It’s no surprise that the wedding ceremony isn’t the only moment of celebration for a marriage. Many couples opt to host multiple parties leading up to their big day— some throw as many as 7! Let’s break down a timeline of how to celebrate.
The first of many, the engagement party is when the happy couple celebrates their engagement! Engagement parties typically take place one to three months after the engagement itself and are the time to celebrate with your closest family and friends!
Bridal Shower or Couple’s Shower
The bridal or couple’s shower is a time-honored wedding tradition dating back to 16th century Holland when a young girl's father refused to provide the dowry because he didn't approve of her husband. The town gathered together and gave her gifts to start her home, and the core of that tradition has held up. The shower typically happens two months to two weeks before the wedding and is a daytime celebration of the bride’s upcoming marriage. In the past, the shower would be a girls-only event centering around the bride, but some couples are now choosing to celebrate together!
Bachelor And Bachelorette Parties
You may have seen these parties in movies. The bachelor and bachelorette parties are when the couple waves goodbye to single life and each partner celebrates their marriage with their respective half of the wedding party, along with other close friends or family. These parties have so much room for variety— it’s all about what fits the personality and budget of the groom and the bride! These parties can be at a special destination, can include a wild night out, or just be a relaxed time to spend time with your wedding party. Traditionally it was done before the night before the wedding, but in modern times it depends on everyone's ability and destination.
The welcome party kicks off and sets the tone of the wedding weekend, especially during destination weddings. The welcome party is typically a cocktail party but can take any form. The welcome party is a time when all wedding guests can gather and mingle with each other and the couple a day or two before the wedding.
The rehearsal dinner usually includes the wedding party and the immediate family of the couple. The dinner typically follows the actual wedding rehearsal and allows the people most involved on the wedding day to spend some time together, usually one or two nights before the wedding day. The rehearsal dinner may also include drinks and can get some speeches out of the way before the big day!
Depending on the wedding venue, you might not have the space late into the night. To keep the party going, some couples opt to host an after-party directly after the wedding reception to keep celebrating all night long. The after-party can be open to all wedding guests but usually attracts the younger crowd.
To round out the months-long celebrations, the wedding weekend usually ends with a day-after brunch. Guests can gather one last time and say their goodbyes the day after the wedding. Brunches are typically a casual, buffet-style event that lasts a couple of hours.
For all the party inspo you’ll need, be sure to visit our Instagram, @awebykerry!