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Pre-wedding Parties

Pre-Wedding Festivities

Hi all,

While I know every bride is different, I'm curious as the what the expectation is for all the pre-wedding parties? Obviously it's up to what your bridesmaids/family choose to throw for you/ what you want to plan yourself on top of the wedding, but there just seem to be so many different things to do!
  • Engagement Party
  • Wedding Shower
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
  • Jack and Jill
  • The actual wedding!

I mean, one can't possibly have all of these and expect wedding guests to contribute gifts/money for each!!

What is the norm? What are the most common/ desirable parties to be thrown prior to the wedding?
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Re: Pre-Wedding Festivities

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    mclane43 said:
    Hi all,

    While I know every bride is different, I'm curious as the what the expectation is for all the pre-wedding parties? Obviously it's up to what your bridesmaids/family choose to throw for you/ what you want to plan yourself on top of the wedding, but there just seem to be so many different things to do!
    • Engagement Party
    • Wedding Shower
    • Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
    • Jack and Jill
    • The actual wedding!

    I mean, one can't possibly have all of these and expect wedding guests to contribute gifts/money for each!!

    What is the norm? What are the most common/ desirable parties to be thrown prior to the wedding?
    It is never appropriate for the couple to plan/host any of these parties. 

    In many circles, engagement parties are a rarity, and more often than not are not expected to be gift giving parties.  Because anyone invited to a pre-wedding party must be invited to the wedding, it is often too early to make that determination early on in the engagement.  As a result, engagement parties are often bypassed. 

    Bridesmaids are never under any obligation to host any of these parties. 

    In our area, guests invited to showers typically include only the nearest and dearest of family and friends.  Every woman invited to the wedding could not possibly be invited, unless your wedding guest list is very small/intimate.
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer

    We didn't have an engagement party.  I was given a shower by the girls in our church group.  J went out with a few of his friends on a pre-arranged trip that they turned into a bit of a bachelor party; my bridesmaids and I stayed in the same place the night before the wedding and called that my bachelorette.  Engagement parties are not common in my area, but showers and bachelor/bachelorettes are.

    You do not throw any of these yourself (except the wedding, obviously) - if someone offers you a party, you can either accept or decline.  Anything that is offered to you and you accept, make sure anyone on the guest list is also invited to the wedding.  People can choose to attend multiple events for you, or they can choose not to.

    And just so you're aware - a Jack and Jill (in my understanding of it = called a social in my area) is the HEIGHT of rudeness.

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    There isn't really a "norm" because each couple is different, with different family and friends willing to host different parties for them. You shouldn't be hosting and pre-wedding parties for yourself. If someone offers to host a shower or engagement party for you, you can then decide to accept or not. And if nobody offers to host one, you don't have one. 

    For my first wedding, I had a shower and a coed bachelor/ette party. I don't know a single person who has ever had an engagement party in my entire life. They're just not common here. I have no idea what a Jack & Jill even is. Is that the thing where you charge guests admission fees? 

    FI and I will not be having any parties. We're not inviting any guests to our wedding, so it would be rude to invite them to parties in honor of an event they're not invited to. 
    image
    CMGragain[Deleted User]
  • My daughter had NO engagement party, NO showers, one night out with the girls as her bachelorette party.  Jack and Jills are very rude in Washington, DC.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • We hosted an engagement party for each of our children and a shower for each bride.  I know that sometimes people side eye a mom who hosts, but honestly, I did not see putting their friends to such expenses on top of their bridal party expenses.  If there were any more parties, I would have thrown those too because I absolutely adore all of the celebration and fun that surround and lead up to a wedding.  We were also fortunate because both our daughter and DIL are gracious young women who are thankful and set no expectations.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There really isn't a norm. For my first wedding 10 years ago, my parents threw us an engagement party. Then my wedding party threw me a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. 

    The second time around, no engagement party, no showers of any kind, but my friends did take me away for a weekend bachelorette thing. 

    I've never heard of someone having a bridal shower and a Jack & Jill. I've always understood that to be the same type of event. 

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    The only one of the list posted you can host yourself is the wedding.  

    Engagement parties, IMO, are pointless.  Since you should only invite those that are invited to the wedding to any pre-wedding events I am not sure how people are able to throw large engagement parties.  Typically E parties happen within a month or so of becoming engaged and unless you have determined your wedding guest list super quick then you have to be very selective of who you invite to your E-party.  Add on to that I don't really see the point of having a big party to celebrate the fact that you are getting married.  It just seems overkill to me.

    Showers are not necessary and are only thrown if a person(s) want to throw you one.

    Bach parties are just like showers.

    Jack and Jills, if you are talking about those fundraising things, are rude as fuck, so don't even think about having one.

