When you decide to tie the knot, you're not just signing up for a wedding ceremony and reception. In fact, there are nine different parties that come with celebrating this special occasion. While each event is undoubtedly exciting, planning and organizing multiple gatherings can be quite a task. Let's dive into the details of these parties so you can be prepared.
- Typically hosted by the parents of either the bride or groom, the engagement party should take place within one to three months of the engagement. Immediate family and a small group of friends are usually invited, as these guests will also be invited to the wedding.
Bridal Shower or Couples' Shower
- Hosted closer to the wedding date, usually two months to two weeks prior, the bridal shower is a celebration of the bride where she receives gifts. There are no strict rules regarding the host, but it's typically organized by close friends or family. Nowadays, couples are also opting for couples' showers, which should not be hosted by the couple themselves.
Bachelor Party and Bachelorette Party
- The groomsmen typically host the bachelor party, while the bridesmaids host the bachelorette party. These events usually take place at least one week before the wedding and include same-sex members of the wedding party, along with close friends and siblings.
Bridesmaid Luncheon and Groomsmen Luncheon
- On the day before or the day of the first major wedding weekend event, the bride and her bridesmaids, as well as the groom and his groomsmen, gather for a brunch or luncheon. Although these events usually take place on the same day at different locations, traditionally, the wedding party hosted them. Nowadays, many couples choose to cover the costs themselves due to the expenses already incurred by the wedding party.
- For couples hosting a weekend-long or destination wedding, the festivities kick off with a welcome party. This is typically a cocktail party where all wedding guests are invited. The couple or their parents usually host the welcome party, which can take place the night before or two nights before the wedding.
- Traditionally hosted by the groom's parents (but often hosted by the couple), the rehearsal dinner occurs one or two nights before the wedding. Local wedding rehearsal dinners usually include the wedding party and immediate family only, while destination weddings often extend the invitation to all guests. This event provides an opportunity for toasts and speeches.
Wedding Ceremony and Reception
- The wedding ceremony and reception can be hosted by anyone: the bride and groom, one set of parents, or both sets of parents. Typically, invitations are extended to all guests for both events, although church wedding ceremonies may have capacity limitations.
- Due to noise restrictions leading many venues to close early, the wedding after-party has become popular. Hosted by the couple or the wedding party, this post-reception continuation is usually open to all wedding guests, though it tends to be more popular among the younger crowd.
- Ideal for destination weddings, the day-after brunch allows guests to bid farewell after a weekend of celebration. This informal buffet-style meal, where guests can come and go as they please, typically lasts for a couple of hours. The brunch may be hosted by the couple or whoever hosted the wedding, with invitations extended to all wedding guests.
Now that you're acquainted with these events, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the exciting whirlwind of wedding-related celebrations. Enjoy every moment!