engagement · organization · smile · Uncategorized · wedding

Saturday Smiles: Graduated & Engaged

Last weekend, Benny and I held a graduation/engagement party to celebrate our recent accomplishment and status. When Benny proposed in November, I knew that it would be a great idea to celebrate the two events after the holidays, as sort of a post New Year pick me up.


An additional bonus to hosting it two months after Benny proposed and a month after we graduated is that it gave me time to purchase things as I found them (cuz bargains!), and I snagged a whole bunch of cute sparkly party items on sale after New Year’s Eve. This worked out great because we want our wedding to have lots of metallics, so we incorporated them into the party décor. I also used the gathering as an opportunity to pop the question to my bridal party, since I had them all in one spot! (How I asked my girls will be featured in its own post next week!)

Luckily, Benny’s house has a rather large open layout, so I played this up. I arranged the furniture in his living room into a sort of circle, so that guests could sit and openly talk. On the TV Benny created a slideshow of photos of us throughout our relationship, which was such a sweet detail! I created a playlist with a variety of songs—it had everything from Spice Girls to the White Stripes, which kept the party pumped. On the wall adjacent to the door, I hung pompoms and a banner that said “Soon To Be Benitez,” and added Chinese lanterns for a 3D affect.


In the kitchen, I cleared Benny’s counter of appliances and centered a wedding plate and galvanized letter B around the cutest galvanized metal ice pail, which I used to keep champagne cold. I also placed cups and cute gold and white paper straws out for the champagne. Two of my besties arranged champagne jello shots they made with sparkly metallic sprinkles into a B on the counter as well, but they didn’t last long because they were SO yummy! Across from the counter, on the table, I placed a gold tablecloth and arranged galvanized metal trays (that match the ice pail!) out for finger foods and tied it all together with some pink tulips. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture the table prior to it becoming a wreck. However, I have photographed the metal serving tray set because it is too precious!



Outside of the restroom, I covered a chest in another gold plastic tablecloth and set up this amazing smelling handmade candle and a mini notepad. The candle made the whole house smell good, and I received compliments on it all night. The notepad was there for guests to write down their mailing addresses and e-mail addresses, so that Benny and I can have these handy for when send out our save the dates and a link to our wedding website.


In the spare room, I set up a photo booth. It was the highlight of the evening, and I am so glad I did because the pictures captured are truly priceless! I hung a blue metallic fringe door cover on the wall for guests to take photos in front of. Across from the backdrop, I placed a mirror, the cutest pail full of photo booth props, and a customized Instagram cut out made just for the party. I set up my camera on its tripod, so people would not just take photos on their personal phones and cameras. Seriously, this was a genius idea because now I have the best photo album ever of people being silly.








I should also mention here that I ordered a set of balloons that had eight white and eight gold normal balloons and one large foil engagement ring balloon. I placed the balloons throughout the house, with the engagement ring balloon in the kitchen by the food. However, one of my girls had the great idea to cut it loose and take it to the photo booth room, and the result is too fun!



Other details worth mentioning are that I arrange Benny’s bedroom to be a sort of coat check where guests could secure their jackets and purses. We set up a long table in the dining room for beer pong because every great party includes this all American pastime. (I chose cute blue Solo cups though!) Although it was cold, I knew some of our friends would opt to sit outside if given a chance, so Benny and I borrowed a fire pit and threw some colored lights and glow sticks in the backyard around it.

All in all, it was an amazing night! We had a great turn out, and seeing so many loved ones gathered made my heart warm. I can check off the perfect proposal and perfect engagement party off my list, which makes me look forward to what is to come!


Get my party look:


Banner (I got two sets of 10 flags, one in silver one in gold)-Target

Chinese lanterns-Target

Wedding Plate (seriously the cutest ever—I bought it on our anniversary)-Anthropologie, click HERE

Galvanized Metal B-Michaels

Paper straws (pack of 80)-Party City

Galvanized Metal trays and ice pail-Walmart

Gold tablecloths-Party City

Candle-Lulie Wallace, click HERE

Photobooth door fringe-Party City

Photo props pail-Target dollar section

Photobooth props (set of cut outs, team bride sash, and gigantic diamond ring)-Michael’s

Customized Instagram cutout-Etsy, click HERE

Balloons (set of plain gold & white with engagement ring; this did qualify for Prime)-Amazon, click HERE

My FIANCE top (I ordered a Large so that it would drape off of my shoulders)-Etsy, click HERE

What are some of your favorite ways to entertain?











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