Southern Traditions: House Party
Thank you for your help with my son’s wedding. My future daughter-in-law asked me to post one more question. She has been invited to be a member of the house party in a wedding. When she tried to find out what being a member of the house party means, the bride told her it was a traditional southern wedding similar to the one Pres. Bush’s daughter had. We’ve looked that up, but could find nothing about the role or duty of ahouse party member. It appears that the ladies wear special dress, but that’s all we could find. Do you have any additional information?
The bride should certainly not keep her attendants “in the dark” and provide more information as to 1) the dress and 2)what exactly is expected from member of the “house party”. The bride should be gracious enough to be more explicit in explaining all these details to her invited attendants who might be unfamiliar with local or regional customs. Good luck!
For those who aren’t aware (since this is a very Southern tradition), a house parrty is similar to a wedding attendant. Members of a house party are often assigned tasks like manning the guest book, handing out programs, serving cake, reading during the ceremony, or just assisting the bride on her big day. They can also be involved in helping with the bachelorette party and bridal shower, or just attending.
Southern Wedding Planner
While the women invited to the house party are not in the bridal party, they are women who are close to the bride. They may be expected (though not always) to assist the bridal party in coordinating events such as the shower and/or bachelorette party. At the wedding, they sometimes wear corsages and are given various tasks to help the flow of the wedding. Sometimes the bride gives these women small token gifts as thank you’s. In short, it may just be “an honoring”—or it may come with expectations. You may want to find out.
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What’s a House Party and What’s Involved?
What is a house party? How is it different from bridesmaids?
A house party is a Southern wedding tradition. The main difference between a house party and a bridesmaid is that the house party does not stand up with you at the altar in the church. The will typically site with family in the front. The house party helps with all the “other” tasks associated with wedding days, things like performing a reading during the wedding ceremony, being the guest book attendant, manning the gift table, handing out programs, serving cake to guests and much more.
Other than the whole altar thing, the house party is just as much a part of the wedding party as the bridesmaids. Usually, the house party participates in all of the same wedding festivities as the bridesmaids: bridal showers, bachelorette party, bridal party luncheon, wedding day pictures, etc. They also get a small gift from the bride as thanks for helping with the wedding.
Who is in the house party?
The most common answer to this is “women that the bride is close to, but she is unable to have them as a bridesmaid.” House parties probably came about due to brides who had too many bridesmaids already and couldn’t find ways to include other close friends. House parties include as many of the bride’s friends as possible in the bridal party, without overcrowding the altar.