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Put on a Classy St. Patrick’s Day Engagement Party

St. Patrick’s Day Engagement Party

Are you a couple with a bit o’ the Irish in either one or both of you? If so, wouldn’t it be fun to plan your engagement party around St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate your heritage with family and friends?*

For such a meaningful occasion, though, we’d like to suggest a more subtle, sophisticated take on the traditional green palette and St. Patty-inspired accents. The tablescape will have its touches of green and the menu will have its distinct Irish dishes and drinks. But the whimsical symbols like shamrocks, rainbows, and pots of gold will be reserved for the guest favors and the desserts and sweets table.

*Of course, you need not be Irish to bring the festive mood of this holiday to your party! St. Patrick’s Day, originally marked by Ireland’s Catholics in honor of their patron saint, has since taken on a much wider secular meaning. It is celebrated on March 17th each year before the Catholic season of Lent prohibits any revelry; and now has associations with “lucky” 3-leafed shamrocks, rainbows that end in pots of gold, mischievous leprechauns, the Blarney Stone, and all things Irish.

Choose Stylish Table Decorations and Favors

St. Patrick' Day Tablesetting
Go stylish at your St. Patrick’s Day-inspired engagement party with a crisp white tablescape accented with verdant touches in the centerpiece and guest favors.

Set an elegant tone to the gathering with intimate table settings for 4 to 6 persons each. Use a base of crisp white or soft ivory to tie all the table elements together—the place settings, the fabric napkins, the decorative candles nestled on pearl rings, even the chairs. Then, bring in just subtle touches of green through an all-foliage centerpiece on each table and party favors in elegant green packaging.

Some creative foliage centerpiece ideas you might consider:

  • – Use whatever foliage is available in your location at this time of the year. Evergreens would be nice if winter is just coming to a close where you are.
  • – A tropical look—like our example, using palm fronds—might be possible if you’re in a warm area.
  • – You can also use four-leaf clover plants that are sold at most nurseries and even local grocery stores around March. These would make charming centerpieces that are also (luckily!) budget-friendly.
  • – You could assemble a grouping of potted herbs at the center of each table, to be taken home as additional guest favors.
  • – Or you could even grow your own mini springtime centerpieces out of (believe it or not!) discarded carrot tops.

However, if you really feel you’d miss having a floral centerpiece, some lovely flower options could include bells of Ireland, jade roses, and green carnations.

Delightful favor fillings for those green-wrapped bundles:

  • – small votive glasses filled with gold chocolate coins
  • – sugar cookies cut and frosted as shamrocks, rainbows, pots of gold, or leprechaun hats
  • – miniature beer mugs holding gold foil-wrapped chocolate balls or rainbow-colored candies

Choose a Green Color Palette with a Twist

Emerald green, symbolizing the “Emerald Isle” of Ireland, is all over the place come St. Patrick’s Day! For your special gathering, though, take a slight departure from this and select a color palette from these stylish options:

  1. green in monochromatic tones for a refined, tasteful treatment
  2. olive and white for a fresh, clean look
  3. emerald green with gold or silver for a touch of glitter
  4. hunter green and maroon for a rich, warm mood

Prepare Fun Guest Book Alternatives

Since an engagement party normally has a small guest list, this would be a perfect opportunity to have a creative alternative to a party guest book. This is also where you can bring in St. Patty Day symbols with artful flair:

  1. Prepare a “subway art” poster incorporating the names of the engaged couple amidst words and phrases associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Then, have shamrock-shaped card stock cutouts for guests to write their lucky wishes and glue these onto the poster.
  2. Look for a globe-shaped bowl (glass or even brass would be fine) and have guests drop in their “Nuggets of Wisdom for a Happy Marriage” written on gold cards.
  3. As a variation on the poster above, prepare one with a large rainbow design entitled “Wishing you a lifetime of rainbows together!” and have guests write their greetings and wishes directly on the poster.

