Vineyard Engagement Party
Earlier this month, Sam and I celebrated our engagement at our favorite winery, Boordy Vineyard. We invited our sweet family and our closest friends to picnic in the vineyard, taste local wines, and dance under the stars to a Big Band. There is no question in my mind that it is on my top 3 of the best nights ever. Truly a night that we will never forget. If it was any indication of what our wedding day will be like, I know that I'm going to want to relive it over and over again.
We decided to host our engagement party at a public event which I HIGHLY recommend doing. I was a little unsure of how smoothly it would go at first but, I am so glad that we planned it this way. There have definitely been a few moments since our party that I've thought... maybe we could just host our wedding at a public event (LOL - joking, but really). There is almost zero stress involved, very minimal cost and, as long as you choose a place or event that you trust, your guests are guaranteed to have a wonderful time. We invited about 45 people to Boordy Vineyard for their Summer concert series. Sam and I had our choice of about 10 different bands and weekends throughout June, July, and August. After some research, we settled on a Big Band that covered all of our favorite 80s and 90s hits that we knew our family and friends would love. In our invitation, we made it very clear that this was a public event, that our guests would need to buy tickets (it was $20 per person), and that there would be wine tastings and food trucks available in addition to the picnic food we would be providing.
My parents decided to make individual picnic sets (cheeses, cured meats, crackers, chicken salad, grapes, etc) for each couple that we invited, which was perfect. Essentially, all Sam and I needed to do was show up and enjoy this beautiful night. We were so, so grateful.
When we arrived at Boordy, a little before 5pm, we wandered over to the vineyard itself and walked through privately, taking photos with Jade Nikkole Photography and discussing how excited we were to celebrate our engagement with our family and close friends. It was the very first time in 6 years that Sam and I had been dating, that our parents would finally meet. Crazy - I know. We are both so connected to our families but throughout the years there just was never a "perfect" time for them to meet. Although we were confident that they would all love each other, it was a huge moment and one that we had been looking forward to. Aside from that, all of our friends were able to properly meet each other and mingle over wine and live music. It was the perfect introduction for everyone that would be attending our wedding.
The weather forecast leading up to the day was thunderstorms and possible rain showers and the event was entirely outdoors. To be honest, normally this forecast would totally freak me out, but I had this strange sense of calmness in the week and day leading up to our party. I told Sam and our families that if it rained, it rained; we would enjoy ourselves either way. And, I actually meant it (#WhoAmI?). I knew that our guests would be taking their ques from us in the event of bad weather so, I just wanted to remain positive and make the most of the night.
I made this beautiful flower crown from scratch the morning of (my first time ever) and I was so proud of myself for how it turned out. I wanted to wear a flowy, floor-length white dress to our party and make the pink flower crown my focal point. I wasn't really concerned with the rain damaging my dress at the bottom - it was only $30 and I knew that a good dry cleaner could get the stain out if it dragged.
About 2 hours into our party, the weather began to turn and something funny happened - the rain prompted all of us to head down to the dance floor where the band was playing and we rocked out like you would not believe. The dance floor was packed with people, everyone was letting loose and having such an amazing time, and I kept telling them that the drizzle of rain was an added bonus (it felt kinda good with the humidity, too). No one cared what they looked like (p.s. we all looked like wet dogs) and we were singing at the top of our lungs, jumping around, showing off our crazy dance moves, drinking wine, and truly celebrating this new season of life. It was my favorite moment of the entire night.
As the night went on and Sam and I danced with our family and friends, I pictured our wedding day, surrounded by this overwhelming happiness and love. I had never felt closer to our guests that attended, or more confident that I wanted to celebrate mine and Sam's marriage with them by our side.
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xo Anna Elizabeth