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It’s Wedding Wednesday!!! As many of you know, a couple who gets engaged usually has a few parties in store for them prior to the wedding. From engagement parties to bridal showers to bachelor and bachelorette parties. I’m here to help you understand the purpose of them and whether it’s for you. Yes, that’s right — you don’t have to have all these celebrations. It’s completely your call.

Engagement Party

  • Not necessary to have one
  • Typically thrown by parent’s of the bride or groom 
  • Usually a casual setting, such as a backyard barbecue, or hors d’oeuvres (appetizers) and cocktails at someone’s house
  • Takes place about two months after the engagement to six months before the wedding
  • Guests invited should be limited to those who will be invited to the wedding
  • Gifts are not usually expected

Bridal or Wedding Shower

  • Held two to three months before the wedding
  • Traditionally considered the responsibility of the maid of honor, but now a days anyone can throw you a shower
  • Purpose is for close friends and family to shower the bride or couple with gifts to help set up their new home
  • Can be women-only, co-ed or couples shower — the choice is completely up to you
  • Attended by those invited to the wedding

Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties

  • Arranged by the best man (bachelor party) and the maid of honor (bachelorette party)
  • It’s customary that the groom or the bride does not pay for the party
  • Can be held anywhere from a month prior to the wedding until the weekend of the wedding (Note: If the parties must be held the same weekend as the wedding, be kind to the bride and/or groom so they aren’t nursing a hangover on their wedding day.)
  • Attended by your bridal party
  • Some ideas include: road trips, a weekend away, spa day, a trip to the casinos, boat rentals and more. The options are endless when it comes to bachelor and bachelorette parties. Just hope that your best man and maid of honor knows you well enough, so it will be an outing you will enjoy.

Perhaps it’s just me and the way I am, but just a note to remember… after each party be sure to send thank you notes. Showing your gratitude and appreciation is always a welcomed gesture.

Being the planner I am and my love for weddings, I do my research. Today’s information was sourced from The Wedding Book, by wedding planner extraordinaire, Mindy Weiss.

Need some additional help on ideas for an engagement party or bridal shower? Just let me know. Tweet me at @seekyourbliss or @highlifesuite or email me at thehighlifesuite@gmail.com. I would love to help! As well, to get you started, here are some event, theme and decoration ideas below.

A taco bar is a great idea for an engagement party or bridal/wedding shower. Pic from Coco Kelley

Having a co-ed wedding shower? Make the guys feel comfortable with a chili and nacho bar. Pic from Celebrations at Home

I love this idea of a pasta bar! Giving people options not only sparks conversation, but it also makes dietary constraints easy to work with. Pic from Big Red Kitchen.

Girls only bridal shower? A mimosa bar couldn’t be a better treat! Pic from On to Baby

Looking for a different display? Try this. Pic from Pinterest

Want to everyone to know what house on the block the party is at? This balloon entry may do the trick. Pic from Nibs Blog

Looking for a theme for your engagement party? Try one of these.

Love is Sweet engagement party theme. Pic from Polka Dot Bride

Hugs and Kisses Party theme. Pic from Celebrations at Home

I hope this helped to clarify the parties had in celebration of your wedding and provided some inspiration.

– G