Post # 1
Yesterday I read in a bridal magazine that you should never invite people to the engagement party who you don’t intend to invite to the wedding
This seemed odd to me because a lot of people I know don’t stick to this rule, and we don’t intend to either.
We’re having a big engagement party (130 people approx) but only having a wedding of about 80 guests. The engagement will be at a bar and will be pretty casual. We’re not having a set “guest list” it will just be whoever knows us and wants to turn up is welcome!
Our wedding will be out of town, so we thought this would be the best way to include everyone that we can’t invite to our big day.
Soooo my question to you lovely bees is – did you (or will you) invite people to your engagement party that you’re not inviting to the wedding??
Post # 3
I didn’t have an engagement party – but I wouldn’t invite someone to my engagement party that I wouldn’t invite to my wedding. My response is based on the guest perspective – meaning, if I was invited to someone’s engagement by not wedding – it would make me feel slighted.
Post # 4
My family threw us an engagement party – only people who will be invited to the wedding were invited to the e-party. It’s only right.
Think of it this way: Would you want to be invited to a bridal shower but not the wedding?
Post # 5
Engagement parties are not really done in my circle (we didn’t have one and I’ve never known anyone who did) but it makes perfect sense to me to only invite those who will be invited to the wedding. I guess I kind of consider engagement parties to fall along the same line as bridal showers. Obviously there aren’t as many gifts involved but it’s still a pre-wedding celebration that I think should only be attended by those who will be invited to the wedding.
Post # 6
Yup, I’m with oracle… I didn’t have an engagment party either but, as a guest, I’d feel kind of “used” if I was invited to one and not the other.
Have a great party!!
Post # 7
If they aren’t invited to the wedding, then they shouldn’t be invited to any pre-wedding parties.
Post # 8
I considered my engagement party the same way I did my bridal shower. If I wasn’t inviting them to the wedding I wasn’t inviting them to the engagement party or bridal shower.
Personally, I’d be upset if I was invited to someone’s engagement party and not their wedding.
Post # 9
Interesing… Thanks for your opinions guys!
We must do things differently over here in Australia as this seems common practice here. Also, people here hardly ever bring gifts to engagement parties (in fact, it’s safe to say that if you have an e party here, maybe 10% of people will bring a gift.) They just turn up to drink and party. I have been to a lot of engagement parties and then haven’t been invited to the wedding. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to most people I know…
Gotta love cultural differences!! Very interesting! 😀
Thanks again for your comments!
(Btw: We also intend to make it very clear that the big engagement party is due to the fact that we’re having a small wedding and can’t invite everyone. I think people will understand.)
EDIT: Just found this thread on an Australian forum:
I guess we do it a bit differently over here 🙂
Post # 10
I think a large engagement party is a great way to celebrate with as many people as possible even when that isn’t feasible at the actual wedding. There are tactful — even charming — ways to convey, via the invitation, that the engagement shingdig is more inclusive than the wedding can be. But I did attend one engagement party with a massive guest list and it was awkward knowing that some people had no idea they weren’t getting invited to the wedding.
Also, and Martha Stewart agrees, guests at engagement parties are not expected to bring gifts. What is certainly bad form is inviting people to gift-centric or otherwise costly events (bachelorette parties and the like typically requre some financial committment) when you don’t intend to invite them to the wedding.
Post # 11
@Balboa: This is our view 🙂
Our engagement invites will state that we are having an intimate wedding (80 people? Intimate? We think so, they’re mostly family and family-friends haha) but that we are having this big party to celebrate with everyone – I haven’t perfected the wording yet!
We will also be including on the invite that we dont’ expect presents (not that people seem to bring them anyway! haha)
Post # 12
No such rule exists in formal traditional etiquette: under those gracious rules a hostess is permitted to invite whatever guests she chooses to honour with fine food, good company, excellent conversation, elegant entertainment and conscientious attention to every detail of their comfort. Of course, no-one would ever feel “used” by being treated to such luxury.
And, of course, under those old rules no hostess and no bride ever felt entitled to gifts, nor dreamed of holding parties in her own honour to spotlight herself. An old-world-style engagement party took one of two forms. Either it was a small family-only gathering to allow the close members of the grooms family and bride’s family to mingle and get to know each other; or it was a general social party hosted ostensibly for “no reason in particular” at which the bride and groom announced their engagement. Obviously no gifts would be given, because the guests didn’t even know until the announcement that there was anything special being celebrated.
Modern manners nowadays, at least in some circles, allow the bridal couple to host their own festivities in their own honour, even shadow-hosting explicit gift-giving events like showers. The dubious Post Institute assures them that they can expect gifts from everyone they invite whether accepted or declined, and that they can specify the kind of gift even to the point of asking for cash. By these newer standards a typical engagement party is advertised as such in advance and guests typically expect that they must give gifts. The hostesses are often inexperienced and often see details like seating plans and introductions as “too much work” — especially since the new rules emphasise that wedding-related events are supposed to be all about the marital couple, not the guests.
Obviously, under the new standards, guests often DO feel used. But supposedly the guests get repaid by the extravagant food and entertainment they can expect at the main event. For that reason, the new standards require that anyone on whom you impose your expectations of gift-giving and attention-centering at all those pre-wedding parties, be rewarded with an invitation to the main event.
Now, in practice, the main event is often no less of an obligation, and no more fun and social, than all those other parties. And the new rules haven’t replaced the old standards, they’ve just given you an alternative standard (and in some opinions, a lower one). You can choose either standard. Just, for credibility’s sake, try to pick one and stick to it.
Post # 13
Only close family and our bridal party have been invited to our engagement party. It will be about 40 people — all of which will absolutely be invited to the wedding.
Post # 14
Nowadays anything goes it seems. Usually you dont throw your own e-party but I will and I’m inviting some people that wont be in the wedding bc well I’m sort of eloping. I could understand if youre having a big wedding and some people that attended the eparty arent invited end up feeling slighted.
Post # 15
Not speaking as much to the engagement party thing, but I will say that I was once invited to a bridal shower and not the actual wedding and I was VERY confused. It was a very close friend from my hometown and I finally called to make sure this was the case, as I did not want her to think I was being disrespectful by not RSVPing… let’s just say it was a VERY awkward conversation about their finances and ‘close family and friends’…
…hey, and there I thought I was close enough to you to FLY home to attend the shower you invited me to and buy you a thoughtful gift from your registry to boot.
grr.. to avoid situations like this, I would keep it to those you are inviting, and if they choose to bring extras, so be it.
Post # 16
I was once invited to an engagement party but not a wedding. Even got a nice professional invitation for it. I felt a little offended and we just kind of drifted apart after. I felt I was good enough to go to a restaurant and celebrate my friend’s engagement, but apparently not enough to be invited to the actual wedding. I’ve always considered engagement parties to be more intimate events with family though. For out of town weddings, I always think a party after the wedding for those that can’t attend is the best option. That’s what my friends who had destination weddings always did.
But I also don’t consider 80 people to really be intimate so it really depends on perspective.