You are so focused on planning the wedding, but what about all the other important events leading up to the magical day? The excellent news is, you should not have to accomplish the major tasks for them. Allow your closest friends or family members have control over planning these parties— that is their turf as members of your bridal party. You should trust them when it comes to décor, activities and food. However, if you are looking to guide them in the right direction or just prefer to know what to expect, employ this pre-wedding party cheat sheet that Grand Lens Photography has provided you.
the engagement party
An engagement party is exactly what it sounds like. Imagine it as a kickoff to all the wedding events that will happen during your path to the altar. There are infinite guidelines about how the event needs to be. Although, it is tradition to have a cocktail party at someone’s home or a favorite restaurant. The host of an engagement party is ordinarily one or both sets of parents, but that is not a firm rule. If a sister or closest family friend wishes to host the party, that is acceptable. However, do not expect anyone to host this event for you. Engagement parties are not an obligation and various couples today choose not to have one at all. For this type of party, it commonly consists of the wedding party, family, and closest friends. Do not feel obligated to invite every person you know. It is absolutely fine to hold it as an intimate event. Just be careful not to invite anyone who will not be on the wedding guest list. Photographing your engagement party is important. It is a great way to gather your friends and family together to celebrate your recent engagement, especially if the bride and groom's families do not know each other well. This way they can all become better acquainted. This party should be planned soon after you become engaged; ideally within three months of the engagement. After all, that is what the event is about. You may also want to wait to have the party after you and your partner have set a wedding date; several people will ask when the wedding is. Lastly, one thought you may want to do is to have a modest gift registry prepared since guests might wish to give you an engagement present. Keep in mind that guests are not obligated to bring gifts, so do not be unsettled if they arrive empty-handed.
the bridal shower
A bridal shower is a way of honoring the bride-to-be and "showering" her with gifts for her new married home. There are three key components for a bridal shower: refreshments, fun activities, like games or quizzes, and the bride opening her gifts in front of her guests. Although, classic etiquette state that the bride’s mother or sister is not supposed to host the shower, these days, numerous mothers and sisters do play hostess for these fun festivitiesand it is really a personal decision. You may find that a family relative offers to host a shower for you and a friend offers to host a separate, more laid-back bridal shower, where you can invite all your gal pals. Occasionally, co-workers will throw you a shower, too. There is nothing wrong with having multiple showers. A bridal shower consists of close female friends and relatives, but the length of the guest list is up to you and the host. The same rule goes for other pre-wedding parties. Do not invite anyone that will not be invited to the actual wedding. The only exception to this rule is the office shower. Understand, that you may not be able to invite all your co-workers to the wedding. Not only does a bridal shower provide the couple with items that can dress their home with, it is another opportunity to socialize with family and friends (and take more photos!). Plan for a bridal shower two to six months before the wedding. Ensure to mail out personalized, handwritten thank you notes to each guest that attends the event.
the rehearsal dinner
Most couples have a wedding rehearsal where wedding party members, parents, and grandparents of the bride and groom gather together to practice their roles in the ceremony. Afterwards, there is often a dinner to celebrate with those VIPs. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s family but these days, couples prefer to host this dinner themselves or to have both sets of parents co-host. Previously, this event was simply the bridal party and the immediate families of the couple. Today, some people include out-of-town guests as well, since these folks may have come a long way to be with the bride and groom on their wedding day. Photographs for this event are especially important. Consider hiring a photographer to come to this event, since it is often a very meaningful one. You will have your nearest and dearest with you to celebrate more intimately than you likely will on your wedding day. Often, the rehearsal dinner is filled with speeches and toasts from family members and friends, and the bride and groom present the wedding party members and parents, thanking them for their assistance with the wedding planning process. The rehearsal dinner happens one or two nights before the wedding. If you decide not to have a rehearsal, it is okay to still have a celebratory dinner before the wedding. You might want to call it a “welcome dinner.” Plan the dinner at an early time since most of the wedding attendees will want to be well-rested for the wedding.
Another event you could document with photos is the bachelor/bachelorette party. For most newly engaged couples, it is an excuse to get together with friends for fun. Some groups go on a weekend getaway to an exciting location such as Las Vegas or Miami Beach. Others prefer to plan a simple night out. This is the time to let loose and enjoy some free time from the stress of wedding planning, so why not spend this time with your best pals. Although not every couple wants a wild experience, for this particular event, we believe you should be selective with the photos you post on social media. For example, work colleagues could stumble upon them. Share these tips with the groom for his bachelor party. Your guy may not want a typical night of male debauchery so here are a few neat ideas for the guys.
Grand Lens Photography wants to help you ensure your engagement and wedding photos come out amazing. Check out our blog for tips and tricks to help with achieve the best photos!