Well it is entirely up to you, but there are many couples who are having a lot of smaller events over the course of 6 months to a year leading up to the big day. The men are getting more involved in the planning and may attend any or all of these events. They may even opt for a Guys day out for tuxedo fittings and a sports bar lunch. Can it be overdone? Oh yes! Don’t make your friends sick of your wedding before its time, and your family will be annoyed if that is all you talk about. Well planned, and thoughtful invites for pre-
wedding festivities should be welcomed if they are spread out and meaningful.
Now this is good news for vendors as well because even at these smaller gatherings they are also using caterers, photographers, entertainment, and planners. Below is a list of various events that are associated with weddings, along with tips for when, where and who.
The Engagement Party – This is the first one up. You can do as big as what your wedding reception might look like or as intimate as dinner out with both your future in-laws to announce you are getting married.
Alternative event: Take a trip to meet distant relatives.
Ring shopping/night out – With or without best man and bridesmaid (and of course their spouses or dates). Brides want to select the ring themselves, see how it looks on, take photos, and get opinion of friends. The actual purchase or ordering may happen later.
Then it is off to dinner or a club for drinks and dancing.
Alternative event: Just go with the girls, later you can show him pictures of your favorites.
Wedding planning party – If you’re having a DIY wedding you need to have an idea of what colors you are going with, flowers, decorations, invitations, a theme, and who is doing what. If you are using a wedding planner who is making the arrangements you will need an initial meeting with follow ups.
Lunch/Brunch and bridal party dress shopping – Now made infamous by the seen in the movie Bridesmaids, this event has become a favorite of brides. While nobody wants the fiasco part, there can be some great memories from this day into night event.
Add in, not just a photographer to get those dress shots, a paparazzi to follow you around for a few hours and you’ll all feel fabulous, famous and get some great pictures. Another idea is to have a catered lite lunch or brunch at the bridal shop.
Bridal Shower – This event is thrown for the Bride by a friend or family member so when, where and who is up to them.
Alternative event: Flower bulb and seed planting party. You can never have to many flowers at a wedding. Plan ahead and you can save a lot by growing flowers for your big day.
Bachelorette Party – Also thrown for the bride by others.
Alternative event: Old school slumber party where you practice hair and make up. Add in a movie like The Wedding Singer or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, food and drinks and blow off some steam.
Bachelor Party – Thrown for him by the guys.
Dress Rehearsal Dinner – This one is mandatory! Even the simplest ceremony needs a run through practice. You can to do it big or simple but within the week of your wedding, and not the night before unless you need to. Save the day before the wedding for nothing but pampering yourself and be moderate with food and drink.
Alternative Event: Dress rehearsal brunch or lunch. If you have a copy of the ceremony script you can have a friend stand in as the officiant.
Let the festivities begin!