If the engagement party is the opening ceremony to wedding festivities, what are some of the other gatherings leading up to (and after) the big day? Who hosts them, why throw them, and when do they happen? Read on for more details.
Bridal Shower: Traditionally, this is a female-only, gift-giving party for the new bride given by the bride’s mother and/or maid of honor. However, who says you have to stick to tradition? Have a couple’s shower, or throw the shower in a non-traditional location like a winery or a spa especially if your home is already established and you’re not in need of a whole host of new pots and pans.
Bachelorette/Bachelor Party: Typically hosted by the bridal party, the bachelorette party is intended as a way to hang out with your friends before the wedding. Think of it as a stress-reliever to wedding planning, and potentially a way to get your friends coming in from out of town to have another opportunity to hang out with the bride before the wedding. The party should be something your circle of friends will enjoy, so plan something that is something your group of friends will enjoy.
Rehearsal Dinner: A rehearsal dinner is usually held after the wedding rehearsal and the night before the wedding. The guests generally include the wedding party (read: anyone who has to attend the rehearsal), but may also include a few other close friends and family. The rehearsal dinner costs are traditionally incurred by the groom's parents. However, modern traditions allow for either the bride's or the groom's parents to sponsor the event. Like other wedding-related festivities, the rehearsal dinner isn’t mandatory, but it’s a nice gesture and an opportunity to say thank you to those who have helped out the most with the wedding.
Post-wedding brunch: The big party is over, and you’re probably thinking all the fun has been had. Think of this one as a way to wind down your wedding weekend. It’s also a nice way to send off your out-of-town guests. If you’re leaving for your honeymoon right after the reception, or if you’re just all partied out, don’t worry! This final party is definitely optional. You could also consider providing your guests with a list of things to do in the area so that they aren’t searching for food as they head out.
With all these parties, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you need help planning any of these events, contact The Capable Bride, and we’ll help you party in style!