  • Thank you all for you input. However, Jack and Jills are EXTREMELY common and accepted where I am from (North of Toronto, Ontario) and I do not appreciate the rude comments. Opinions are opinions, but still..
  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    mclane43 said:

    Thank you all for you input. However, Jack and Jills are EXTREMELY common and accepted where I am from (North of Toronto, Ontario) and I do not appreciate the rude comments. Opinions are opinions, but still..

    Common =/= not rude.

    If you're adult enough to make the decision to get married, you should be able to pay for your own wedding WITHOUT doing a tacky fundraiser (and you can bet your sweet maple leaves that 'Jack and Jills' are tacky.as.fuck).

    If you're interested in ways to plan a more affordable wedding, head over to the Budget Weddings board.

    ----


     fka dallasbetch 


    image


    Lilypie Maternity tickers

    happybridetobe1987sal2015
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Thank you all for you input. However, Jack and Jills are EXTREMELY common and accepted where I am from (North of Toronto, Ontario) and I do not appreciate the rude comments. Opinions are opinions, but still..
    Common =/= not rude. If you're adult enough to make the decision to get married, you should be able to pay for your own wedding WITHOUT doing a tacky fundraiser (and you can bet your sweet maple leaves that 'Jack and Jills' are tacky.as.fuck). If you're interested in ways to plan a more affordable wedding, head over to the Budget Weddings board.

    I live in Manitoba.  Jack and Jills (socials) are common and accepted here.  Me and my sweet maple leaves think are tacky.as.fuck.  We did not have one.  Just because everyone jumps off the same bridge, doesn't mean you have to.
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
    MairePoppyahyatt87ashley8918
  • Thank you all for you input. However, Jack and Jills are EXTREMELY common and accepted where I am from (North of Toronto, Ontario) and I do not appreciate the rude comments. Opinions are opinions, but still..
    Common =/= not rude. If you're adult enough to make the decision to get married, you should be able to pay for your own wedding WITHOUT doing a tacky fundraiser (and you can bet your sweet maple leaves that 'Jack and Jills' are tacky.as.fuck). If you're interested in ways to plan a more affordable wedding, head over to the Budget Weddings board.

    The only one of the list posted you can host yourself is the wedding.  

    Engagement parties, IMO, are pointless.  Since you should only invite those that are invited to the wedding to any pre-wedding events I am not sure how people are able to throw large engagement parties.  Typically E parties happen within a month or so of becoming engaged and unless you have determined your wedding guest list super quick then you have to be very selective of who you invite to your E-party.  Add on to that I don't really see the point of having a big party to celebrate the fact that you are getting married.  It just seems overkill to me.

    Showers are not necessary and are only thrown if a person(s) want to throw you one.

    Bach parties are just like showers.

    Jack and Jills, if you are talking about those fundraising things, are rude as fuck, so don't even think about having one.

    Maybe it's just my "sweet maple leaves" being too sensitive, but I take that as rude.
  • I simply asked a question regarding the various pre-wedding celebrations. I never said I was having a J&J, just asking about everything and saying that they are perfectly acceptable around here. Maybe it's just in my area, but families and locals here are more than happy to assist their loved ones in paying for their big day. I wanted opinions, not unwarranted aggression.

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    mclane43 said:
    I simply asked a question regarding the various pre-wedding celebrations. I never said I was having a J&J, just asking about everything and saying that they are perfectly acceptable around here. Maybe it's just in my area, but families and locals here are more than happy to assist their loved ones in paying for their big day. I wanted opinions, not unwarranted aggression.

    I am sorry, but where exactly was the aggression?  You asked for opinions and my opinion is that J&Js are rude and tacky as hell.  I don't care how common they are in your area they are still rude. If you can't pay for your own wedding then you either need to scale back or postpone it. Fundraisers are for charities and a wedding is not a charity event.

    charcoalandblushhappybridetobe1987
  • KahlylaKahlyla Moncton, NB member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    mclane43 said:
    Thank you all for you input. However, Jack and Jills are EXTREMELY common and accepted where I am from (North of Toronto, Ontario) and I do not appreciate the rude comments. Opinions are opinions, but still..
    I've said this before on here, but not everyone in a given area feels the same way about everything. I've lived in Toronto, I've lived in Sudbury, I've lived in Sault Ste. Marie, I've lived in Edmonton, and now I live in Moncton. I have never thought Jack and Jills/Stag and Does/Shags were anything but rude and weird and awkward. Many people I know feel the same way; some do not. In some places, like the Sault, they are indeed common, but one member of the exact same family or group of friends will find them rude and tacky while another will not. And no, those who find it offensive will not say anything directly to the couple. You cannot ever know for sure that "everyone" is okay with this.

