Most every wedding weekend will consist of standard wedding events like the ceremony and reception on wedding day and the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner the day before. However, those aren’t the only events that can be a part of the wedding weekend. Sometimes, to kick things off there is a wedding welcome party. Wondering what is a wedding welcome party? We’ll tell you!

What is a wedding welcome party?

A wedding welcome party is exactly as it sounds; it is a party where you have the chance to welcome all your guests. Wedding day will be hectic and you won't have time for quality conversations with every guest. That's what this event is for!

Sometimes welcome parties are just for out of town guests who you haven't seen in a while. Other times, they function as a low-key family reunion for all of your cousins, aunts, and uncles on both sides of the family. It’s likely that you might not have a lot of time on wedding day to spend with these guests, so this gives you the opportunity to do that. 

The party can be a formal dinner event, casual drinks at a local brewery, or a low-key mix and mingle in your own backyard where you fire up the BBQ. It really just depends on what you feel you want for the event and, of course, the budget. Even if you don’t have a budget for the event, pick a designated place for everyone to meet (we still recommend talking to the venue or restaurant first, so they can expect a large crowd) and let it be a thing where everyone picks up their own tab. 

Who is invited?

There are essentially two ways you can create an invite list for a welcome party. First, you can invite everyone (of course!) or alternatively, you can invite just those who traveled from out of town plus family and wedding party. Your guest list, as usual, really depends on your budget and your venue. 

When should you have your wedding welcome party?

Most commonly, a welcome party is after the rehearsal dinner and is more of a come-grab-drinks-to-say-hello kind of thing. Sometimes if the rehearsal dinner guest list is extensive, it becomes more of a welcome party. Sometimes, there’s even a pre-rehearsal dinner welcome party that extends your  wedding weekend by an extra day. Since it’s a newer event to the scene, it can be whatever you want to make of it!

Where to have it?

The location for a welcome party depends on the vibe you want and when you plan to have it. If you plan to have it right after the rehearsal dinner, it’s easy to do it at the same venue. If the venue’s not big enough, look for a location close to where most of your guests are staying. If it’s a separate night, then places like a brewery, your favorite neighborhood bar, your country club or even your own backyard are great places. 

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Photo Courtesy of C & D Events