So, You Haven't Been to a Wedding Before
Congratulations! You’re now an honorary member of an exclusive group called The Wedding Party - that’s pretty darn special! I hear it’s your first time, and it’s only natural to feel a little unsure of things, so if you’re staring into space wondering how on earth it all goes down, here’s all you need to know:
The Engagement Party
Repeat after me - I will not skip the engagement party! Life happens and people get double booked, but do make the time to pop in for at least 30 minutes to pass on your congratulations and mingle for a bit. These events only happen once, and it will mean more to the couple than you think.
Only your name made it on the invite? Don’t you worry your pretty little head! The lead up events, and a little dutch courage will have you well on your way to making some new friends. At the end of the day, it’s the couple's decision if they want your child, your friend, or your other half at the wedding, so let them tell you if that’s the case - and avoid asking or you may just tip a bride off the edge!
It is customary to give a gift to the couple. Most people would gift something to the value of around $100 to friends, and a little more to the ones in their immediate circles. Modern couples will typically have either a wedding registry, or a travel fund. Not only is this a congratulatory gift, but a token of your appreciation to say thank you for hosting one hell of a party, and for inviting you too! If your funds are a little low, don’t skip out altogether. A card with a meaningful note and a handmade something goes such a long way.
The Hen and Stag Parties
Let’s get the party started! These events are the ultimate surprise party, forever etched in the minds of those involved. If you are lucky enough to be invited, you won’t be disappointed! If you get the opportunity, buy the Mr or Mrs to-be a drink or two.
The Week of the Wedding
The week of the wedding will usually consist of a few events:
The “Rehearsal” Dinner
The night before the wedding there will usually be a get together for the bridal party and the couple's families - often called the rehearsal dinner. If you are going to an out of town wedding, this dinner is sometimes substituted for drinks and nibbles for all guests and is a great chance to get to know the couples nearest and dearest.
The Wedding Day
The day of the wedding is pretty self explanatory and consists of three main events - the ceremony, canapes and reception. Realistically speaking, you’ll be busy from at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, until about midnight. If you’re not sure about dress code, ask the couple, but it will usually mean putting on a nice dress, or a suit.
Time to nurse those hangovers with a “hair of the dog” and catch up on the events of the day prior, and possibly the morning of! The aftermatch function is the perfect finale to sign off a fabulous few days, and often it’s a time for the newly weds to really let loose - I speak from experience! It’s not really a compulsory event, but if you have been to an out of town wedding, it’s nice to stop in on your way out of town and thank the couple and their families for hosting the “event of the year”.
Then it’s back to reality for you while the newly weds enjoy married bliss!
I hope this has been helpful for those of you who are experiencing their first wedding this season. Let me know below if you would like to see more posts like this, or if you have a particular topic you'd like to know more on - I'm all ears!