(Closed) Engagement Party

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
4831 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@Cherry Dr. Pepper: That’s a little taboo. You should not invite people to an engagement party if they are not invited to the wedding.


Would your parents be willing to wait until after the wedding and have an at home celebration/reception? If I were invited to an engagement party, and invite to the wedding is assumed.

Post # 4
4771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

As a general guideline, everyone invited to prewedding festivities should be included in the big event. The same holds true for engagement parties. The majority of engagement parties are limited to relatives and good friends. The people invited to the engagement party are often your top-priority wedding guests

Post # 5
123 posts
Blushing bee

We are in the same boat, we did not invite anyone to our party that we weren’t going to invite to our Destination Wedding otherwise it would be super awkward- some people talking about the trip, others feeling like they got snubbed. 

Post # 7
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Cherry Dr. Pepper: Although it is common thought that people invited to pre-wedding events should be invited to the wedding; this is a fairly new thought, and isn’t traditional etiquette.  I actually hadn’t heard of this before joining Wedingbee, and Miss  aspasia475 has detailed for us in some of her responses that this is not the etiquette with which she was raised, but is a new, invented version that even members of our parents’ generation probably aren’t familiar with.

So while I won’t disagree with any bride who feels that it is bad form to invite OUR friends to wedding events if they won’t be invited to the wedding; I doubt your parents’ friends would have even ever heard that guests at an engagement party ought to be expecting a wedding invitation.

As long as your parents do not term this party a “shower” (which traditionally is a party thrown with the intent to “shower” the guests of honor with gifts, so they should be smaller and the guests should only be close friends) there isn’t anything wrong with your parents throwing a party.  You and your Fiance can be the guests of honor, and they can introduce him to their friends.  It’s not a problem, as long as you don’t discuss the wedding and the fact that they won’t be invited. – We all feel bad when people talk about things we aren’t invited to do, even if the mention is in the form of an apology.  So better to just enjoy THIS party and not go in to detailed wedding plans during the engagement/introdution party.

But noticed I said that your PARENTS can throw the party – that means they are the hosts (you have no control, you just show up and smile).  Your mom & dad issue the invitations.  Really, that seems like a great thing IMO – one less thing to worry about in the midst of wedding planning.  It’s far less taxing to be a gracious guest than a good hostess! So thank your parents for their kind offer to host a party in your honor, and then, unless you’ve got a compelling reason to decline the party be thrown; show up and smile! 🙂

I recomend reading some of the posts by aspasia475 if you’ve still got questions, or just want to read some really good, well written, old fashioned etiquette advice.

Post # 10
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We had an engagement party at a local bar, it was PERFECT because we knew that many of our friend’s were going to be there for the band yet were not specifically invited to our party. Nobody minded that they weren’t sat with us, because of course, we were all dancing and it also cut back on the fees we paid to reserve space/get entrance bracelets.

I didn’t want anyone left out but because our venue’s max capacity is 80 people including the wedding party we have no choice but to make it a “friendamily” affair! Be creative & casual. Realistically, people will meet your FH at some point in time if they are really that close with your parents! 😉 Good luck!

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