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Eat, drink and be merry at these wedding parties

With warm weather upon us and wedding season kicking into high gear, calendars are filling up quickly! All those wedding parties and events, as well as what’s expected at each, can be overwhelming – whether you’re a guest or a host. From engagement parties to wedding receptions, Michael Evans, owner of Helga’s Caterers, knows what you need to host a seamless event.

Engagement Party: The first of many wedding events, this party provides an opportunity to celebrate the big news with family and friends. There are no hard and fast rules as to who should host such an event, giving free reign to anyone close to the happy couple. Engagement parties vary in size and formality, from a backyard barbecue to an elegant dinner in the private dining room of a favorite restaurant, depending on the couple’s personalities and the host’s preferences. The one consistent rule with engagement parties? Anyone who is invited should also be invited to the wedding.

Bridal Shower: Traditionally hosted by close friends or family of the bride and/or groom,  showers were once a time for the women in her life to dote on the bride-to-be. Today’s brides and grooms often opt for a couple’s shower. Again, size typically varies depending on the host and the location of the event, and the style of the shower may range from heavy hors d’oeuvres, to a multi-course meal, or simply an offering of desserts. These parties usually incorporate a theme for décor and food, and may include games, activities, and the opening of presents.

Bridesmaids Luncheon: This luncheon is hosted by the bride to thank the bridesmaids and other close females involved in the wedding for their love and support. Most brides opt to hold the event the day before or the day of the wedding in order to ensure all bridesmaids are able to be there. But despite the name, the event can be any time of day.  Menus may range from the traditional teas to whatever the bride believes best represents the group’s tastes. The main purpose of the bridesmaids luncheon is for the bride to have one last get together with her favorite girls before the wedding where they can eat, drink and be merry.

Rehearsal Dinner: Usually held the night before the wedding as a way to kick off the festivities, rehearsal dinners vary in size and formality, again based upon the host’s preferences. Some opt to keep things casual and include all out of town guests, whereas others may opt for a more upscale dinner for just the immediate family and bridal party. The parents of the groom traditionally host the rehearsal dinner, although it may also be hosted by the bride’s parents, the couple, or a combination of the three.

Wedding Reception: From intimate affairs to grand receptions, this is a time for your closest friends and family to celebrate with you and your new spouse. Dinner, dancing, and toasts often comprise the fun of the wedding reception, though the style and theme is very personalized to fit the couple. Receptions were once traditionally hosted by the bride’s parents, but like rehearsal dinners, they may also be hosted by the groom’s parents, the couple, or a combination.

Post-Wedding Brunch: Hosted by the newlyweds, their parents, or anyone else close to the couple, the brunch serves as a great way to maximize time with family and friends if you’re not leaving right away for your honeymoon. Many times these post-wedding events are held at the hotel where guests are staying or at a home. 

Thanks Michael, for breaking down the wedding party scene. Other opportunities for entertaining also include a cocktail party after the rehearsal dinner and the “after party” party following the reception. Need a caterer for your events? Call (703) 556-0780 or email Michael to schedule your consultation.

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