Your wedding may be the main attraction, but there are several other events leading up to and following your big day that need to be planned. From the bridesmaids’ luncheon to the farewell brunch, the entire weekend is typically full of festive celebrations. Here’s a breakdown of the pre- and post-wedding events that you may want to consider:
Bridesmaids Brunch/Luncheon: This is usually offered in the morning or afternoon one to two days before the wedding as a gathering for the bride, mother of the bride, mother of the groom, bridesmaids, wedding attendants, and other close female friends/family members. This event can be relaxed and casual or formal and elegant. Typically, the bridesmaids’ brunch/luncheon is hosted by someone outside of the bridal party (a close friend or family member) and can be held in a restaurant or someone’s home. As the bride, you may also choose to host the event yourself as a way to celebrate and thank the ladies standing beside you on your big day. As for locations, consider a girly tearoom, elegant champagne brunch, or relaxed pancake house.
Welcome Party: If you have several out-of-town guests traveling in for your wedding, you may want to host a welcome party or event to greet them. This can be done one to two nights before the wedding at a private home, hotel, or restaurant. Again, this can be as casual or formal as you prefer, but it really serves as a way to express appreciation to those individuals who traveled a great distance to celebrate with you. Often, in lieu of a welcome party, brides and grooms will extend an invitation to out-of-town guests to join them at the rehearsal dinner. Depending on the number of your out-of-town guests, you may want to offer a cocktail hour in a rented space at the hotel or host a relaxed barbecue at your new home.
Rehearsal Dinner: The rehearsal dinner is typically held the night before the wedding immediately following the rehearsal (which usually takes place at the ceremony site). The rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents for the entire bridal party, wedding attendants, officiant, and close friends/family. Typically, this is held at a restaurant conveniently located near the ceremony site, but can also be a catered event at a different location or in someone’s home.
Farewell Brunch/Luncheon: A lot of brides and grooms opt to join their wedding guests, bridal party, and family for one last hurrah before jetting off on their honeymoon. The farewell brunch/luncheon is held the morning after the wedding and may be hosted by the newlyweds, family of the bride or groom, or close friends.