Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Par-Tay! => Topic started by: JacklynHyde on June 11, 2017, 04:05:49 PM

Title: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: JacklynHyde on June 11, 2017, 04:05:49 PM
Long story short, is it rude to invite someone to the bachelorette party but not the actual wedding?  I was on the receiving end of this several years ago and it still has me scratching my head.  The bride and I had known each other for a couple of years and been good friends for several months at the time of the bachelorette party.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gramma dishes on June 11, 2017, 04:14:25 PM
Yes, it is.

It may have just been a mix-up.  She may have either thought you were on the list to invite to the wedding, or did not know her bridesmaids had invited you to the bachelorette party.

Just out of curiosity, are you still friends?
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: Hmmmmm on June 11, 2017, 05:14:43 PM
Traditional etiquette is anyone who is invited to a pre-wedding event like an engagement party, shower, bachelor/ette party should be invited to the wedding. I do know many people who'll make allowances on this rule when it is a destination wedding or sometimes there might be a work shower and not all co-workers are invited to the wedding. But in your instance it does sound like an error.

Any chance the invite was lost?
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: LifeOnPluto on June 11, 2017, 11:00:13 PM
Traditional etiquette is anyone who is invited to a pre-wedding event like an engagement party, shower, bachelor/ette party should be invited to the wedding. I do know many people who'll make allowances on this rule when it is a destination wedding or sometimes there might be a work shower and not all co-workers are invited to the wedding. But in your instance it does sound like an error.

Any chance the invite was lost?

This. I think it's generally rude to invite someone to a pre-wedding event, but not the wedding itself.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: katycoo on June 12, 2017, 12:58:01 AM
I think its rude but it seems to be becoming more of a thing nowadays.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gellchom on June 12, 2017, 12:39:02 PM
In just the last few days, we have been invited to two pre-wedding brunches and one dinner for couples whose weddings we will not (maybe one) be invited to.  None of them is a shower.  I don't think that any of the invitations said "engagement party" or any other name, just something like "brunch in honor of" or "pre-nuptial celebration."

Ordinarily, being invited to a pre-wedding event (except for things like office showers) when I'm not to be invited to the wedding puts me off, too.  But this time it feels right.

All three of these parties are given by friends of ours whose sons are getting married out of town.  The two I am sure about are out of state and will be small, family-only weddings.  The third will be 2 1/2 hours away; I believe large-ish; we may be invited to that one, but we had to decide about this invitation before we will know.

I think all these parents know the rule, and I know that at least one feels uneasy about it.  But I can easily understand how they feel.  They want to celebrate their son's marriage with their friends, and they know that their friends want that, too.  But the hosts of the weddings, whether the HC themselves or the other family, isn't letting them invite their friends to the wedding.  So what else can they do?

As a guest, in all three cases, I think it makes sense to do this, notwithstanding the rule.  I am glad to have a chance to celebrate with them even though I am not to be invited to the wedding (if anything, I'm glad to be relieved of having to travel for any of these weddings, none of which would be convenient).  I cannot imagine that anyone invited is going to think of it as a gift grab.  So to me it feels like an incorrect-but-not-rude situation.

Sometimes, parents and sometimes even HCs are placed in pretty much the same position when the location of the wedding and their relatives' and friends' resources make it impossible or burdensome for them to attend.  In that case, though, what usually happens is that they give a party in their city, their local friends are invited to both the party and the wedding, but they just attend the local party.

I do think that all these parents were wise to make it just a party, not a shower (even if hosted by someone else).  I'll give all the couples a gift, which after all is for the marriage, not the wedding, just the same as if I were invited to the wedding. 

