Pre-wedding Parties

Engagement Party-families in different states

Hi guys!
So I just got engaged a little bit ago (yaaaaaaay!) and our families want to have an engagement party. My FI and I would LOVE to mostly because we would love for our families to get to know each other :)  Here's the problem: my parents live in Massachusetts (with extended fam in CT and NY). My FI's parents live in NJ (with his extended fam in NJ, PA and MD).  We live outside of Philadelphia.

Here's the issue. My mom wants to host a party in MA, but then my FI says no one from his side will be able to make it most likely.  My mom says no one from my side will come if we have it here.  I really don't wanna do two parties, the point was for our families to meet.  Both sides are being pretty difficult and do not want to budge :(

Any tips or advice?? Has anyone dealt with this???


Thanks <3

Re: Engagement Party-families in different states

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Well first of all you shouldn't host a party at your house even though Philly seems like the best place to have it location wise. You (general you) don't host a party in your honor. Have you explained to your mother about wanting both families to meet? Is FI positive his parents won't go to Massachusetts? I wouldn't worry too much about extended family attending  because in all likelihood they won't be interacting over the years. If an agreement can't be arranged, just forego the engagement party. They aren't required and a lot of people don't have them - can't ever remember actually attending one.

    Maybe you could have both sets of parents over for a weekend so that they can become acquainted.
    InLoveInQueenssparklepants41SP29ernursej
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited July 1
    Many brides do not have engagement parties at all.  If your families want to throw parties for you, then they are welcome to plan them. You and your FI show up as guests of honor - not as hosts or party planners.  As long as the parties are not on conflicting dates, there is no problem.  Traditionally the bride's parents hosted the party, but things are more flexible these days.  A party invitation is not a court summons.  Guests who want to attend, will come.

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29
  • Congrats! 

    We had the same issue, his family in RI and mine in NJ. We wound up not having an engagement party. Instead, when his parents came down to see the venue (we lived in and had the wedding in NJ), we hosted them and my mother for a nice dinner. The next morning, we invited them to a diner with my siblings, uncle and aunt as well. (His sister was invited too, but didn't make it down.)

    We didn't call it an engagement party or invite anyone else beyond our closest family. When we toasted, it was generally to family because there were no guests of honor.  It was explicitly because they all wanted to meet before the wedding, and then they kept in touch on Facebook after. 
    SP29
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I have nothing to add regarding the engagement party issue, but want to offer my "good luck" wishes on finding a wedding venue that will satisfy both families. 
    eileenrob
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    No advice on an engagement party location, but congratulations and best wishes.

    As a PP says, you need to start figuring out a strategy for dealing with relatives when you pick wedding ceremony and reception venues if they try to play the "we won't come unless it's close to us" card. I would say, "We are only going to be able to have one wedding, so we had to make some difficult choices. We understand if you can't make it and we'll miss you, but we had to pick the best location for us and it is not possible for us to change it."

    SP29InLoveInQueens
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    As said above, you don't host your own engagement party. So, if your Mom/parents are hosting the party, it would be perfectly reasonable that she/they would host a party where she/they live. An invitation is not a subpoena, so your FI's family may not come if the distance is too far- and that is their decision to make. I wouldn't travel too far OOT for an engagement party. I might travel 2 hours if I were going to make a day or extended evening out of it, but not everyone will. Someone decides to plan a party, invites who they want, and those people decide if they will attend or not, party goes on. Now in the same breath, if the goal is to get two families together, maybe one large engagement party is just not going to work out.

    Would your Mom consider hosting the party where you live? Again, she says none of your family will come- so at the end of the day, you pick a location for a party and go with it (knowing some people may not come) or you realize the type of party you're trying to plan just isn't going to work out for the group you are trying to invite. Seems like any logical place you try and plan one side won't come.

    I agree with PPs that it would be best to have a smaller party, or dinner, where you invite both parents and immediate family only.

    FWIW, engagement parties aren't common in my circles, and if they are had, it is usually the couples' immediate family and friends who attend, and those local. It's more of a casual party, so I wouldn't expect OOT guests. Most extended families don't meet beyond the wedding, unless your family is the type that has large gatherings all the time, in which case, they will meet at an event other than an engagement party anyway.

    DrillSergeantCat
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    What would be the difference in mom hosting the engagement party in OP's home than a BM hosting a shower in the bride's home? If both families will attend in that location, why is that wrong?
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member


    What would be the difference in mom hosting the engagement party in OP's home than a BM hosting a shower in the bride's home? If both families will attend in that location, why is that wrong?


    I don't think there is anything wrong with that scenario.
    CMGragainahoyweddingMairePoppy


  • What would be the difference in mom hosting the engagement party in OP's home than a BM hosting a shower in the bride's home? If both families will attend in that location, why is that wrong?


    I don't think there is anything wrong with that scenario.
    Me neither. Honestly, if all of the family is OOT, the couple's home or the city they live in probably makes the most sense. 

    OP, if your mom doesn't want to host the party in Philly, I think lunch or dinner with both of your parents & siblings would be the best option. Extended families (in most cases) don't spend a lot of time together, but it is nice if the parents & any siblings are at least acquainted before the wedding. 

    Engagement parties are really not as common as they used to be. Also remember if you do have a bigger party, that anyone who is invited to pre-wedding events should also be invited to the wedding!
  • Throw two parties for both of your family. If you do not want to than just through one. When you have your wedding have a gathering the night before with both of your family. It could be a little celebration of the both of you the night before your wedding.  It allows your family to know each other before the wedding. 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards