Unique Pre-Wedding Events Couples are Hosting in 2022

From the engagement party to a send-off after the big day, 2022 couples are planning a whole host of activities surrounding their big day.

By Jennifer Prince

Unique Pre-Wedding Events Couples are Having
Photo by Top flash Photography

The First Look ✨

Although the wedding day is the main attraction, many events leading up to the big day generate excitement. As your family and friends hear the news, they want to share in the anticipatory joy, give you gifts, and offer a toast. And, 2022 couples are capitalizing on this fact by planning and participating in festivities before their big day.

Zola's First Look Report polled 3,309 engaged folks to find out the emerging trends in relation to events that couples have planned. Here are the unique pre-wedding events that engaged couples are having in 2022.

Why Couples Are Planning Pre-Wedding Events in 2022

After months of waiting, engaged folks are ready to celebrate in a big way. Thanks to the pandemic, the average engagement timeline has increased from 12 months to 18 months. An extended planning period means that people are ready to party and spend time with family and friends. Some duos are planning typical pre-wedding day events, while others are thinking outside of the box in creative ways.

Although looking forward to the special day can be stressful, as couples add planning a significant event into an already packed work/life schedule, engaged folks are feeling more excited and in love than ever before—and the numbers agree. Forty percent of couples are expressing their excitement by counting down the days and moments before the big day.

Many can’t wait to be with family due to extended time apart. Fifty-nine percent feel closer to their partner as they go through the wedding planning experience. Additionally, 42 percent say that the pandemic has made getting together with loved ones more meaningful. Not surprisingly, 28 percent were honest enough to say that they are just ready to party. Those who are getting married in 2022 deserve to celebrate in a big way, surrounded by family and friends, and the rise in pre-wedding events proves that fact.

The 2022 Pre-Wedding Events That Are Taking Over

Zola’s polled couples have some creative options for you; however, there are more common festivities that traditionally surround the big day. One consideration is that many are choosing to have three or more events beyond their wedding ceremony and reception. Here are the ones that came out on top to inspire your celebrations.

Rehearsal Dinner

Having a rehearsal dinner to welcome and gather out-of-town guests, family, and the wedding party is traditional. However, when it comes to the guest list, feel free to keep it small (say, immediate family and the wedding attendants), or go all out and invite anyone who wants to come. From ultra-formal to casual backyard barbecues, 81 percent of couples are scheduling rehearsal dinners before or after their wedding run-through.

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Nothing says “let’s party” more than scheduling bachelor and bachelorette parties, which 81 percent of couples are doing. Traditionally, these events are party-centric; however, today’s brides and grooms are gathering with friends in unique ways that still capture the celebratory element. Consider getting together with your wedding party for a getaway weekend, or, other options are to schedule a spa day or take an art museum tour.

Wedding Shower

Showers are an opportunity for family and friends to give gifts to the engaged duo. Sixty-eight percent of couples are adding this to their event list, whether the host is a family member or the couple. Traditionally, these are present-centric events with party games and the opening of gifts. However, modern wedding showers are more about mingling and getting together. Get creative and host an event with lawn games and a bonfire. You can still open presents, but feel free to have your shower focus more on your guests’ experience.

Engagement Party

Twenty-six percent of couples are planning celebrations because they’re finally engaged; after all, everyone wants to see the ring and offer their congratulations. Of course, there is no better way to debut that bling than to gather all of your loved ones together in one place for an engagement party. One couple said that they are going casual and having an “I Do BBQ” to celebrate their impending nuptials. Therefore, feel free to be as formal or informal as you’d like for your own event.

Sendoff Events

Although these aren’t technically pre-wedding events, couples are also taking the time to plan celebrations to share in after they say “I do.” Not only are they hosting receptions, but 37 percent are planning reception after-parties to keep those happy vibes flowing. In addition, 30 percent are hosting a goodbye brunch the day after their wedding. Think about planning a post-wedding meal that gathers your guests to offer your thanks, and then sends them off in style.

Creative Pre-Wedding Events Couples Are Planning

Beyond traditional events, some engaged folks are going the extra mile to plan additional festivities for family and friends. From cultural events to activities that immerse guests into their location, here are ideas from Zola’s polled 2022 couples.

Brunch-Centric Celebration

Beyond the post-wedding brunch, couples are looking for other reasons to chat over mimosas and eggs Benedict. Consider gathering the bridesmaids, welcoming folks into town on the rehearsal day, or satiating family and friends on the day of the wedding with a pre-wedding party.

Stock the Bar Party

Curating a well-stocked bar can be an effort, therefore, consider hosting a celebration where folks bring alcohol to stock your at-home bar. Of course, your guests may then expect to be invited over post-wedding to enjoy a few drinks with you; however, that’s just an extra reason to celebrate.

Local Activity

Whether getting married at home or having a destination wedding, consider exposing guests to the area. And, even better, these experiences can also serve as a thank you gift, instead of presenting them with a party favor. Zola’s couples are planning sunset catamaran cruises, hikes, kayaking trips, camping experiences, yoga, and local tours. One duo is hosting a “First Brew Since I Do” event, perfect for testing out a new brewery. Feel free to do your own take on what’s available in your area.

Cultural Event

Forty-three percent of Zola’s respondents are planning to include cultural traditions in their pre-wedding events. It’s the perfect way to celebrate, while exposing others to your heritage. So, whether you plan a tea ceremony, Mehndi night, or a Jewish tradition—such as Shabbat Chattan or Mikveh—infuse your culture into your events.

Now that you know what pre-wedding events are trending for 2022 weddings, consult Zola to plan these fabulous events. Zola’s expert advice section contains tips from picking out an engagement ring to stocking your new home together. Set yourselves (and your wedding) up for success by letting Zola help you plan every step of the way.

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