Come to think of it, this is the flip side of the complaint we sometimes have when we are included in too many events for the same wedding, especially those that require multiple gifts or expensive arrangements (like a bachelorette trip).
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gramma dishes on June 12, 2017, 12:49:10 PM
^^^   You make many good points.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: Cali.in.UK on June 12, 2017, 01:13:01 PM
I think its weird in most cases unless if the bride and groom were having a courthouse wedding or something equally small that wouldn't allow them to invite all their friends, but they still wanted to celebrate with friends.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: miranova on June 12, 2017, 03:35:29 PM


They want to celebrate their son's marriage with their friends, and they know that their friends want that, too.  But the hosts of the weddings, whether the HC themselves or the other family, isn't letting them invite their friends to the wedding.  So what else can they do?



Accept the fact that they don't always get what they want?  I know that sounds snarky and I don't mean it to be, I just couldn't think of another way to say it.  It's not like they have no choice.  They could just choose to respect the couple's decision not to invite their parents's friends.

Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: Tea Drinker on June 12, 2017, 06:01:20 PM

I think all these parents know the rule, and I know that at least one feels uneasy about it.  But I can easily understand how they feel.  They want to celebrate their son's marriage with their friends, and they know that their friends want that, too.  But the hosts of the weddings, whether the HC themselves or the other family, isn't letting them invite their friends to the wedding.  So what else can they do?

The traditional thing would be to host a reception in honor of the newlyweds after the wedding. If I had to guess at why that's considered more appropriate, beyond tradition, it's that with this timing, the wedding has already happened, so the guests aren't going to think that being invited to this party means they'll also be invited to the wedding.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: Hmmmmm on June 12, 2017, 07:38:56 PM

I think all these parents know the rule, and I know that at least one feels uneasy about it.  But I can easily understand how they feel.  They want to celebrate their son's marriage with their friends, and they know that their friends want that, too.  But the hosts of the weddings, whether the HC themselves or the other family, isn't letting them invite their friends to the wedding.  So what else can they do?

The traditional thing would be to host a reception in honor of the newlyweds after the wedding. If I had to guess at why that's considered more appropriate, beyond tradition, it's that with this timing, the wedding has already happened, so the guests aren't going to think that being invited to this party means they'll also be invited to the wedding.

I agree that it's traditional to host an event in honor of the couple after the wedding. Though I've never thought about why, I do agree that your reasoning sounds right. However, I wouldn't be bothered by being invited to a pre-wedding event in these circumstances. But after just feels normal to me.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: JacklynHyde on June 12, 2017, 09:06:10 PM
We are still friends.  The only thing I can think of is that I was a last-minute invite to the party because I knew most of the other ladies and they talked about it in my presence.  I got a "Team Bride" pin and everything the night of the festivities, even rescued the party when one stop was ruined by a bar fight (seriously), and so was rather surprised when I found out I wasn't getting an invitation to the wedding itself.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gellchom on June 13, 2017, 12:01:35 AM


They want to celebrate their son's marriage with their friends, and they know that their friends want that, too.  But the hosts of the weddings, whether the HC themselves or the other family, isn't letting them invite their friends to the wedding.  So what else can they do?



Accept the fact that they don't always get what they want?  I know that sounds snarky and I don't mean it to be, I just couldn't think of another way to say it.  It's not like they have no choice.  They could just choose to respect the couple's decision not to invite their parents's friends.

In many cases, I'd agree. But it's not always an accurate assumption that giving a party is thwarting the HC''s wishes.  They may be fine with it or even delighted.  It might even be their idea. 

In the case of the parties to which I'm invited, knowing the families, I'm pretty sure that in each case they all decided together, possibly at the same time they decided how to do the weddings.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: lowspark on June 13, 2017, 10:19:54 AM
It was a faux pas, but I'm guessing that she didn't realize what she had done. Maybe she thought, Well, I can't invite JacklynHyde to the wedding (for whatever reason, space? money? whatever) but maybe I can include her in the bachelorette party so she can still help me celebrate.

