Who doesn’t love a great party? We had a bridal shower for my sister in law two weeks ago and it reminded me of all the fun times that we had pre and post wedding!

You can have lots of gatherings, or just stick to the wedding, the options are up to you, but here are some reminders, thoughts and ideas on pre and post wedding parties!

Bridal Shower

Traditionally held two months to two weeks before the wedding the bridal shower is a great time to get together with girlfriends and celebrate your upcoming wedding. It is usually hosed by the maid/matron of honor with the assistance of the bridesmaids. I have been to lots of creative bridal showers, afternoon teas, silly games, even a murder mystery! As always, your options are endless.

The people formally invited to the showers should also be invited to the wedding. But as always there are exceptions to every rule! I had a really small wedding, but had ladies who wanted to come to the shower and who was I to deny them that pleasure :)

Stag/Stagette

Who could forget these gatherings? Usually held within a week or two of the wedding these parties can be just about anything and are usually planned by the best man/maid of honor respectively… to be honest I’m not a big fan of these parties, I was more into the fact that I was excited about getting married then I was leaving single-hood, and I don’t drink or spend much time out in the clubs…so my girlfriends and I had dinner and movie night. It was exactly what I needed before my wedding! What you do is up to you and your party planner!

Oh and for you ladies reading this I have to throw out the reminder that This is Photography also does pin up parties. A great bachelorette idea that’s just a bit different than the norm!

Rehearsal Dinner

Recommended to be held two days before the wedding and is traditionally held by the groom’s family. A great  time for the family and wedding party to get to know each other better. The dinner takes place immediately after the ceremony rehearsal, and is usually just attended by those directly involved in the family, however the guest list can be extended by you and the hosts. Many people choose to invite spouses of those involved in the wedding, or guests who have traveled to the wedding from out of town.

So those are the regulars…what about

A welcome party

If you have many guests traveling from away it can be a great way for you to catch up before the wedding. Welcome parties are usually pretty casual, which can lead the way to lots of fun!

Bridal Luncheon

The bridal luncheon is a long standing tradition that is not required, but is definitely enjoyed! It is usually hosted by the bride and occurs a few days before the wedding, once all of your ladies have gathered for the festivities. Its a great opportunity for some girl time and is a perfect time to present your bridesmaids with their gifts (the day of the wedding can be so hectic, as with the rehearsal dinner) have some pampering to do? Instead of lunch why not spend girl time getting group manicures or pedicures?

Post-Wedding Brunch

Usually held the day after the wedding at a central location to the wedding. A hotel, family home or restaurant are all suitable locations. And though its a gathering in celebration of your wedding, you and your groom do not actually have to attend. Often if you do attend, it can also become the location and time for a gift opening.

Personal Shower

This was a tradition I had never seen until my friends got married but I loved it (and so did my husband) Designed as a way to spice up the love life of a newly married couple (not that its usually needed on the honeymoon….but a great idea none the less) this party is designed to shower the bride with lingerie, games, toys and the like… I would say that usually it is the younger crowd that gets invited to this type of shower, but I have seen many moms, aunts and even a grandmother…

Want to host a bowling night, or a week of exciting excursions for your guests? Be my guest! But remember that more planning can add more stress, so make sure that the benefit to you and your guests will be worthwhile!

Let the parties begin!!!!  (and don’t forget that This is Photography can offer photographic coverage for all of these types of events!)