Post # 1
I have been to relatively few weddings in my life – mostly those of my older cousins and more recently, that of my best friend from high school. None of these couples have had engagement parties. I don’t know if it’s common in my area or not (FI and I are the first to get married among our friends, basically), but I have never been to an engagement party. Neither have my parents.
FI’s mother wants to throw us one. I know they are fairly routine in her social circle, so I understand why. I am fine with that – if she hadn’t offered to throw us one, we most likely wouldn’t have one at all, but I think it’s sweet that’s she’s offering, and of course, we’re accepting. The trouble is, I don’t really know what to expect.
I guess my main question is who gets invited to an engagement party? I am worried that she is going to invite tons of her friends, which again, is fine, but I don’t want to feel obligated to invite all of them to our wedding. FI and I have been together for almost 6 years, so I know their best friends (3 couples) and already planned on inviting them. Beyond that, I don’t think FI and I really want to invite many more of their friends – we just dont know them. We both come from big families and are trying to keep the guest list at around 125 people. We obviously want to invite OUR friends over his parent’s friends.
Is the etiquette that anyone invited to the engagement party is invited to the wedding? If this is the case, how would you suggest that I broach the topic of inviting (or not inviting) her many friends, colleagues and acquaintances? Again, this party is her idea, not ours, so I don’t want to overstep, but I also don’t want to then have to invite 10 or more couples that FI and I don’t know to our wedding. I’d rather not have an engagement party at all.
Post # 3
@nber0815: If a family member is throwing the party then only people who are going to be invited to the wedding should be invited to the party.
You need to sit down and figure out your guest list before you do literally anything at all though, so this just gives you an excuse to get it done asap. It really only took us like a day to get our list together and a week to fight it out with our parents.
You also don’t need to rush and have the party right away. Our engagement party is this weekend… five months after our engagement. I do feel that that’s totally ridiculous since I am WAY over the giddy “yay I’m engaged!” feelings I had over the summer. But this is the date his parents chose. They wanted it to be after a bunch of other family weddings in October/November (also ridiculous.)
It’s a good way to get both your families together to meet (if they haven’t yet.) Ours haven’t yet so I’m mostly just dreading it… but I’m sure it will be fun in retrospect! Ours is also only like 20 people – parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, and first cousins. We didn’t even invite our whole wedding party, just family + my MOH (his brother is BM.)
Post # 4
Our engagement party is in March, so there’s for sure no rush. One of my parents friends offered to throw us one. Ours is that late because we have to travel for it.
In my experience, when someone offers to host a party in your honor – they tell you what size they are thinking and then ask for the guest list. That’s what has happened to me for both the parties I have been offered so far. I suppose this could be complicated by the fact that its your FMIL.
Ours is going to be smallish – just the wedding party that can make it (aka local), some local family, and local family friends. I’m not expecting anyone to travel for it or anything.
Absolutely every single person invited to the engagement party will be invited to the wedding.
Post # 5
@TrousseauHorse: Thanks! We have a preliminary guest list, but I’m sure his mom will want to add some more friends/colleagues to it – we’ll try and get that narrowed down ASAP. The engagement party won’t be for a few months at least, though, so we have some time. I wish she just wanted to invite our families (though they have already met), but that’s just not her style. I’ll just have to be firm about the number of friends she can invite, as we both have pretty large families.
@CaroBee: Yeah – I guess I’m just concerned she’s going to make this about who SHE wants to invite, rather than who WE want to invite. I love FMIL, but she’s a bit show off-y, which has me concerned. I just need to be firm with her about who she can invite and who she can’t. The party won’t be for a few more months, at least, so I’m not overly concerned yet. Thanks!