Now that you’re newly engaged, you’re probably thinking of all the tasks on your to-do list that need to be completed. Some of these probably include a number of fun celebrations that lead up to the actual wedding. There’s pretty much an event for every phase of your wedding planning, from the engagement party and bridal shower to the bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner. Yes, that’s a lot of celebrating! Thankfully, you won’t have to be responsible for all of it. (Phew!) However, things can get pretty confusing when it comes to knowing who should actually be hosting and planning each pre-wedding event. That’s why we’ve helped spell it all out for you with our guide below. You’re welcome!
The Engagement Party
This is the most casual of all the pre-wedding events. Generally, after you announce your engagement (and share your #hashtag on social media, of course), the family of the bride will host an engagement party to unite both families. However, in recent years, the engagement party has grown less traditional with friends of the couple offering to throw a shindig to celebrate your upcoming nuptials. The engagement party is also an event that you and your fiancé can throw yourself. Again, the choice is up to you and whatever works for your inner circle.
The Bridal Shower
Today, it’s totally normal to have more than one co-ed / bridal shower since our families and friends are more spread apart than ever. For example, your mom might not live in your current city and will want to throw you a shower with her close friends and family while your best friend and/or maid of honor will also want to throw you one, and in some instances your future mother-in-law might also want to throw you one! These options are not set in stone, however, and it depends on your personal circumstances. If the idea of three showers stresses you out and you decide you only want one shower, then, traditionally, the bride’s family and friends, including the maid of honor and wedding party, will host and organize it.
If you and your fiancé opt for a co-ed shower instead of a bridal shower, or in addition to a bridal shower, then normally it’s hosted and/or arranged by both sides of the wedding party, in addition to both the bride’s and groom’s families. Leave it to them to figure out who calls the shots.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
As everyone know, the bachelor and bachelorette parties are the last hurrah for both the bride and groom to celebrate their singlehood, and typically the event that the wedding party looks most forward to. This event is usually hosted by the maid of honor and best man. The rest of the wedding party might also be involved with certain arrangements and chipping in for certain expenses, but generally this is MOH and BM territory.
The Rehearsal Dinner
The rehearsal dinner isn’t a must for every wedding, but it’s typically a fun way to meet both sides of the family and serves as an opportunity for your closest friends and family to mingle before the wedding. Traditionally, the groom’s family will help organize and pay for the rehearsal dinner, but it’s not uncommon for both families to host and pay for it. You and your partner are also free to host your own dinner too, if you’d prefer something more casual and less traditional.
The Wedding Party Brunch (or Luncheon)
This event isn’t a necessity, but is usually hosted by the bride and groom as a thank-you to their wedding party for all of their hard work, support and love throughout the pre-wedding journey.
It’s important to remember there are no steadfast rules when it comes to the above pre-wedding events. Each event is dependent on how you and your partner feel about them, as well as what logistics are involved. No matter what, communicate with your family and friends about which events you’d like and be clear over who is up for doing what—and don’t forget to enjoy it all!