Too Many Parties

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Beeble Posts : 306 Registered: 11/19/09
Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 26, 2009 4:54 PM

This is getting out of hand!

I'm having a hard time figuring out how there ended up being so many parties in relation to actually getting married. People have an engagement party then a bachelor and bachelorette party, a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner party, then there is the wedding, the wedding reception, and then a gift opening party.

Does this seem a bit excessive to anyone else?


Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 26, 2009 9:59 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

I do think that seems excessive, but keep in mind it is not necssary to have all of those parties. First off, I had never heard of a gift opening party until I joined and frankly I don't think people need to be there when you open presents from the wedding. My DH and I sat, nice and quiet, just the two of us and opened gifts.

I also don't think you need to have an engagement party. I have only been to two, and have always felt it was unnecessary. When DH and I got engaged, our immediate families had dinner together. That was it.

Technically, bachelor and bachelorette parties aren't required although they are fun to have. They don't need to be fancy expensive events. They can be very laid back and fun. Some girls I know have had slumber parties in their homes. A few guys I know just went to play paint ball with the guys.

And keep in mind not everyone needs to be invited to every wedding related function. The rehearsal dinner usually only includes immediate family and the wedding party, for example. Also the wedding and wedding reception are not counted as seperate events, since most off they happen on the same day as part of the same celebration.

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Edited by: Bride2008 on Nov 29, 2009 7:26 PM


dodgercpkl Posts : 130 Registered: 9/27/09
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 26, 2009 10:18 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

It's alot to me as well. My fiancee and I are not planning on the engagement party or bridal shower or bachelor/bachelorette parties, nor a gift opening ceremony and I'm not even sure we'll do a rehearsal dinner party either. To be honestly I'm not really sure of the purpose of many of those are.

We are planning on making it simple and within our budgets by just having the wedding ceremony and reception here and a pre-wedding reception for his extended family and friends in the Netherlands and that's pretty much it.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 27, 2009 7:36 AM Go to message in response to: Beeble

Sure, that's a lot of parties...but keep in mind that weddings are big milestone events, and we live in a society that likes to celebrate/commercialize everything. You, as a guest, are certainly not obligated to attend any or all or these parties - but if the bride and groom want to celebrate, why on earth not?

With the exception of the gift-unwrapping party (which I've never heard of!), there's some legitimate reason for all of the parties you've mentioned. An engagement party (which don't seem to be very common) is a party to celebrate/announce the couple's recent engagement, generally used as an opportunity to introduce the families and make sure the fiance has met everybody. A lot of people don't have engagement parties - my guess is because they already know the each other's family and friends. That's why we didn't have one. The shower, of course, is a traditional party to 'shower the bride with gifts.' Perhaps it's not really necessary now, in many cases, as brides are generally older, more independent, and have most of the household items that they need - but in any case, it's a tradition, and a nice one, IMO. Bachelor/bachelorette parties are a special party to celebrate the transition from being single to being married. For some people, losing their single life is a big milestone and they find BPs to be important for that reason. Personally, we just took ours as excuses to hang out with friends that we rarely get to see. The rehearsal dinner is a courtesy meal for the people who attended the rehearsal. It's a pretty necessary party, as it would be rude to ask a bunch of people to travel a day early or get out of work early to rehearse your wedding and NOT take them out to dinner. The importance of the wedding reception is rather obvious, so I won't explain that one. And as I mentioned, I've never heard of a gift-opening party and I actually think it's a little tacky - but many people have a day-after brunch as part of the wedding festivities. I think it's nice to offer brunch to family and OOT guests, but as a guest, I generally skip this if there is one. By the morning after the wedding, I'm usually tired, I've seen enough of my family/friends at the wedding, and I'm eager to get home.

Sure, it seems like a lot, but for the most part, these parties are all for different things, so while it may feel redundant to you, it likely doesn't for the guests of honor. Still, as a guest, it's your decision to skip any of them that you like. As I mentioned, I rarely attend day-after brunches, and if I'm traveling for the wedding, I don't attend showers, BPs, or engagement parties. Go ahead and skip them if you like.

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jeaniebelle87 Posts : 137 Registered: 11/23/07
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 27, 2009 4:25 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

In addition to all the great things that have already been posted, you should also remember that you don't need to throw most of these parties, in fact, you shouldn't. The bachelor party is definitely one you have to deal with, and you probably will have very little involvement in the actual planning of a bachelorette party. You definitely should have nothing to do with planning the shower, at least nothing beyond giving whoever is planning it a guest list. If you decide to have an engagement party, the couple doesn't usually throw that either. That really leaves you with the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and the wedding reception, and many families choose to host the rehearsal dinner. So, yes there are a lot of parties involved, but many of them you don't have to do a lot of work for, and they'll offer you a good chance to reconnect with people you don't get to see much. Hopefully you can just enjoy it! When else will all your friends and family want to throw you big parties? :)


Beeble Posts : 306 Registered: 11/19/09
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 27, 2009 5:19 PM Go to message in response to: jeaniebelle87

Lol, yes I agree that you for sure don't have to have all of them or have to have a hand in planning or paying for all of them, but i still thing that the whole thing can get out of hand.

