Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Every day’s a party when you are engaged!

 

Well, maybe not every day, but there are a few days to look forward to during your engagement.
What about after you’re married? We won’t ruin the surprise.

Engagement party
Couple’s shower
Bachelor party
Rehearsal dinner
Ceremony/Reception
Day after brunch
Honeymoon

Your engagement party: Tells the world you’re off the market.  Don’t feel pressured to invite too many people to your engagement party. And try not to invite anyone that not being invited to the wedding. Usually, you ask close family and friends. Traditionally, the bride’s parents host, but it could be the groom’s parents or just friends that throw the shindig. Whoever hosts has the honor of making the first toast to the couple. Also, remember this might be the first time your families are meeting. Take the time to make sure everyone’s happy and swapping embarrassing stories about you and your fiancée, from toilet training to first kiss and beyond.  Gifts are not required for the engagement party.

Couple’s shower: Don’t get too excited, there’s no water nor soap

This is not a required event, but is often thrown for you. Lots of wedding talk. Lots of party games. And even some gifts. First and foremost, invite your friends. This is a time to relax and enjoy the moment. Don’t feel obligated to invite all of your relatives, but you should expect your immediate family to attend.

 

Be prepared to play games such as:

Quiz show. Prior to the shower, people will ask you and your fiancée questions that the other will be asked during the shower. You’ll be judged on how well she knows your answers and you know her answers. So start watching her like a hawk. And take notes.

 

Build an album. Everyone brings a picture of them with you or your fiancée (or both of you) that they will add to a big album while telling the story behind the picture.

 

This Is Your Life. Someone writes the story of your married life, but removes the details (think Mad Libs). During the shower, your guests fill in the blanks.

 

Sticky Fingers. Guests are presented with a bowl of candies. After they take one, two or a handful, they are then told that they have to tell as many stories about you and your fiancée as many candies they grabbed.

 

Dress Up. You get blindfolded and are presented with a suitcase full of things your fiancée might wear on your wedding night. Without looking, you dress your fiancée as much as you can in two minutes.

Bachelor party:  It’s Your time to shine. Or lurk in a corner with a stripper.  See article by Charlee Geisler on page ____________ for great ideas.

Rehearsal dinner: The calm (or not so calm) before the storm.  Practice makes perfect. You should expect to run through the entire ceremony with all the usual suspects (you, your fiancée, your parents, the wedding party, and anyone else with a role besides crying in their seats). Make sure everyone (including you) knows the details.

After the rehearsal, you or your parents should host the party. Invite your immediate family, the wedding party and their spouses or significant others, and the officiant. The host, typically your father, should give the first toast. You should thank everyone as well. The party is also a great time to give your gifts to the bride and groomsmen.

Ceremony/Reception: All eyes are on you.  It’s time.

In Christian ceremonies, your family sits on the right side and you stand to your bride’s right.
In Jewish ceremonies, your family sits on the left and you stand to your bride’s left.
In mixed marriages, toss a coin. And get used to that being your ultimate decision maker.

 

Legally, other than the promise to marry, the content of the ceremony is yours to write. Be creative, but remember your guests and the DVD.

Traditional ceremonies have the following order of events:

You and your best man will be waiting (or you are escorted by your parents),

Usher escorts bride’s mom and groom’s mom, too.

Groomsmen and bridesmaids, maid of honor, ring bearer and flower girl and, at last, the father of bride with your bride.

The Officiant welcomes everyone.

Your parents will be asked who gives you and your bride to be married.

Readings and/or music

You and your bride will exchange vows.

You and your bride will exchange rings (hers first.)

Rings will be blessed

The Officiant will pronounce you husband and wife

You and/or your bride will do something special (break glass, light candle)

The Officiant will offer a final blessing

The Officiant will present you to the guests as Mr. and Mrs.

Everyone heads out to party (you and bride, flower girl and ring bearer, maid of honor and best man, bride’s parents, your parents and then wedding guests)

Pictures

Cocktail hour

Introduction of your parents, bride’s parents, flower girl and ring bearer, bridesmaid and groomsmen, maid of honor and best man and bride and groom.

First dance

Toasts (best man, maid of honor, groom and bride, both parents, anyone else)

Food

Cut the cake

Bridal dances (bride with father, groom with mother and wedding party)

Bouquet toss

Garter toss

You and bride thank everyone

You carry bride over threshold.

You consummate the marriage. Twice, if you’re a real man.

 

Day After Brunch. The first omelet of the rest of your life.

If you’re still in town, invite your family and any guests still hanging around to a casual brunch either at a fun location or your parent’s house (not that your parent’s house isn’t fun). While it is expected that the bride’s parents pay, you might want to step up and take care of the check. After all, you are the man of your family now.

Honeymoon: Finally you two are alone. Now what do you do?

Time to break out the his and her thongs and enjoy your time as newlyweds.

 

Of course, you could cut to the chase and just elope. Make sure your fiancée really wants to do this, your families won’t be disappointed, and you can bank some of the wedding funds that won’t get used. If not, suck it up and enjoy the parties.

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