(Closed) Somebody pls explain all those parties to me?

posted 5 years ago in Parties
Post # 2
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Bridal showers are to shower the bride [and sometimes couple] in love & gifts. I’m not sure how they came to be, but I remember going to them was I was little, so I think they are pretty old [at least 20 years!] It’s just a good time to get together with the girls and have a fun night with games and get to know the bride.

Bachelorette parties are supposed to be the “one last fling” thing, but I don’t think that’s what they are about anymore. It’s just a night to have fun with the girls. We are probably going to get a little crazy and do the penis cake thing and what not, because that’s how we are.

Dollar dances are just another part of the wedding reception. Guests get a few minutes to dance on the dance floor with the bride and groom in exchange for a small sum of money. These aren’t common EVERYWHERE, but they are very traditional in the midwest.

Rehearsal dinner is to thank your bridal party/parents, sometimes even grandparents and to provide a meal after the rehearsal. It doesn’t need to be fancy and it’s just a nice gesture. Gifts are normally given to the bms/gms/parents at this time.  

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  jenilynevette.
Post # 3
2946 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Bridal shower- It is a get together with close women friends/family of the bride.  It pretty much stems from the old idea that when a bride and groom marry they have nothing to start their house hold with.  The idea is to help the woman get an early start on her house hold items. 

Dollar Dances- Really aren’t a seperate party from what I know of.  They are part of the wedding reception.  A lot of people see them as tacky, and so they are becoming less popular.  The idea is that you pay a dollar to dance with the bride or the groom.

Rehearsal Dinner- A dinner given after people get together to practice going through the wedding.  It doesn’t have to be a big, crazy party.  Often it is just a meal.  Maybe a speach, but that is optional.  It’s normally a thank you to those involved in your wedding.  It sounds like a bigger deal than what it really is, and some people make it a bigger deal than what it is.  Really, though, it can be pizza and soda. 

Bachelor/ette parties can really be any fun night/weekend/time period with those close to you.  Stupid drinking games and strippers can be involved, but since that is not fun for either my Fiance or I, they won’t be involved in ours.  My Fiance is going to dinner, a few bars, and then a casino.  I think mine will be dinner, a comody club and maybe the piano bar. 

Post # 4
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


Wedding day:

  • Ceremony
  • Reception
    • (I have heard of the dollar dance being done here where people pay to dance with the bride at the reception)
  • (optional) after party


Night before wedding: 

  • rehearsal
    • (all people involved in the actual wedding ceremony rehearse where to go when and what to do)
  • rehearsal dinner
    • (traditionally hosted by the groom’s parents it is a meal and there may or may not be speeches, toasts, and slideshows. Includes immediate family and bridal party, sometimes includes extended family and out of town guests, all depends on the budget)

Additional Celebrations:

  • Shower:
    • A group of friends hosts a shower to give gifts to the couple and generally celebrate their impending nuptials
    • Can be for just bride, or the couple, and I guess sometimes for just the groom
    • Generally takes place within 3 months of the wedding and sometimes the day before the wedding
  • Bachelor/ette
    • a night out on the town with your closest friends
    • sometimes a weekend away
    • can be just the bride with friends, just the groom with friends, or all the people
    • sometimes involves games, sometimes involves gifts, sometimes involves other shenanigans
  • Bridal Luncheon
    • Generally a tea with extended family and bridal party to thank the other generations for support and spend time with family before the wedding
  • Brunch the day after
    • This has started to become a tradition, but is very new
    • Everyone gets together the morning after the wedding and eats
    • sometimes it’s at a hotel, sometimes at a parents’ house
    • it’s a good way for out of town guests to have a last goodbye before they leave

I think that’s pretty comprehensive?

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by  nadnuk.
Post # 5
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I know what you mean… it’s crazy, right?

Here, we just have the hen/stag do… and then the wedding!

Post # 6
1916 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I think the dollar dances that you’re referring to are actually called a Stag and Doe.  Couples host them and charge admission to help raise money for their wedding.  It usually includes a raffle of some sort with a big ticket prize like a TV and cheap drinks.  I think it’s popular, because drinking at stag and doe is usually less than going to a bar.

A dollar dance is a wedding tradition in some cultures where guests will pay a dollar to dance with the bride and groom.  They pin it on to their wedding attire and it gives them an opportunity to spend time with the bride and groom.  

Post # 7
183 posts
Blushing bee

In my region, we typically just do the bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and the wedding itself. The tradition of the bridal shower started at least 30-odd years ago, because I know my mom had one (but registries were not common at that time). Back then, most engaged couples were moving out of their parents’ houses for the first time (because people got married younger) and the point of the shower was to help the couple set up their home with all the things they would need. With couples getting married later now, and typically living on their own before moving in with a spouse, the necessity of it is less but the tradition is still there.

Bachelor/bachelorette parties are supposed to be the “last single night out,” and certainly have a reputation for wildness, but I’ve never been to anything as elaborate as you see in the movies. I know there are people who do destination bachelor/bachelorette parties but it’s not common in my circle. Mostly it’s just a night out partying and drinking and dancing, and usually we do stay overnight in a hotel in whatever city the party is being held. They can be wild with strippers and the like, but sometimes there are sporting events involved, like going to a baseball game, or winery tours or spas trips. They can be wild or tame depending on the people involved.

