Post # 1
FI and I have been engaged for 3 months and we have no big ideas about what we want to do or even when. We do know it probably won’t be until 2016 at the earliest that we get married, and due to FI’s extended family being huge and the fact that we will be paying for a lot of the wedding ourselves we are thinking about something very small. Neither of us wants a bridal party, and because we are going to be excluding many people I don’t think a shower or even an engagement party is appropriate. We would love to do a destination wedding but FMIL has big hang ups about flying, she is a very sweet person, and I feel bad trying to push her out of her comfort zone. So chances are we will be having something very intimate, and within an hour of most of our relatives. It is a little bit sad knowing we aren’t going to be including many people, especially when my younger cousins or people who are close family friends from I was growing up are expressing interest in our plans. I feel like such a jerk because no matter how politely you say it, it still comes off like “well too bad, you aren’t going to be there.” My mom wants to host a dinner to announce our engagement to family and friends (my family is really small so we had a lot of nonrelatives present through a lot of my life). Most of FI’s family live local to my family, I am unsure of how polite it would be to have an engagement dinner party like that and not include his family also. I know that she would invite his parents at least , but he has 9 siblings (yes, you read that right, 9 siblings) and at least 8 pair of aunt & uncles, plus several grown cousins with families who all live nearby. Is it typical to have an engagement party for predominantly one side of the family? I am also concerned about a shower when the time comes (though I don’t really want one anyway). I think both my mother and FMIL will want me to have one. I don’t think it’s okay to invite people to an engagement party or shower without them being invited to the wedding. Have any of you had courthouse, or other intimate private ceremonies (non-destination wedding) where your local family members were not invited, but you still had an engagement party or shower?
Post # 2
MrsSJO: “I don’t think it’s okay to invite people to an engagement party or shower without them being invited to the wedding.”
You are completely right. Anyone invited to a pre-wedding party must be invited to the wedding.
You mentioned that you are a little bit sad that you won’t be able to invite many people. I wonder if you could accommodate everyone with a simple reception like cake and punch? Or could you save up in the two years between now and your wedding? If you really want people there, there are ways to do it without spending more than you can afford.
Post # 3
merpitymerp: I didn’t think there was a way around the party guests who wouldn’t also be wedding guests. I will be again telling my mom I don’t think it’s appropriate.
As far as the saving for a bigger wedding, it’s not that we can’t, it’s more so that we don’t want to spend our money on one day. We could pay for a huge wedding right now, but would much rather keep that money to invest for early retirement or to go on some nice vacations, that’s just who we are. I think weddings tend to make you realize how much who you are can clash with your extended family. There are certain relatives/friends we would like to invite, and could afford to do so, but with our other relatives who wouldn’t be invited living so close, there would inevitably be drama and really the drama would fall back on our parents because we don’t live there. If we did host something more simple like a cake and punch to accomodate absolutely everyone, most of the very people who we would be trying to accomodate would have rude opinions of us doing something less expensive so why even spend the money on anything to do with them?
We just aren’t big production people, and with a family so large there isn’t a way around it that won’t cause a stir. I can be very blunt and unfiltered when I get stressed and I don’t want to say or do anything family members that I’d regret. So it seems easier to draw hard lines across the board from the start…although I have yet to see anyone say they’ve pulled off a wedding without any drama or compromising things they would ideally have, so I don’t know why I think I can avoid it.
Thanks so much for the response!
Post # 4
I am having a “small” wedding and I am not planning on having a wedding shower. I don’t know if we will have a rehearsal dinner, and we skipped the engagement party as well. It just didn’t make sense to have those events for a small amount of people. I thought it would be weird because some people would not be able to atten both. I would have only invited people who I was unable to invite to the wedding, which could be considered strange as well.
We don’t have the funds to have a gigantic wedding, but even if we did, we would have put it towards a longer and more expensive honeymoon or the future in general. I suppose folks may still want to come celebrate with you even if they cannot attend the wedding. If I had the funds, I would have maybe had a wedding shower, where I provided good food, drinks, music, etc to make it more of a party, so it would not seem too awkward. Good luck, either way!
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2014 - Excalibur
We’re just having our mom’s at our ceremony in Vegas. We won’t be having any showers or parties. On of my friends keeps asking about a bachelorette party but I don’t think it’s appropriate since no one is coming to the wedding.
Post # 6
bebelicious1: It’s nice to hear someone else is doing something small! I know smaller weddings are pretty common, but it seems like a few friends and family members around me right now have just had or are having big celebrations. So everyone keeps automatically expecting that we will follow suit.
I ‘ve weighing the idea of a rehearsal dinner, too. I think once we decide what we will be doing for the wedding and who will be in attendance for then we may try to do something the night before with at least our parents, grandparents, and FI’s siblings.
Good luck with your wedding, too!
Post # 7
MissHarleyBlue: Vegas is one of the places we were considering, but I really don’t think FMIL will fly…unless we sedate her, lol. I think Vegas sounds so fun!
I think some of my friends are expecting a bachelorette night, too. If you are traveling to Vegas I think it’s not as strange to have a girls night before you go, since Vegas seems to make everyone think of a party anyway. I think when you travel to your wedding destination the rules about having some of those prewedding events are a little different. Maybe?