Pre-Wedding Party Q&As

It's your turn to be the guest — but the etiquette guidelines still apply. Here, answers about rehearsal dinners, engagement parties and other festivities.

Q: For my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids and I are thinking of planning a day cruise. Are they expected to pay for their own tickets? Do you have any other suggestions that might be less costly? 


A: Bridesmaids are expected to pick up the tab for a bachelorette party, whether it’s a cruise, a dinner at a restaurant or a night on the town. If it’s an expensive ticket, don’t be surprised if some of them beg off for financial reasons. After all, they’ve had to purchase a dress and accessories, plan and pay for a bridal shower and will give you gifts for both the shower and the wedding. Add it all up and the amount might easily come to several hundred dollars!However, there are some equally fun and less pricey options for you and your friends. Weather permitting, have a pool party and barbecue and ask everyone to contribute a dish. Plan a bowling night or go to an amusement park. You can also stay home and have a spa slumber party, in which you treat yourselves to facials, manicures and pedicures, and watch movies and reminisce. Consider a wine-tasting party and let each attendant bring her favorite bottle of wine. Serve cheese and crackers, fruit and a variety of hors d’oeuvres, and finish with a chocolate fondue. Or take the party outdoors and go horseback riding, camping or hiking. Remember, just being together and having an opportunity to share this special time will make any gathering with your bridesmaids fun and memorable.

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My son is getting married and his Uncle isn't attending, but his Aunt is, she is requesting to bring her 30 year old daughter who is my sons cousin but they are not close, she also has a 4 year old, there will be other children. Is it proper for his Aunt to ask this of him?. They are traveling by car 1200 miles and making a vacation out of the trip. thanks, Barbara [email protected]

Considering that the original invitation was extended to both your son’s aunt and uncle and that she is traveling 1,200 miles by car to be there, I don’t think she can be faulted for asking if it is OK to have her daughter take the place of her husband or to bring a child (especially since there will be other children there). She’ll feel more comfortable and safer traveling that distance by car if she has a companion (as would I!). Many people who travel far to a wedding do make a vacation out of the trip, and who can blame them? They are spending time and money and no doubt want to enjoy a location they may have never visited before. Your son should let her know that her daughter and child are welcome and that he appreciates the effort she is making to be there. -Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide

We are the grooms parents and have helped the couple with some of the wedding expenses but the brides parents have offered no financial help at all. Only criticism. We are prepared to pay for the rehearsal dinner as well, and have been informed that a large group of the brides family is from out of town and planning to attend this wedding..are we required to invite all of the out of towners to the rehearsal dinner? I would prefer to not spend a lot of money on the rehearsal if the brides parents are not willing to share in the expense....Kind of feels like we would be paying for their family reunion.

Great question! These days, it's not expected that all out-of-towners will be invited to the rehearsal dinner, It's perfectly acceptable to limit the party to just immediate family and bridal party members. Perhaps you can suggest that the bride's family hosts a cocktail party at the hotel that same evening for out-of-town guests. Another hospitable gesture is to host a farewell brunch the morning after the wedding.

We are having a destination wedding where we are only inviting our immediate family, but we want to have a very casual reception/party at home for all of our other friends and family. Would it be acceptable to have our reception before we leave to our vacation?

wedding or pre wedding photography is always good it is a great way to express and capture feelings you can visit at

I have asked my 6 best friends and my fiancé's 2 sisters to be bridesmaids at our wedding. I couldn't choose any 1 person as my MOH so I don't have one. 1 of my girlfriends took the lead on planning the bachelorette party but no one has stepped up to plan/host my bridal shower. I don't want to make any of them feel obligated to be in charge of that so what would be the move here?