Your wedding is not just about merging two families, it’s the joining of all your friends. Here are five fab ways to bring your bridesmaids, best man and ushers all together and help your wedding party bond before the big day.
1. Consider Having a Sten Party
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Get everyone together for some fun. A ‘sten party’ is a joint stag and hen party (sounds better than a ‘hag do’), it’s a modern idea that really throws the notion of the ‘last night of freedom’ out the window and the ideal way to help everyone get to know each other before the wedding. Ask your best man and chief bridesmaid to work together to organise a weekend of fun for all the bridal party. Don’t miss our Secrets to a Successful Joint Hen and Stag Do for ideas on what to do and tips on how best to go about organising it.
A dinner party, cocktail party or picnic where everyone brings along a meal or drinks for all to share. It can be easier if you allocate meals or suggest a list of ideas and ask everyone to choose one so they can all see who is going to be bringing what. For instance, you could send out a group email or start a Facebook event page for an Italian themed dinner party and suggest everyone puts their name down next to one of the following meals from veggie pizzas to meat pizzas, dough balls and garlic bread, cold pasta salads and pasta bakes straight out of the oven or ready to be reheated. When everyone participates in this way, the group becomes bonded and they can start to get to know each other over shared food and a few drinks.
3. Friendships Photo and Film Night
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Arrange a special night to celebrate old friendships, particularly if you and your groom have been friends with your chief bridesmaid and best man for years. Either plan a night in with some old photos and film of the bride and groom when they were growing up or high an upstairs room at a local pub and a projector and screen. It’s great to reminisce, and if the bride and groom went to school or college together, and met some of the bridal party back then too, the evening will be all the richer for shared memories and old photos. You could add in a Mr. & Mrs. style game for the bride and groom-to-be or all have a quiz night based on anecdotes from the happy couple.
A brilliant and often much-needed way to de-stress before the wedding and get everyone talking is to organise a spa day for your bridal party. Ask all your bridesmaids, best man and ushers and perhaps even mothers and fathers of the bride and groom to come for a swim and spa treatment of their choice, whether it’s a relaxing massage, a facial or manicure or pedicure. Arrange drinks or lunch there too and enjoy a pampering as all the people you love the most get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.
In America it’s traditional to hold a rehearsal dinner and it’s a lovely idea to get all the introductions out of the way before the wedding day. It is most usual to have a ceremony rehearsal a few days before the wedding, and all the bridal party are required, to make sure they know where to stand and what to do on the big day. It is also the perfect opportunity to meet the bride and groom’s parents and help all your wedding party bond.
Loving the L‐plates or seeking a little sophistication? Follow our guide to hen and stag party success Forget all that ball‐and‐chain, 'last days of freedom' stuff. Today's stag and hen…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.