(Closed) Throw Etiquette to the Wind? How to celebrate with those we can't invite?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I didn’t.  Unfortunately I think you’re pretty much limited to celebrating your wedding with those actually invited to your wedding. 

There’s no reason you couldn’t host an open house or something non-related though if you just want to see people.  You’re not forbidden from throwing parties in general/only speaking to people who you invited while you’re engaged.

Post # 4
Member
900 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Well…..

I know a couple (we’re more aquaintances I guess) who got married in the bride’s home state several states away from where the couple lives. Their wedding was also small.

So they planned a wedding “after party” about a month later in the town where they (and I at the time) live.  It was at a large local bar, and they invited about 150-200 people (basically their whole facebook friends list).  That part would have been fine with me, and contrary to what etiquette says, I think most people would have loved doing attending that type of event under the circumstances of a wedding far away.

BUT then also the groom kept posting their registry info in subsequent facebook posts, AND they charged an admission price for the food they were “providing”, and then I thought it crossed over into gift-grabby land.  But that’s just me.  I dind’t go, but I know people that did and had a good time, so clearly some people were fine with it.

Post # 5
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

I think that people should trump the inanimate/material aspects of the celebration: if there are 150+ people that you feel close enough to that you would want them there/they should be invited, then I think you should choose your venue based on whether it can accommodate that many guests. A smaller venue, even if it’s really pretty, isn’t right for you if it forces you to cut half your guests including close family members.

Post # 8
Member
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@ThisDeluxeLife:  How big is huge?  My parents come from 6/7 siblings and DH’s dad has 11.  We invited all aunts and uncles and first cousins, and still were able to have 20 friends/dates actually AT our 82 person wedding.  This is where I’d break ettiquette, and really sniff around early, even before invites go out about how many of them actually plan on attending.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with small parties.  My bachelorette was with just my sister and two girlfriends that were invted and it was plenty of fun.

Post # 10
Member
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

What about planning a cocktail event to lower cost per person, and have more room if you don’t have a full seated meal?  I know that doesn’t fly for a lot of people, but if it’s really the only way to include people… maybe?

Post # 11
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Do a punch and pie reception instead, that way you don’t have to pay for a full meal and can invite more people.

Post # 14
Member
412 posts
Helper bee

I would throw etiquette to the wind and do an “omg we’re about to get married” or an “omg we’re married” party the *same weekend* if possible, and if not, have it the immediate weekend before. it’s a house party, it’s casual, it’s fun. get a keg, wear a cute white summer dress, and have a party. i think so long as you tell them gifts are unnecessary you’re good to go. you have house parties all the time; why not have a themed/celebratory one? i personally think it’s better to do a post-wedding party, but if your fiance is adament about doing it beforehand, do it as close as you can before. 

i personally think it’s worse to keep your friends from sharing this part of your life due to monetary/space restrictions. when i/my friends graduated, even though we couldn’t watch each other all walk the stage due to spacing restrictions, we all gathered outside after everyone’s ceremony and took a million photos and partied together. just because they’re missing the moment doesn’t mean they should be excluded from the celebration of this momentous occasion. friens not in the program who didn’t want to come to the $100 a plate grad dinner still joined us at the afterparty. same deal. let them love you. 

Post # 15
Member
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@ThisDeluxeLife:  

Will your friends and family feel happier, more loved and valued, if you cut them out completely? No? Well, what on earth makes you think that Emily Post was in the business of making people feel left out and snubbed?

I have good news for you. The rule that you can only invite people to a given party if you agree to invite them to every other party thereafter — does not in fact exist. The made-up rule that if you ever invite anyone to a pre-wedding party — such as your first-grade birthday gig — you then have to invite them to your wedding as well? That’s made-up etiquette (or as I like to call it, “knot-really etiquette”). Of course, that doesn’t mean that you then get to do whatever you please, but I didn’t really think you would: after all, you’re fretting about this because you *care* about your friends’ feelings, not because you couldn’t care less. So, here are the thoughtful considerations you need to take into account in doing what you want to do:

First, you never invite anyone to only part of something, and you never flaunt a party or event in front of someone who isn’t invited to it. So you can’t have any “pre-wedding” parties. You can have “parties”. Instead of sharing with your guests your excitement about the coming Big Event that they won’t be invited to and the Dress that they won’t get to see and the Venue that won’t accomodate them; share with them your excitement about your plans for your coming married life, which you *will* be sharing with them (I presume) as you will continue to welcome them as guests in your marital home.

Second, you never throw a party in honour of yourself. (Properly, even the wedding reception should not be given by the bride and groom in honour of themselves: either it’s hosted by the bride’s nearest willing female relative in honour of the bride and groom; or if hosted by the bride and groom they should make a point of honouring their guests of honour, which most appropriately are their parents but which might simply be all of their guests.) So, at any parties you have leading up to your wedding, make sure you are not pointing the spotlight at yourselves. Make your parties celebrations of friendship and the resilience of such friendships as can survive big life-changes such as marriage.

Third, despite what you might read on this and other wedding boards, neither getting married nor giving a party entitle you to homage in the form of mandatory gifts. Don’t drop any hints about what you want or where you are registered. If people ask you what you want, tell them that you appreciate their generous spirit but that you have everything you need. Actually, this is the gracious approach even for brides who are able to invite everyone to their wedding; but since you are appealing to traditional etiquette for the right to host separate parties, you cannot then appeal to modern etiquette for the right to publish your wish-list. Along the same line, don’t get involved in planning a shower for yourself — you can host exactly the same style of party minus the mandatory gifts by calling it a “tea”. But if any of your friends offer to host a shower for you, repeat the “we have everything we need” phrase and then, if they insist on hosting one anyway, go along graciously with *their* plans while continuing to insist that they keep things small as you are not out for material aggrandisement.

Now, all that being said, grant me two quibbles. You are, so, engaged. “Engaged” is not about having had a fancy staged proposal, or even about receiving a diamond ring. When you have an agreement to marry someone, you’re engaged.

And second, the simplest solution to your desire to celebrate with everyone, is to choose a big enough venue. Traditional brides didn’t adjust their guestlist to their “dream venue” but chose a venue that would accommodate their “dream guestlist” — because traditional etiquette holds that people matter more than venues. Don’t misunderstand — I am fine with you having your dream venue, as long as you make the point that it is the “intimate” aspect that is driving your cuts, not the “super-duper nice, in-budget” place. People really will understand that they are less intimate than a parent or sibling; they should not have to understand that they are less important than nice architecture or a good view or whatever makes one venue super-duper nice in comparison to, say, the rec-center gym that would accomodate everyone.

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