It’s My Party! The Bridal or Wedding Shower
Chances are the couple may not be organizing this event. Usually held a month or two before the wedding the traditional shower was only for the bride and gifts were brought only for her. Gifts included things to decorate the bride’s house or lingerie and the like. Today, wedding showers and couple showers are becoming more and more common. If you are planning the shower yourself be sure to be clear about what type of party it will be. Let your guests know if it is a bridal shower or a couple’s shower and about any themes you are having.
Everyone invited to the bridal or couple shower should also be a guest at the wedding. If the event is hosted by someone else and you know who it will be in advance, make sure they have a copy of your guest list. If one or two people are invited that didn’t get an invitation try to fit them in and make sure they get an invitation right away. If inviting those people would mean you have to invite ten others or quite a few extras are invited to the shower there is no need for you to extend wedding invites to them. Be sure to express how sorry you are and how small the wedding will be. Make sure to send thank you notes for any gifts with the sincere wish that you could have a bigger wedding and saying how grateful you are to have so many special people who care about you and wish you well.
Girls and Guys Nights Out. The Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
The best thing to keep in mind with these is that if late nights or alcohol will be involved you do not want to have them the night before the wedding. On the night before your big day you want to be well rested. You may be too nervous to sleep anyway, but a bit tired is better than being hungover and completely exhausted. Try to plan these events at least a week before the wedding. Make sure your maid of honor, best man or whoever is likely to be planning the events are aware of your wishes. If you would really prefer a spa day with a few girlfriends to a night of bar hopping make it known. If all else fails make it known you would like to plan the event yourself and get your friends involved.
The traditional late night parties are now often replaced with spa days, sports outings and other rare pleasures in which the bride and groom don’t usually have the time or money to indulge. It is still an event that is all about being close to your friends and letting them know that your relationship is still as strong as ever even though you have been preoccupied with wedding plans.
It is best to outlaw any talk about wedding planning during these events. Don’t talk about color swatches or rehearsal scheduling. Just relax and have fun!
Take Two! Or Three or Four… The Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner
The wedding rehearsal is usually only held a night or two before the wedding. This helps keep everything fresh in everyone’s minds and ensures that out of town members of your wedding party will not need to schedule two trips. The rehearsal will usually be held at the same venue as the wedding. This way everyone is familiar with the actual locations they will be standing and playing their roles. Try to give any children involved a dry run a week or so before the formal rehearsal.
After the rehearsal the couple traditionally holds a rehearsal dinner. If the parents are hosting the wedding they may also host the dinner. The rehearsal dinner is a thank you from the couple to the wedding party. It shows their appreciation for all that their friends and family have done so far. It also shows how grateful and honored they feel that their party will be at their sides on this special day.
The rehearsal dinner can be formal if the reception will also be formal. You can also just make reservations at a nice restaurant or have a pizza night with lots of toppings. It is not appropriate to ask guests at your rehearsal dinner to help with any last minute tasks like hall decorating or centerpiece making. If you have tasks like these set a time with some friends earlier in the day to get it done before the rehearsal.