Photo Cred: 100 Layer Cake: Backyard summer engagement party
While your pocket book may groan at the thought, there is a lot more to the wedding day than just the wedding day. This offers couples, families, and friends a lot of different opportunities to celebrate your new marriage in a variety of ways. Plus, who is going to turn down a time to celebrate and have fun?
Pre-Wedding Events and Celebrations
Here we have some guidelines and tips for the top three pre-wedding celebrations.
- An Engagement party: These can be as big scale or as low key as you want it. Traditionally, these are hosted by the bride’s parents, but are often hosted by both sets of parents or even the bride and groom themselves. If you are hosting the engagement party, be aware that you are footing the bill or are responsible for figuring out how it is being funded. This should happen within the first few months of the engagement so as to avoid clashing with other events and to really monopolize on the new excitement of the engagement. Keep in mind (and keep track) that who you invite to the engagement party is expected to be invited to the wedding. Although, with impromptu and casual parties hosted by friends this rule isn’t as thickly tied.
- The Bridal Shower: Also known as the wedding shower, the bridal shower is traditionally hosted by the maid of honor. So, if you are the maid of honor, go ahead and write that down on your list of duties, but you may want to contact the bride’s mother (and the bride) and let them know you plan on hosting the shower. If you are invited to a bridal shower, be sure to bring a gift. The bridal/wedding shower is one of the prime times to help the new couple set up their life together. No, you don’t have to buy an expensive KitchenAid mixer, but if you want to, there will be few brides that would say no. Lingerie gifts are also common for bridal showers and often bring in some laughs, but take a pulse on the crowd (ie. have you seen that one episode of How I Met Your Mother with Lily’s bridal shower? Watch it).
- Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties: Other than the wedding day, this is TV’s most hyped up wedding celebration. Considered the last night of “single freedom,” this shin dig is typically hosted by the best man (for the groom) and the maid of honor or bridesmaids (for the bride). Whether this will be a rowdy night or not is going to be up to the bride, so respect her preferences, but don’t be afraid to have some spunky fun with it (and yes, the bride gets the final word on the bachelor parties level of “single freedom”). Plan on keeping the guest list small (under 10 is best) and if any of your party guests are not wedding guests, make sure they are clear on that. It is often seen okay to have non-wedding guests invited the the bachelor and bachelorette parties if you are trying to keep guests lists down or if the wedding is out of town. You will want to keep this party as close as you can to the date of the wedding, but is unnecessary and usually not the best idea to have it the night before the wedding. Weddings are stressful enough without a late night and a possible hangover.
Brainstorming for that Killer Bachelorette Party
The bachelorette party is a not only a fun night, but is important for the bride because it is one piece of the wedding process that is designed to make her feel special AND to let off some of that wedding stress. This is a night that is typically meant for the bride to be hands off in the planning process, which is why we recommend having the maid of honor and bridesmaids take over. The goal is to surprise, excite, and spotlight the bride. So, with that in mind, here are a few fun ways to help your bride have fun at the center of attention.
First off, you will want to deck out your bride in some bride to be gear. The reason we say this is because it is a quick and essential way to set your bride apart and get her that added attention. She doesn’t need to wear everything bride-to-be, so when shopping, guide yourself on what the bride will feel slightly embarrassed to wear (giving her that perfect bride blush), but not what she will refuse to put on or walk out in.
The options for bride-to-be accessories run from a simple scarf with a bride charm (this would be the most subtle), to personalized t-shirts and jackets (the most personal), fun bride tiaras, veils, and sashes (the biggest spotlight), and the bridesmaids. By coordinating the bridesmaids in bachelorette party tees, you will basically be creating a very big red arrow pointing out your party and your bride. Bridal Party Tees has some spunky, bride to be and bridesmaid t-shirts that would help spice up the night and spotlight the bride. If you are looking for a more cost effective option, try bride and bridesmaids iron ons paired with plain t-shirts at Walmart or target. You could even have the party guests bring their own t-shirts and make your party wear as part of your activity.
