money for your actual wedding.

Your engagement cake does not need to be very expensive.  Buying it at a local bakery or grocery store will be enough.

Keep the guest list simple and only invite those who you are truly close with.  There’s no need to invite everyone you plan on inviting to the wedding.

Host your party at your home.  As suggested by, you can throw an inexpensive engagement party by using the space that is already at your disposal.  Instead of renting a hall or paying for restaurant service, you can hold the party at your own house or your parents’ house.  This will not only save you money but will make your party more personal and private.

Engagement parties are a newer trend.  They are not completely necessary, so if your budget does not allow for one. simply skip it.

If you do plan on going to a restaurant, the time of and the day will matter.  If possible, choose a weekday evening or even an afternoon during the weekend to cut down the costs.

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