It’s a serious thing, this marriage business. You’ve thought about it, dreamed about it, talked about it, and you’re finally ready to make the commitment. All you want to do is celebrate and share your happiness with people you love. So put your party clothes on – it’s time for the fun to start.
Engagement parties The engagement party may be given by anyone; however, your parents, your fiancé’s parents, or dear family friends will probably want this honor. The engagement party is usually held soon after the engagement is announced. It can be a casual get-together, such as a cookout, or a more formal dinner party at a restaurant or in someone’s home. Anything is appropriate. The guest list is made up of close friends and relatives. If you are having a small wedding, you might want to make the engagement party a larger celebration.
Bridal showers Showers are given to help you and your groom-to-be furnish your new home, or help you complete your trousseau. Traditionally, showers have been given for the bride’s female friends, but today many parties are given for both the bride and groom, with couples invited. Your friends will probably ask what type of shower you would like to have. Consider what you need most. You might prefer a kitchen shower if you are setting up a first household, a lingerie shower for the pure enjoyment, or a miscellaneous shower if you like to be surprised.
Bridesmaids’ luncheon This is a special time for the bride and her attendants. Generally hosted by the maid of honor, it is a wonderful occasion to reminisce and talk about what the future holds. If attendants live in the area, the luncheon can be held a month or so before the wedding. If most attendants are coming from another city, it’s better to have the luncheon the day before the wedding. Out-of-town bridesmaids can be introduced here, and it’s an ideal setting for the bride to give gifts to her attendants.
The rehearsal party After the wedding rehearsal, it’s traditional for the bride and groom and their attendants to adjourn to a restaurant or other venue to relax and socialize. Everyone in the wedding, including the minister and both sets of parents, should be invited. You might also wish to invite special out-of-town guests, depending on your budget and how intimate you want the evening to be. This is a party that the ring bearer and flower girl can also enjoy. The rehearsal party is usually hosted by the groom’s parents, and the focus is typically on him, with themes and menus geared to his tastes. Many a blushing bride has enjoyed making this an opportunity to show off her future husband to friends and family.
The bachelor/bachelorette party The “final flings” for the groom and the bride, these parties are a purely fun way to celebrate the end of single life. The best man and groomsmen honor the groom, while the bridesmaids get together with the bride for their own night of merriment. While the days of strippers and wild binges have fallen by the wayside, there are many unique and enjoyable ways to live it up. When it comes to entertainment, a little spice is nice, and cocktails are certainly appropriate. Just be responsible and make sure everyone gets home safely.