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  • November 24, 2017, 10:32:48 PM

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Author Topic: Love you for one party, but not THE party!  (Read 3725 times)

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gellchom

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Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
« Reply #15 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.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 02:27:12 PM by gellchom »

gellchom

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Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
« Reply #16 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

gellchom

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Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
« Reply #17 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.




Harriet Jones

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Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
« Reply #18 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.

gellchom

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Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
« Reply #19 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.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 01:20:57 PM by gellchom »

TootsNYC

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Re: Love you for one party, but not THE party!
« Reply #20 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.