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Pre-Wedding Parties - Who is Invited to What?

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Figuring out exactly who will be on your wedding guest list is an important task to tackle in the early stages of wedding planning. Knowing the number of people to expect will affect many other decisions about the wedding, especially if you are trying to stick to a strict budget. 

Once you've got that list decided, you'll also need to come up with mini guest lists for all of the pre-wedding parties that will happen before the wedding day even arrives. The team from our online wedding store has a few helpful hints for you in today's blot to make the list-making a little easier. 

Engagement Parties

If you choose to have a party to celebrate your engagement, this is typically hosted by one of the couple's families, but it could also be a close friend that really wants to throw the two of you a party. This event should happen early after the engagement has happened, usually within 3 months of the "question" being "popped".

There is a very good chance that your wedding guest list will not be finalized just yet. For that reason, it's best to keep this party's guest list to close family members and friends. Anyone that is invited to the engagement party will be expecting to receive a wedding invitation too.   

Bridal Showers

Bridal showers are generally thrown by your bridal party and/or family members. It is not unusual to have more than one bridal shower, each one focused on a different group of people that want to "shower" you with best wishes and gifts. While traditionally this was an event for the bride and her female friends, many now prefer to throw a couple's shower to honor both people getting married.


The guest lists for these should include the bridal party, immediate family, and close friends that have been invited to the wedding. Please make sure to let people know that if they are invited to more than one shower, they are not expected to bring a gift to more than one of those showers. 

One exception to the "only invited wedding guests" rule is if your workplace decides to throw a shower for you. In that case, some of those co-workers may not be invited to the wedding, but you won't be the one making that guest list. 

Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties

bachelorette party is usually thrown by your bridesmaids but it's not unusual for the bride herself to have a had in planning these festivities. In turn, the bachelor party is taken care of by the groomsmen.

This event is meant to be a celebration with your closest friends all enjoying your one last "single person" night out before the big day. This guest list should include your wedding party and other close friends and siblings that don't happen to be in your wedding party. In other words, the people you love spending time with the most. (Other than your soon-to-be-spouse, of course!)

 Rehearsal Dinner 

The wedding rehearsal dinner is meant as a thank you to everyone that has something to do with your special day. This usually takes place right after the wedding rehearsal.

Your entire wedding party and immediate family should be invited. If space and the budget allow, some couples also choose to invite guests from out-of-town that are already in town the night before the wedding.  

Once you have the guest lists for all of these celebrations narrowed down, head on over to to find wedding decorations and inspiration to pull off the most wonderful pre-wedding parties possible. (Be sure to share our online wedding store link with those pre-wedding party hosts too!) While you're there, you might as well browse for all the items you'll need to plan that dream wedding as well. After all, is "Where Brides Go, For What Brides Love!


~The Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant 

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