Post # 1
I’ve recently gotten engaged (Yay!) and now that Christmas and the new year is over have started to look at how we can celebrate our engagement. FYI, I’m originally from the UK, but have been living in Australia for the past 11months with my Australian Fiance. I REALLY want an intimate wedding (80-100 guest) but my fiance has lots of friends and a big family, when we first got engaged we had a discussion over what type of wedding we wanted and how many guests etc. He kind of blew my mind with how big he expected the wedding to be (200+, and yeah we’re paying for it ourselves!). As I’ve only been here 11months I haven’t met all of his long lost friends and relatives, I’m sure I will in the future, but I imagine the ones I have met are the ones he is closest too. So, we have decided on only inviting immediate family and best friends to the wedding, but I don’t want to leave anyone out/disappoint anyone for missing out on the celebrations. Is it bad etiquette to have a big engagement party (approx 200) if you don’t intend on asking all those guests to the wedding? Also, I don’t want people to think I’m inviting them becasue of the gifts, which I’d feel guilty about receiving if I wasn’t going to extend an invitation to the wedding.
Bees, please give me your opinion, is this incredibly rude? How could I word the engagement invitations to express of intimate wedding plans/ no gifts?
Looking forward to you responses x
Post # 3
I would say, yes (it can be rude) but I don’t know the etiquette of it. I know you can’t invite someone to a wedding shower and not invite them to the wedding.
If I was a guest at your engagement party, I would probably tell you that I’m looking forward to your wedding. And probably be dissapointed when I don’t get an invite.
Plus, I think some people give you gifts.
The exception would be if your parents or your coworkers suprised you with an engagement party.
Oh and congrats. Welcome!
Bees here are nice and are very helpful with any other questions you have.
And, you’ll still see some married bees who still linger here… like me. lol
Post # 4
Oh, I do know some people who couldn’t afford to invite everyone to reception but instead they invited everyone to the church but only a select group went to the reception. I don’t know the logistics of it.
Post # 5
i dont know about etiquette but i have been invited to engagement parties and not to the wedding and ive not had a issue with it – of course not everyone is like me so i would expect comments from guests at some point because weddings seem to bring out the peanut gallery crowd
and welcome to WB
Post # 6
yay, another Aussie bride 🙂 congrats on your engagement. Normally if I was invited to an engagement party, I would expect to be invited to the wedding as well. I would probably be a bit confused otherwise. BUT, I have a friend who was in exactly your situation. What they did was on their engagement invites they made a note that they were keeping their wedding *very* small (about 30 people I think), and so this engagement party was their way of being able to celebrate with everyone. It’s a similar idea to having the big reception at home after your smaller wedding, you’re just doing it *before* the wedding instead. I wouldn’t say anything about the gifts on the invitations, just use word of mouth. Some people are going to give you things anyway 🙂
Post # 7
I think it’s kind of rude to invite someone to a formal engagement party before the wedding and not to the wedding itself. I think a good alternative, if you want to have a big party and an intimate wedding, is to throw the party after the wedding. That way there is no confusion about people thinking you are “gift-grabbing.” Is it possible to witch up the party order?
Post # 8
I invited people to our engagement party that I won’t be inviting to our wedding… and I don’t feel bad about it! At the time of the engagement party I was at uni and invited people from school – that was over a year ago now. Our wedding is in November and uni is over so I don’t think I’ll be inviting those people because honestly, I’m not sure we’ll keep in touch. And I think that if they did get an invite in the mail they might think it was a bit random but would probably accept anyway cos they don’t want to be rude – how awkward for everyone! I stick by the theory that you should only have people you really care about at your wedding and I plan on sending invites out based on this, rather than what etiquette dictates is the right thing to do! But that’s just me! LOL
Post # 9
I think the etiquette rule on this one is that if you’re invited to the engagement party, then you’re also invited to the wedding. However, there might be a caveat if you want to have a really large engagement party, but then a really small intimate wedding. As long as you make it clear that the wedding is going to be quite small, then I think it’s ok in that case.
Post # 10
Formal Etiquette says that you do not invite anyone to pre-wedding celebrations (showers, engagement parties etc.) that are not invited to the wedding.
I personally have been invited to engagement parties and then surprised when a wedding invitation never came – not a good feeling.
A better idea would to hold an informal celebration after the wedding.
Post # 11
I’m with the majority here with a no on the idea, unless you take a suggestion up above about wording or doing it post wedding. If you are having the wedding in the states, but the engagement party is in Australia, I think you do have much more leeway to just say, hey, this is the opportunity to celebrate. If both are in Australia, not as easy to swing without stepping on toes.
Post # 12
Hmm… what about if I wrote something like this on the engagement card;
‘…. would love you to have you celebrate their engagement, but will only be having an intimate wedding. However, we will be hosting an informal reception shortly after…’
Any input/ideas on how I could word this would be great 🙂
@monitajb – I agree that Australia culture is a bit more laid back, but I really don’t want to offend these people, most of who I haven’t met but are family friends. Not a great first impression!
Post # 13
Also, I thought I’d add that we’re not getting married until March/April 2012
Post # 14
Just bumping this up in the hope that one of you can give me some helpful advice/guidance on how to word the engagement invites.
Discussed the dilema again with Fiance last night and we are considering having an informal garden party at his mums after the wedding for those not invited to the actual wedding day, so how could I put this in too, would this save some offence?
Thanks again lovely Bees x
Post # 15
Here is an idea: don’t host it.
If you are having this engagement party to meet people, have your Future Mother-In-Law host it as a welcome and meet/greet party. Keep it to family and family friends. Don’t call it an engagement party. Make it explicit you don’t want gifts. If you do those things, I can’t see any offense.
Post # 16
- Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
congratulations on getting engaged and welcome to weddingbee!
can you have an intimate engagement party as well so you don’t have to worry about who’s not invited to the wedding? i guess i tend toward the opinion that if you’re invited to the engagement party, you should be invited to the wedding.
if you are definite in wanting a larger engagement party, then the wedding, and then a large informal reception post-wedding, i think the wording you suggested or something similar to that makes sense. some people might be offended by the obvious hint that they’re not going to be invited to the wedding, but you can’t please everyone!