- 8 years ago
My FI’s extended family is very large and most of the relatives always have large weddings (@200-300. One was 500!) We definitely wanted something smaller, more personal, and something that really focused on us as a couple — not our parent’s random business acquaintances. In order to satisfy my FI’s family’s desire to have more family & friends share in some part of our wedding celebration, we offered a compromise in which FI and I would pay for the wedding completely on our own so that we could have a smaller guest list (@100 people) and my future in-laws would host a larger party at their country club and invite whomever they want. They’re being very generous and offered to add my family’s “extras.” Basically anyone on our “B” list of friends and family from both sides would be invited to this larger party – total would be @ 200-250.
Originally, I thought they could throw us an engagement party months before the wedding because I wanted our wedding to be the clear pinnacle of our celebration. Somehow it seems potentially diluted to have a wedding weekend that we’re putting so much into, and then to have another celebration after that. Also, I don’t want this party to be construed as the “real” reception that was just delayed after having a smaller wedding. Although, I’m only now thinking this through and realize that if people are invited to an engagement party they’ll likely expect to be invited to the wedding. My mother suggests having a ‘marraige celebration’ party a month or so after the wedding so that by the time people get the invites for that party, they know they’re not also getting a wedding invite. I’m torn. I know that would be clearer for people, but I was really looking forward to having sometime off after the wedding and a party a few weeks after the wedding puts a damper on that for me.
I don’t know what the ettiquette is for a situation like this. Can you invite people to an engagement party w/out inviting them to the wedding? And, if so, how should I manage the logistics of wording the invite so people know the party is instead of the wedding. And, even if we do a post-wedding celebration — when and what would be appropriate (our wedding is scheduled for the end of May- we haven’t given anyone an official save the date yet, as we’re still finalizing the guest list.) The other fun wrench in the works is that I’ve been debating this for so long (since July engagement) that this fall seems too soon to plan a party where people would be traveling from other parts of the country, and Feb or March seems far from our engagement & close to our wedding.
Any similar experiences or suggestions?