A Round-Up of Wedding Events and How They Work

atlanta georgia engagement

YAY - you're engaged! It’s time to start planning the wedding of your dreams! After your engagement is announced and your beautiful bling-bling is showcased via Instagram, you already have a hundred questions knocking at your door. The loudest knocking ones are probably the wedding event etiquette questions and they sound like these: "Do I need an engagement party? Should we have a couple's shower or just a bridal shower? What type of gifts do I put on our registry?"

The good news is many of these events leading up to the wedding (and after) are rooted in tradition, so you’re not planning in uncharted territory. There are many resources out there to solve the little/big questions and lots of room to modernize certain events so you can make it your own.

For those of you newly engaged or just curious, here's a round-up of wedding party etiquette for all the events surrounding the BIG day.

Engagement Party Basics

Why is it needed?

Getting engaged is a huge milestone and those closest to you will want to congratulate you. Thus, throwing an engagement party gives them the perfect opportunity to do so and celebrate the newly engaged couple. It's also a great way for family members and friends (from both sides) to meet one another before the wedding festivities unfold and the BIG day happens.

What type of gifts do you bring?

Present day, it’s very common for guests to bring a sentimental or small engagement party gift. Keywords: sentimental and small. Personally, I love to gift engaged couples with a bottle of wine or bubbly. One of my go-to celebratory choices to gift is the Luna Nuda Prosecco. If you’re not up for gifting, that’s totally okay. It’s normal not to gift as well.

Who do you invite?

The planning rituals state that those you invite to your engagement party should be invited to your wedding day (especially if the bride’s parents or both wedding couples’ parents host it). However, many brides are revising this rule and extending the list to fit the needs of guests who are unable to make it to the wedding but still want to celebrate with them.

Who hosts it?

Traditionally, it’s the bride's parents who hosts the engagement party. However, modern-day brides are adopting the idea that friends or even themselves can host it.

What type of flowers are expected?

The top places to decorate an engagement party with flowers would be on a buffet table or welcome table with either a medium-sized or large arrangement. If you have additional space to fill, decorate coffee tables or side tables with small arrangements - Love won't be the only thing blooming around the event. ;)

Wedding Registry Basics

Why is it needed?

Who wouldn’t want to shop the future with the person they will be spending it with. It’s also a great way to gift your future home with more expensive essentials needed that you wouldn't necessarily spend on yourself. Nowadays, it’s very common to see a variety of different type of registries like a Honeymoon registry. 

What type of gifts do you list?

For a traditional wedding registry, the essential registry categories are Kitchen, Dining, Bedroom and Bathroom. Anything you need or want under these categories should definitely go on the registry. Hello, new vacumm!

Who hosts it?

The future wedding couple builds it together.  

 

Bridal Shower/Couple Wedding Shower Basics

Why is it needed? 

First and foremost, let’s lay out the difference between a bridal shower and a couple's wedding shower. According to The Knot, “A couple shower is closer to a cocktail or dinner party than it is to a bridal shower.”

It’s honestly up to the wedding couple to decide if they want a couple's shower or a bridal shower - anything goes with this type of party. With bridal showers, the amount of family or friends a wedding couple has helps guide how many bridal showers to have. For example, a wedding couple might have two bridal showers or one large shower designed as a “drop in."

What type of gifts do you bring? 

Items on the wedding couple’s registry or gift cards to registry stores. For a couple's wedding shower, the gifts are usually the same as a bridal shower but include more guy-friendly gadgets from the registry.

Who do you invite? 

Guests that you invite to your bridal or couple's wedding shower should be on your wedding invitation list.

Who hosts it? 

Usually, close friends, bridesmaids or family members host the bridal or couple's shower.

What type of flowers are expected?
Plan to decorate the buffet table and welcome table with a medium-size or large arrangement. For smaller tables, you can opt for smaller more statement blooms.

Bachelorette Basics

Why is it needed?

A Bachelor party is a long-rooted tradition celebrating the soon to be hubby’s last night out before settling down. Thankfully, this tradition has expanded to celebrate the bachelorette too!

What type of gifts do you bring?

Bachelorette attendees who want to gift the bride, a lingerie party is very common to have where the bride's besties can shower her with lingerie. If the bride wants to gift the bachelorette attendees, party favors are very thoughtful too. A few of my favorites come from Paces Lane .

Who do you invite?

Bridesmaids (of course) and those close friends/cousins who are invited to the wedding. It’s best to keep the bachelorette party list small and under 20.

Who hosts it?

From maid of honor to coworker, anyone can plan a bachelorette party. It’s very common to see the maid of honor leading the bachelorette party planning.

What type of flowers are expected?

Celebrate the bachelorette in style by accessorizing her with a test-run bouquet and a chic flower crown. Who says bouquets are just for the wedding day. ;) If you want to keep the flower power strong, decorate the dinner table or drink table with roses!

