While we all know the bride and groom are the center of attention at the wedding (and in some cases, just the bride), most couples would agree if it was truly just about them, they would elope. When you throw a big wedding bash, you're essentially throwing your guests a party, so you want it to be fun and memorable. From the entertaining to the interactive, here are some creative ways beyond the dance floor to get your family and friends out of their seats and having a ball.
Traditionally, the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. But if you and your groom are paying for your own nuptials, or if both families are contributing, why not buck tradition with the rehearsal dinner too? The event, typically held the night before the wedding, doesn't have to be a blowout, sit-down dinner for all of the out of town guests — especially if you're having a smaller wedding. Here are five ideas for nontraditional rehearsal dinner alternatives that will entertain your guests while keeping costs down.
A bride's bachelorette party isn't really just about one last drunken night of debauchery. Let's face it, if she's marrying the right guy, she'll have plenty of those on the horizon! A bachelorette bash is more about spending the kind of intensely girlie quality time with friends that it's hard to find the time or space for once she's happily hitched. So if you're planning a bachelorette party for a friend — or someone is planning one for you! — ditch the clichéd trip to Vegas and plan a truly memorable event that will allow for plenty of QT.
- Head to the beach: For a party that's all about location, location, location, take things beachside. What better venue for relaxing, working on your prewedding tan, and knocking back a cocktail or two than a warm, sandy beach? If you can round up enough girlfriends, forgo the often-skeevy beach motels and rent a house near the sand instead. Need more inspiration? Take a cue from this community member.
- Take it to the Ace: All of the Ace's hipster hotels are perfect for a weekend of relaxing — and partying — with your girls, but as one community member found out firsthand, the Ace Hotel Palm Springs is especially well-suited to a bachelorette weekend. Lounge by the pool, indulge in an adult sno-cone, and never even have to leave the premises.
- Wine country weekend: A trip to wine country can be almost as relaxing as one to the beach, but, you know, with wine. Rent a house or apartment for the weekend if you can to cut down on costs. Then stock up on a few of your favorite bottles as you're tasting during the day, and skip the pricey wine country dinner that night; instead, bring an assortment of cheese, charcuterie, and fruit back to your digs, and continue the tasting on your own.
More ideas, after the break!
It's still wedding season here at Sugar, and this week we've been discussing all the pre-party fun. Just like a wedding, every bachelorette party is different. Some brides-to-be want to relax, while others want to get wild and crazy. I asked you readers what kind of sending off party you'd like to have. Based on your answers, I found some useful tips for the rest of us to steal!
- Get everyone on the same page. xxstardust says: I have told the girls who will be in my party well in advance — NO STRIPPERS. I will walk out and go home if there's a stripper, not even kidding.
- Try something different. T. Jamey wrote: I really want to have a nice, classy and quiet bridesmaid tea. I've done the crazy running around, stripper and bar hopping routine with my friends so I want something much more mundane for myself.
- Themes are good, even if they must involve genitalia. Gawjuslayd: "I want to have an insane weekend! I want penis pasta, penis straws, the bachelorette sash, the bride-to-be buttons, the T-shirts, games, EVERYTHING!!! I need to get it all out of my system and get drunk off my ass for the last time. We're talking MEN, MEN, and more MEN!!!"
- For destination bachelorette parties, pick up a routine. AlexisSF says: I can't wait for my bachelorette party!! Perfect LA girls weekend — pool, nice dinners out, fun bar scene and repeat."
- Stock up on wine. boredgourdles explains: "I had a grown-up pool/slumber party. I think the empty wine bottles outnumbered the partiers."
Do you have any tips to add?
For me, one of the highlights of wedding season is attending all the fun bachelorette parties and bridal showers. Sure, the ceremonies are gorgeous and the receptions are a blast, but I truly cherish the girls-only soirees leading up to the big day. If you're planning one of these get-togethers, why not try one of these creative themes? With a little DIY help and flea market shopping, you can whip up some of these ideas without it costing a pretty penny.
Bachelorette parties can range from relaxing (think spa day) to wild and crazy (think Vegas) to unconventional (think joint bachelor-bachelorette parties). Either way, they do offer an excuse to celebrate a bride-to-be.
I really enjoyed the last bachelorette party I attended because I got to see friends who live all over the place. Even though it required going out of town, I reminded myself that I don't often have time to travel with my girlfriends. The weekend had a little bit of everything: relaxing, shopping, a nice dinner, dancing, reminiscing about the bride's single days, and yes, the penis straws.
If you were planning your own party, how would you do it? Would you organize a night on the town with dinner and dancing? A weekend getaway? A combined party that involved the groom? Dish!
Source: Flickr User Carolyn Coles
Whether he's the groom or just a friend, bachelor parties offer guys an excuse to engage in wild behavior that ranges from a few extra drinks to a long night at a strip club. While some women don't want their significant other entertaining strippers, pre-wedding ritual or not, others will give their guys a pass.
Still with a male vow of silence often sworn at bachelor parties, sometimes we don't even know what's involved. This can cause even the most laid-back girlfriend or fiancée to get curious. So I want to know: do you want to know?
One minute you're basking in the excitement of your recent engagement, and the next thing you know, you and your betrothed are being feted at an engagement party, with your likenesses rendered in marzipan atop a cake.
OK, so maybe that last part isn't true for everyone, but you may be surprised to find that when you get engaged, people want to throw you parties. Often, it's friends of your parents, who want to return some long-lost favor, or friends who love any excuse to celebrate. For five reasons why this tradition makes sense (and one reason it doesn't), read more
I've never understood how having a raunchy bachelorette party helps usher you into a loving, stable marriage, but it's here to stay as a tradition. I've gathered up some of the tackiest party favors and products I could find. Oh, the romance of weddings!