The answer to what is a welcome party for a wedding is in the name itself; it is a party to welcome your guests before the wedding. We will discuss all the expectations regarding this party, including who should be invited and if it’s even necessary in the first place.
And since a welcome party is often expected in destination weddings, you might be interested to know what is considered a destination wedding. So feel free to give that a quick read, so you can also plan your welcome party better.
Here Is What Is A Welcome Party For A Wedding
The welcome party at a wedding is a celebration, party, or a simple dinner hosted by the couple to welcome their guests. The welcome party customarily takes place on the day before the wedding, but it depends if you’ll also have a separate rehearsal dinner.
The welcome party can be as informal or formal as you want, but it is more lowkey and less intimate than the rehearsal dinner. Close friends and relatives are expected in the rehearsal dinner because it follows a ceremony rehearsal.
And while a welcome party is often done in destination weddings to take advantage of the new location, it can also be simple and appropriate for any wedding. You can consider a reception, a dinner, or even a barbecue, as long as you have time to mingle with the guests before the actual wedding.
Who is invited to a welcome party at a wedding?
The people to invite to a wedding welcome party depends on the couple, but it’s expected to have all your guests on it. If the budget is limited, you need to do a more straightforward event or shorten the people to invite.
Remember that what differentiates the welcome party at other pre-wedding events is that it’s less intimate, and it’s better to have all your guests in it. If it’s a destination wedding where your guests have traveled to celebrate your wedding with you, it’s only suitable to hold a welcome party for all of them.
Who pays for the welcome party at a wedding?
It is customary for the groom’s family to shoulder the costs and expenses of a welcome party. However, there is no rule that they should be the only ones responsible as families differ in capacities and dynamics.
Some welcome parties for big weddings and those with potentially expensive activities can have both the groom and bride’s families split the cost and host the event together. This is why it’s essential to plan and communicate with everybody involved in hosting the wedding to settle the expectations and limitations of both sides.
Are you struggling with the number of guests at your wedding? Then consider reading how to have a small wedding with a big family to plan a smaller one.
What Do You Do At A Welcome Party?
There is no right or wrong way to plan a welcome party as couples differ in the activities they want and can afford. However, the most common way to throw a welcome party is to have a reception at the bar and pay for your guests’ drinks, as it’s also a way to give toasts and formally welcome them.
You also don’t need to host a lunch or dinner if you’re limited on budget. Instead, consider having an open bar with hors d’oeuvres, so the celebration can feel less formal and allow everybody to loosen up.
Some couples also give welcome bags with goodies to their guests, especially if it’s a destination wedding. Each bag can contain snacks or even toiletries.
How to plan a wedding welcome party
- Select a time and day where all your wedding guests can attend; sending invitations aren’t necessary, but include details about the welcome party on your wedding website or with the wedding invitations themselves
- Provide drinks, appetizers, and snacks; a welcome party is more casual than a sit-down event
- Plan your welcoming speech to the guests
- Allow friends to give toasts and share stories as the welcome party is less limited in time and formality than dinners and receptions
Is A Wedding Welcome Party Necessary?
Having a wedding welcome party depends on the couple’s type of wedding and budget. For example, a small wedding might only need a rehearsal dinner, while bigger weddings, especially destination weddings should have at least a welcome party for their guests.
Welcome party vs rehearsal dinner
The welcome party and rehearsal dinner is held on the day or evening before the wedding. The welcome party usually follows the rehearsal dinner, which is done with the wedding party as it follows a rehearsal.
Comparing the two, the rehearsal dinner is more formal and a sit-down celebration than the welcome party where all guests are usually invited, and it’s also more casual. However, some weddings also combine the events in one, where the rehearsal dinner starts with the wedding party then invites the rest of the guests after dinner for drinks.
Here is also what to wear to a wedding rehearsal dinner.
And that’s it! We’ve just learned what is a welcome party for a wedding, which is a way to welcome and have a more casual event with all your wedding guests.
It is more inclusive than a rehearsal dinner, and it’s also less formal. However, you don’t need to have a destination wedding to host one, and it can be as simple as you want.