Parties, Get-Togethers, Rehearsal Dinners and Other Celebrations
By Nily Glaser Copyrights © 2007 – 2014 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser,
The Engagement Party
Traditionally the parents of the bride hosted an engagement party for their daughter and her fiancé. Today it is quite common for both sets of parents to host separate engagement parties. Also, quite frequently brides and grooms host their own engagement announcement parties. The party can take on any style. It can be a special formal dinner, a catered buffet, an in home finger food and salad reception, a barbeque, a cocktail party and even a pot luck. Printed invitations are optional but you should consider sending them to out of town guests. Invitations are required only if the party will be a formal event.
The Bridal Shower
The Bridal Shower is an informal party for the bride where all the guests are women. It is usually scheduled a few months to a few weeks before the wedding. Traditionally it was hosted by the maid of honor. Today however, more and more bridal showers are hosted by the bridal attendants as a group. Bridal showers, as the name implies, are intended to shower the bride with gifts. They have a few of the same characteristics but actually, rather than uniformity, each is personalized. Showers have expanded to reflect the personal style of the bride. The event planner(s) choose the location, the decor, the flowers, the favors and even the menu the bride would have chosen if she were in charge. Though the bride will attend as a guest, rather than giving her a surprise party which previously was the custom, she should be consulted about the theme and about the guest list.
She should be able to choose the size of the guest list. After all, every woman who is invited to the shower must be invited to the wedding too. Since a shower has very loose traditions, it is quite appropriate to ask the bride whether children and – or men may attend. The most appreciated gifts especially in the current economy are keepsake bridal accessories for the wedding such as: guest books and pens, ring bearer pillows, flower baskets, bridal purses, garters, flutes, cake serving sets, albums stationery etc…, entertaining, kitchen and household goods.One of the most fun parts of the shower is when the gifts are opened and the reaction written. So, ask one of your attendants to jot down your reaction to each gift opened. It is also important that the bride appoint someone to record who gave what. This will help organize her sending out Thank You notes. It has become quite popular to have a THEME shower. However, unlike the wedding theme, a shower theme centers around the gifts. If for example you decide th have a “Kitchen and Dining Theme”, you must notify all the invited guests and suggest that they bring gifts related to Kitchen and Dining. If you choose a “Bed and Bath Theme”, the gifts should reflect the theme. Surprise all by suggesting gifts no one, not even the bride and groom think of such as a garbage bucket, a broom set, a plunger, a laundry basket etc…
The Groom Shower
21st century grooms want to plan the wedding with their brides and celebrate their upcoming wedding with a Groom Shower just for the guys. Thus, a new trend has been created and is becoming more and more popular, but not quite as popular as the Wedding Shower or by its other name the Couple Shower. The realization is that men need showers too. The most appreciated gifts are tools for the household they will be maintaining, car maintenance tools, garden supplies, sports equipment and of course electronics. One of the most fun parts of the shower is when the gifts are opened and the reaction written. The groom should appoint one of his attendants to record who gave what as the gifts are opened. This will help the groom organize his Thank You notes.
The Wedding Shower
Many 21st century brides and grooms transformed what was originally a bridal shower into a wedding shower or Couple Shower. This is a shower for both bride and groom where the celebrants are both ladies and gentlemen.Well, the name SHOWER says it all. This event has a purpose. Showering the bride and groom with gifts!Like many aspects of the wedding scene the traditional shower for the bride has become a shower for both bride and groom. Unlike the bridal shower that was hosted by the maid of honor and centered on the bride, the wedding shower is usually hosted by siblings of the couple and – or their wedding attendants a few months to a few weeks before the wedding. The majority of the current showers are the results of group efforts, especially theme showers.Years ago, the bridal shower was a surprise party. Today the bride and groom are consulted. In fact, the idea behind the shower is to have family and friends gather to shower the couple with gifts. With today’s escalating wedding costs, The the bride and groom highly appreciate, the most common are keepsake gifts they may need or can use at the wedding such as guest books and pens, ring bearer pillows, flower baskets, bridal purses, garters, flutes, cake serving sets, albums etc… The second most common are money gifts, followed by items for the new home, sports equipment and electronics.
One of the most fun parts of the shower is when the gifts are opened and the reaction written. A family member or one of the attendants should jot down the reaction to each gift as it is opened. Another person should be appointed to record who gave what. This will help the bride and groom with their Thank You notes.
The Rehearsal Dinner – What is The Wedding Rehearsal?
A wedding rehearsal is a get together of the families and wedding party a day or two before the wedding, to go over the entire ceremony with the bride, groom and officiant. The idea behind the rehearsal is to go over the finer details of the wedding day so the ceremony will go smoothly. This is the last chance to straighten out any minor issues. The rehearsal itself includes meeting at the ceremony site to go over every detail and the logistics of the ceremony. Usually a practice run is conducted, so that everyone knows exactly what to do and when. It is important that members of both families and everyone in the wedding party know in advance: who walks down the aisle with whom, at what pace and when, who is in front of them and who follows them. The family of the bride will be instructed as to who walks the bride, when, to what point and where to stand or be seated. Likewise, the family of the groom will know what their role is. The rehearsal is extremely important. When the bride and groom are sure that everyone including them, knows what is expected and is familiar with the order of the service they will be more relaxed and less nervous.
What is The Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?
Though it is called a dinner, the gathering after the rehearsal of the wedding activities does not have to be formal. It can be a meal at a restaurant – breakfast lunch or dinner, a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres in a home, a backyard barbeque, or any style of reception that provides an opportunity for all to have a good time at a relaxed celebration in a casual atmosphere. However, it is a celebration so, no matter how casual, it requires business attire or better. In other words, Jeans, a tee shirt and sneakers will not do. It is quite popular to offer toasts, while keeping drinking to a minimum so no one is impaired at the wedding. A rehearsal Dinner is also a perfect setting for the bride and groom, to thank those who were involved in planning the wedding and those who are an integral part of it. Most brides and grooms give gifts to their families and to the wedding party. The most popular gifts are either items they can use at the wedding such as; jewelry and comfy shoes for the ladies and cufflinks for the men or personalized items that will become keepsakes.
Who pays for and Hosts the Rehearsal Dinner?
Traditionally the groom’s parents assume the financial responsibility for and host the Rehearsal Dinner. However, currently anyone can host the event. In fact, it is not uncommon for both families to host it together, nor is it uncommon for the bride and groom to do so and pay for the Rehearsal Dinner.
Who should we invite?
Typically the guest list may include:
- Your children, if yours is a family wedding.
- Immediate family
- wedding-party members and any spouses and significant others
- The parents of any child attendant
- The officiant and his/her spouse
- Guests who traveled from out of town to attend your wedding. This is an excellent opportunity to thank them for making the trip to be with you.
Note! If your Rehearsal Dinner guest list is growing while your budget shrinks, opt for a home based sandwich and salad buffet, or a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception or just a dessert.
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