Post # 1
I am the MOB. My son will get married on October 2, 2010. We are trying to make out the lists for the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and the shower. I know that it is improper to invite someone to a shower and not invite them to the wedding. The problem is that the wedding list needs to be 200 total.
This is my plan. We will have a big engagement party and invite everyone, family, friends, co-workers, church families, etc. Then we will invite family (lots of family) and the wedding party to the rehearsal dinner. We will invite family and close friends to the wedding.
If we do this, would it be acceptable to invite people to the shower, without inviting them to the wedding?
Post # 3
Could you clarify?
Do you have to cut your numbers down too much?
No matter what, you can only invite wedding guests to showers.
Post # 4
I woudln’t invite anyone to any wedding related evet that isn’t on the wedding list. So start there first. And as hard as it is, I’d suggest not even mentioning these parties to anyone until you guys all sit down together and put together your wedding invited list. THEN you make your guest lists off of that one.
Well, is 200 your total?
Did you guys divide up the list? For example, Bride’s family gets 75 people, Groom’s gets 75 and the couple gets 50?
At least for us, our Rehearsal Dinner had to stay under 50 (which I keep reminding my mom who keeps wanting to add everyone) – so your venues could determine size. The more people you mention the wedding to, or invite them to related parties, the more people you have to invite to the wedding. Its hard to not invite everyone to everything. Sounds like you guys are a big share-the-love family. But make that Wedding Guest List (A-List and B-Llist) first — oh, but FYI B-listers shouldn’t be invited to the other parties – in case they don’t end up getting the wedding invite.
Post # 5
I’m a bit confused why you’re inviting family – a lot of family – to the rehearsal dinner? That is typically JUST the bridal party, parents, bride, and groom. That seems like an unnecessary expense, AND if those people are invited to the wedding as well, they really don’t need to be at the rehearsal dinner. If they’re NOT invited to the wedding it seems very rude to invite them to the rehearsal dinner.
It sounds like you have a LOT of family and not a lot of space. While it is hard, I think you’ll just have to suck it up and pare down the list of who is MOST important, closest, nicest, etc. to attend. If you have more people you’d like to celebrate with, consider a non-formal pot luck celebration AFTER the wedding instead.
For the engagement party, I see nothing wrong with inviting people who aren’t invited to the wedding. An engagement party isn’t the same as a bridal shower (where people are expected to bring gifts). Making it clear that it is a “No Gift” event will grease the wheels on that.
The reason you don’t invite people to a bridal shower who aren’t invited to the wedding is because it’s rude to expect people to give you gifts for a special event they are not invited to. Kinda like having a “Birthday Shower” then telling everyone they’re not invited to the Birthday Party.
Post # 6
This is MOB again.
Thank you for your help. I understand not inviting anyone to a shower who is not on the wedding list. You would not expect them to give a gift and not be invited to the wedding.
Here is a little problem I ran across when my daughter got married. People in our small town were offended when they were not invited to the bridal shower. Of course everyone was invited to the wedding. This is a different situation, but I wonder if some of these ladies will still be offended.
Our main concern with my son’s wedding is that we cannot invite everyone to the wedding. We want to include them in some way and the best thing we could come up with is to have a big engagement party. It is in honor of the couple, but it is also to give them a chance to celebrate with us. Are you saying that we will have to wait until after the wedding to have a celebration?
Post # 7
Here is the MOG again.
I forgot to explain about the rehearsal dinner. Our close, rather large family has always invited us to the rehearsal dinners. We realize that it is not typically done, but we want to include them as well.
Thanks so much for your help,
Post # 8
I’m a MOG also. If you want to invite family to the rehearsal dinner that is not directly involved in the wedding (but are invited), I think that’s fine as long as you are paying for it. But as for the shower, you should only invite those who will be invited to the actual wedding. As for the engagement party, I think you have a little more leeway. Most people like the church members and co-workers will probably understand that the event is to introduce the couple and celebrate the engagement without expecting an invitation. Just gently spread the word during the party that the wedding is going to be a smaller family and close friends of the couple affair, and people will understand.