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  • November 25, 2017, 03:54:13 AM

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Author Topic: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?  (Read 8262 times)

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Sophia

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2016, 03:58:26 PM »
Another idea.   Call it an engagement party, and then get married at it. 

Mustard

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2016, 04:03:47 PM »
Another idea.   Call it an engagement party, and then get married at it. 

But that's a wedding...

wolfie

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2016, 04:10:19 PM »
Another idea.   Call it an engagement party, and then get married at it.

which would defeat the purpose of having a small wedding.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2016, 06:03:44 PM »
I'm in Australia too (and actually posted a similar question a couple of years ago!).

Personally, I wouldn't do it. Here, engagement parties are seen as gift giving events, so I think that putting "no gifts please", will just confuse people (with some likely to bring gifts anyway).

That said, I have heard of this being done before in Australia. I think it works best where you have a large engagement party (say, over 100 people) and a tiny wedding (say, 10-15 people max). And the fact that you're essentially having a destination wedding also works in your favour.

However, I had a friend (which prompted my previous question of two years ago) who invited about 70 people to her engagement party, but only 60 of those people were invited to her wedding (so in other words, 10 of the engagement party guests weren't invited to the wedding). I privately thought that was quite odd, and a bit rude.

sammycat

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2016, 07:22:05 PM »
I'm with the majority - don't have an engagement party beforehand in lieu of the reception after the ceremony.  Have a reception/party (days/weeks) after the ceremony where the majority of guests live. If I'm invited to an engagement party I expect a wedding invite will then be forthcoming in due course.

I live in Australia and did see a previous post about "large engagement parties, small weddings" being common/customary here. I have heard of couples doing similar - but I wouldn't say its the norm and I have always seen engagement parties as a prelude to the wedding. Although I have heard of many cases where people are invited to the ceremony and NOT the reception - which I think is potentially more awkward!

As another Australian, I can't say I've ever come across a large engagement part/small wedding situation.  Barring some very strenuous circumstances (eg. huge falling out between a guest and HC), the engagement party guest list is usually seen as a precursor to the wedding guest list.

I don't understand the inviting people to the ceremony and not the reception part. How does that work? Are they held on separate days? Either way, it sounds incredibly rude.  Dress up and come see us exchange vows, but get lost afterwards as we're not going to bother feeding you?

I think what's bothering me here is that (in my experience, anyway) "engagement parties" aren't given by the couple themselves, they are given by others for them.  So if the invitation comes from the HC themselves, there is a real risk that it will be seen as, if not a gift grab, then sort of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

That may depend on where (general) you live. Here in Australia it's the norm for the couple and/or their guardians to pay for/host the party. I certainly couldn't imagine expecting a friend or more distant relative to pay for it. That seems extremely entitled.

sammycat

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2016, 07:25:02 PM »
I don't understand something.  If you are limiting the number of people coming to the actual ceremony "due to budgetary reasons" how does that fit in with having a large party either earlier or later?  An actual wedding ceremony lasts 5-60 minutes and (usually) isn't that expensive--it's the party/reception that's expensive!

I've often wondered that too, whenever it's listed as a way to cut costs in a wedding. It's never made sense to me at all.

Winterlight

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2016, 07:45:20 PM »
I agree, you would be much better off having a reception at a later date.

Etiquette says that people invited to pre-wedding events must also be invited to the wedding.  I think that guests would feel pretty hurt to find out that they aren't invited to both, and it might come off as a gift grab.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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gellchom

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2016, 09:05:59 PM »

I think what's bothering me here is that (in my experience, anyway) "engagement parties" aren't given by the couple themselves, they are given by others for them.  So if the invitation comes from the HC themselves, there is a real risk that it will be seen as, if not a gift grab, then sort of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

That may depend on where (general) you live. Here in Australia it's the norm for the couple and/or their guardians to pay for/host the party. I certainly couldn't imagine expecting a friend or more distant relative to pay for it. That seems extremely entitled.

I guess it really does -- here in the U.S., I've never heard of a couple giving their own engagement party.  It's usually something like a party given by the parents of the groom where the wedding will be in the bride's parents' city too far away for the groom's family friends to travel to conveniently, or where the wedding will be very small, and most often when the parents' friends haven't had a chance to meet their child's fiance(s) - like if they live in a different city.  Often it is given by close friends of the parents or by aunts and uncles, as one might give a shower. 