Speaking of the activities, there is a lot more you can do with a bachelorette party than going out drinking. Of course, if that is the route you want to go, then go all out, but if not, there are endless options for your bachelorette party. For example, instead of doing only a bachelorette night, why not take the day? Spend a day with your closest girlfriends at a day spa, get massages, sit by a pool, get your nails done, and just relax. After a day of relaxation, go out to a nice dinner and stay late for drinks or end with an in home cooking lesson and still stay late for drinks. Having multiple phases to your bachelorette party give your party members flexibility is they have a busy schedule, so if they can’t make the spa day, they can come to the dinner.
Another great idea is to look at what is going on in your community. Are there any concerts, movies, or plays in the park? Is there a great band playing or a fun comedian show nearby? You could go to dinner, hit an outdoor concert, and then end back at home with a game of who gave what lingerie. The main thing is to give yourself time to be with your best friends, relax, have fun, and just celebrate. The bachelorette party is a night free of things to take care of, and open to excited sequels, laughter, and maybe a few tears. Make it a night you will never forget.
Categories: Uncategorized, Wedding Planning
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This week, we’ve shared some of our favorite ideas for bachelorette parties. Our take: While a night of bar hopping, dancing, and potential debauchery can be fun, it’s not the only option out there. This bachelorette party absolutely proves this point. This bride-to-be and a group of girlfriends visited a Napa Valley vineyard for an afternoon of wine tasting, noshing, and lots of laughing. It’s all about choosing your own bachelorette party adventure – one that suits your taste and personal style – so go for it and have fun!
True, you don’t need to wear something new to your bachelorette party. But we saw several dresses at New York Bridal Market that would look just perfect at a bachelorette celebration, and wanted to share:
Dresses by (clockwise from top left): Dessy Collection, Bari Jay, Noir by Lazaro, Ivy & Aster. Dessy, Bari Jay, and Ivy & Aster photos by Robert Mitra; Noir by Lazaro photo courtesy of JLM Couture.
Outdoor Wine Tasting: Maybe you’re going for a more low-key event, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up and look cute. This little white dress by Dessy Collection is sweet and feminine – though you’ll need to be extra careful when sipping those reds!
Trip to the Beach: If you’re planning a destination bachelorette party, pack a dress that’s lightweight and airy, like this style by Bari Jay. And you’ll totally stand out in the bright tropical pink hue (the “Bachelorette” sash will probably help, too!).
Girls’ Dinner: We love the versatility of this Noir by Lazaro dress. Whether you’re heading out for dinner and drinks, a night of silly karaoke, or checking out a comedy show, this belted number will look cute and appropriate.
Night on the Town: Dancing the night away? Pick a short feathered style that will look amazing while you’re rockin’ with your girls. We’re obsessed with this Ivy & Aster dress – it’s sexy and whimsical all at once.
What are you wearing to your bachelorette party? Tell us in the comments!
Post Sponsored by Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts
Photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts
Like destination weddings, destination bachelorette parties are becoming more and more popular – and for good reason. What could be more fun than taking a trip with your best girlfriends to celebrate your upcoming nuptials? We asked Marsha-Ann Brown, Director of Romance for Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts for her best tips on planning the ultimate girls’ getaway.
What factors should bridesmaids consider when choosing a location for a destination bachelorette party?
With friends and family spread all over, sometimes picking a location for a bachelorette party that’s on neutral territory makes the most sense. For example, if your cousins are from New York and your college friends from Texas, you might decide to meet somewhere like Atlantic City, or you might even invite everyone to jet off to an exotic location like South America or the Caribbean. Also, keep in mind the interests of the bride. Does she love to shop, sight see, party non-stop, or relax? Pick a destination that offers the activities and attractions you know she will enjoy most. Budget can also be a big factor in determining what works best for everyone, and a helpful hint is to keep the weather at the destination in mind when picking a location.