Get ready for a good time, because you’re going to be partied out by the time your wedding day rolls around. Here’s the scoop on what to expect.
Your parents may decide to give you an engagement party to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. The two families, members of the wedding party, relatives and very close friends will be invited. This is not a gift-giving occasion and, in fact, the purpose of the party may not be announced until the guests have arrived.
Parent Dinner Party
It is usual for the groom’s parents to host a dinner for the parents of the bride and the bridal couple. The reason it usually is the groom’s parents who host this dinner is because it is assumed that the bride’s parents will be involved with the expenses of the wedding, but the groom’s parents have to offer to participate. If a meeting or dinner is not suggested by the groom’s parents, it is perfectly acceptable for the bride’s parents to take the initiative.
This dinner is for a frank discussion about the size of the wedding, where the service will be, discussion about reception facilities and who will pay for what.
Showers can be hosted by almost anyone except the mothers of the bridal couple. (They are hosting the wedding, which requires a gift. If they also host a shower, it suggests it’s a grab for gifts.)
Usually a shower is planned by the best woman and bridesmaids. Sometimes a shower is planned by the staff where the bride works. It also is common for a shower made up of the friends of the bride’s mother and another made up of the friends of the groom’s mother.
The purpose is to shower the bride with items to start her married life, from soup ladles to lingerie.
The bachelor party with off-colour stories and naked women jumping out of cakes is fast becoming a thing of the past. In its place are sporting evenings, with games set up, often with professional dealers hired for the evening. Another popular option is the afternoon golf game followed by dinner. A growing trend is the two-day trip to Vegas.
The best advice is not to have the stag too close to the wedding day.
This is the contemporary woman’s answer to the stag. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. It’s a visit with the gals to a local bar and it’s a match for the groom’s stag. Everyone please take taxis home.
His and Her
Many men are getting bored with the traditional stag and women are often uncomfortable with the bachelorette. The result is the growing number of couples who are requesting a His and Her. This doesn’t have to include gifts, but can be just a fun evening to honour the couple.
Bridesmaid Thank You
The bride isn’t always the recipient. She should host a lunch or dinner for her attendants to thank them for their participation. It is a nice time to give them their gift.
The groom’s family often foots the bill for this, but as they increasingly are involved in sharing the reception costs, their being the host is no longer mandatory. It is just a chance for the couple, their parents and those participating in the service to sit down together and break bread as they review the rehearsal. This may be held at a private home or in a restaurant.
If possible, have the rehearsal two or three days before the wedding, rather than on the eve of the wedding, so everyone has an extra day to relax and review all the wedding details.