Actually, the invitations don't usually call it an "engagement party"; more likely something like "cocktail party in honor of Thusnelda and Cuthbert" or "Brunch for Thusnelda and Cuthbert" -- but we end up referring to it as an "engagement party" anyway just for want of a better term for a pre-wedding party that isn't a shower.  (Just like, come to think of it, in our community, we call the casual party for all the out of town guests the night before the wedding a "rehearsal dinner" even though it usually has nothing to do with a rehearsal, which probably wasn't even on the same day. But we don't know what else to call it, so there we are.)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 09:12:00 PM by gellchom »

cross_patch

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2016, 10:04:28 PM »
I'm with the majority - don't have an engagement party beforehand in lieu of the reception after the ceremony.  Have a reception/party (days/weeks) after the ceremony where the majority of guests live. If I'm invited to an engagement party I expect a wedding invite will then be forthcoming in due course.

I live in Australia and did see a previous post about "large engagement parties, small weddings" being common/customary here. I have heard of couples doing similar - but I wouldn't say its the norm and I have always seen engagement parties as a prelude to the wedding. Although I have heard of many cases where people are invited to the ceremony and NOT the reception - which I think is potentially more awkward!

As another Australian, I can't say I've ever come across a large engagement part/small wedding situation.  Barring some very strenuous circumstances (eg. huge falling out between a guest and HC), the engagement party guest list is usually seen as a precursor to the wedding guest list.

I don't understand the inviting people to the ceremony and not the reception part. How does that work? Are they held on separate days? Either way, it sounds incredibly rude.  Dress up and come see us exchange vows, but get lost afterwards as we're not going to bother feeding you?

I think what's bothering me here is that (in my experience, anyway) "engagement parties" aren't given by the couple themselves, they are given by others for them.  So if the invitation comes from the HC themselves, there is a real risk that it will be seen as, if not a gift grab, then sort of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

That may depend on where (general) you live. Here in Australia it's the norm for the couple and/or their guardians to pay for/host the party. I certainly couldn't imagine expecting a friend or more distant relative to pay for it. That seems extremely entitled.

Yeah, it would be so weird here for a friend to throw an engagement party or brunch or whatever for a couple. You do it yourself (or your parents do, but more often you throw it I think).

Oh Joy

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2016, 07:37:36 AM »
I'm admittedly confused about what you're trying to accomplish here.  I get that you want a small ceremony in a specific place.  But your two threads are you trying to figure out how to host a separate larger party without having a wedding reception.   

Maybe we have cultural differences, but it seems the most common and sraightforward practice to just treat the ceremony like a private/destination wedding, and then host a celebration - as casual as desired - in the hometown or where most of the family lives.

Lady_Belle

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2016, 04:49:41 PM »
Thanks guys... I'm starting to see that a post wedding celebration may be best! When would it be appropriate to send out invites for the post wedding celebration? Can it be before the wedding and word it that we are having it out of town, but would love to celebrate with everyone later at X date?

It's getting so complicated that I almost want to vote the bullet and have an all out wedding but I want to stay firm with a small wedding and intimate crowd.

TurtleDove

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2016, 04:57:38 PM »
I would have the wedding you want and have the celebration local to your guests six months later. That way there is no confusion about what is being celebrated (a wedding or a marriage) and they are two clearly separate events.

Surianne

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2016, 06:26:11 PM »
This actually sounds really normal to me, I've been to a few big engagement parties where the weddings were destination weddings.  It was a way to celebrate with friends in a less formal way.  I don't think I've brought a gift to one before, but I can't really remember.  I'm in Canada though.

gellchom

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2016, 07:28:08 PM »
I think six months sounds long.  I'd do it as soon as you comfortably can after the wedding - maybe two to six weeks?

Send out the invitations 6-8 weeks before.  Keep the wording very simple and the date very clear.  Something like

Thusnelda Bride and Cuthbert Groom
Who will be married in a family ceremony on [date]
Invite you to join them for their

Wedding Reception

DATE
Time
Place

I put DATE in all caps to emphasize that that date has to be emphasized so it is much more prominent than the wedding date, to avoid confusion.   For the same reason don't put the location of the wedding. 

You can say "private" instead of "family" if it works better. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Large engagement party and intimate wedding?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2016, 07:50:24 PM »
Are you and your fiance hosting or one of your parents? Are you planning a formal affair? If parents (even if your helping pay and plan the whole thing)  and formal I'd go with something like:

Please join us at a reception
to celebrate the union of
Miss Jane Bride and Mr John Groom

Saturday, 1st of November 2016
at 7pm

11111 Main Street

RSVP XXXXXX
Dressy Casual Suggested

Jane and John will wed in an intimate ceremony on 15 Oct (smaller print and italicized)

Given with love by Mr & Mrs Bride Parents and Mr and Mrs Groom Parents

if the two of you are self hosting and plan a casual bbq I'd do:

John and Jane
Are Getting Married
It's an intimate ceremony
But we want to share our joy with friends and family

Please join us on for a BBQ Celebration
Saturday, 1 November 2017
at
1111 Main Street

RSVP xxxxxx
Casual Attire