Planning a Wedding isn’t just “The Big Day,” its Planning Many Big Days.
A wedding comes with a lot of events and no matter who is hosting each of them, your opinion will undoubtedly be sought after. Even if you want to keep it simple you will probably have to think about the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner on top of the wedding itself. You may also have a bachelorette party, a welcome party for out of town guests, and a post wedding brunch or gathering.
Bridal showers and bachelorette parties are in your honor, try to stay hands off. Give input where needed but let your friends and family shine. I suggest for a bachelorette you set the expectations, you don't want your girlfriends assuming you want to go to Chippendales in Las Vegas if all you really want is a low key spa day.
The rehearsal can be stressful since it is either a day or two before your actual wedding. You will be putting together your final touches for the real big day and this will seem like an interruption. Try to finish as much as you can before the rehearsal so you can enjoy, it is another excuse to spend time with your family and wedding party - embrace it.
You traditionally hear rehearsal dinner, however this may not work with your schedule or your venue. Get creative! A luncheon is perfectly acceptable and can be a nice way to spend time with the wedding party the day before your wedding and ensure you are in bed early for a good night's sleep. If you are doing a rehearsal directly before the dinner or luncheon I suggest choosing a restaurant, venue or home nearby to reduce travel time and have better odds of not being late to the party.
Engagement parties can be a really fun way to celebrate your engagement and get the two families together to meet and become familiar before the planning even starts. I encourage you to do something low key, this should be about families becoming one and what better way than a backyard get together or beach bonfire. A setting where mingling is easy and encouraged will help everyone feel more at-ease.