There are many pre-wedding events that fall part of your wedding festivities. However, it can get complicated when determining your guest lists for all these parties.
Of course, anyone invited to any of your pre-wedding events should also be invited to your big day. But who scores an invite for what event? Here is the rundown on who to invite to which wedding event:
The engagement party:
For the first festivity in your wedding journey, the engagement party is for everyone important to you. Typically, the engagement party guest list acts as a precursor to the wedding list. As such, only invite people you plan on inviting to your wedding.
In determining this guest list, think of who is most important to you. You don’t have to invite distant family members or old friends you no longer speak to if they do not contribute to your life. Think of who is and has been an active part of your life.
If you are not sure how big your wedding will be, keep your engagement party list small. You’ll always have time to add to your wedding list following the engagement party.
The bridal shower:
The bridal shower is typically intimate in nature. Other than your bridal party, you should also invite close friends and family.
While bridal showers are typically women-only, you can also throw a co-ed shower and extend the guest list to include all the special men in your life.
Avoid inviting people you do not intend on inviting to your wedding, as it can be read as disrespectful.
The bachelor/bachelorette party:
This party is your chance to let loose and celebrate your last few days as an unmarried person. As with the other events, you should invite your entire bridal party first as they are the people typically closest to you. Friends and family not in the bridal party but still important to you should also make the guest list.
Depending on the plan of events, maybe don’t invite certain family members. You might not want your grandmother with you when you’re planning a wild night out on the town.
The Rehearsal dinner:
The rehearsal dinner typically involves those closest to you and is usually small and intimate. As such, you should invite those that will be at your ceremony rehearsal. This includes your wedding party, parents of the betrothed, siblings and the officiant.
You should also invite immediate family and close extended family, as the dinner acts as a perfect way to bring the families together. Use your own discretion on whether you want to include plus-ones at this event.
This is the time to go big. Your wedding guest list will be the largest of all the events. This is when you invite everyone special to you and your relationship. Everyone that you have invited to pre-wedding festivities thus far should be at your wedding. Of course, remember to stick to your budget and venue space when determining this list.
Start with your closest family and friends and work your way down. Family can be tough because it can look bad if you are selective and only invite some. The general rule of thumb is not to invite one without the rest. For example, if you invite one cousin, you will be expected to invite all your cousins. Of course, this is dependent on your specific family dynamic and you are within your right to not invite certain people you feel are not important to you and your relationship.
Many modern weddings are going kid-free. You must make the decision on whether you want to include children in your wedding guest list. Make sure to let guests know if their kids are not invited!
You will also have to decide on the plus-one protocol. You are not required to allow every guest a plus-one, but you should typically allow those in serious relationships to bring their partner.