Serve Up a Hearty Irish Menu

Think Irish cuisine and what comes to mind? Something hearty and savory, for sure! In fact, it’s part of early St. Patrick’s Day lore that Irish bacon and cabbage were traditionally enjoyed before the meatless Lenten season.

For your engagement party, then, here’s a suggested menu (with recipes for each) that’s appropriately Irish!

  • – Irish soda bread with raisins
  • – Irish brown bread
  • – Corned beef and cabbage
  • – Champ (Irish mashed potatoes)
  • – Beef and Guinness pie

As for party beverages, you could serve a range of choices to suit every guest’s taste. Guinness beer, of course, in ice-cold bottles, “Irish Eyes” cocktails made with Irish whiskey and green creme de menthe, a refreshing St. Patrick’s Day party punch (non-alcoholic), and some good strong Irish coffee infused with whiskey! Easy recipes here.

Play Relaxing Celtic Music

To go with your classy evening, it would be wonderful to have the music of Irish singers and musicians playing in the background. Set up your iPod or Pandora music player to air a selection ranging from contemporary to traditional—with recordings by performers like The Corrs, Enya, Celtic Woman, and Cherish the Lady. Or if you’d really like to get guests in the mood for one romantic night, you may even hire a live harp player to perform dreamy Irish airs!

Special Feature: Original Creations from Some Very Cool Blogs

St. Patrick’s Day Dessert Ideas
We just love these creations and had to feature them for you. Make these treats a part of your sweets and desserts table at the party!

On your sweets and desserts table is where you can indulge in all that St. Patrick’s Day cuteness—like these three “lucky finds” from really creative blogs that we just have to share:

  1. Take, for instance, these adorable cupcake pops by My Little Cupcake (via The Mixing Bowl), made with chocolate cake centers dipped in green and white candy melts, then topped with shamrock sprinkles and a green M&M®!
  2. Or check out these scrumptious shamrock-shaped cookies from Bake at 350, all sparkly with edible green glitter!
  3. Then, there are these colorful rainbow cupcakes from Thoughtfully Simple, complete with the cutest “lucky” cupcake flags. Isn’t it so pretty how the different colors show through the cupcake liner?

More fabulous ideas from our blogger friends that would be great for your desserts table:

And if you just want a whole lot of St. Patty’s Day candies to either display at the party or use as favor fillers, here’s a delicious dozen!

  1. green crystal candies, M&M’s®, or foil-wrapped Kisses®
  2. green gummy worms or apple rings
  3. green-and-white spearmint sticks
  4. mint or lime lollipops
  5. shamrock-shaped lollipops
  6. pastel green marshmallows
  7. chocolate gold nuggets
  8. gold chocolate coins
  9. black licorice leprechaun pipes
  10. Bailey’s® Irish cream chocolates
  11. chocolate mint squares from Ghirardelli®
  12. green gum balls

More Inspiring Ideas Around the Web

We’ve got a special treat for you with an emerald green inspired mood board. Be sure to check out our Pinterest board, too! From the favors to the cake, our inspiration board shows you how to throw a classy St. Patrick’s Day celebration:

Emerald green wedding ideas
{invitations, wedding cake, marshmallows, dress, bracelet, bouquet, place setting}

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day-inspired engagement party!


  1. This is great! Fun, comprehensive ideas about decorations, favors, activities and food? This is my favorite Bistro post yet!!!

    I hope to see more posts just like this on other holidays when the seasons go ’round!

    PS: Thank you guys for the sweet notes on my blog!!!

  2. Hi there! We love seeing your comments, too. You’re so sweet! We appreciate it. Your blog is equally interesting. The sunflower ring pillow project is quite original!

    Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s day!

  3. Love the ‘lucky we’re friends’ cupcake flags!

  4. So many cute ideas. love this.

  5. How wonderful is that tablescape! So elegant. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas.

  6. Lissa (The Wedding Bistro at Bellenza)

    So glad you like it, Jessa!

  7. Thanks for joining in the party, I remember this one and love it. I am sharing it on pinterest and twitter!

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