wedding rehearsal dinners
At times, the wedding planning process may feel overwhelming. It is important to slow down, soak it all in and remember this is a time for celebration! There are a few checkpoints throughout the year where you are encouraged to take a step away from the planning and just enjoy!
• Engagement Party:
What is it? This is a party to help you celebrate and announce to your family and close friends that you are engaged. Usually a smaller scale party, this is a great chance to get everyone together that will have a lot of involvement with the wedding and get to know each other.
When should it happen? Typically within the first few months of your engagement. You will want this event to be as far away from the wedding date as possible.
Who throws it? Customarily thrown by the bride’s parents or the couple can also throw the party themselves.
• Bridal Shower: (These are typically themed, ladies only parties for the gals involved with your wedding but couples showers’ are becoming more and more popular where the men attend as well.)
What is it? History states that the bridal shower was for the bride’s empathetic friends to “shower” her with enough gifts to allow her to set up her new home for her and her husband. This is obviously a very traditional sense of the term and now it is more of a day for girlfriends and family to get together and enjoy. Gifts are still commonly brought for the bride but aren’t always just for her new home.
When should it happen? It should happen at least 2-3 weeks before the wedding, but can be as far in advance as the host would like. Normally 2-3 months prior to the wedding.
Who throws it? This shower is typically thrown by the Maid of Honor or a close group of friends of the bride.
• Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties:
What is it? These are thought to be a rite of passage for the bride and groom. These are get- togethers with the members of the wedding party to celebrate their memories together. They tend to get a bad reputation and can cause some friction so it’s a good idea to have a chat about expectations beforehand to avoid any hurt feelings. It is also a growing trend to celebrate these moments together in a combined co-ed bachelor/bachelorette party.
When should it happen? Traditionally, this party happened the night before the wedding. Now couples are trying to avoid this trend. It is not the best idea to have this event this close to your wedding as you want to feel your best on your wedding day. A better idea is to have it at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding.
Who throws it? For the groom — The Best Man and for the bride — The Maid of Honor. The rest of the wedding party and other friends will usually help as well.
• Rehearsal Dinners: Also traditionally called the “Groom’s Dinner”
What is it? This is a meal following the wedding rehearsal. This rehearsal includes: your officiant, wedding party members (and their significant others), close family, ceremony musicians, soloists, ceremony readers, ceremony on-site coordinator and your wedding planner. It is customary to invite
everyone who participated in the rehearsal to the celebration to follow.
It can also be a nice gesture to invite any guests who are already in from out-of-town as a way to thank them for traveling and entertain them for the evening.
Typically this is the time to present your token of appreciation to your wedding party and parents. It is also a good time for extended family and friends to make toasts (there are generally a limited few that will actually take place at your wedding.)
When should it happen? This happens the night before your wedding — directly after the wedding rehearsal.
Who throws it? The groom’s parents traditionally host this event.