Post # 1
We are throwing ourselves a very non-traditional engagement party but I am concerned that some of the things we are planning may be considered breaches of etiquette. The party is going to be at a 60s retro themed nightclub/bar that also has a full bowling alley. The whole place is reserved for 4 hours on a Friday for 50-75 guests. My main goal is for the event to be memorable and our guests to have FUN but I also don’t want to offend. The concerns I’ve had are as follows:
The venue: Yes, uniqueness is one of the main things we like about it, but I don’t want anyone to think we aren’t taking our engagement seriously. If you got an invitation to an engagement party that was being held at a retro bowling bar, would you feel inclined to judge?
The timing: He proposed in early April but the party isn’t until mid-August. Everyone who’s invited already knows we’re engaged so it’s more for celebration than announcement. Will too much time have elapsed by then?
The guest list: The wedding won’t be for at least 2 years. Part of the reason we’re having an engagement party at all is to tide our friends and family over and give them something to remember during the long wait. Problem is, there are people we’d like to invite now that we’re not sure will still be around in 2 years and we don’t want to be locked in to inviting them to the wedding. For example, we both may be changing jobs soon and may not have the same co-workers in two years, but we’d both like to invite co-workers to the party.
Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
I think the venue and the timing are both fine.
But the guest list is a problem. I would only invite people you know you will invite to the wedding.
Post # 4
I agree that the timing and venue are fine. We got engaged in August 2010, had the party in November 2010 and aren’t getting married until June 2012!
I would be careful about the guest list. Because our wedding was so far away from the date of the party we only invited people we knew would be invited to the wedding. This meant immediate family (parents, brothers/sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and first cousins) and our bridal party and their significant others. These people will be invited to our wedding no matter what… We were not okay with inviting people who might not be as close to us in the upcoming years because we would then feel obligated to invite them to the wedding as well.
Post # 5
I’m with the other posters – the venue and timing are totally fine. I would definitely trim your guest list down to only the people you are absolutely sure you will be inviting to the wedding. Nothing screams poor etiquette like inviting someone to a wedding festivity before the wedding, but not to the actual wedding.
Post # 6
Thanks for all the replies so far. So the consensus for invitations is that we should either trim down the guest list or be prepared to invite those people to the wedding. Good to know!
Here’s another one: do all the plus ones need invites to the wedding as well? We’re actually thinking of giving some people plus two or more to be inclusive and to make sure our friends all have other friends to bowl with. Does the engagement invite = wedding invite rule only apply to people whose names are on the invitiations? Also, does someone who has a plus two for the engagement automatically get a plus two for the wedding?
Post # 7
Anyone have advice on the follow up question above?
Post # 8
I’m not sure of the official rules but we are in a similar situation. Our wedding will be in summer 2013 and we are planning an engagement party for this summer. We are planning to invite people who may, or may not, be attending the wedding. I think in our circles of friends it won’t be seen as offensive. It is so hard to know how things will change over the next 2 years. We want to celebrate with as many friends and family as possible right now.
(We are doing a very casual, BBQ & lawn party thing which kind of sounds like the fun type of even you are planning)
Post # 9
@MissTillie:The rule does not apply to the “plus” people. You invited John +2 (I would only do 1 myself). He invited current Girlfriend Mary. You didn’t invite her. For the wedding, you invite John +1, he invites now Girlfriend Susie. If you wouldn’t have otherwise invited Mary to the wedding, don’t worry about inviting her at that time. Does that make sense?
Post # 10
I think that your party sounds so fun!! Don’t worry about it…we are having ours at a hall…same amount of guests…he also proposed in April and we are having ours mid-July! We aren’t getting married until 2013…since you are waiting at about 2 years for your wedding I wouldn’t worry about the time between the proposal and the party! As for the guest list…I would invite the co workers that you talk to on a regular basis(if there is any!) That is what we are doing 🙂