The Stages of a Wedding Celebration

No American wedding is like the last one. Every year, wedding celebrations become more and more extravagant — and the fun begins long before the big day. But with all the different components of a wedding celebration, it can be confusing to tell which one is which and what order they should go in.

If you’re planning a wedding, take a look at this blog post to stay aware of all the different components of your wedding celebration. Remember that your wedding celebration is uniquely yours, so feel free to use this list simply as a guide.

Bridal Showers. Usually, the first component of a wedding celebration is the bridal shower. A bridal shower is a low-key get-together in which friends and family of the bride give her gifts in anticipation of her wedding. Gifts for the bride usually include things to help her prepare her new home with her partner. The bridal shower is usually hosted by the wedding’s bridesmaids and typically only includes female guests, but feel free to break that tradition if you wish.

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party. The bachelor/bachelorette party is seen as a last hurrah between the bride or groom and his or her friends. It is typically seen as a time to let loose and honor your single life, but it is also an opportunity to get away from the stresses of wedding planning. The party can occur just a few days before the wedding or months in advance — it doesn’t matter. Usually, the bachelor/bachelorette party is planned by the groomsmen/bridesmaids.

Rehearsal Dinner. The rehearsal dinner usually follows the wedding rehearsal and occurs the day before the wedding. Guests attending the rehearsal dinner include the future married couple and members of the wedding party and a select group of family and friends. This is an opportunity to spend some more relaxed, quality time with loved ones before the big day arrives. It also is a chance for the bride and groom’s families to meet, and for the bride and groom to give small gifts to members of the wedding party.

The Ceremony. The big day has arrived! The wedding ceremony is when the bride and groom become a married couple by exchanging vows and wedding rings. A couple can choose to have their ceremony done according to their religion of choice, but opting for a secular wedding is also possible. Following the wedding ceremony is the reception.

The Reception. Once the ceremony is over, the real party begins. Following the wedding ceremony is the wedding reception, where guests are given dinner and the chance to meet and mingle. There is usually dancing and music and traditions such as the bride tossing the bouquet and the groom removing the garter from his wife’s leg. Wedding receptions are getting more and more unique as the years go by. For example, there is even a company that can help you plan a wedding reception on a yacht.