Going off traditional American pre-wedding events, there can be up to 6 pre-wedding parties. But we're going to stick to: the Bridal Shower, the Bachelorette Party, and the Rehearsal Dinner. Different cultures include different pre-wedding rituals, and therefore should be included if you have a multicultural wedding, or certain traditions you plan to celebrate.
The Bridal Shower is normally for the female group of the bride, this includes family and friends. People normally play fun games and silly quizzes in relation to the bride and groom. Food and dessert, along with drinks, are provided. Gifts are given to the bride-to-be and thank you cards sent out by the bride afterwards.
This is meant to be a fun and adventurous night out for the bride-to-be. But not too crazy, as the movies may make it seem. Keep this to the comfort level of the bride, while laughing at awkward moments. Considered as a "girls night out," gifts are given that are more private than public, like lingerie and a lace robe.
This is the most important pre-wedding event, as it gives time for both families get comfortable before the day of the wedding. All of the wedding party should be there, including the officiant, and the parents of the bride and groom. This is a practice wedding at the location and followed up by a sit down dinner.
Things to Know About the Bridal Shower:
- Expect this event to be in the morning/afternoon. Wear a light colored, casual dress.
- You'll get gifts that are small, but stylish. Remember to have someone take note of who gave what gift so you can send Thank You notes later.
- This is usually planned by the maid of honor and/or bridesmaids, and includes about 15-40 guests (guests should only be ones who are also invited to the wedding).
- Should be a month or two before the wedding.
Things to Know About the Bachelorette Party:
- Expect this event to be in the evening/night. Wear a fun one-colored dress.
- You'll get gifts that are sexy and pampering. Remember to have someone take note of who gave what gift so you can send Thank You notes later.
- This is usually planned by the maid of honor and/or bridesmaids, and include close friends/family (usually just the bridesmaids). About 3-12 people.
- Should be a week or two before the wedding.
Things to Know About the Rehearsal Dinner:
- Expect this event to be in the evening. Attire is usually nice casual.
- No gifts are given, but dinner is at a nice place. This is a chance for the wedding party to go through the logistics of what the wedding ceremony will be like (at location).
- This is planned by the groom's parents or someone on the groom's side, and include about 10-25 guests (weddings party, officiant, close family, kids, other).
- Should be a few days before the wedding.
Sending Thank You's...
With all of the events circulating the wedding, the amount of thank you cards and gifts a bride will send can become overwhelming. Check this sheet to help you out!