Pre-Wedding Events published April 2, 2010
Celebrations are not just limited to the big day. There are several pre-wedding events that can be planned to help get your guests in the festive spirit, and for the bride and groom to have some fun amongst all the preparations.
These days, family and friends can live on opposite sides of the country, and even possibly the world, so weddings are often the only time many family members see one another. Due to this there is now a growing trend to plan more activities and parties for the wedding weekend, to make the most of the fact everyone is together.
The possibilities are endless, but a great way to get everyone together and entering into the spirit of the forthcoming event is to have a pre wedding party. As well as ensuring that the Wedding Day itself is not sidelined by a family reunion, it is also a chance for family and friends to meet the bride's future husband and vice versa.
At the announcement of an impending wedding, many couples will choose to celebrate with an engagement party. This is another opportunity for long distance relatives to get together; so keeping the entertainment fun filled and atmospheric is important - conversation needs to be encouraged so you don’t necessarily want too formal a venue.
Many couples opt for a rehearsal dinner the day before the wedding for everyone who will have duties to perform, i.e. immediate family, bridesmaids, best man etc. The objective of a rehearsal dinner is to make sure everyone is comfortable with what they will be doing. The rehearsal dinner also does not necessarily have to be a formal event. Creating a relaxed, casual atmosphere seems to be the way wedding entertainment is going, (perhaps to help calm people’s nerves!) It could be pizza and bowling if you want something very casual, or even light snacks at home. If you don’t feel like cooking or arranging catering, perhaps consider a meal at your favourite restaurant? It doesn’t need to be anything too grand that will overshadow the wedding reception, but rather an occasion to complement it.
Liza Minelli and David Gest had a rehearsal dinner, where the guests received heart shaped cookies with couple’s name written on top. This theme was carried through into their wedding reception, where their wedding favors were personalized.
If you don’t feel a rehearsal dinner is needed, or not appropriate for your style of wedding, an alternative is a welcome dinner for your closest guests. The night before the wedding of Scrubs star John C.McGinley and Nicole Kessler, they held a welcome dinner in place of a rehearsal dinner.
One of the more popular pre wedding events is the bachelor party or bachelorette party (otherwise known as a wedding shower) to celebrate with close friends before you embark on the next step of your life journey. There is a growing trend for couples to host a joint party, resulting in a more relaxed event, possibly with a meal at the couple’s favourite restaurant. More grooms are becoming involved in the planning of their weddings and don’t want to miss out on any pre wedding event. Also these days many of the bride and groom’s friends are mixed gender, so a joint party means anyone can be invited.
If you decide you would prefer separate parties, the trend is to plan an event or activities that focus on the bride and groom’s interests. It will need to be fun, memorable and well organized with weekend long events becoming popular. Boozy stag parties are becoming less popular, with grooms wanting a more responsible event, and trying to ensure they don’t upset their bride to be!
There are many ideas for pre wedding activities so decide how big a celebration you want and plan accordingly. Christina Aguilera started her celebrations 2 weeks before her wedding to music executive Jordan Bateman, with a Las Vegas bachelor / bachelorette party. The couple then had a romantic dinner 3 days before the wedding. Guests started arriving 2 days beforehand, and on the preceding day a rehearsal dinner was held at LA restaurant Hamasaku with a Japanese theme. This was all before the main event!