It’s a common dilemma—you’re receiving offers from multiple groups of loved ones to throw pre-wedding events in your honor. But is it cool to have two bridal showers, two bachelor or bachelorette parties, or two engagement parties? Well, it really depends on the situation.
Here’s a rundown of times when it’s okay to have two bridal showers, two bachelor or bachelorette parties, or two engagement parties—and sometimes when it maybe isn’t.
Your parents and in-laws want to throw you separate engagement parties or showers.
If your parents and in-laws aren’t close (yet), they might ask if they can each throw you an engagement party. This is totally fine if your parents and in-laws live in different cities—though you should try to keep the guest lists pretty separate so it doesn’t seem like you’re asking for double the gifts. But if they live in the same city or town, two separate engagement parties or two bridal showers might feel a little excessive. If this is the case, thank both families for their kind offers and encourage them to work together to throw a single party or shower. Hosting the party together will also help foster bonding between your parents and your in-laws—bonus!
Your parents are divorced.
There may be some tricky aspects to navigating wedding planning if you have divorced parents, including if your mom and stepmother, for example, each want to throw you separate engagement parties. In this case, it’s fine to have two engagement parties—provided that the guests invited to each are invited to your wedding as well.
You don’t live in the same city as your family.
Many couples move away from their parents well before marriage. If this is the case for you, you might have a group of local friends who want to throw you an engagement party or shower, and then your parents or other family members from your hometown who want to do the same. This is absolutely okay, but again, try to keep the guest lists as separate as possible so as not to tie up your guests’ schedules and budgets.
Different generations want to host very different types of parties.
So your parents want to have a nice, quiet engagement party dinner at home surrounded by close relatives, while your wedding party is all about throwing you an all-night rager to celebrate your impending nuptials. It’s totally fine to have separate “family” and “friend” engagement parties, just make sure that both sets of hosts are aware of the others’ plans to avoid scheduling snafus.
Your co-workers are throwing you a shower—and so are your bridesmaids.
In all likelihood, your co-workers don’t know your bridesmaids and aren’t aware of their shower plans. So if you end up having two bridal showers—one thrown by co-workers and one thrown by your wedding party—that’s absolutely cool. Usually office showers are surprises, so the guest of honor (you) won’t have a say in the matter anyway!
Some friends can’t attend your far-flung destination bach.
If your wedding party is throwing you a destination bachelor or bachelorette party, there may be some people who can’t attend, whether it’s due to scheduling conflicts or budget constraints. In this case, those who can’t come might want to throw you another bachelor or bachelorette party in your city of residence after the destination bach. Our recommendation? Don’t go overboard with the bachelor or bachelorette bashes. Instead, opt for a more low-key celebration back home—whether it’s a relaxed dinner, spa day, or hike and picnic with those who couldn’t make it to the weekend getaway.
You have a huge wedding party who don’t know each other—and they’re making plans for separate showers or bach parties!
It’s really the job of the maid of honor or best man to unite the bridesmaids or groomsmen, no matter how far-flung they may be. Just because your bridesmaids or groomsmen don’t know each other well isn’t a good enough reason to have two bridal showers or separate bach parties. If you find out that two factions of your wedding party are planning separate events, enlist your head bridesmaid or groomsmen to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to party planning.
You want lots of gifts and attention.
Okay, this is NOT a valid reason for having two bridal showers, two bach parties, or two engagement parties. Yes, these parties are thrown in your honor, but they should not be considered gift grabs. Appreciate that your loved ones are spending their precious time and energy planning these events for you, and be sure to thank them appropriately.