Post # 1
So my mother has graciously offered to throw us an engagement party – small snafu. I saw the invite list for the engagement party and it’s about 50% people that we don’t intend to invite to the wedding. It’s mostly neighborhood people, friends of theirs from church, etc. We drafted the wedding invite list with my mom so she knows these people aren’t invited she just thinks that since it’s a casual party where we’re specifically saying ‘no gift’s, it’s fine to invite them to this and not the wedding…
So I’m torn. This is the woman who taught me etiquette so I know she knows this isn’t proper. But at the same time, it’s also horribly bad taste to say to her “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG”.
ideas? Suggestions? Responses that will say “this is totally fine, don’t worry” and allow me to avoid a confrontation with the mom?
Post # 3
Hmm – tough one. EVERYWHERE I’ve seen that mentions an engagement party states in the next sentence that everyone on the invite list will expect a wedding invite. So I’d be really nervous to do what she is suggesting 🙂
To approach it with your mom, maybe find an article from a reputible place (Emily Post? or something that your mom will trust), that indicates engagement party guests should be invited to the wedding. Then just show it to your mom and be like “I found this article, and now i’m very concerned that the engagement party guests are going to be expecting a wedding invite and will be disappointed/upset when they don’t receive one”. What do YOU think we should do?
Post # 4
Er, well, while it could be awkward…i’d imagine some of these people could come up to you and say, “oh i can’t WAIT for your wedding!” then they never get an invite….awkward turtle for sure.
Have you mentioned to your mom, “gee, this is wonderful but about 50% of these people won’t be invited….don’t you think it could be awkward if…” then give some scnearious? it’s quite possibly she didn’t think of it that way.
On the other hand, mom wants to throw you a party…do you think the guests are aware of anything about the wedding? Small, destination, anything that would imply they possibly DON’T expect an invite?
Post # 5
LOVE Teala’s idea… It’s a good way to back your point of view with an independant, external source and ask what SHE thinks, so she’ll still feel valued. tell her you don’t feel comfortable.
Post # 6
@ejs4yB HAH. actually the wedding is at a reception about 5 minutes away from these people’s homes and we’re inviting 200 people SOooooo….
Darnit. i’ll email her now. No time like the present, or what have you.
Post # 7
i had this fight with my parents. they wanted to invite EVERYONE because it was thanksgiving weekend so people would be home. pretty much, if we were just inviting the parents to the wedding, we’d invite their children also to the engagement party, and a few families that weren’t invited at all. i quoted all of the etiquette rules…. and i lost the fight.
we had an awesome engagement party though! nobody seemed to care about not being invited to the wedding, they know our reasoning and that it’s a small wedding. one person even asked my mom if it was ok to come to the engagement party because she wanted to celebrate with us, knowing full well she wasn’t going to be invited to the wedding (and she gave us a big check!).
Post # 8
I got a response (oh the joys of email at work): “huh I didn’t consider that. Let me think about it.” Oh moms.
Post # 9
It would be more appropriate if she did this party after the wedding if she wants to invite people who are not invited. It would be more of a second reception/ wedding announcement party. That would cover the questions of when is the wedding and when will we get our invitation.
Post # 10
My mom almost did the same thing to me, luckily my shower isn’t for a few months still so she hadn’t sent any invites out yet…oh, momma!!
Post # 11
I invited my friend to my sisters engagement party knowing she wasn’t invited to the wedding. Looking back, it was fine but I probably shouldn’t have. Not because my friend was offended or anything, she totally understood, but I should have made myself more available to socialize with people who were invited to the wedding since I was the Maid/Matron of Honor. I just figured my friend already knows most of my family and I never get to see her so it made sense for her to swing by, but I should have left her out.
Anyway, I think it could work as long as these people understand they won’t be invited to the wedding and it’s more of an engagement/neighborhood party. Leave it up to your Mom though since she’s the hostess, but make sure she is aware that these people aren’t invited to the wedding.
Post # 12
Well, in really old-school etiquette, people give parties for no reason in particular and are considered gracious and generous for doing so. It is hardly an imposition on a guest to receive free food, drink and entertainment! And should some odd guest feel that it is an imposition, they are entitled to decline the invitation.
Traditionally, an “engagement party” would be organized exactly like a no-particular-reason party. The only people who knew that it had a special purpose would be the hosts and the affianced couple — at least until some appropriate point in the evening when the host would interrupt the music to make an announcement and everyone would clap, and then go back to dancing, eating and drinking. The notion of an engagement party as a gift-giving (or not) event with the couple as the centre of attention is pretty new. It may even, unless your mother is quite young, post-date her horizon of social awareness and that of her friends.
So don’t worry about offending the neighbours and church-friends of her generation or older. We older folks don’t have the same sense of entitlement to wedding invitations, and we DO appreciate social occasions like this simply for their own sake. We’re more likely to say “Well, I understand they couldn’t have everyone to the wedding, but is that any reason to give us the cold-shoulder at their engagement party, when we live right next door and it was an informal affair anyway???”
Just let your mother know that friends of *your* generation may feel offended to get an engagement-party invitation that isn’t followed up on, and ask her to leave those less-close friends of yours off the list. You take care of the sensitivities of the people in your social milieu, and let her take care of her peers and colleagues, and probably no-one need be offended.