When it comes to pre-wedding parties & festivities, most couples don’t know exactly what to be prepared for. We’re here to dive in on what engagement festivities to plan for, who would traditionally be invited, and some tips to keep in mind for those involved!
There are few things better than kicking off your engagement with one big celebration! This is one of the first pre-wedding parties that traditionally happens within a few months of getting engaged! They’re not “required” but it allows your friends & family to celebrate that you are getting married. It is also an easy way to announce that you’re engaged!
Traditionally this party is hosted by one of the families but can truly be hosted by anyone, even the couple. Engagement parties are traditionally not huge, and are just immediate family and some close friends!
Couple’s or Bridal Shower
Traditionally a bridal shower is a shower that celebrates just the bride, and includes a meal, gifts, & some games! It has become trendier to now have a couples shower instead, where both spouses are celebrated with anyone & everyone! Showers tend to be more intimate and include guests that are on your invite list for the wedding!
Traditionally, a shower is hosted by someone in the wedding party (ie: maid/ matron of honor or best man) or a parent/family member! It is also common that couples can have more than one shower. Showers are usually brunch or lunch, and happen 1-3 months before the big day! This pre-wedding celebration is a bit more formal and invitations are highly encouraged!
Bachelor or Bachelorette Party
A Bachelor or Bachelorette party is a night (or weekend) celebration with the wedding party (ie: groom & groomsmen) to party before the wedding day! It is considered to be the “last time” to let loose before getting married, however, this celebration looks different for everyone!
Bachelor and Bachelorette parties have been wild parties in the past, but have evolved over the years! Weekend trips to a fun destination state (ie: California, Arizona, etc) have been popular along with activities such as lounging by the pool, going wine tasting, picnic dinner parties, spa trips, or yoga classes! The sky’s the limit for events that take place during Bachelor and Bachelorette trips! Be sure to include some downtime and plan group dining experiences to make for a more relaxed and easygoing weekend!
As far as who hosts this event, it is known to be a group effort! It is something that best man or maid/matron of honor organizes, but usually requires the participation of other close friends to help pull everything together!
Bridesmaids luncheons are a nice way to thank your bridesmaids for helping & assisting during the wedding planning! It is also the perfect setting for the bride to chat with all her closest ladies, and give them any small gifts before the big day!
The bride (or bride’s family) traditionally hosts this and invites bridesmaids, all mothers, flower girls (if applicable), and any other close females that may not be in the bridal party!
As far as when this event happens, it traditionally happens 1-2 days before the wedding day. This allows for your girls to be in town for the big day so y’all don’t run into any scheduling conflicts!
A rehearsal dinner is a dinner following the wedding rehearsal. Traditionally, couples would rehearse at the wedding venue, then head out for a formal dinner the evening before the big day! With venues booking up, it has been more common for couples to rehearse the day before (in the morning) , ladies head to the bridesmaids luncheon, then part ways till that evening for the rehearsal dinner.
A rehearsal dinner is a nice touch to gift your immediate family, wedding party, and maybe some family that traveled in, a nice meal before the wedding. It allows for everyone to meet & mingle before the wedding day. It has also been popular that rehearsal dinners are where your loved ones can give toasts & speeches. If you knock out toasts and speeches during the rehearsal dinner, you don’t have to worry about it on the wedding day and can spend more time on the dance floor!
As for who hosts this event, we have seen it be either set of parents, just the groom’s family, or the couple! Tradition has gone out the door for rehearsal dinners! Depending on the budget, you may want to limit the number of guests that come, or you may choose to extend the invite to those who traveled far for the big day.
They are often held in a private event space or private dining space at a restaurant as well!