I was once invited to a bridal shower and then not to the wedding. I had become friends with the bride and got invited to the shower and I went and I gave a gift. Then no invitation... oh well. The bride was not from the US and I don't think she had a grasp of the etiquette, plus they got married in another state so I am fairly certain I would not have gone so no big deal. I'm sure her heart was in the right place.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: Winterlight on June 14, 2017, 01:08:36 PM
If you're inviting people to a wedding based occasion where they're going to spend money on you, then I feel they should be invited to the wedding. I would exempt work showers, but otherwise, you are telling people that you want their presents but not their presence.

In just the last few days, we have been invited to two pre-wedding brunches and one dinner for couples whose weddings we will not (maybe one) be invited to.  None of them is a shower.  I don't think that any of the invitations said "engagement party" or any other name, just something like "brunch in honor of" or "pre-nuptial celebration."

Ordinarily, being invited to a pre-wedding event (except for things like office showers) when I'm not to be invited to the wedding puts me off, too.  But this time it feels right.

See, this would be fine by me because it's basically the equivalent of hosting a reception after the wedding for people who couldn't attend. You aren't being asked to bring a gift, either, though you might choose to or to send one later.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gellchom on June 14, 2017, 02:13:33 PM
So now I'm thinking about the one of those three pre-wedding parties we are invited to where the wedding itself is not a tiny, private event or a distant celebration; it's a medium or big wedding in a city about 2 hours from here. 

As I said, I'm not sure whether we will also be invited to the wedding.  I'm guessing not; I think probably that's why they (the groom's parents) are giving this party -- it's not like the wedding would be prohibitively inconvenient for their friends here.

So I have to admit that this one does feel kind of like a B list party to me.  I don't mind that for us; we are friends but not close, first-inner-circle friends.  And I sure do know how it is when you have to draw the line someplace! IIRC, they weren't invited to our children's weddings, both of which were here in our city.  It was nice of them to include us at all now (and as I said, there is a small chance we will end up being invited to the wedding).

My question now is about a gift.  The polite assumption is that this is not intended as a gift-giving event.  So that means we aren't in a should-gift situation, if we don't end up invited to the wedding (I know gifts are always voluntary, but you know what I mean).

Now, I know that I should just do whatever we want to do: send the HC a gift if we choose to, even if we aren't invited to the wedding, because, as I wrote above, the gift is for the marriage, not the wedding, and certainly not as payment for the invitation.  That's probably what we will do.

But I do have to admit, here among the ehellions, that it really does feel different to me.  I feel like sending something smaller than I would have had we been invited to the wedding -- because it feels like a B list situation, even though I don't mind being a B lister for this.  I don't feel that way about the parties for the other HCs who are having truly private weddings far away to which none of their parents' friends can be invited. 

I think the difference is that in this case, it's clear that the party-only guests are not considered inner-circle.  Not that I expect to be!  You can't be everyone's best friend.  But it sort of feels like my response as a guest is commensurate with the message sent from the hosts, too, you know?

I'm not saying I'm proud of it, but I admit I kind of feel like this:

- Not invited to anything: just an expression of good wishes; maybe a charitable contribution
- Invited to wedding: Regular size -- "$X" --wedding gift
- Invited only to some other party where that is the only thing to which I could be invited: same as above, $X gift
- Invited only to some other party where I could have been invited to the wedding, too:  .... That's what I'm wrestling with!

I guess I can simply wait until the time when the wedding invitations would have gone to see whether we are definitely not invited before choosing a gift.  I'm sure that if we are not, I will end up sending the same size gift I would have if we were invited to the wedding.  I'm just saying that I recognize that it does feel different.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gellchom on June 14, 2017, 02:26:06 PM
We had a string on pretty much this topic a while ago:

 http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139717.0  (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139717.0)
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gellchom on July 02, 2017, 03:31:05 PM
The engagement party given for the couple marrying in a medium or large wedding in a nearby city was today. 

I decided to bring a small gift, a baking dish the couple had registered for.  I figured that if we do later get a wedding invitation I could buy another, larger gift then.

At the party I was able to ascertain that the wedding invitations have been sent and received.  So we aren't invited.

