A Guide to Pre-Wedding Parties

August 21, 2023

Even though most of your planning and preparations are focused on the wedding day, your engagement season is filled with many opportunities for celebrating! We’ve highlighted some of our favorite and most popular occasions in this blog – with some tips and things to consider like who should host, who should be invited, and when to plan.

From engagement parties to bridal showers these pre-wedding affairs play a crucial role in making your journey towards marriage more memorable and enjoyable, while bringing family and friends together to celebrate your love.

Engagement Party

What to consider: The engagement party is the first celebration of your upcoming nuptials. It can be an intimate gathering or a larger event, depending on your preferences and the number of guests you wish to invite. Whether you make this celebratory soirée an elegant evening with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres or a more casual gathering at a festive local brewery, this is an exciting time for friends and family to celebrate your engagement!

When to plan: The engagement party is usually held shortly after the engagement, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after the proposal. 

Champagne tower

Bridal Shower

What to consider: The bridal shower is traditionally an all-female affair, celebrating the bride-to-be with games, gifts, and heartfelt advice. The shower is often hosted by a close relative, like a mother, sister, or aunt. Sometimes brides will have multiple showers with different communities of friends. So, be ready to be showered with love! Showers can be hosted at a favorite local brunch spot, winery, or right in the comfort of someone’s home. Remember to have your wedding registry completed and easy to locate for shower guests!

When to plan: The bridal shower typically takes place a couple of months before the wedding.

Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

What to consider: These fun events are all about celebrating the final days of singleness for the bride and groom! Traditionally, the bachelor and bachelorette parties are held separately and often are an entire weekend affair. The maid of honor and best man are typically responsible for planning these events, though other members of your wedding party will likely contribute as well – so sit back and enjoy being pampered! There are endless possibilities for how to celebrate; whether it is a destination trip or a spa day at a nearby resort, make sure it is something that will allow you to relax and enjoy quality time with your best friends! 

When to plan: These are typically held about one to two months before the wedding date, ensuring everyone can attend without conflicting with last-minute wedding preparations.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal dinner

What to consider: The rehearsal dinner is a time for the wedding party and close family members to gather and enjoy a meal together after rehearsing ceremony details before the big day. This dinner tends to be more of an intimate gathering, but can certainly be extended guests and family who may be traveling from out of town as well. Rent out a room at a restaurant nearby your ceremony location or host a more casual backyard dinner party. The night before your wedding can be made even more special by adding in simple decor like bud vases for the table and custom menus. 

When to plan: The rehearsal dinner usually takes place one or two nights before the wedding, after the wedding ceremony rehearsal.

Welcome Party

What to consider: The welcome party can be a casual gathering, allowing you and your guests to mingle with each other before the big day. The wedding weekend will fly by, so gather together for a casual backyard barbecue or cocktails at a local rooftop bar to kick off the festivities! Some couples choose to host a welcome party following their rehearsal dinner for those guests who may be traveling from out of town as an opportunity to welcome them and cheers!

When to plan: If you have many out-of-town guests, a welcome party can be held a day or two before the wedding to kick off the festivities.

Planning these pre-wedding events effectively can enhance the overall wedding experience and ensure that every moment of your engagement is enjoyed! Consider your cultural background, personal preferences, and the availability of your guests when setting the dates. With proper organization and attention to detail, these pre-wedding celebrations will create cherished memories that you’ll carry with you into married life. And, if you find yourself needing help along the way, we’d absolutely love to come alongside you to help plan and organize any and all of these special occasions!

Photography: @gipephotography, @elliemckinneyphotography, @kylajeanette, @aberrazioni_cromatiche_studio, @margaretstradaphoto

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