Rehearsal dinners, again, can be simple or extravagant. Most of the ones I have been to have been somewhere in between. It can be anything from pizza in someone’s home, a backyard BBQ, or dinner at a restaurant. It can include the guests coming in from out of town or only the bridal party and immediate family (which it will be in my case). The point of the rehearsal dinner is to thank those people for being a part of your wedding. The dinner happens after you do the run-through of your ceremony for the next day.

There are also those who will have engagement parties, although they are not very common in my area and I have never been to one. After my Fiance and I got engaged, my family hosted his family for dinner at their house, as a chance to celebrate and for them to get to know each other a little better. But it was very informal and we never called it an engagement party.

I’ve also seen day-after brunches be done, where the bride and groom host yet another meal for the guests who stayed overnight. I’ve only ever been to one of those (at a very fancy wedding), but I think the reason behind that is just to say goodbye to everyone and thank them one last time for coming.

Post # 8
6530 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013


MsquareM: engagement party you missed! lol that is a party that is supposed to be thrown for the couple by whoever wants to host it, it could be the parents from either side or both, an aunt, friend, whoever.

Personally, I had a bridal shower, thrown as a surprise by my Mother-In-Law, bachelorette party (which I could have done without but my BMs insisted we go somewhere), Rehearsal dinner thrown for me by my in laws and we thanked our wedding party and gave gifts to everyone involved. and then the wedding.


I never heard of a dollar dance, I learned something new today 

Post # 10
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

MsquareM:  It really depends, I plan to invite all of the females that are close to me, and ones that are close to fi [like his mom, sister, friends ect]. Sometimes brides have a bridal shower for each side, one for hers and one for the grooms side.

Post # 11
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

In the UK we just have two parties: the Hen/Stag do, which is an evening out with your respective friends/family to celebrate getting married – this is usually just dinner and drinks, and happens any time in the months preceeding the wedding. Then we have the wedding, which usually lasts between 1pm and midnight. We sometimes have a rehearsal the day before the wedding, but this isn’t a formal event and doesn’t require planning.

I think that all the parties surrounding US weddings are kind of ridiculous, and a sign of a materialistic society gone crazy. Most of them involve getting money or gifts from people! I also think that they have been invented by the wedding industry greedy to take even more cash from people.

in the UK we just recieve one lot of gifts: at the wedding, guests usually bring a gift or buy something from a set-up registry at a department store, which will be delivered to the bride and groom after the wedding. Traditionally this is because the couple will not have lived together before the wedding so they need help setting up home.

The other day I heard of a “lingerie shower” where family and friends come over and give you underwear? Can you imagine anything more…embarrassing…?

Post # 12
1129 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Here (México) we have only bridal showers, no bachelloretes. And they are nothing like the ones in the US. A bride can have more than one! If I explained how they work here I’d probably be attacked because of the tackyness and giftgrabbyness. But in our culture, they are a way people help the bride and groom begin their life together.

The dollar dance is common here also, but it can be done differently. Rehaersal dinners are also not done here.

Post # 13
2946 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

People will get gifts off the registry for both the shower and the wedding.   Usually people bring a gift of some sort to both.  What my mom (and now I) do is set a budget for gift(s) for the entire wedding.  If someone has a shower, I will use a portion of the budget for the shower gift and a portion of the budget for the wedding gift.  Usually I will pick something personal, yet cheeper for the shower, while something more expensive for the wedding.   If the person in question is not having a shower, I tend to spend my entire budget on one gift. 

Also with the shower vs. wedding question, since most of the time the shower is females only, the gift would be from just me (or my mom and I might go in for something nicer if we are going to one together) and the wedding present would be from myself and my Fiance.  I think that may be a reason why it is still expected to get something for the wedding as well. 


Post # 14
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

MsquareM:  Yes. I didn’t even know “showers” were a thing until I watched Sex and the City as a teenager!

Classic hen and stag parties are basically rowdy drunken parties, where the aim is to humiliate or otherwise embarass the groom in a humourous fashion (the bride often gets off more easily). The groom might, for example, be forced to wear women’s clothing, or fancy dress, or take part in a series of embarassing dares.

Example: someone I know was forced to dress up in a giant condom suit, and was then taken to a strip club where he was forced on stage and strippers tied him to a chair and poured cold water over him.

Of course… it can be a lot more sedate. I had a lovely meal, we played some games, then we had an all girls’ burlesque lesson, and then I went to the pub whilst dressed in fancy dress. Darling Husband had a week long canal boat trip. They rented the boat, loaded it with booze, and did a huge pub crawl!

Post # 15
1669 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Not all parties involve getting money or gifts from people, and aren’t a sign of “a materialistic society gone crazy”

I’m having an engagement party, a bridal luncheon, a rehearsal dinner and a day after brunch. None of these events are gift giving occasions unless you count the gifts we will be giving to our parents and the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner. One should not recieve gifts as a bride at any of these parties.

People offered to throw these parties for us (or in the case of the rehearsal dinner and day after brunch, we are throwing it to thank our wedding party and out of town guests).

I am also having a shower. I didn’t decide to have a shower, one was offered to me (not by a family member) -and I accepted. Bridal showers are a very old tradition here in the United States and portions of Canada that dates back to the 1890s. Where I am from they are not huge gift grabby affairs, but small intimate gatherings with the women from both sides of the brides new family, as well as close friends. Small gifts are often given, but often people will bring a favorite recipie from their family (say, for a pie) and then a pie tin or something simple.

I can’t speak to portions of this country where huge 30 plus person showers are the norm (that does seem a bit grabby) or to stag and doe fundraisers or the dollar dance, both of which are not done in my social circle.

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