Parties Around THE Party

Congratulations on your engagement! Now, the fun part begins: Wedding Planning! While, of course, your wedding day is the most important party…you still need to prepare for all of the other parties around THE party.

First things first…the Engagement Party!

This seems to be a newer trend — but I love it! Getting engaged is a huge deal, so why not celebrate with a party? One of my favorite engagement party trends is having the engagement party on the couple’s “negative one-year anniversary.” It’s the perfect way to start the countdown to your big day. Engagement lengths vary, and if you are like my husband and me, you may not even have a full year between the time you get engaged and your wedding day. That’s OK! An engagement party is still very appropriate. Themes vary from “I-do BBQ’s” to more elegant cocktail parties. Hosts should get a feel for the couple’s style before deciding on a theme.

Bridal Showers

Bridal showers have typically been a time for all of the women in the bride and groom’s lives to get together, play silly games, eat cake squares and watch the bride open all of her presents (don’t break too many ribbons though…unless you WANT eight kids!). I love a traditional bridal shower, but I really love that many are stepping outside of the box with bridal showers. Couples showers are quickly becoming a popular trend. Rather than your mid-morning brunch with the girls, couples showers can be an evening event that includes everyone. This could be in lieu of an engagement party and can be as intimate or as large of a party as you’d like.

Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties

These don’t need any explanation! This is a trend that has pretty much stayed the same for years and years. The only change being that typically bachelor and bachelorette parties are done a few weeks before the wedding…NOT the evening before the wedding. No need to risk making the hangover movie a reality, am I right?

Rehearsal Dinner

This is where the groom’s parents typically take over the planning process. The rehearsal dinner is a welcome party for out-of-town guests as well as a kick-off to the wedding weekend. This is a time for the bride and groom’s out-of-town families to meet one another. My advice is to let this party be all about the groom; let him and his parents choose everything from his favorite food and drinks to serve to the color scheme. Your in-laws will love you for it, I promise.

If you are having a larger wedding, the rehearsal dinner may be a good time for the bridal party and family to make toasts. Often the best man, maid (or matron) of honor and parents of the bride will save their toasts for the wedding.

Post-Wedding Brunch

A totally optional party…but definitely an up-and-coming trend. It’s a great way to thank all of your guests for celebrating with you. A post-wedding brunch doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, it could be as simple as a continental breakfast at the hotel where everyone is staying…or a full bacon, eggs, French toast and orange juice sit down meal at a family member’s home. Depending on when your flight leaves for your honeymoon…you and your new hubby may or may not be able to attend the post-wedding brunch.

Enjoy all of your parties…and don’t forget to write “thank-you” notes to all of your lovely family and friends that host these parties for you and your soon-to-be husband.