EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRE-WEDDING FESTIVITIES
From engagement parties to bridal showers, hens and bucks to rehearsal dinners, we’ve got your pre-wedding celebrations and events covered. Here’s everything you need to know about how and when to celebrate one of the most special seasons of your lives! Strap yourselves in party-animals.
The question has been popped – as has the champagne – and you’ve announced the good news of your engagement to family and friends. What usually follows is a celebration known as the Engagement Party. An opportunity to gather together with loved ones and mark the occasion of your intent to marry. The engagement party is best hosted 2-3 months after the proposal. Any shorter and you risk not giving enough notice, any later and your engagement is old news. As to who to invite? This can be a tricky one! Some choose to have a larger celebration with a more-the-merrier attitude, however be mindful that an invite to the engagement party sets an expectation for an invite to the wedding. Some couples choose just to celebrate with their nearest and dearest, and others forego this pre-wedding event altogether. Ultimately, it’s your choice so go with what suits you as a couple!
We’re not totally sure why the ladies get an extra occasion to celebrate… but hey, we’ll take it! The purpose of a Bridal Shower is to shower the bride-to-be with love (and more gifts). Sometimes labelled a Kitchen Tea, this pre-wedding gathering is typically held 1-4 weeks prior to the wedding day. It’s generally a smaller gathering with friends of the bride and close female relatives only. For brides that are busy with other wedding arrangements, it’s the perfect event to leave in the trusting hands of the bridesmaids or Mother-of-the-bride.
These fun-loaded events have one sole purpose: to celebrate the final days of singleness for both the bride and groom. They may be an evening out, a whole-day affair, or a weekend getaway. Hens and Bucks are typically held 1-3 weeks prior to the wedding day… and for good cause. Catching up on sleep, letting voices recover, or healing from minor injury may be required. Even without the raucous antics, it’s wise to allow some time afterwards to shift your attention back to wedding-day things… like writing those vows. Guests for the hens and bucks are usually limited to close friends, though the occasional parent of the bride or groom may be spied joining in the fun.
Less formalised in Australia, rehearsal dinners take place after the ceremony rehearsal, 2-3 nights before the wedding day. Despite the stereotypical black-tie occasion, rehearsal dinners tend to be more relaxed Down Under. They simply provide an opportunity to thank the bridal party and close family for their assistance and support throughout the wedding planning process… and may act as a slight bribe for the ceremony rehearsal. Typically, invitations and gifts aren’t required, and a simple text or phone call to communicate the plan to share a meal together afterwards is suffice.
Four Tips for a Successful Pre-Wedding Event
Many brides and grooms feel overwhelmed by the task of organising pre-wedding events. So much pressure can be placed on these celebrations, from making them insta-worthy to being the best-night-out everrr! Sure, it’s fantastic to get together and celebrate, but what many forget is that a good time is really quite simple to achieve. It doesn’t need to be over-complicated with laborious decorations or endless games or cucumber sandwiches (which, let’s face it, nobody really likes anyway).
Here are four simple and straight-forward tips for successful pre-wedding celebrations:
- Schedule appropriately
So much hassle can be avoided by simply scheduling pre-wedding events appropriately. When choosing dates for your celebrations, consult a calendar. Not only your own, but that of your VIP guests. It may not always be possible to please everyone, but having a bucks without the Best Man or an Engagement Party without your parents would be considered a little odd. Look at public holidays, major sporting events, travel arrangements, and other significant life events that may be occurring around the proposed pre-wedding date.
- Feed and water your guests
Pre-wedding celebrations tend to revolve around food and drink. Whether it’s a Cosmo or craft beer, cupcake or cheese platter, keeping your guests fed and watered is a must. It is also a simple way to theme your event: think high-tea, wine and cheese tasting, or relaxed dinner at an Italian restaurant (we’re partial to the delicious share feasting at Factory51 just quietly). Everyone is much happier when their bellies are full!
- Don’t try too hard
Have you ever been to a pre-wedding celebration where there was just game after game after game? The first one acts as an ice-breaker, the second is a little fun, but by the third most people are inwardly groaning and checking their latest socials. If you decide to incorporate a game, do so wisely. Personalised quizzes or activities are a good option as they allow space for story-telling and laughter. Incorporating an experience is also a sure-fire way to get everyone involved and enjoying themselves: think cocktail-making classes, barefoot bowls, photo booths, or attending a paint and sip.
- Ask for help
The ol’ saying, ‘it takes a village’ certainly rings true when it comes to the whole wedding planning process. More likely than not, you have a bunch of family and friends willing to help out in varying ways… they may just need a little permission and some guidelines to work within. If help is offered, don’t be afraid to accept it. If you’re drowning, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Pre-wedding events are great opportunities to delegate and free yourself up from unnecessary stress.
Your Pre-Wedding Solution
Our rustic industrial restaurant and function venue is the perfect space to host pre-wedding celebrations. Whether it’s your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or relaxed guys/girls night out, we’d love to help host your event. Feel free to contact us today for a chat or to set up an appointment.