Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, Bachelorette/bachelor Party

Updated on April 06, 2011
M.P. asks from West Lafayette, IN
13 answers

ok, so i'm just starting to plan our wedding. i'm totally lost on the party and shower thing. i've never had anything besides a graduation open house. not even a baby shower. so... do you have to do the engagement party? i've only heard of one friend doing this, but then again, i don't know a lot of people getting married. and do you do the bridal shower and a bachelorette party, or just one or the other. and do the men have an equivalent or do they only have the bachelor party? i'm so confused as to what i need to be planning. can any of you mommies give me some advice on where to start? we're on a serious budget, so i'm trying to figure out where to put our money. Thanks!

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answers from Cincinnati on

You don't have to do an engagement party. A bridal shower is usually thrown by someone else not the bride and sometimes there may be more than one. Batchlorette parties are usually thrown by someone else, not the bride. I think the maid of honor is supposed to be in charge of the shower and batchlorette but I don't think thats set in stone. My sisters threw my parties, not my maid of honor. I've never been to an engagement party before. Men usually just do a batchelor party.

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answers from Bloomington on

You do not have to have an engagement party, but you can if you want.
The bridal shower is usually standard, but is planned by your Mom, female family member, maid of honor, or bridemaids.
You don't have to have a bachelorette party, but they are a fun girl's night out. This is usually planned by M.o.H. or bridesmaids.
Men usually just have a bachelor party, which best man or groomsmen
You have enough to worry about with the rehearsal and wedding. Everything else is usually taken care of by others.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You don't have to plan any parties. They should be hosted for you by someone else. If you are VERY close to someone - ex. best friend. You might say, look I would love you to host a shower for me. However it is useually done by one or more bridesmaids anyway as is the bachelorette party. Family (parents, siblings) aren't supposed to host showers since showers are by definition gift parties and your family shouldn't be asking for gifts for you. However, in some cases I have seen extended family (ex. aunt) host a shower.

You can feel free to throw an engagement party for yourselves, but it should be small and don't ask for gifts or say "no gifts" since you are the hosts.

Just plan your wedding. That is a big enough task :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

You don't plan any of the parties, except maybe the engagement party. Your maid/matron of honor should be the one to plan the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. Your fiancees best man plans the bachelor party. There isn't a male equivalent to a bridal shower. A lot of people do couples showers now though. It's sort of like an engagement party with a different name.
I didn't do the bridal shower or engagement party. That was mostly because we had just had a baby and our families were very generous with their baby gifts and I just felt weird about having a bridal shower.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Typically, those parties are thrown by other people, you don't throw them for yourself. At least that is my experience.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I'll agree with what everyone else has said about you not throwing your own showers. Who hosts them seems to vary by location - in the south it was friends, bridesmaids or "older" aunts, where I live now anyone "can", including moms and sisters.

The one party I did throw for my wedding was a bridesmaids' luncheon the day before our wedding. We lived 400 miles from home and with only a few exceptions, everyone had to travel to get to the wedding. I hosted my 3 bridesmaids, flower girl, soloist and moms/grandmas/sisters (maybe 12 of us total?) at our apartment for a simple lunch. It was my way of thanking them for being part of our wedding and for making the trip to be with us.

Good luck as you plan your wedding!



answers from Sacramento on

You don't HAVE to have any of the parties, but typically other people throw them for you (like baby showers). Your bridesmaids will arrange the bachelorette and/or bridal shower.



answers from Richmond on

I'm as clueless as you are, but here's what's happening with me... we're not having an engagement party, because this was a long time coming! My brother and SIL had one; my mom just had both families over for dinner. It was simple but nice. Bridal shower- my friends think they're being sneaky, but I know they're throwing me one. If they weren't, then I wouldn't have one. Bachelor/bachlorette parties are generally thrown by friends, but because my fiance's friend are a bunch of cavemen, I'm putting my foot down and we're having a combo party... all our friends are married couples anyway, it's not like any of them need that 'last single night out' debauchery in their lives ;) So in short, you shouldn't necessarily be paying for any of the things you just asked about. Happy planning!!



answers from South Bend on

I didn't have any showers, just an engagement party that my mother and Aunt threw for me and my cousin (we got engaged within a week of each other- cousin and I are 7 months apart in age). But, my sister had MANY showers. She had the bridal shower, a stock-the-bar-party (everyone brings a bottle of alcohol for the bride and groom), a fantasy lady party (girls only, guests purchase toys and such of sexual nature for bride- soooo not my cup of tea, but whatever floats your boat), and the bachelorette party. There is a shower for the groom. Its called a honey-do, and his buddies bring tools and man-type gifts. The bride and groom do not host any showers or parties- friends and family put on these things. None of them have to be done. There is also a bridal luncheon- I've been to a few of them that friends have had. And we are not wealthy, nor are any of our friends.


answers from Columbus on

I did not have an engagement party. Most everyone I know, did not, either. We are from the midwest, and unless you are a very wealthy or older couple, I guess I had not even heard of them. (I got married almost 13 years ago, though)

In my experience, there is usually a bachelor/bachelorette party. We did a combined party for both my hubby and me. Most of our friends were mutual, so it was a lot of fun.

The bridal shower is usually thrown by a close friend, sister, mom/aunt, etc. I had a shower thrown by my friends and one my co-workers threw for me.

This is all I know- and granted, it's been awhile. :)

COngratulations and have fun!!!



answers from Columbus on

You don't have to have an engagement party...we didn't. We made the announcement and several friends and family members (separatly) decided to take us out to eat to celebrate. As far a bridal shower and bachelorette parties, that cost goes to your bridesmaides and maid of honor...not you. There are books that you should be able to get from the Library on wedding planning, our favorite was Wedding Planning for Idiots!!! There is a website called theknot.com, that can help guide you to local venues to help plan. If you are looking for invatations, programs, or anything else that needs printed you can get at Target or Walmart and then print on your computer. There are a lot of corners that you can cut...but you have to do the work. Good Luck...You can do it...and you can do it on a budget!!!!


answers from St. Louis on

We did not have an engagement party either. I did have a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. My husband had a bachelor party too and we did them on the same night, but made sure we went different places. :) Your friends should be throwing you both the shower and the bachelorette party and there should be nothing out of your pocket unless you want to help pay for something.

The one sweet thing about a bachelorette/bachelor party is that when or if you go to the bars most people will buy your group rounds so they really don't spend all that much on drinks. My group went to the city and spent the weekend and my hubby went locally and got a limo, but we both had fun.



answers from Atlanta on

We did not have an engagement party. A cousin of mine did but his parents and the bride's parents threw it (this is the most common thing I have seen- usually given by the parents or friends of the parents). My bridesmaids threw me a shower. What kind of shower and how many you have varies by person (I had one). I have been to couple's showers where the bride receives the more traditional gifts and the groom gets tools, bbq stuff, sports stuff, etc. After the shower, my bridesmaids and I went out for my bachelorette party. Typically, the groomsmen will throw the bachelor party without any separate showers for the groom. Sometimes you will have a variety of showers- traditional, lawn & garden, lingerie, etc.

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