Types of Pre-wedding Parties
- Engagement Party~A party given to or by the couple to celebrate their engagement.
- Wedding Shower~A party given in honor of the bride and/or groom at which wedding guests "shower" them with gifts. Wedding showers include bridal showers, "groom's showers," and showers given to both the bride and groom.
- Bridal Shower~ A party given in honor of the bride at which female wedding guests "shower" the bride with gifts.
- Groom's Shower~A male version of the bridal shower. That is, a party given in honor of the groom at which male wedding guests (or sometimes both men and women) "shower" the groom with gifts.
- Bridesmaid's Luncheon~A time for the bride to spend with her bridesmaids and thank them for their help and friendship. It need not be a luncheon. Another outing or party may be substituted.
- Bachelor Party ~ A party given to the groom shortly before the wedding. Bachelor parties have a reputation for being not virtuous at all, but a virtuous party may be held, regardless of what everyone else in the world is doing, to the enjoyment and benefit of the groom.
- Bachelorette Party ~ A party given to the bride shortly before the wedding. Of course, in this "liberated age" if the boys get to be wild then so do the girls ~ so bachelorette parties are not necessarily virtuous either. However, they can be. Once you break free from the mold (of even the more respectable options) there are endless possibilities for delightful times for the bride and her friends. Another name would, perhaps, be more fitting but I haven't thought of one.
- Rehearsal Dinner~A meal held before or after the wedding rehearsal to which close family, attendants, and sometimes others are invited.
- Gift Opening Party~An event where the bride or the couple open gifts (that have been sent ahead) in the presence of close family or friends. It's just another excuse to party and to admire the couple's new goodies.
Types of Post-wedding parties
- Morning After Brunch~ A brunch the day after the wedding that gives the bride and groom opportunity to see out-of-town guests one more time (and actually have time to visit with them) and thank guests for attending the wedding.
- Gift Opening Party~An event at which the couple open gifts they received at the wedding. Close family and perhaps a few close friends might be invited to join in the fun and admire the new gifts.
Because wedding showers are not hosted by bride or groom, or the wedding hosts, they are not further addressed here but are covered in the Family and Friends Showers and Parties section.