Welcome Bag Basics

Why is it needed?

Welcome bags are thoughtful treats for out of state/traveling guests to receive when they check-in at their hotel. These warm welcomes can set the tone for your wedding weekend in a positive way.

What type of gifts do you include?

This answer is important... so we turned to From Sir With Love for expert advice:

I love incorporating an item that tells the couple’s story or something significant to the locale or season. Creating a custom cocktail or beverage kit is a fun way to include a couple’s favorites. Also, custom sugar cookies and chocolates are always a hit. We recently did sea turtle shaped chocolate pecans for a Sea Island wedding — super cute and delicious!
— Sirmantha Celesta Ellison, Owner of From Sir With Love

And one more piece of advice we love from Sirmantha is this:

A great way to personalize welcome gifts is with the wedding branding. Everything shouldn’t have a monogram, but keeping in mind the aesthetic of the wedding is the making of a remarkable gift. For example, opting to print a custom illustration of the city on a tote bag, instead of your monogram, allows your guests to reuse the tote for everyday use. You can even skip the printed bag and use a monogrammed hang tag.
— Sirmantha Celesta Ellison, Owner of From Sir With Love
 Instagram:  @fromsirwithlove

Instagram: @fromsirwithlove

 

The Bridesmaids’ Luncheon Basics

Why is it needed?

A  bridesmaids’ luncheon has been a wedding custom for many years but is totally optional. It typically happens the week of the wedding day or the morning/lunchtime on the rehearsal day. The only restriction to this type of event is “no boys allowed.”

What type of gifts do you bring?

No gifts are required by the attendees. The honoree might gift a small sentimental gift to the attending ladies.

Who do you invite?

The bridesmaids and any close female friends or relatives.

Who hosts it?

Usually, this is the event where the bride honors her bridesmaids or close lady friends/relatives. However, this event can also be held to honor the bride as well.

What type of flowers are expected?

Sprinkle a single flower on each plate or name placeholder. You might also decorate the table with centerpiece arrangements. Brides can also gift flowers wrapped in ribbon to each lady attendee.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

Why is it needed?

The idea behind having a dinner after the rehearsal is to give everyone a relaxed atmosphere (away from the planning frenzy) where they can re-group and spend quality time with one another. It’s an ideal time for the bride and groom to unwind and casually bond with their families and friends without the pressure of hosting.

What type of gifts do you bring?

It’s common for rehearsal guests not to bring a gift at all and save it for the wedding day. However, the bride and groom tend to take this personal event to gift their bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts toward the end of the rehearsal dinner.  

Who do you invite?

Immediate family of both sides and the wedding party (plus their significant others). It’s also polite to invite the officiant and their significant other too.

Who hosts it?

Traditionally, the parents of the groom host and pay for the wedding reception dinner. However, a wedding couple can definitely take this into their own hands and budget for the dinner.

What type of flowers are expected?

Wedding couples tend to go all out with decorating for the rehearsal. Why not? It sets up your Happily Ever After day’s atmosphere in a big way. You can decorate your rehearsal space with blooms at the welcome table, welcome sign, table centerpieces, buffet table, cocktail table, bar and more!

And of course... the WEDDING DAY!

Wedding Day Basics

Why is it needed?

A ceremony where two people in love unite in marriage. :)

What type of gifts do you bring?

The ideal choice is cash gifts for the newlyweds.

Who do you invite?

The venue will dictate how many guests are allowed for that given space and from there it’s the wedding couple’s choice.

What type of flowers are expected?

Depending on your budget, the placement of flowers can vary from wedding to wedding. For the ceremony, you can have flowers at the welcome table, welcome sign, hanging over or in front of the altar, petals on the aisle, or blooms at the end of the aisles and more. For the reception, you can blanket the space with blooms as centerpieces on tables, hanging installations arrangements at the buffet table, cocktail bar, bar, restrooms and more!

Post-Wedding Brunch/Lunch

Why is it needed?

The next day after the wedding, if you're not immediately jet-setting off to your honeymoon destination, this event is a great option to unwind with close family and friends and thank them for coming to celebrate. Those who have a lot of out of town guests/family, it’s a perfect way to spend more quality time before they travel back home.

What type of gifts do you bring?

Gifts aren’t necessary here. Some family members or close friends might gift you a small honeymoon gift, but, don’t expect it.

Who do you invite?

It’s usually for the wedding couple’s closest family/friends and wedding party who are still in town.

Who hosts it?

Typically, the bride's parents pay and host the post-wedding brunch.

What type of flowers are expected?

You can decorate tables with centerpieces arrangements.

 

 Instagram:  @bloominghites ; Photo:  @rusticwhite

Instagram: @bloominghites; Photo: @rusticwhite

 

Keep blooming,

Jackie Hites