Rosé, Tacos and Susan: A Casual Engagement Party

When my girlfriend Susan got engaged I jumped at the chance to celebrate.  So we did just that this past Monday.  Plus tacos and a rosé tasting because well I was hosting and that sounded fun to me.  (Also, if only every week could start out with a girlfriend hang… I think we’d all be better off and always look forward to Mondays).  It ended up being perfectly casual and just what I had in mind, a chance to toast to the sweetest bride-to-be and give her her moment to twirl in the prettiest blush pink gown.  I just love living vicariously through the wedding process all over again with each of my girlfriends, and I think the more chances to celebrate the count down to their special day the better!  And I also have to say this was the most low-stress hosting / party I’ve thrown.  I didn’t realize why until my husband pointed out that I wasn’t the center of attention.  Ah!  I much prefer to have the focus be on someone else so I’ve gotta figure out how to get my entertaining fix while putting the focus on my friends more often.

And a few tips for keeping things simple for those who may be hosting a casual engagement party or any kind of shower in the near future as well…

taco bar set up for a casual backyard engagement party

Keep the food simple. | Does this taco bar setup look familiar?  Ceviche, chips, guac and a taco bar to keep things casual (and delicious) from Zocalo.  Zocalo makes catering a party so easy (less stress for you!) plus their taco fixings are always a crowd pleaser.  I had originally set up the taco bar along our island but later moved the food outside and we dined family style.  It added to the casual feel of the evening perfectly!

Add an element of fun.  |  I’m not really one for games, but I chose to do a blind rosé tasting which got everyone talking about the wines. We passed the bottles around throughout the meal and voted for our favorite at the end.  I also made Susan try each first and give us her very serious, professional sommelier style rating.

Solve the what to wear.  |  I like to give guests a tip on what to wear / what not to wear or if there’s a theme (as I would want to know).  In this case, I let everyone know Susan was planning to wear blush pink if they wanted to plan accordingly.  I think it’s especially nice to learn if the bride has any dress requests (ie: everyone in white, no one in white).

Votes in:  Ava Grace with the highest amount of votes.  It won for most fruity (flavors of honeysuckle and apricot) with a dry finish.  CALA second place (now available at Whole Foods), and Scribe in third which was somewhat surprising to me as Scribe actually had my vote.  Mumm wasn’t in the officially running but I just popped it open at the end, because bubbles!

Require the bride to dress up, as she should! |  (Everyone else can come in whatever they’d like).

Mixed desserts (all from good ol’ Trader Joes) and brownies made by moi.  I thought the sprinkles added to the Mexican fiesta theme?

On Me | Rebecca Taylor Top (on sale).  Rachel Comey Jeans.  Madewell Slides.  |  On Susan | BHLDN Dress (from this shoot I styled back when!… similar with straps)

I’d also like to note and say that Susan is the only person who is allowed to take photos with me.  Joking obviously but yay for 5 foot shorties who actually look normal size when we’re the only two in the photo!

Photography | Stephanie Russo

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