Most Common Pre-Wedding Events

Beyond the ceremony and reception, there are many additional opportunities to bring family members and loved ones together in celebration. Today, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about the most common pre-wedding and post-wedding events. And remember, weddings aren’t a sprint—they’re a marathon! 

Engagement Party

Let’s start off with the first big wedding event; the engagement party! Engagement parties are most typically hosted by the bride’s parents. Really anyone can throw the engagement party though. In this day and age, couples often choose to throw their own celebration. Your engagement party is a great opportunity for friend groups who may not know each other to meet, as well as your parents meeting your friends! 

As one of the first pre-wedding events, the engagement party typically also has lots of fun games about the couple. This is really the only fun event where you will be together unless you choose to do a joint bachelor and bachelorette party. 

Pre-wedding cocktails and snacks are handed out by a waiter
A pre-wedding rehearsal is held in Palm Springs

Bridal Shower

The bridal shower is one of the first pre-wedding events for the bride. A bridal shower is often where the aunties, moms, friends, and cousins in your life get to spoil you and make you wear weird pairs of underwear. This daytime event is traditionally hosted by non-immediate family members of the bride or by members of the bridal party. That said, as with an engagement party, anyone can host a bridal shower! Much like the engagement party guest list, a bridal shower usually consists of family and friends that are local. Or, personally close with the host that will also be invited to the wedding, as well as members of the wedding party. 

Showers can take on many themes (hello boozy brunch with a mimosa bar), and include fun games and activities. One of my favorites is the classic “How Well Does The Bride Really Know Their Spouse-to-Be?” Your pals will compile a list of tricky questions about the soon-to-be spouse. Have the guests guess how many questions the future Mrs. will be able to answer correctly. Whoever guesses the most questions correctly wins!

Bachelorette Party

We’ve all been to one, and if you haven’t… they can get pretty wild! Over the years, bachelor and bachelorette parties have morphed into weekend getaway events with multiple days of activities. Popular bachelorette party locations include Charleston, Las Vegas, NYC, and even LA. Oftentimes bachelor parties opt for golf weekends in Palm Springs or Scottsdale. 

The maid of honor or best man generally plans this pre-wedding event and chooses the guestlist. This list is most often the bridal party and a few close friends and family members. The future bride and grooms also usually aren’t expected to pay for big-ticket items like airfare or hotel stays. 

A white cake with pink flowers for the pre-wedding rehearsal dinner
A table with flowers and greenery set up for the pre-wedding rehearsal dinner
A white tent with vintage chandeliers and plants.

Rehearsal Dinner

The purpose of this get-together is to allow for more bonding time between the couple’s innermost circles. The rehearsal dinner is generally held after the ceremony rehearsal when all of the wedding party and important guests are together. This pre-wedding event is usually held at a restaurant or the wedding location. As long as the space isn’t too far or hard to get to from where guests are staying, you’ll be golden. Get ready for a night of special memories, heartfelt toasts, and, yes, maybe even a roast or two. 

Next-Day Brunch

This post-wedding breakfast is often held at the parent’s house or the hotel depending on your wedding venue. It’s a great opportunity to recap the night and say your goodbyes to people you may not see again for a long time. As a result, it’s also a fun chance to see who had too much to drink on the dance floor!

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