Pre-Wedding Events in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids isn’t just a great wedding destination – it’s a also great place for family and friends to celebrate your impending nuptials with you.

Bridal showers. Bachelor and bachelorette parties. Rehearsal dinners. You can host these events in a wide range of restaurants and other traditional venues – or you can take advantage of the unique attributes of Grand Rapids to create one-of-a-kind themed experiences for your guests. A few examples:

Tram tour at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Art: I, you, she or he… by Jaume Plensa

Tram tour at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Art: I, you, she or he… by Jaume Plensa

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Garden Party

Take a group tour of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park  and/or the Kent/MSU Grand Ideas Garden . Peruse the flora and fauna still lifes at Grand Rapids Art Museum . Host a party at the Goei Center,  an historic furniture factory renovated into an event space by a local floral entrepreneur. Head to the lakeshore to marvel at Veldheer Tulip Gardens and Windmill Island Gardens .

Group enjoying creativity uncorked classes at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Let your creativity take flight with an art experience in the Grand Rapids area.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Art & Culture

Treat your guests to a ballet opera symphony or Broadway show. Take a group art class at Grand Rapids Art Museum. Take a group photo in the Oval Office replica at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Explore local heritage at the Grand Rapids Public Museum  and the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives. They’re all downtown – and so are 60+ nightlife venues, giving you a perfect way to cap the day.


Become a Beer City Brewsader by visiting eight of our 40+ participating local breweries.

Beer City Brewsader®

Travel to eight of our 40+ local breweries by vanpub cruiser or trolley to become a Brewsader and earn a FREE collectible t-shirt. It’s a great memento of your event! Be sure to check out the game room at Grand Rapids Brewing Company, the baseball memorabilia at The Mitten Brewing Company, the outdoor beer garden at Founders Brewing Company and the addictive, award winning fries at HopCat.

Canoeing on area rivers.

The great outdoors is never far away when you're in Grand Rapids.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Outdoor Adventure

Make it an active celebration – tackle the aerial courses at TreeRunner Adventure Park, the rock wall at Higher Ground or the cable-wakeboarding lake at Action Wake Park. Rent bikes, paddleboards, canoes or kayaks. Charter a fishing boat. Golf at dozens of excellent courses as close as five minutes from downtown. Take a leisurely river tour on the Grand Lady Riverboat.

Nightlife in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids has many spots to dance the night away.

Casinos & Nightclubs

Paint the town red before you wed. Try your luck at the 24/7 slots and games of Gun Lake Casino. Enjoy a concert, sporting event or stage show at Van Andel Arena. Play vintage arcade games at Stella’s Lounge, interact with musicians at Mojo’s Dueling Piano Bar or dance the night away. Take in a live performance at Midtown.

JW Spa

Pamper yourself before your big day with a spa treatment.

Photo by JW Spa

Spas & Pampering

Pamper yourself and your wedding party with luxurious experiences that will help you relax and de-stress before the big day. Schedule a spa treatment at downtown’s Amway Grand Spa at the Awmay Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton or JW Marriott hotel. Give yourself a boost of hydration with a restorative infusion of vitamins and minerals at Vivid IV Health. Let relaxation come to you with the Body Sculpt Better Body Bar & Spa Mobile Chromotherapy bus that offers a variety of spa therapies in addition to the head to toe services available. 

Participate in one of Long Road Distillers many Cocktail Week GR events, and don't forget to indulge in their limited time offerings.

Tour then taste the expertly-crafted spirits and cocktails at one of Grand Rapids' area distilleries.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Food & Fun

Host your get-together at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, a massive food emporium housing 20+ artisan vendors and restaurants, teaching kitchens and a greenhouse. Make (and eat) your own gourmet chocolates at The Local Epicurean. Share a flight of beer inspired chocolates a MoKAYA. Sip your way through area breweries, wineries, distilleries or cideries. Sign up for a cooking class, beer tour or coffee experience.

Shopping at Tanger Outlets

Tanger Outlets are just one of many area shopping hot spots.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Shop Hop

How about a group shopping trip? You can spend hours in the stores and eateries of Woodland MallRivertown Crossings or Tanger Outlets. Stroll charming retail neighborhoods in Ada, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Rockford and Uptown for specialty boutiques and artisan wares. Shop 20+ artisan food vendors under one roof at the Downtown Market.

Coffee Tastings at Ferris Coffee

A class at Ferris Coffee can take your coffee making and tasting skills to the next level.

Do Something Grand

Search our Tours & Experiences database for more uniquely Grand Rapids ideas to enliven your celebration.

These are just a few ideas of things to do with your guests. But what can your guests do when they’re on their own? Check it out here!

Explore Weddings in Grand Rapids