There were other friends of the hosts there who are invited to the wedding.  But I'm glad they included us in this party, even though I do think it falls into the rule of not inviting people who won't be invited to the wedding, without the exception for the situation in which they simply can't invite *any* friends to the wedding or distant destination weddings and such (which avoids the B list feel).  But although I wouldn't have done it this way, we were fine with it; they aren't very close friends and we don't feel snubbed or anything. 

I'm writing because it occurred to me that this makes the choice to send a small gift actually the sweet spot I wanted to hit. If I had stuck with my thinking that I'm going to send them a regular size gift anyway, I could risk actually making the couple and/or the groom's parents, our friends, feel bad. They might have felt then that they should add us to the invitation list, or anyway feel bad that they didn't include us to begin with. I'm sure that they would not think we were pushing for an invitation, but that might be a risk in other situations.



Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: Harriet Jones on July 02, 2017, 05:39:42 PM
The engagement party given for the couple marrying in a medium or large wedding in a nearby city was today. 

I decided to bring a small gift, a baking dish the couple had registered for.  I figured that if we do later get a wedding invitation I could buy another, larger gift then.

At the party I was able to ascertain that the wedding invitations have been sent and received.  So we aren't invited.

There were other friends of the hosts there who are invited to the wedding.  But I'm glad they included us in this party, even though I do think it falls into the rule of not inviting people who won't be invited to the wedding, without the exception for the situation in which they simply can't invite *any* friends to the wedding or distant destination weddings and such (which avoids the B list feel).  But although I wouldn't have done it this way, we were fine with it; they aren't very close friends and we don't feel snubbed or anything. 

I'm writing because it occurred to me that this makes the choice to send a small gift actually the sweet spot I wanted to hit. If I had stuck with my thinking that I'm going to send them a regular size gift anyway, I could risk actually making the couple and/or the groom's parents, our friends, feel bad. They might have felt then that they should add us to the invitation list, or anyway feel bad that they didn't include us to begin with. I'm sure that they would not think we were pushing for an invitation, but that might be a risk in other situations.



A couple of wedding timeline questions, gellchom, since what you're describing is outside my experience.

People hold engagement parties close enough to the wedding date that invitations have already been sent out?  IME, engagement parties are held closer to the time of engagement, several months earlier.

Also IME, engagement parties have not been gift giving occasions.   If you hadn't given the event a name, I probably would have considered it a shower.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: gellchom on July 02, 2017, 06:32:24 PM
A couple of wedding timeline questions, gellchom, since what you're describing is outside my experience.

People hold engagement parties close enough to the wedding date that invitations have already been sent out?  IME, engagement parties are held closer to the time of engagement, several months earlier.

Also IME, engagement parties have not been gift giving occasions.   If you hadn't given the event a name, I probably would have considered it a shower.

The wedding is late August. 

The invitation didn't say "Engagement Party" -- I believe it was something like

Groom and Fiancée are engaged!
Please come for brunch etc. etc.


I know that traditionally "engagement party" meant a party at which the engagement was first announced.  But I have never seen one like that except in movies.  We tend to refer to all non-shower pre-wedding parties given by parents or parents' friends "engagement parties," just for want of a better term.  Like "rehearsal dinner" for the night before the wedding, even when it has nothing to do with a rehearsal.

It definitely wasn't a shower.  I did see other cards and small gifts.  I'm guessing they were from people who aren't invited to the wedding and sending wedding gifts.  Or perhaps someone who is invited but cannot attend.

If we had been invited to the wedding and were sending a wedding gift, I don't think I would've brought an additional gift to this party.
Title: Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
Post by: TootsNYC on July 17, 2017, 07:31:58 PM
Quote
But it sort of feels like my response as a guest is commensurate with the message sent from the hosts, too, you know?

I think this is true. I think it's polite to try to match the level.

And I also think that it's best to have any "non-wedding-guest" events -after- the wedding instead of before. Even if it means you have to wait a few months.