...oh and I'm not engaged YET but am a Christmas Hopefull (see thread in waiting for the ring)

Has anyone here had a combined bachelor/bachelorette party?

I thought a good fun idea is that here in Alberta. They have this huge Mall in Edmonton (West Edmonton Mall) they have a hotel attached to the mall with theme rooms, a water park, a theme park and tons of other activities like bowling, shooting range, mini golf, laser tag etc. I thought it would be fun to drive up there with friends & bridal party to do the bachelor/bachelorette thing at the same time. We would each only have 2 friends to come with us, we could have 3 hotel rooms, one for the boys, one for the girls and one for us. We could have the boys and girls split up for the night do the party thing seperately and have fun, and have them drop the both of us back to our hotel room at a given time at night, like.. 2am after last call at the bar.

My SO had a friend get married last year and his fiance wouldn't let him go anywhere out of town for the bachelor party and set out strict rules what they could and could not do and totally took the fun out of it for him. I think this way we could each have our own fun out of town, but would still get to crawl into bed with each other at the end of the night.


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 29, 2009 11:15 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

Dear Beeble,

I'd have to say that if one couple had all those parties, it would be a bit much. Especially if the same people were invited again and again.

The engagement party is truly optional. It is, traditionally, hosted by the bride's parents so they can say "Hey, everyone, surprise, our daughter is getting married!". If the engagement is generally known, then I don't see a reason to have an engagement party. It might be nice for someone to have a family-only party so the two families can get acquainted, if necessary.

The bachelorette party is a recent invention. When I got married, in the 1970s, the bridal shower was for the females and the bachelor party was for the males. Each event was a way to say "goodbye" to one's single life. People now have bachelorette parties so the women can bar-hop, get drunk (to whatever extent), etc. The shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties are not hosted by the couple.

In my opinion, bachelor/bachelorette parties are absolutley optional. If friends of the bride or groom want to host bachelor/bachelorette parties, then great. If not, then forget it.

Rehearsal dinner is pretty much standard. You ask people to take some time to rehearse the wedding, then treat them to a nice meal afterwards. I don't have a problem with that. The wedding reception, itself, is almost obligatory. A couple who invited people to a wedding ceremony, then failed to offer any post-ceremony hospitality would be considered rude.

I have never heard of a gift-opening party. The only gifts that should be opened post-ceremony are the gifts brought to the ceremony. Most gifts should have arrived before the ceremony, then opened and prompt thank-you notes mailed. I can imagine an informal family situation where ONLY, repeat, ONLY the couple, parents and (maybe) siblings are there for gift opening. I wouldn't include anyone else.

In short, the only more-or-less obligatory parties are the rehearsal dinner (traditionally hosted by the groom or his family) and the wedding reception (traditionally hosted by the bride or her family). The rest are add-ons.


2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 30, 2009 6:38 AM Go to message in response to: Beeble

We did not have an engagement party, a shower, a rehearsal dinner, or a party to open gifts. We did end up with two bachelorette parties (one at a video game arcade, one at a Korean bathhouse), but they were mild and small affairs, and organized by close friends. With regard to the question of whether anyone has had a combined bachelor/bachelorette party, we didn't quite--but we had a two-bachelorette party, since it was a same-sex wedding.

We ended up with two receptions, but not really by choice. Because we are a same-sex couple, we had to get married in Massachusetts. We therefore had a very small ceremony and a luncheon following it. The only big (well, 60 people) party we had was our reception back in DC.

I think the multiple parties thing arises from two sources. There are some people who really want to have a lot of parties. However, in some instances, there are a lot of out-of-town guests. If someone has spent a lot of money and traveled a long way to be there, it seems ungrateful to give them a half hour ceremony and a punch and cake reception, and then send them home. Thus, the couple tries to find ways to keep their guests entertained for most of a weekend--rehearsal dinner, then bachelor/bachelorette parties, then the ceremony and reception, then maybe a gift-opening party and even a brunch the next day.

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JerseyGirlVA Posts : 311 Registered: 9/17/09
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Nov 30, 2009 8:55 PM Go to message in response to: Beeble

I like the water park/ mall/hotel/ theme park concept. It's playful and will bring out the kid in everyone. It's a nice way to have a casual yet fun celebration of your marriage. Let me know what you end up doing! I'm sure whatever you decide to do for the celebration it will be exciting.


FutureMrsBentley Posts : 14 Registered: 8/31/09
Re: Too Many Parties
Posted: Dec 1, 2009 11:41 AM Go to message in response to: JerseyGirlVA

I think it's great to have so many ways to celebrate! If every couple were required to have all those parties and every guest were required to attend them all then I would say it is excessive. It is important to remember that as a bride and groom you need only have the parties you want, and as a guest you can choose to attend any number of the parties you are invited to.

I hope you have a fun celebration with however many events you would enjoy!!!


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