Engagement Party VS Bridal Shower & Rehearsal Dinner… I'm one confused bee!

posted 2 years ago in Parties
Post # 2
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

1. Nothing is mandatory, obviously. But, people enjoy celebrating you, and most of the time, I really look forward to going to these parties.

2. My bachelorette only included my bridesmaids, and I received lingerie as gifts, we went to dinner, played games, decorated cookies, etc. The bachelorette was more of just a fun night with no emphasis on gifts like showers typically have. My bridal showers (one on each coast) included all the women invited to the wedidng in those respective areas, there was lunch, gifts, and games.

3. The rehearsal dinner is generally put on by the grooms family. It comes after you have your wedding rehearsal. It’s not necessary, but I think most people expect it. At our rehearsal dinner, we had a slideshow of pictures from us growing up, food, and toasts.

4. A bridal “shower” is literally meant to shower the new bride with gifts. But you can still have one and request no gifts. Maybe just a luncheon or something like that with games to get the ladies together.

Post # 3
2047 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

tattiibee:  haha Im married to an italian and have been “forced” to go to a few events…and yes this is how they do it. Technically there’s no gifts required for engagement parties but some people do/cultural thing. The shower is technically a seperate event from the wedding and a lot of the time the gifts at showers are just for the bride/themed showers…. shower gifts are not supposed to be the wedding gift as far as I know (not just cultural).

Usually I get something small for a shower and something more substantial for wedding/money. They are also supposed to be thrown by bridal party (though a lot of people now have them thrown my a relative or someone else….the old ediquitte is kinda out the window) The bachelorette isnt supposed to be a gift event… not sure where they got that one, thats really overkill… sometimes the BP arranges it so its like gag gifts or some lingerie? but I dont think that should be a gift event. For italian weddings its all money at the actual event…. out of 130 guests at ours we got about 5 boxed gifts in total??? rest was money in cards.

point being: no gifts should be req for engagement (maybe a card), shower gift is seperate from wedding gift, but they should not be requiring a gift for the stagette!!!

None of these are really manditory…. I never had an engagement party, I never had a shower (mostly because I dont live in the same place as my close friends/family), the stagette is just a party to blow off steam with your gf’s… whether you go partying or hanging out watching movies… its diff then a shower because a shower ususally has all family etc like moms… and most people dont want their moms/old aunts at their stagettes which is more of a girls night out. My stagette was a simple dinner and dancing. The RD is not required but nice to provide something to the people who are in your wedding to show some appreciation. If they are taking a friday night off to go and practice for you….. there should be at least the offering of some refreshements (unless your doing it in the middle of the day). It doesnt have to be fancy/expensive….my IL’s made all homemade stuff (pasta and salads etc)

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  shanbp.
Post # 4
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It really depends on what is common in your reigon.

1. None are mandatory, if you were going to have just one, I’d have the rehearsal dinner, it is always a nice thank you for those who participate in the wedding. Yikes about people bringing presents to an engagment party – I have NEVER heard of that before. It’s just supposed to be to celebrate and have everyone get to know each other!

2. Bridal showers are gift-giving events. You can’t throw that yourself, so someone will have to offer to host it to you. Where I am from, only the women you are closest to are invited. It is not for every woman invited to the wedding. Small presents (rolling pins, measuring cups) are given only, usually with a recipe.  A bachelorette party is thrown by your friends. You also should not plan that yourself. I have never been to one where gifts are given.

3. It isn’t important to have a rehearsal dinner, just nice – to thank those who are participating in the wedding after the rehearsal. You may also choose to invite out of town guests to this, but that isn’t necessary. 

4. Do not have a shower if you do not want gifts. Just decline one, or like the above poster stated, ask for a bridal luncheon (no gift event). I wouldn’t really worry about this until people begin offering you these parties. You may not host any of them yourself except the rehearsal dinner. 


Post # 5
2047 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

With a RD as well its also nice to get together with everyone after the rehersal itself…. a lot of people may not have even met before (the girls side/guys side………some family members etc…

as for you having a shower… just let your BP handle it… if they dont bring it up let it be, if they want to throw you one they will arrange it.

Post # 6
858 posts
Busy bee

I dont think there are any rules, but what works for you and your family and friends. Im sure Italians have there own traditions. Everything as you described is how we do things.

<br />We had our engagement party, which was exactly what you described. We had a beautiful outdoor BBQ. And it gave a chance for our families to ge to know each other even more.

Bridal Shower was last weekend, which was hosted by my MOH and Sister. Girls party.

Staggette is this wekeend, and this is the last hurray before the wedding!


Post # 7
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

1. Are any of these “mendatory”? I know, it’s my wedding and I can do whatever I please but, generally speaking, which would be the obvious one to have?

None are mandatory. Many couples do not have an engagement party. Showers are hosted by other people  who want to shower you with good wishes and gifts. Bachelorettes are normally planned by the bridal party and close firends for a fun evening out with the bride before the wedding.

2. What’s the difference between a bachelorette party and bridal shower in the big picture?

A bridal shower is a gift giving occasion. A bachelorette is a party or fun evening with the bride’s friends. Gifts are not normally given to the bride at a bachelorette.. Sometimes the bride gives small gifts to thank the planners.

3. What exactly happens during a rehearsal dinner and how important is it to have one?

The rehearsal dinner is held to thank the wedding party for their time and support. Many couples use the rehearsal dinner as their opportunity to give their gifts to the wedding party and their parents. Short speeches are made th thank these important people in their life.

4. I’m not planning on registering anywhere, would there still be a point in throwing a bridal shower if I don’t expect any gifts?

Friends, bridal party or family may still choose to host a shower for you. A themed shower like a recipe shower, time of day, stock the bar shower can all be held in the absence of a registry.

4. Any other info you can give me would be appreciated!

Practices vary with cultural and ethnic backgrounds and geographical location. For most questions there is no one correct answer.

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