- July 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm #446662
Please help my parter and I settle a disagreement we are having with his oldest (married) sister.
We were recently discussing our wedding guest list with her to get an idea on numbers for their side of the family, who is likely to come and who isn’t, etc etc (she was married 2 years ago, so we thought it couldn’t hurt to ask seeing as it was kind of recent). The topic of inviting friends came up (she invited very few and asked our opinion on it) and we said that we would only be inviting close friends but still felt bad about not being able to invite everyone (due to space and budget restraints). She then said that having close friends only is a good idea, but that the engagement party will be for inviting all our friends to.
My partner and I got a bit uncomfortable and said that we were under the impression that everyone who is invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding. His sister seemed to think that if we invited our large group of friends (around 35-40 people) to the engagement party but only our close friends (15 people max including +1s) to the wedding that this wouldn’t be considered rude.
Who is correct – my partner and I (yes, it is rude) or his sister (no, it’s not rude)?July 24, 2014 at 1:14 am #446694
I agree with you. The engagement party is generally a snapshot of what the invite list for the wedding is going be. Inviting some people to the engagement and not the wedding may leave them wondering what they’ve done to warrant being removed from the invitation list.
You could do an informal gathering for friends that you aren’t able to invite to the wedding.
July 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm #446789
Thanks, Happy G! I was always under the impression that only wedding guests should be invited to pre-wedding events and that the engagement party is often smaller than the wedding itself! We are actually planning to have a family-only engagement party and have a low-key BBQ or something at home to celebrate with all our friends. It just astounded me that my FSIL would think it was okay – she’s usually on top of what is good etiquette and what is not, so I thought that maybe I’ve missed a memo somewhere!July 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm #446794
I’ve actually just read an answer provided by The Knot in Ask The Knot Editors that says it is perfectly acceptable to have an engagement party guest list that is significantly larger than that of your wedding – perhaps this is the assumption that my FSIL is working on?
I wouldn’t say that an extra 25 people is significantly larger though. We are inviting all of our families to the wedding, so there will be no extras to tack onto the engagement party. So, it would just be more friends at the engagement than we are able to invite to the wedding. I dunno, I still don’t think I agree with this. I think the only time I would do it is if I were having a destination wedding, as one guest list would definitely be significantly larger than the other.August 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm #448929
I can understand your sister’s perspective, I think she just wants to make everyone feel included and appreciated, even if they aren’t on the invite list; but the probpem is that an engagement party basically serves as a save the date, guests will start planning and saving for wedding gifts from that point and will be anticipating the invite in the mail.
I guess the best way to look at it is that there’s a difference between announcing that you’re engaged at a casual get together with friends, and having an actual engagement party; the latter is a formal affair and is a kind “first look” from your nearest and dearest of the happy couple (I’m not sure if that made sense, it did in my head haha).
In my personal opinion you don’t have to follow etiquette to the letter, and should just do what works for you; etiquette is there more as a guide.
August 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm #449036
Mmm, thanks Happy G! Always so insightful. I still don’t agree with my FSIL, but I can see where she’s coming from. We are considering a small dinner party at home with our closest friends (those who will be invited to the wedding) or just tacking them onto the engagement party list – we don’t want any of our friends to get the idea they will be invited to the wedding (if they won’t be), so are a bit wary of inviting them to any sort of celebration at the moment.September 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm #454337
<p>I always think you’re insightful JessicaFay haha!</p>
<p>I think the solution you’ve come up with is a great idea, I’d love to hear how it goes :D</p>
<p> </p>April 8, 2015 at 10:58 am #479710
Usually an wedding is bigger than an engagement party. I think you could treat twice if necessary, but maintain portion control. If I were you I may treat family first, then inviting close friends. I understand your partner. Just because of his oldest (married) sister not coming to visit you two usually, he want to invite them through this big ceremony. They have few time to get together. Close friends often meet. Good friends need not take party in every party. They will understand.April 9, 2015 at 4:26 pm #479753
Mary Rogers, I don’t think you’ve quite understood the question. I was asking about the etiquette of inviting people to the engagement party and then not to the wedding. We actually see my FSIL quite regularly and she is going to be one of my bridesmaids, so not sure where you got the idea that she wouldn’t be invited?April 18, 2016 at 11:44 am #489712
I feel, and was always taught that if you are invited to the Engagement Party, then you will also be invited to the Wedding. Normally the Engagement Party is smaller than the Wedding- as the Wedding is the main event!
Actually a friend of mine is getting married soon and they didn’t invite a lot of the people who were invited to the Engagement Party and I can tell you a lot of feelings have been hurt.
If you’re not sure if you can have them at the Wedding best not to include them in more intimate Wedding events such as the Engagement Party or Hens and Bucks nights.
The only real exception I can see to this rule is if you have a major falling out with someone in between the Engagement Party and the Wedding…
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