Ice cream truck

The perfect engagement party might mean watching your siblings scarf down "free" ice cream from a truck. (Courtesy Megan Isennock / June 6, 2012)

Our engagement party was this weekend, and it was fantastic. My future mother and father in-law hosted, and they nailed it. The party began mid-afternoon, and we spent the day eating Andy Nelson’s BBQ, playing corn hole and bocce and sipping Prosecco in the glorious 75-and-sunny weather. 

I think sometimes engagement parties can be a little stuffy. Standing in a swanky bar eating crostini and chatting about place settings would not be nearly as fun (to me) as wiping BBQ off my face while watching my 85,000 younger siblings lose their minds when the rented ice cream truck pulled up. (Because my genius MIL rented an ice cream truck. If you're having a big outdoor party, rent an ice cream truck.)

My 8-year-old brother immediately panicked- “DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUARTERS?!” and nearly fell over when he found out it was free. And then later nearly fell over once the sugar crash from his three chipwiches took over.

It was also fun to see our adult friends and family kick back in the sunshine and drink beer and wait in line for Chaco-Tacos. A lot of our guests had not met each other before, and I was so happy to see all our worlds coming together in such a relaxed, happy way. I didn’t realize I was nervous for the party until right before it began, but there was nothing to worry about. We got lucky with all the people in our lives, and I actually stopped introducing people about an hour in, because everyone looked like old friends.

I feel like this a recurring theme on this blog, but here it is agai — with your wedding, do what you want to do. We’re at the halfway point between the engagement and wedding, and this year is already feeling fleeting. Our engagement party made the approaching wedding real in a way planning hasn’t. Rob and I have been fairly casual about this whole thing, but our party made me realize we need to stop and soak it in a little more. We only get to be engaged once  — to each other, anyway (hah) — and we’ve been pretty terrible at slowing down and enjoying this time.

In realizing this, I’ve become so much more grateful to our parents for not taking over. It’s very easy for me to say “do what you want to do” because we have been, and are encouraged to. Having unconditional support eases the stress of wedding planning completely — and without it, we wouldn’t have the luxury to really sink in and remember this time happily.

Our engagement party was a complete reflection of us, because our parents made sure it was. And with 123 days to go, I know that our wedding will be the same.