    Anyhoo - I was thrown one shower, and everyone who was in town, men and women alike, went out and partied for a bit the night before our wedding, so that was kind of our bachelor/bachelorette. We didn't have an engagement party or a Stag and Doe.
    image
    happybridetobe1987
  • mclane43 said:
    Hi all,

    While I know every bride is different, I'm curious as the what the expectation is for all the pre-wedding parties? Obviously it's up to what your bridesmaids/family choose to throw for you/ what you want to plan yourself on top of the wedding, but there just seem to be so many different things to do!
    • Engagement Party
    • Wedding Shower
    • Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
    • Jack and Jill
    • The actual wedding!

    I mean, one can't possibly have all of these and expect wedding guests to contribute gifts/money for each!!

    What is the norm? What are the most common/ desirable parties to be thrown prior to the wedding?
    The only thing required is the wedding itself. The couple is responsible for paying 100% of the bill for the wedding. If people OFFER, great. If they don't, oh well. Adults pay for their own parties. 

    As far as pre-wedding parties, some people have them and some don't. Others may OFFER to throw you an engagement party or a shower, but no one is required to do so. If they offer, the assumption is that they will pay for it. The caveat is that anyone invited to pre-wedding parties should be invited to the wedding. So the bride/groom should provide a guest list (not to exceed what the host can afford/accommodate). So the conversation goes: 

    Friend: "I'd like to throw you a shower at my house."
    You: "How sweet! That would be wonderful. How many people can you afford to host."
    Friend: "I can host 20 people."
    You: "Sounds great. I will get you a guest list and addresses."

    A Jack and Jill should just never happen ever. Fundraisers for weddings are awful and extremely tacky - even where they're common. It's common to speed and drive like a jerk where I live. Doesn't mean it's right.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • I agree with what seems to be the majority here, there is no requirement, and the norm/common really seems to depend on the area.  I am from Alberta, Canada and am marrying a man from Northern California (where we live).  Where I am from there is no engagement party, 1 shower and bachel/bachelorette parties are typically one night.  My fiance's parents threw us an engagement party (I did not invite many people from home and told them to please feel no pressure to come).  I am not sure yet, but think I will have at least 2, maybe 3 showers thrown for me (I have informed my bridesmaids that I really do not expect it, as my mom will throw me one back home, and my MIL is throwing one), and my fiance and I are each doing full weekend bachelor/bachelorette parties (which I am inviting my mom, and some people have indicated that is very odd). 

    The point is - every place and person is different.  You can have as many or as few pre-parties as you are comfortable with.  I do think though it is nice to make clear (especially to the bridal party and/or out of town guests) that attendance, and certainly gifts, are not required at each. Also, it may be considered a bit tacky to throw yourself pre-wedding parties (though I am partly planning my stagette, to try and take pressure of my bridesmaids)

    Also, I have never heard of a Jack and Jill.  
  • Hi

    We are having an engagement party....my aunt and uncle are throwing it for us the end of the month. It is mainly family, the wedding party and really close friends.

    One of my bridesmaids and my cousin are hosting one shower. Another bridesmaid and a groomsmen want to do a couples "stock the bar" thing....I am not sure about this....,most of FI's friends are the couples and mine are single girls so there will be no over lap of guest. Told them I want to make sure people are not invited to more than one shower type of party

    And we to Vegas for a girls weekend...the bridal party and some crazy girl friends that are coming to the wedding.

    The key is any party that you are lucky enough to have given in honor is a gift and you should have fun!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    mclane43 said:
    I simply asked a question regarding the various pre-wedding celebrations. I never said I was having a J&J, just asking about everything and saying that they are perfectly acceptable around here. Maybe it's just in my area, but families and locals here are more than happy to assist their loved ones in paying for their big day. I wanted opinions, not unwarranted aggression.

    Cash bars are common in my area and they're still rude as fuck. Just because lots of people do something doesn't mean they're not all rude and tacky. 

    Plus, wouldn't you love to be the person who breaks the trend by NOT being tacky and begging people for their money? 
    image
    mrscomposer
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    tj&cw said:

    Hi

    We are having an engagement party....my aunt and uncle are throwing it for us the end of the month. It is mainly family, the wedding party and really close friends.

    One of my bridesmaids and my cousin are hosting one shower. Another bridesmaid and a groomsmen want to do a couples "stock the bar" thing....I am not sure about this....,most of FI's friends are the couples and mine are single girls so there will be no over lap of guest. Told them I want to make sure people are not invited to more than one shower type of party

    And we to Vegas for a girls weekend...the bridal party and some crazy girl friends that are coming to the wedding.

