images courtesy of Andie Freeman Photography
What is a welcome party?
A welcome party is a pre- wedding event which is held on on the night most of the guests arrive. It is a time where the bride and groom welcome and thank guests for traveling to the wedding.
The welcome party can be formal or casual. It should be fun and relaxing. It can take place at a lounge with hors deurves and a signature drink or sit down dinner in a private room. Some couples may just provide appetizers in a bar setting. The menu depends on the type of guests.
If the welcome party is also the rehearsal dinner , then the parents of the groom pay. If it is just a welcome party , the bride and groom pays.
If it is taking the place of a rehearsal dinner as well, then only the bridal party and immediate family invited. But if it is a destination wedding, everyone who is invited to the wedding is invited to the welcome party.
A welcome party is a way to reunite with friends and family. Thank them for coming to the wedding. Essentially a meet and greet. Some introductions and icebreakers games can be a helpful way to get guests acquainted.
As a thank you to guests, couples should assemble a helpful kit to help guests get around the wedding city and to provide more details for the wedding. An itenierary is crucial to an out of town wedding. Couples should extend a gift to their guests. Wether it is a gift basket or a nice note placed in each of their hotel rooms, it is nice to send a thank you to guests. If it is a destination wedding, it’s nice if couples provide small snacks, sunglasses, waterbottles, sunscreen or aloe vera.