SPOTLIGHT ON: An Insanely Awesome Picnic Engagement Party

I fell in love with Morgan + KTs Picnic Engagement Party the first moment I saw the pictures.

What speaks to me about it is that it's homemade, low key, beautiful, fun, and all about love.  What could be better?

[caption id="attachment_1817" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The party theme."]

I asked Katie, from NSW Australia, how she created it, and here's what she said:

What was your inspiration for the party?

I can't remember my exact inspiration for the party but I know it was just coming out of winter and I wanted to get outdoors and into the sunshine! Also a lot of our friends were also having night time engagement parties and we wanted to do something a little different.

We wanted to create a laid back picnic feel, where people could dine on the grass, enjoying the sunshine and where we could spend a lazy Saturday afternoon with our friends and family. Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate for us and we ended up having to bring in shelters and no-one really 'picnicked' on the grass (instead on chairs) but we had fun just the same.  I created a mind map for the event and starting listing all the ideas that came to mind when I thought of a picnic party - and it kinda grew from there.

Here is what i wrote on my blog: “simple a little country (to compliment our wedding which is being held in the country) picnic style a red & orange colour theme and a M+K= <3 theme (which many of our guests cleverly used too!)

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Can you describe all the different things that went on during the party? You can find a lot of info on this on my blog: www.alittlebirdtoldmeso.blogspot.com (under wedding) I have listed all the things we did in seperate posts.

Food: Morgan's cousins acted as servers and brought out trays of yummy food. For mains we served chicken ceaser salad and anglo-asian lamb salad in noodle boxes (which were left over from another party) It was YUMMY. Also yummy was the home made lemonade which was drunk out of straws with flags which guests were asked to write their name on.


Homemade lemonade in jelly jars.

Games: We set up lawn boules on the grass, random balls and I'm pretty sure Morgan put some cricket equipment out too. The homemade twister quilt was also a fun game for kids and adults alike.


Homemade Twister sign


Homemade Twister game in action.

Another easy 'game' was leaving buckets of chalk on the driveway to help keep our littlest guest occupied. They loves it and created a whole 'hopscotch land' and covered the rest of the driveway in M<3 K!


The kids played with sidewalk chalk

Photo booth: We hung a sheet between two palm trees, put our camera on a tripod, created some felt mustaches from an online tutorial and had guests take silly photos of themselves. It was a lot of fun and we got some of the best shots of our guests from here. I plan on scrapbooking them with notes from the guestbook.


Homemade photo booth complete with mustaches.

Guestbook: We hung some twine between some palm trees and cut simple squares out of scrapbooking paper which were pegged onto the twine. We also used the line to display some of our favorite engagement photos.


Wishes were strung on clothes lines.

Quiz: We gathered everyone together and made a silly quiz of our relationship. The idea was that at least one guest knew an answer to each of the questions and guest had to mingle to find the answers they didn't know. The answered were then read out and lead into the speeches. (there was also a small prize for the winner)

Speeches + toasts: Speeches were a special part of the day. Also a very special was the part where Morgan's dad prayed over our marriage, relationship and wedding preparation while all of our friends and family joined in.

What were the most fun things to design and create? I had a lot of fun sewing up the twister quilt. And love the idea how this can one day become a family heirloom and picnic tradition - we have used it a lot for picnics since!


Homemade Twister quilt

Also fun was making the chalkboard signs and flag straws, cupcake toppers, framed signs and any paper related crafts.

What activities were the most fun for your guests and you during the party?

The guests all commented on the food actually, particularly Morgans mum's berry pie. :)
And I guess the photobooth were a lot of guest had fun hanging around and being silly.

And for the kids it was the chalk on the driveway!

And we really loved getting to sit down together the morning after the party, at breakfast, and reading over all the guestbook notes from family and friends. There were some really funny responses!

What was your budget?

Hmm wow. As our party was about 7 months ago I can't really remember that one.

But I do know some hints as to how we kept costs down.

Having a party at home was definitely a money saver because it meant no hire costs. We were also lucky enough to borrow all the chairs from church and the 'circus' tarpaulin from a friend. So don't be afraid to ask friends and family if you can borrow.

Instead of buying an 'engagement cake' we opted to make our own cupcakes, which were actually just simple packet mixes (although we made our own icing) - they took about 5 hours worth of icing but were worth it.


Homemade cupcakes and cupcake toppers.

We also made all our own food - a joint effort from my mum, Morgan's mum and aunt, sister, cousins and myself. It was a lot of work but meant we didn't need to hire a caterer. And cousins helped serve so Morgan and myself could enjoy the party.

Signs were made from scrap wood and left over chalk board paint from another project. And other objects, frames, tables, glass jars were brought in from around the house.

We made the invitations ourselves and found lots of free tutorials online for eg. the envelope labels, mustaches, Martha Stewart banner:http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/click-print-banner so keep a great eye out for free printables and ideas.


Homemade invitations.

How long did it take to put together?
I can't quite remember this one either. I think a 2-3 months?
What's your wedding going to be like?

We are having a Spring time wedding in the Hunter Valley NSW with an outdoor ceremony followed by a garden party and then a reception at a closeby vineyard. We want to day to be fun and a reflection of us and most importantly our relationship with Christ and his plan for marriage. So you can expect lots of handmade touches, fun music, games and untraditional twists.
We are also planning to keep our friends and family (they mean a lot to us) quite involved - we will be getting married by Morgan's uncle and close friends will play music etc.
Morgan and Katie's wedding is in November and she promises to share her wedding photos on Catch My Party.   As soon as she does, I will add them to the blog so you can see them!
Can't wait, Katie!!

Comments

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Vicky says...

@ 13:18 on May 14, 2010

What a fun party. We are also doing a homemade twister game for a birthday party next week- so excited to play! Yours was beautifully done:)

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Katie says...

@ 16:47 on May 18, 2010

Thanks Vicky :) ooh so fun you are making a twister game too! you will have to upload your pictures to the catch my party website so we can all have a look at your twister game :) Katie and thanks Jillian for the write up - we are honoured! :)

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Jillian says...

@ 22:53 on May 18, 2010

Yes, Vicky, please add your photos to our site and I'd love to blog about your twister birthday party. And Katie, it was my pleasure to write about your very cool party.

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