August 14, 2018

Our Engagement Party- How to Throw a Large Scale Event

Pastels & Pastries Engagement Party, Wedding Prep, How to Throw A Large Scale Event, Gabpacifio

Throwing a party for 100 people is never an easy task. But when you decide to have the party at your own house, you know you're in for it. Or are you?
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After Brandon and I got engaged our parents were adamant about throwing us an engagement party. But so quickly after that Christmas rolled around, and we all thought why not just wait until the summer until we can throw a backyard bash unlike no other. And that we sure did!

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

The day was probably one of the best days of my life. At first, I was so unsure about the whole party, but it truly meant soooo much to us that so many of our friends and family members came out to celebrate. I kept thinking... if this day is this sweet, I can only imagine what our actual wedding day will be like. Ah, I am still over the moon, overjoyed, overwhelmed, just on cloud nine.

But how did we make the day come together? Well, I do plan events for a living SO I had a few tricks up my sleeve. We wanted to make it personal and special, but really knew for an event this size we could not do it on our own. My mom and mother-in-law were machines. Guys, I can't even tell you how much blood, sweat, and tears went into this day. They worked endlessly to make sure every detail was executed flawlessly. The food, the pastries, the music, the decor... ah, let's get into it!

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THE FOOD
Food is a party essential.
For an event this size, we needed catering. It wasn't a question. But we wanted the catering to reflect us, and not just your average deli sandwiches. We wanted a touch of G, and a touch of B brought into every detail. I went to my favourite girls from The Fix + Co. to pull together an appetizer menu that would WOW and that was so me! They hit it out of the park. We had raw Thai wrap, vegan stuffed peppers, falafels, some amazing homemade dips like guacamole, beet hummus, and arugula pesto. They also put together some teriyaki tofu skewers, watermelon-feta skewers and Capresee bites. For the main spread (which was a buffet), we had some of B's favourites-- lasagna, veal parmigiana, roasted veggies and chicken souvlaki. Everything was SO delicious. I was eating it for days. Keep in mind, it's better to order per person for such large events when you are ordering catered food. They are the pros and they know just how much to ensure you'll have enough.

Pro tip: Use fanicer platters or chaffing dishes to set the mood. Also, write up your menu using Canva and print it out on cardstock. I sprary painted some old frames gold and had the menus sitting on the table so guest knew what everything was. This also helps for those with dietary restrictions!

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

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THE DESSERT

I love making desserts, and so does my mom. But I didn't want her to be slaving away in the kitchen when there was so much other stuff to do. However, I knew the desserts had to wow since they are so important to us. We enlisted the help of one of the best patisseries in Toronto-- Nadege. You guys all know Nadege. They basically were first on the French patisserie scene here in the city, and have been around for almost 10 years, so I knew we had to have them. Chef Nadege Nourian was born in Lyon and comes from a long line of pastry chefs in France. Brandon and I are enamored with the French lifestyle so having a French-themed sweet table was not even a second question. Our sweet table was fitted with a macaron tower, petit choux, mini Marie Antoinettes and other delectable goodies from Nadege, including their famous and insanely delicious marshmallows. Since they do catering for large scale events they know how to properly ship their goods and this made it SO easy to have everything delivered day the of. All we had to do was set it up and voila. The guests were blown away at how fresh and utterly delicious it all was!


How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit
How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit, pastels & pastries, GabPacifico wedding, engagement


How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit, Pastels & pastries, gabPacifico,  nadege patisserie, french pastry

Pastels & Pastries, GabPacifico Wedding Blogger Engagement Party Prep How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

WOW FACTOR
Every party needs an element that will wow your guests. For us, it was having Sugargirlee create an epic balloon installation. This piece acted as a photo op, and it just elevated the whole event. It made it next level because let's get real, how many people do you know that can create insanely massive balloon walls?! Laureign and her team are SO insanely sweet. We got on the phone weeks before the party hashing out the details. She had an idea of the space and ran with the idea to create something beautiful for us. If you want to elevate your party decor, balloons are where it's at! They are so fun and so impactful! They also blew up some massive confetti balloons to place inside near the sweet table. They really tired together the inside space with the outside space. And guys... I still have the balloons! Talk about helium quality!
How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

THE OUTFIT
It's your party you need to wear something that makes you feel amazing. Doesn't matter if you are re-working something in your closet, or buying a new piece. For me, I wanted my arms covered and wanted to be chic and fancy, but with a bit of sass! I walked into Honey and found my outfit within minutes. Guys, I can't tell you how many times I have walked into Honey and left within 15 minutes because I found the perfect piece. I was so obsessed with my outfit, never wanted to take it off, even when it chilled right down at night! The lacey, bell sleeves, the skirt that flared out but hugged in the right places... Ah! And those earrings that I cannot stop thinking about. So perfect (to me anyway!). If you're looking for an outfit to turn heads, check them out, NOW!

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

THE AMBIANCE / DETAILS 
I love a good vibe. And I knew our vibe had to hit the mark. To really hone in on the summer in France theme we had to get some key details down-- flowers, greenery, music and a his and her cocktail. If you are looking for flowers that really encapsulate a French garden vibe, Emily from Threads & Blooms is your girl. I love how personalized she made every arrangement. I literally told her my budget and what colours I was going for, and also what flowers I did not like, and she went to town. The day before she hit up her local flower suppliers in Niagara so all the blooms were local, in season and so fresh. She also gave me a bucket of extra flowers so I could lay them around wherever I felt necessary, i.e.: the bar, by the speakers, on the walls, sweet table, etc. This was so sweet because it allowed me to tie other areas of the space into the theme.

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

For the little details, we accented with gold frames. We strung our engagement photos in empty frames and literally glue-gunned them to the brick. We gave out French lavender as favors and wrapped them in rustic bags. We had herbs and lavender as decorations and also garnishes for our drinks. I created dinner and drink menus using Canva and framed them in gold. We rented tables, chairs, and a bar for the pure ease. 

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit, pastels & pastries, gabpacifico engagement


Pro tip: Hiring a bartender and another staff is essential for parties of this size. You need someone to be cleaning, helping to set-up dinner while the night is going on. You do not want to be doing this, nor do you want your family members to! If I could I would have hired another bartender to keep the line down. Another great way to ensure the bar line up is small is to have wine and beer as self-serve and reserve the bartender for mixing cocktails.

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

PHOTOGRAPHER
I cannot stress this enough. A photographer is essential. Guys... I didn't even have my phone on me the whole night. I thought I would take SO many photos but I did not take one! Thank goodness friends and family did, but in all honesty, the photos are not of the same caliber or quality. Krenare Ali was SO kind to come out for a few hours and take some photographs of my set up and guests and I could not be more thankful. I just wish I had her stay longer. Photographers will catch the memories you won't, and will freeze the frames you'll want to remember forever. And keep in mind, hiring a professional is always better than asking a family member to run around alongside you with your camera. They know angles, they know good lighting, they just know.

How to Throw a Large Event, Engagement Party Ideas, Summer Engagement Party, Nadege, Sugargirlee, The Fix + Co, Toronto vegan caterer, Honey white engagement outfit

We all have that one day from the summer that is most memorable, most special and that you'll never forget. For me, I think it will be this. I still beam when I think about it! Did you have an engagement party? Would you try planning a large scale event like this? Talk to me, guy! XO

Thank you to Nadege Patisserie, Sugargirlee & Co, The Fix + Co, Threads & Blooms, Honey, and  Krenare for helping us bring this whole day together! .

Photos by Krenare Ali.


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3 comments

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