Our Chilean inspired engagement party in Sydney Australia

Looking back at our engagement party, we wanted to firstly share with you the story on how we in fact got engaged. It was the 8th of January 2014, the day we were celebrating 7 years together. We had decided to have a relaxing and low-key overnight stay in Sydney CBD as we spent the last 6 months in a country town called Wee Waa, renovating our property we had just purchased. It was an 8 hour drive away from where we live in Sydney so when we finally made our way back to Sydney to celebrate our anniversary, we didn’t really make any real plans besides booking a hotel. We decided to just do whatever we wanted when we got there.

At the same time we just found out that we were accepted into an accelerator grant for our small business and needed to fly out to Chile for at least 7 months. The move to Chile was in less than 2 months. We were super excited about this and needless to say, our minds were per-occupied with moving to Chile. So a nice relaxing stay in the city was just what we needed.

Upon arriving in the city, we checked into our hotel room and wondered around the city for a bit. We grabbed lunch and had to head back to our hotel because it started to rain. Once we got back, we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and laughing. It was about the afternoon when we decided to open up a bottle of wine in celebration of our anniversary- sort of pre-drinks before dinner.

However before this, Albie said he needed to talk about something serious. He was nervous and you could tell just by his mannerisms. But it was cute. I actually thought something was wrong. Albie started to open up about his feelings and about our relationship. He proposed down on one knee in a lovely hotel in the hub of Sydney Australia. There were tears of joy and we than popped the champagne to celebrate.

Though the original plan was to propose at the botanic gardens or on a ferry ride around the Sydney Harbour, those plans went astray due to the rain. I was still pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think that it was going to happen right now with so much going on. It was totally unexpected but in a good way.

Once we got engaged we took a few photo booth pics to commemorate getting engaged and partied the night away until 3am.

The Engagement Party

We decided on a Spanish/Chilean themed engagement party since we were moving to Chile, it seemed fitting. At the time we were open to having our wedding in Chile but later realize a few months later that it would be too expensive for guests to attend.

From the moment we got engaged up until our engagement party, things were pretty intense. We were in and out of the doctor’s office getting our mandatory shots for our long term stay in Chile and organizing our visas and police checks. On top of this, we were busy trying to work on the small business and squeeze in time to plan the engagement party. The engagement party was in Sydney so our friends and family could attend. Instead of hiring a venue, we ended up having the party in the backyard of Albie’s parent’s home. His had a fair number of birthday parties there in the past so it was perfect to make it more stress-free for us to organize. Going with our Spanish theme, Albie wore a panama hat and I wore this lovely Spanish-vibe dress from For Love & Lemons.

We wanted to have a theme engagement party but did not want to spend too much money. So our budget was pretty small. Most of the engagement party decorations was made by hand by us. We spent time making them every day when we had free time. We cut out the triangles using second hand materials brought at a vintage store and my dad sowed them together to make a rustic Spanish theme banner hanging. We also made using crepe paper pompoms which were hung from the ceiling and made rustic flower holders using old tins, hot gun, string and fabric. I designed all of the signage and banners used for the invites and decoration on the day. We printed them at our local Officeworks beforehand.

We also got fresh flowers on the day which brighten up the area. And of course we made like 70 mustaches using black cardboard and barbecue skewers. It was really good fun for guests to use them in photos and it really help tie in the theme of the engagement party. It was a really budget friendly DIY project which came out pretty good. Below is a photo of our family in our mandatory mustache photo. Hehe!

We also printed out mini photos to commemorate all the years we’ve been together. The photos created almost a timeline of our relationship to date since we’ve been going out to our latest Wee Waa adventures. We hung them on a rustic string using wooden pegs.

Since we were going with a Spanish theme, we asked guests to come dressed in a costume and had set aside a few prizes for the best dressed. A lot of our friends came dressed up and we were super impressed with the effort and thought they put in.

We had a small budget for the engagement party and most of it went to the food. We ended up ordering mini Chilean empanadas, brazo de rina and a few other Chilean desserts from an authentic Chilean bakery in Fairfield. Albie’s mother made a few dishes as well including salads, quiches and noodles. We also arranged to have fresh bread with assorted cheese and olives. My parents brought a lot of food from Cabramatta including vegetarian dishes, fresh bread rolls and BBQ meat. Although it wasn’t Spanish themed, the guests sure loved it. We also hand picked a range of Spanish themed drinks and alcohol for guests to enjoy. These included red wines, Mexican beer and pisco sour.

The engagement party overall went well and everyone seemed to have a great time. We would like to personally thank our friend Mel who helped us in taking the photos that you see in this post 🙂 And of course for all our friends and family who helped and joined in the celebration on the day.

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