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Engagement Party Etiquette

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#1 mandalaybay3071

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    Posted 02 December 2008 - 04:19 PM

    HELP! All the do's and don'ts of an engagment party have me all confused!! My best friends mother is throwing us an engagement party and I'm so excited!! **side note - parents & grandparents have passed on** so she is like a mother a to me and I'm very close with all of her family. So, here is the deal. We are having a very small wedding. I've read not to invite anyone to the engagment party that isn't invited to the wedding. I understand for a traditional church wedding this would apply but since destination wedding are in general smaller in number then why can't we invite anyone we want to our engagement party? We have 24 people coming to our wedding and have 64 people on our engagment party list. I think an engagement party is to celebrate your engagement and why wouldn't we want our friends and family there? The other confusing thing is gifts....some say don't register before your engagement party b/c it makes you look presumptious but others say do in case anyone would like to bring a gift they know what you want. Obviously we aren't going to put where we are registered on our engagement party invitations but I want to be registered just in case anyone decides they want to give us a gift. Please HELP! What did you girls do?

    #2 KatyKo

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      Posted 02 December 2008 - 04:29 PM

      We had a fun engagement party thrown by both sets of our parents at a restaurant (that had karaoke). We sent out an evite, so it wasn't a very formal occassion, but we did invite people who weren't invited to our DW. We are having an AHR when we return, so everyone who was invited to our engagement party was invited to that as well. Having said that, we didn't invite a ton of people to our engagement party. I would say we only invited 5-10 who are not coming to our DW.

      All of our friends and family knew that we were trying to keep our DW very small and intimate, therefore weren't inviting everyone.

      We did not register before our engagement party (and actually still haven't registered) because we didn't want people to bring us gifts. We actually put on the invite not to bring gifts. That is just our feelings though. I think you can do what you want!

      #3 tylersgirl

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        Posted 02 December 2008 - 06:40 PM

        Hey girl! I just had an engagement party back in November and everyone there (150 ppl) we are planning on inviting to the wedding. We chose to put "no gifts please" on our invitation. There were about 5 people who brought us gifts instead which was nice, but not necessary at all. I am just waiting to register for my shower only. Hope that helps...

        #4 Maybride2009

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          Posted 02 December 2008 - 07:01 PM

          We just had our engagment party..it was the first time my FI's family met mine..yikes! I only invited a few people who we chose not to invite to our wedding, but made sure that people knew we did not want gifts...I would feel horrible not inviting someone that cared enough to bring a gift...I really didn't want to invite anyone to the party that wasn't invited to the wedding because we felt that if you make someone feel involved and then don't invite them that they may have their feelings hurt...JMO

          #5 mandalaybay3071

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            Posted 02 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

            Well everyone that would be invited to the engagement party but isn't invited to the wedding is already aware that we wanted to keep the wedding small so I don't think I'm concerned about hurt feelings...well, not that I'm not concerned but I don't think there will be any hurt feelings. We already sent out our actual wedding invitations so everyone knows if they are invited or not. We will be inviting the same group (64 people) to our at home reception though so that would be two parties they'll be invited to...just not the wedding. I think that most of our friends would want to celebrate our engagement with us - plus, it's free drinks & appetizers!! LOL I appreciate the comments on the gifts. We are registering in january and our engagement party is in March so we will be registered but I think we will put "no gifts please" on the engagement party invitation. Thanks girls and feel free to keep the comments and information coming.

            #6 mandalaybay3071

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              Posted 02 December 2008 - 07:56 PM

              OH and I also asked 4 of my co-workers what their mailing address was so I could invite them and their SO's to the engagement party! They didn't seem offended although my boss teased me a little about "why isn't he invited to the wedding" but he was only joking! I think!! haha!!

              #7 Bridget810

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                Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:10 AM

                I just had an engagement party, and I made my immediate family pass on the word that no gifts were expected--I really wanted it to be a fun & no-cost-to-them affair. I still got a couple gifts (which was nice). It made it feel like a genuine celebration, as opposed to a "please come to my party and give me gifts" affair. That's what I hate about bridal showers! I've often felt that the only reason that I've been invited to bridal showers was for the sole purpose of giving a gift (I know this isn't entirely true, but it's how I felt sometimes, and I definitely didn't want my guests to feel the same way). So, I think in your case, since a lot of people aren't going to be invited to your wedding, it would be proper etiquette to let them know that gifts aren't expected.

                #8 sarafish81

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                  Posted 04 December 2008 - 05:06 PM

                  My mom threw us an engagement party in September. She kind of got the idea and ran with it and for us, the only people invited were the ones not invited to the wedding, besides our families of course! Initially, I felt a bit unsettled about that, but I asked my mom that she put "no gifts please" on the invites. I thought it was tacky to say, "please come to our engagement party, you're not invited to the wedding, and where is our present by the way??"
                  Of course, we got a few gifts anyways and it was a lovely party. I know there are etiquette rules, etc., but sometimes if the mother of the bride wants to do something, it's best just to let her do it...that's been my experience anyways!

                  #9 mandalaybay3071

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                    Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:25 AM

                    Thanks girls for all your input. As it stands now, we are inviting 64 people to our engagement party...36 of those have been inviting to the wedding. We will put no gifts please on the invitations. I'm so excited she is throwing us an engagment party! Now comes the fun of finding a location!! YAY!

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