Post # 1
I’m 38 and getting married for the first time. I am having a very small destination wedding and not having any attendants including no Maid/Matron of Honor.
My Mom offered a shower but we already have most of the things people register for and could barely scrape up enough ideas for a wedding registry (really we don’t even have enough ideas for that) so I declined.
My friend offered to throw me a bachelorette party (coordinate a night out-that is not a gifting party and will not cost her anything but time). She is very in the know on social graces and party planning and has frowned upon my guest list that includes girlfriends that couldn’t be included on the wedding invite list because of the size limit. I think these girls would really enjoy time with myself and the other girls in celebration of my upcoming wedding and would not feel like it was “rude” to get an invite to the party with a wedding invite. So many people know that weddings can’t include everyone, and if it was a shower of gifts i’d understand but its Girls Night, can’t we bend the rules?
Post # 3
If it is a girl’s night, it is okay. If it is in honor of you because you are getting married (bachelorette) it is indeed considered rude.
If it is thrown by the girls who aren’t invited, it is considered okay; example, you aren’t inviting coworkers but your coworkers throw you a shower or a bachelorette party.
I think that you can talk to your friend if you really want these girls there and ask if instead of calling it a bachelorette, you can call it a girl’s night out and everyone will just pay their own way including you. It’s possible they’ll decide to buy you drinks and whatnot in honor of your wedding; my friends did that for me when we took a vacation together shortly before my first wedding even though it wasn’t a bachelorette party.
Post # 4
@HappierKate: Thanks for the input.
Since you mentioned it i’ll clarify, it is someone invited to the wedding who offered to coordinate and we do work together. She is the only coworker (but also long time friend) invited the other listed guests (frowned upon) work with us. The plan is taking a class (all paying on their own and mom gave me a giftcard to use) and then a local bar (free to attend) again no gifts was requested on the invite.
Post # 5
If it’s not a situation where people are paying for you, it should be okay. The sentiment behind the ettiquette is to avoid a situation where people are expected to pay the bride’s way or give the bride gifts without being invited to attend the actual event; it comes off as a gift grab and reminds people that they didn’t make the A-list (especially if some people at the event will be attending the wedding, then it’s an awkward “I know you two are closer than we are but I really don’t like it being confirmed” situation). If the invites aren’t made up yet, taking the word “bachelorette” out of the equation would solve everything. If they are, it’s not going to be a big deal if your group of friends is okay with it. Your friend may still be uncomfortable organizing it, so it’s a delicate situation since you obviously don’t want to take over the planning.
Post # 6
I’m pretty much an “etiquette witch” most of the time.
In this situation though—you are not wrong for inviting guests who are not coming to the wedding.
Here is why: You are not registering or expecting gifts. Period. It is in your honor, think going away party! Like you said it’s more of a girls night out.
Normally—I would say to you that if they are not “good enough” to come to the wedding then you don’t invite them to the tea/shower.
This is a unique situation and this etiquette witch has no problem with what you are doing.
Post # 7
Any person invited to a pre-wedding party needs to be invited to the wedding – regardless of wedding size and location. The only exceptions to this are church and work showers. If only work people are being invited to the bach. party, then it’s fine. But if you have other friends coming, then I agree that it’s rude to invite coworkers who aren’t invited to the wedding. However, you could use @HappierKate’s suggestion and just make it a ladies night and don’t call it a bachelorette party. That would be acceptable since it wouldn’t be a pre-wedding party. =)