    The key is any party that you are lucky enough to have given in honor is a gift and you should have fun!

    No snark intended, but I am very curious.  You haven't even had an engagement party, and yet you have every pre-wedding event planned.  How does that happen?
    Maggie0829tj&cw
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 2015
    Etiquette does not change with your location.  What is rude in New York is also rude in Toronto.

    Nobody is going to lie to you on the Knot.  We will not tell you what you want to hear if you are wrong.  We are trying to help you have a lovely wedding and to avoid mistakes, like a Jack and Jill, or planning your own parties..

    You are entitled to marry the partner of your choice.
    You are not entitled to parties.
    You are not entitled to a fancy wedding with a big white dress and lots of bridesmaids.

    You need to sit down and figure out what your total budget will be.  No fundraisers.  No begging relatives for money.  Once you have decided your actual budget, then you can start planning your wedding.  None of the pre-wedding parties you listed are required.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MobKaz ---my wedding party has everything on the calendar. I work in the tax industry and my FI is a soccer coach so they wanted to make sure we have all the dates picked out so that we have open weekends. And we are not scrambling trying to get everything planned. They all know that I tend to stress this time of year.

    It is a good question =) and did not take it as snarky =). I actually have 95% of the wedding details done too.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MobKaz
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    tj&cw said:

    MobKaz ---my wedding party has everything on the calendar. I work in the tax industry and my FI is a soccer coach so they wanted to make sure we have all the dates picked out so that we have open weekends. And we are not scrambling trying to get everything planned. They all know that I tend to stress this time of year.

    It is a good question =) and did not take it as snarky =). I actually have 95% of the wedding details done too.

    It must be the accountant in you....detail oriented! You are very fortunate to have such thoughtful friends and family.
  • Off topic but- I've stopped using the term "Jack and Jill". My fiance and I used the term to describe a weekend away that we are treating our wedding party and their significant others to.  We are renting a house in NH for 4th of July and invited everyone up to drink and hang out as our way to say thank you.  We told one of my bridesmaids that we were having a "Jack and Jill" and she wasn't sure of the meaning and looked it up.  She was surprised to find this:


    I guess that's one way you can celebrate before your wedding... ;-)
    MobKaz
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Have whatever parties someone offers to throw you that you want prior to the wedding (minus the fundraising Jack and Jill). My thoughts on each: Engagement parties are silly and seem pretentious to me. Don't care if you throw your own, though. Showers are usually boring but kind of nice and not the worst way to spend a couple hours. Bachelorette parties are fun. If someone gets invited to everything and doesn't want to go or can't afford gifts, they will decline or not bring gifts. If I got invited to all of your events, though, I better be a close friend or family member because I'd be over your wedding by the end of it all.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image

  • Reasonable expectations depend so much on where you live and your circle of friends/family. My husband and I lived in one city for four years and then another city for two years before getting married. In our circle from the first city, it's very common for the WP and other close friends to throw bachelor/bachelorette parties so we expected that would happen. In the other circle, it's not common to throw any pre-wedding parties so we didn't think there would be any. 

    We were VERY lucky… A few months after we got engaged, we visited the first city and our friends actually surprised us with an engagement party. On a subsequent trip, they threw separate bachelor/bachelorette parties. Also, the day before the wedding, the BMs surprised me with a spa "bachelorette" party and the GM brought my husband to the pub. 

    I'm sure you won't change your mind on this, but I agree with PPs that Jack and Jill parties are rude. If people want to help you financially, they will offer you a monetary wedding gift.

    Also, you need to plan your wedding according to your existing budget and not according to gift "expectations". Recently in Canada there was a story about a couple that went into serious debt because their wedding gift money was stolen by someone at the venue and they had counted on that money to pay for the wedding. Anyways, the groom's brother actually started a fundraising campaign. Ridiculous example of a couple not planning according to their existing budgets but counting on others to fund it for them. 

  • Here's my plans:

    • Engagement Party - not having one
    • Wedding Shower - not having one unless someone volunteers to throw one, but I'm certainly not planning on having one.
    • Bachelor/Bachelorette Party - I'm not having one beyond maybe going out to dinner with a few girlfriends here in town.  I only have a MOH and she's already voluntarily doing about a bajillion other things for me so i don't expect her to plan a Bachelorette for me too.  FI is probably doing one because his BM is flying in from Germany and they haven't seen each other in a few years, and in those situations guys like to go out drinking together.
    • Jack and Jill - I've never even heard of this until this thread.  Based on other responses, this will be a big hell to the no.
    • The actual wedding! - Obviously having this one.
    Married 9.12.15
    image
    happybridetobe1987
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