Just Engaged and Proposals

I am throwing a surprise engagement party for my bridesmaids/groomsman. What should i do?

My fiance and I have invited the people we would like to stand up in our wedding to a private party. The invitations only indicate that it is a private event and to come hungry. This party is our way to ask them to be our bridesmaids/groomsmen. We'll also have our parents there. 

Any suggestions for activities or entertainment? I'd hate for us all to be sitting there staring at eachother for 3 hours. 

We are going to be in a small banquet room at a local bar. There will be catered food and free drinks for the guests (16 people total) 

Thanks!

Re: I am throwing a surprise engagement party for my bridesmaids/groomsman. What should i do?

  • That's a good point. We actually asked the people we thought might say no before we sent out the invitations. 
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio
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    Let me add on to this - I turned my brother/SIL down due to a situation I was in.  My brother was SURE I'd say yes - but there were circumstances that I knew I was not a good choice.

    1 - he asked me and my now FI to be in the wedding.  FI & I worked together; my brother was at the same company and there were rules against FI and I dating so we did not want to draw any attention to each other.

    2 - I already had made work commitments for a HUGE project.  I knew my time would be filled from that project.  The day of his wedding, I went to bed at 4am and had to be ready by 11am because of the project.

    3 - The expense.  I honestly just could not afford at that time the added expense because a few other things I had going on that had some of my cash flow tied up.


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  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA
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    Maybe ask them all privately THEN (on another weekend) host an event to celebrate?
    buddysmom80
  • While I appreciate your input, it just doesn't apply to my situation. The people we are asking are definitely going to be able to afford to rent a $200 tux/buy a $150 dress, the hair/makeup/nails is being done by my fiance's cousin as our wedding gift, and my maid of honor is covering the expenses for the bachelorette party. The only thing they need to do is be available for one evening thats over a year away. 

    So if you have any ideas for the party, please feel free to share them. 

    Thanks
    futuremrsdwill
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago
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    edited February 2014

    Another vote for asking them privately. Since you havent asked them, how do you know they can afford a $200 tux? Peoples finances are very personal and can change in an instant. Again, how do you know your MOH is covering your bach party?

    And FWIW, hair/ make up/ nails are NOT wedding gifts. They are part of the uniform.

    I dont think you need actitives if you have food and alcohol. These people are adults (I assume) and know how to mingle.

    ETA: typos

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    While I appreciate your input, it just doesn't apply to my situation. The people we are asking are definitely going to be able to afford to rent a $200 tux/buy a $150 dress, the hair/makeup/nails is being done by my fiance's cousin as our wedding gift, and my maid of honor is covering the expenses for the bachelorette party. The only thing they need to do is be available for one evening thats over a year away. 

    So if you have any ideas for the party, please feel free to share them. 

    Thanks
    Just because they could afford a $200 tux or a $150 dress doesn't mean that they will want to spend that kind of money for an outfit they will wear once for your wedding.  Which is why you need to ask their budgets before picking any attire.

    As for the party, you should ask everyone privately before the party.  Besides financials, there may be other reasons that they will not want to be in your wedding.

    As for hair/makeup/nails, that is not a wedding gift, that is gift for you so that they will look good for your wedding pictures.  An appropriate gift is something that has nothing to do with your wedding and bought solely for that person (buy for them like it is Christmas or their birthday).

    For the party, you don't really need anything besides nice background music, food and drinks. Adults don't need games or other entertainment to be entertained.  They are happy to just mingle and talk with friends.

    KeptInStitchesbuddysmom80
  • Ask them privately first. There are many reasons they might decline that you can't anticipate, and it's just the respectful thing to do. You can still have the party to celebrate.

    Also, you don't need activities if you think everyone will get along well enough. They'll chat and eat and then go home and it'll be like any other dinner party. If they aren't likely to be able to make small talk for a few hours, well activities won't help that!
  • I'm not sure why everyone is getting defensive/offensive, but what i meant by ideas is ways to ask them all while they are there. Like i said, we already asked the people we thought might have money issues. I wasn't looking for ideas like pin the tail on the donkey or the things that are done at a wedding shower. But I was looking at this party as a way for the wedding party to meet each other, as well as be formally asked to be a part of the wedding party. Guess I didnt make that clear. The people that i haven't asked have already expressed their interest in taking part in my wedding (ex. my future sister-in-laws who i'm close with). Not to mention, theyre both wealthy enough and have closets full of 'one time worn' clothing. 
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    Again, you should ask each person individually.  Finances aren't the only reasons why people say no to being a part of a wedding.

    I think you are trying to make asking people to be in your wedding a bigger and more lavish affair then is really necessary.

