What Parties Do You Have Before A Wedding: Checklist

If you’re unsure what parties do you have before a wedding, you only need to remember four parties. But, of course, they can be fewer or lesser as weddings vary in how they are celebrated.

Nonetheless, here are the traditional wedding celebrations before the actual wedding day and what’s expected of them. And as the day gets closer, here is what to do the week of your wedding

what parties do you have before a wedding


What Parties Do You Have Before A Wedding: 4 Important Wedding Parties


  • Engagement party

The first wedding party you’ll have is the engagement party. It’s the first pre-wedding celebration of the couple, and it’s usually hosted by either the bride or groom’s family. 

Depending on the dynamics, you may even have an engagement party exclusive for friends and for family. It can be an opportunity to tell them about your wedding plans, similar to save-the-dates. 

You usually have an engagement party for at least three months after getting engaged. But if your schedules are tight, why not have it immediately after the engagement?


  • Bridal showers or wedding showers

Two months before the wedding is the ideal time for the bridal shower. The groom and bride can have separate showers planned by their bridesmaids and groomsmen. 

But nowadays, it’s pretty common to have a combined celebration or wedding shower. The wedding shower should be among the wedding parties you need prior to the wedding because it’s a time to relax. 

It’s even usually a surprise to help the bride and groom relax from the stress of wedding planning. Read who pays for the wedding shower for planning the budget. 


  • Bachelor and bachelorette parties

The other parties that everyone usually celebrates before the big day are bachelor and bachelorette parties. These are planned by the wedding party or the maid of honor for the bachelorette party and the best man for the bachelor party. 

But, of course, the bride or groom may not also like these parties. So clarify if they still want these parties or if they’d rather have simpler celebrations.

While tradition dictates that these parties are for drinking and exotic dancers, they can also be as quiet as the bride or groom wants.  And in general, you’ll have these parties two weeks before the wedding. 


  • Rehearsal dinner

The final type of wedding celebration which usually happens the night before the wedding is the rehearsal dinner. From the name itself, it is the dinner after the wedding rehearsal. 

It’s a chance to mingle with the couple’s close friends and family and give everyone a final reminder of what they’ll do at the wedding. Usually, it is hosted by the groom’s parents as they get to know the bride’s family. 

Remember to have the rehearsal dinner close to where you’re staying, especially at a destination wedding. You can even have your wedding officiant attend this wedding party. 

And as for the rehearsal, please learn how to run a wedding rehearsal to avoid issues. 


Optional: Welcome party

Some destination weddings only have a rehearsal dinner to welcome the guests to the place. But if you want, you can also have a separate pre-wedding event for welcoming your wedding guests.

It’s called the welcome party, usually at the wedding venue or at the hotel where the guests are staying. It’s less formal than a rehearsal dinner, but the guests can still do toasts for the couple. 

In general, it’s an event for getting to know the other guests and destress before the big day. The couple usually pays for the welcome party. 


How Many Parties Lead Up To A Wedding?

Typically, you’ll have four parties before the wedding day. Then, in the same order, you’ll have the engagement party, wedding shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and finally, the rehearsal dinner. 

But as more and more weddings become non-traditional, you can have different celebrations before the wedding. Some couples even plan an entire week, then have their wedding day on the weekend. 


What Happens Before The Wedding?

Celebrations and parties traditionally happen before the wedding to let the guests mingle and know about the upcoming celebration. But of course, you have to manage your time for wedding planning. 

Secure the needed legalities, vendors, and elements for the wedding to ensure that the big day will run smoothly. Talk with your wedding planner to create a schedule that works best for you. 


What Leads Up To A Wedding?

The rehearsal dinner is the final pre-wedding celebration. It happens the night before the big day, and while it can be fun, it’s more laidback and formal, so everyone can still feel rested the next day. 


What Is The Night Before A Wedding Called?

The night before the wedding is the rehearsal dinner or welcome party. You can also choose not to do anything at this time to rest nicely, especially if you have many wedding activities. 

Consider talking with your friends or family if you’re feeling anxious about the big day. If you’re having doubts, read what is wedding cold feet



And that’s it! To recap what parties do you have before a wedding: engagement party, wedding shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinner.

You can also have a welcome party if it’s a destination wedding. These celebrations start three months up to the night before the big day. 

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