Updated: Jun 11
At the beginning of December, we had the pleasure of my parents hosting some close friends and family for an evening of celebrating our engagement. It had been over four months since Joe had proposed and would be over a year until the wedding day. Couples often have an engagement party, which can be about the same size as the wedding itself, but with our desire to keep everything small, we opted out of a party. Instead, we took the opportunity to celebrate our joyous milestone with our loved ones over a nice meal at a restaurant whose owners are amazing with food allergies.
While hosting this sort of celebration can be simple, we wanted to plan something a little more special for the occasion that was bringing our families together and most of them meeting one another for the first time.
The post-engagement period can become a hectic time with all the decisions to be made and checklist tasks to complete. On top of that, people are excited and eager to see you, take you out to dinner, want to celebrate, showing their happiness for the newly engaged couple. The intention is good, but it can be overwhelming and even more stressful as a person with food allergies.
Instead, we invited our immediate family and a couple of friends to join us for dinner at a local restaurant whose owners have been a part of my food allergy journey for nearly two decades. Quick backstory: as most 4 years old, my favorite food was pizza. However, unlike most 4 years olds, I was allergic to dairy. My parents went on a hunt to find a pizzeria that would make me a safe pizza. No pizzerias wanted to accommodate this, except one. And as my food allergies grew, they were always up to the task to cook me something safe. Truthfully, there is no other restaurant I would have wanted to host this occasion at then with them.
In terms of the dinner party, my mom and I tend to go a little overboard when we have a theme. We knew we wanted to keep it a quaint gathering and for it to be themed to our Napa Valley proposal. That is when we turned to our planning powerhouse tools, Pinterest, and Etsy!
We found everything we needed for this gathering through our extensive pinning (or more so my excessive pinning). After ordering our invitations, I knew right away that I wanted to stick to the imagery on them for the decorations at the dinner.
We used brown, red, and white color tones to create that Napa Valley and wine theme we were going for through the dinnerware and decor. The room in the restaurant the gathering was held in did helped tie this theme together with the beautiful hand-painted vines and murals of Italy they have around the room.
A wooden palette sat right at the front door and was one of the first things guests saw when arriving. This was an easy and super affordable addition to have at the party. We picked up a wooden palette at our local hardware store. (Simply ask for one they were not using, you can get them for free!) Joe sanded it down and stained it and I decorated it.
Etsy Shop: ArtHomeBoutique
Etsy Shop: Lucky Blue Shop
I'm so thankful for the creative and kind makers on Etsy, who, through their pieces, helped us put the night together!