    JennyColada
  • So, you're throwing your own engagement party? Etiquette don't 101.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    I'm not sure why everyone is getting defensive/offensive, but what i meant by ideas is ways to ask them all while they are there. Like i said, we already asked the people we thought might have money issues. I wasn't looking for ideas like pin the tail on the donkey or the things that are done at a wedding shower. But I was looking at this party as a way for the wedding party to meet each other, as well as be formally asked to be a part of the wedding party. Guess I didnt make that clear. The people that i haven't asked have already expressed their interest in taking part in my wedding (ex. my future sister-in-laws who i'm close with). Not to mention, theyre both wealthy enough and have closets full of 'one time worn' clothing. 
    Do you hear yourself speak?  One thing has nothing to do with the other.  And, just because they have money, and may have some "one time worn" clothing, doesn't mean they will automatically say "yes" to your invitation to be in your wedding party.  And, people can "express an interest" when caught off guard and unprepared to answer questions.
    pinkshorts27
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 2014
    OP, once I was invited to a party at the home of a friend.  When we arrived, we were told that there was a wonderful "opportunity" to increase our income with AMWAY.  We were very embarrassed and uncomfortable, and left as quickly as possible.
    What you are planning to do is not that different.  You are publicly announcing your marriage plans and putting your guests on the spot by asking them for a committment of time and money.  It is a terrible idea, and somewhat rude.  Please don't do this!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    pinkshorts27
  • sarahuflsarahufl New York
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    Ask privately. I would hate to be asked in public if it wasn't something I was comfortable with.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    It's just potentially awkward if you ask everyone at the same time. Please do it individually. As for the party, if it's inside at a bar, there's not a lot you can do. Don't worry about having activities.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD
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    Ask individually. It will save any awkwardness, then host everyone for food and drinks at a later time casually. Don't make this bigger then it needs to be.
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio
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    I'm not sure why everyone is getting defensive/offensive, but what i meant by ideas is ways to ask them all while they are there. Like i said, we already asked the people we thought might have money issues. I wasn't looking for ideas like pin the tail on the donkey or the things that are done at a wedding shower. But I was looking at this party as a way for the wedding party to meet each other, as well as be formally asked to be a part of the wedding party. Guess I didnt make that clear. The people that i haven't asked have already expressed their interest in taking part in my wedding (ex. my future sister-in-laws who i'm close with). Not to mention, theyre both wealthy enough and have closets full of 'one time worn' clothing. 
    I think you're being a little presumptuous in assuming this!!  I mean how many times a day do you say 'hey, how are you?' and do you even really listen to the answer (or if somebody tells you how crummy their day is do you think 'that's not really what I meant/why did I even bother').  Saying 'Let me know if you need any help' is way different than saying 'Oh, I want to be in the bridal party' (that's pretty rude if they said that) - and 'let me know if you need any help' is pretty much like saying 'hey, how's it going' - just a conversation piece that may not have any meaning behind it.

    Again - my brother and I are pretty close but I turned him down on being part of his wedding because of circumstances.  I can't think of anybody who would ask me and I'd accept right away - I'd want a chance to go home, take a look at the time frame of their wedding and see what upcoming expenses and events I have going on. 

    Also - in my current situation, I could afford a $200 bridal party dress, but I can tell you that I wouldn't want to spend that kind of money on a dress I would only wear once.

    If somebody asked me to be in their bridal party in front of a ton of people and didn't really give me the option to consider it and made me feel 'put on the spot' - I probably would turn down just because I'd be looking at it as 'huh - she's already put me in one uncomfortable situation, how many more times is this going to happen'.

    Please - listen to the ladies here and ask your intended bridal party privately and don't put them on the spot.

    As far as a meet and greet after you have your bridal party in place - if it's at a bar type place, just try to get a private room if you don't have one.  People will mingle and you cannot force friendships.  I know when my brother has a party with both sides - his in-laws stick together and our family sticks together.


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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    Why do they need to get to know each other?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    buddysmom80
  • I can see you're not open to asking your potential WP one-on-one, in private, so I won't go there.
    As for the party, as long as there is good food and alcohol, I'm happy. If you must have an activity, maybe put out some "wedding planning" or "happy marriage" advice cards for guests to fill out (if they want to). Although as the saying goes, only the boring get bored. Your crowd (hopefully) doesn't require activities to avoid just sitting there staring at each other.


  • While I appreciate your input, it just doesn't apply to my situation. The people we are asking are definitely going to be able to afford to rent a $200 tux/buy a $150 dress, the hair/makeup/nails is being done by my fiance's cousin as our wedding gift, and my maid of honor is covering the expenses for the bachelorette party. The only thing they need to do is be available for one evening thats over a year away. 

    So if you have any ideas for the party, please feel free to share them. 

    Thanks

    Just because they could afford a $200 tux or a $150 dress doesn't mean that they will want to spend that kind of money for an outfit they will wear once for your wedding.  Which is why you need to ask their budgets before picking any attire.

    As for the party, you should ask everyone privately before the party.  Besides financials, there may be other reasons that they will not want to be in your wedding.

    As for hair/makeup/nails, that is not a wedding gift, that is gift for you so that they will look good for your wedding pictures.  An appropriate gift is something that has nothing to do with your wedding and bought solely for that person (buy for them like it is Christmas or their birthday).

    For the party, you don't really need anything besides nice background music, food and drinks. Adults don't need games or other entertainment to be entertained.  They are happy to just mingle and talk with friends.


    My take on the hair/makeup/nails thing was not that she's using it as their gift. It sounds like someone is using it as a wedding gift for her.
    TeddiD34
  • I love the idea of having a party for your GM, BM & parents. It's a great way to for everyone to meet (assuming they don't know each other) and get to know each other instead of just meeting right before the wedding at your rehersal. I did a wedding party BBQ for our bridal party & families. Since it was a backyard BBQ we just had tables out and cornhole and a few other outdoor games. It worked out great. Not sure what you could do for entertainment for the location you picked out but depending on the size of the group maybe you can do a "how do you know the bride/groom?"

    But I have to agree with everyone else, I think it would be better if you asked everyone prior to the event because they may already have a commitment to something else around the time of your wedding that you aren't aware of and it will avoid any ackward moments then at the party.

  • The only time I would do this is if I was having a big group of people over and also telling them that we were engaged/eloped/pregnant. Basically any occasion where just well wishes are required. By asking them to do/buy something they can feel volun-told, blindsided and frankly its just damn rude!!

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