Post # 1
Hey all, so I wanted to ask your opinion on what we should do with our engagement party invites.
We have decided to just have a low key dinner with our friends to celebrate. All up there will be maybe 20 people coming and even though it is our ‘engagement party’ it is really only because everyone wanted to celebrate as a group that we are putting this thing together.
We have invites because my best friend is a graphic designer and wanted to do them.
My dilemma is that we would hope that everyone would just pay for their dinner themselves (we will pay for drinks) and no gifts are expected. But how to put that in the invite without seeming rude?
I was thinking:
“We are delighted to celebrate our recent engagement with our closest friends. We ask that in leiu of gifts that each guest contribute to the cost of dinner.”
“The cost of dinner will be $25 per head, but all drinks will be provided.” and state “No gifts please”
Any guidance is welcome!
Post # 3
I don’t think you can host an event without paying for it. If you send out invitations its basically stating that you are hosting the event, which implies you are paying for it. I don’t think there is any way to send out an invitation telling people to pay for their own meals without looking rude. Sorry :/
Post # 4
@CupcakeLove: There is no polite way to do this.
If you are inviting someone to celebrate YOU, you really must host them. If you cannot afford to host a party, then you do not. You could mention that your Fiance and you will be having dinner at X place on Y date, and that if anyone wants to join they are welcome to. But you also wouldn’t send out formal invites.
It is also not polite to mention gifts (even no gifts) on an invitation. It can appear that gifts were required but since you are soooooo gracious, you are letting guests off the hook.
Post # 5
Can you do something other than a dinner? We did an afternoon at a winery for our engagement party and the invite said something like ” we’d love to see everyone at the vineyard next week! The view is fabulous so feel free to pack apicnic and enjoy the afternoon “. Or just reserve a back room of a bar and host a little cocktail party there where you can say we’d live you to bring an appetizer to share and the rest is on us! Having a dinner is hard to be polite and still pass the bill to them
Post # 6
Well if there is no way around it I guess we will just have to suck it up and pay for the dinner! We aren’t really that fussed because its only 20 people so its not going to be a huge amount of money.
I guess some of the etiquette is different in Australia… engagement parties you do buy a gift for people and they would expect you to specify what you would like that to be. (Maybe not on an invite but in an indirect way)
Post # 7
@CupcakeLove: Yeah there definitely are different expectations in Australia!
My partner & I hosted our engagement party in the function room of a nice pub – we paid for platters of nibblies but people bought their own drinks. We asked for no gifts – but most people brought something anyway.
I like your “The cost of dinner will be $25 per head, but all drinks will be provided” statement. I wouldn’t explicitly saying anything about gifts – people will ask what you want, you can just say something like “nothing, your presence is enough”