Bridal showers, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, couples showers, man shower, engagement parties, rehearsal dinner, pre-wedding breakfast, pre-wedding hike … The list of potential pre-wedding events has grown since the days of one bridal shower and one bachelor party. Longer engagements, more geographic diversity among wedding couples and guests, and older couples all add up to their being more ways than ever to start the wedding party early. So, what’s new and hot for these parties?
Wedding trends are often announced at the beginning of the year. But the truth is that most people planning a wedding have been doing so for months before these trends come to light. This means that a lot of the 2014 wedding trends won’t show up in 2014 weddings but in 2015 weddings. However, since pre-wedding parties take less time to plan, look for a lot of the 2014 wedding trends such as the 1990s styling, Radiant Orchid and Pinks, and extravagant photo booths to show up at engagement parties, bridal showers, and even bachelor parties.
Social media, a divisive wedding trend, is more likely to be embraced at pre-wedding events. Brides, grooms, and guests still need to keep in mind though that alcohol and social media as well as small guest lists and social media are not great combinations.
As the trend towards mixed gender events grows, fewer hard partying bachelor and bachelorette parties are being planned. Instead, couples are going for fun outings including everything from white water rafting to golfing to casino nights. Entertainment for events is more participatory, including karaoke and belly dancing lessons.
More and more couples are marrying across religious and cultural lines. Couples involved in multi-cultural weddings often struggle to please families on both sides of the aisle. The technique of letting one culture reign supreme at a rehearsal dinner or other pre-wedding event is a great way to soothe tensions. For example, an Irish-Jewish couple might have a bagpiper and Irish dancers at the rehearsal dinner and a traditional Klezmer band at the wedding reception. An Indian-American couple might have a traditional Indian wedding but have one of the pre-wedding events include a more traditional American-style wedding DJ.
As with all pre-wedding parties it’s important to keep a few etiquette pointers in mind:
• Unless your wedding is small and family only, don’t invite people to pre-wedding events who aren’t also invited to the wedding.
• Don’t overload the same people with too many gift giving occasions.
• Don’t be offended if not everyone, even everyone close to you or in your bridal party, can make every event.
• Don’t expect your family or bridal party to plan events they can’t afford to host.
• Don’t expect that just because one person you knew had a bridal shower, bachelorette party, engagement party and a rehearsal dinner that you will have the same.
• Don’t be afraid to turn down an offer of an event.
• Have the conversation about strippers with your partner long before either of you is planning a party.
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