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Pre-wedding Parties

Post-Wedding Party for Parents' Friends

edited February 12 in Pre-wedding Parties
Hi all - 

I live in Montana and my mom has brought up the idea of having a 2nd reception in Michigan (where I grew up, and 2 hours from where my FH grew up) since we first got engaged. 

FH and I said no - we didn't like the idea of a 2nd reception and thought it would be an unnecessary expense. People are excited about traveling to Montana for the wedding.

Fast forward to now (the wedding is in June). I get a call from my mom and she is bringing up the idea again, framing it as a post-wedding party for my parents' friends so that they can share in the joy etc and meet my FH. This seems even stranger to me. The party would be with my parents' friends (primarily, although we would also probably invite FH's parents and maybe a couple friends from MI who weren't able to make it to the wedding). I would know maybe 3/4 of the people they invite. FH wouldn't know any of them. It feels like we are being paraded around to my parents' friends and being grabby for presents. These people were not invited to the wedding. I offered to include them on the wedding guest list but mom said no because these people wouldn't be able to travel. 

This is requiring that we take time off work and fly across the country for a party where we feel uncomfortable. My parents were extremely generous with paying for the wedding and I don't want to be ungracious, but am I missing something here? Is this normal? It is proper etiquette to invite people to an after-wedding party who weren't invited to the wedding? FH is also very uncomfortable with the $$ he perceives as being thrown around on this and also feels that a party with primarily my parents' friends would have us feeling 'paraded about'. I also feel weird that people we invited to the wedding would also potentially be there - and that people who are planning to attend the wedding will feel misled that now there is a reception they could have attended at much less expense in MI.

Has anyone heard of anything like this before? Is it normal? Am I being unreasonable/thinking about this the wrong way? Are my parents being rude? The party would be about 2 months after the wedding. 

Edited to add: I forgot that I posted about this in a similar vein once before: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1077766/mom-throwing-bridal-shower-and-inviting-her-friends-who-arent-invited-to-the-wedding

But this is now a 'post' wedding party and my mom has framed it more as just a party to celebrate our marriage/unrelated to the wedding itself. My mom especially feels very strongly about this matter

Re: Post-Wedding Party for Parents' Friends

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 12
    Hi all - 

    I live in Montana and my mom has brought up the idea of having a 2nd reception in Michigan (where I grew up, and 2 hours from where my FH grew up) since we first got engaged. 

    FH and I said no - we didn't like the idea of a 2nd reception and thought it would be an unnecessary expense. People are excited about traveling to Montana for the wedding.

    Fast forward to now (the wedding is in June). I get a call from my mom and she is bringing up the idea again, framing it as a post-wedding party for my parents' friends so that they can share in the joy etc and meet my FH. This seems even stranger to me. The party would be with my parents' friends (primarily, although we would also probably invite FH's parents and maybe a couple friends from MI who weren't able to make it to the wedding). I would know maybe 3/4 of the people they invite. FH wouldn't know any of them. It feels like we are being paraded around to my parents' friends and being grabby for presents. These people were not invited to the wedding. I offered to include them on the wedding guest list but mom said no because these people wouldn't be able to travel. 

    This is requiring that we take time off work and fly across the country for a party where we feel uncomfortable. My parents were extremely generous with paying for the wedding and I don't want to be ungracious, but am I missing something here? Is this normal? It is proper etiquette to invite people to an after-wedding party who weren't invited to the wedding? FH is also very uncomfortable with the $$ he perceives as being thrown around on this and also feels that a party with primarily my parents' friends would have us feeling 'paraded about'. I also feel weird that people we invited to the wedding would also potentially be there - and that people who are planning to attend the wedding will feel misled that now there is a reception they could have attended at much less expense in MI.

    Has anyone heard of anything like this before? Is it normal? Am I being unreasonable/thinking about this the wrong way? Are my parents being rude? The party would be about 2 months after the wedding. 


    It is perfectly proper for your parents to host a party in honor of your recent marriage and to introduce you to their friends.  It is not required that these people be invited to your wedding.  This party is not any part of your wedding.  It is a completely separate event.

    That being said, this party to celebrate your marriage is NOT a 2nd wedding reception.  You only get one of these, and it is on your wedding day in Montana.  You can show off your wedding and honeymoon photos, greet your parent's guests, but no wedding dress or wedding traditions, and gifts are not expected.  That ship will have sailed.  You are no longer "the bride and groom", but "the newlyweds".

    If you feel strongly about not having this party, you can decline the honor.  This will probably disappoint your Mom.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with everything @CMGragain has said.

    However, you should not attend out of guilt or pressure.  I cannot imagine you will enjoy a party if it causes you to incur costs, lost work time, and discomfort.  Can you trust that your parents will NOT turn it into a second wedding reception?  If your folks CHOSE to gift you the cost of your wedding, then there should not be strings attached.  Take that factor out of the equation and think about how you would respond to this offer.

    Thank your parents for the thought.  Let them know you would love to meet some of these friends the next time you come to visit for a holiday or family event.
  • @MobKaz @CMGragain thank you so much for the input - I really appreciate it. I have never heard of an event like this before, so it is helpful to have outside perspective. 

    My mom did mention it wouldn't be a 'wedding party', but a get-together because they have want their friends to meet my FH and celebrate. My FH is more strongly opposed than I am, so I will talk with him and we'll decide how we want to move forward. I know that not agreeing to this event would disappoint my mom but am weighing that against the inconvenience and (to me) somewhat ridiculousness of flying across the country for a party. Unfortunately I have no idea when we would be back (potentially not until next year) so postponing doesn't seem like a solution my parents would be happy with. 

    How would an event like this be introduced to potential guests? Are print invitations necessary? That makes it seem more formal to me. Email? Word of mouth? 
  • So we were in kind of a similar situation. Our wedding was in NC where we live. My dad's whole family is in WI, and none of them were able to travel for various reasons. I also had some friends from home who weren't able to come because they were either very pregnant or had a newborn. 

    We met up with my friends individually when we went back in the summer, and then had my dad's family over to my parents' house for a cookout. My dad just emailed his siblings and said H & I were going to be home whatever date and that we'd like to have everyone over to meet H and hang out. It was super casual, but still fun and nice for my family to meet my H. 

    That being said, we do always plan to go there for a week every summer, but it sounds like that's not your situation. If you truly don't want to have even a casual party or it would be a significant inconvenience, it may be worth talking to your mom. However, if she's paying for your wedding, this may be one of the strings she chooses to pull so you may need to weigh those options.  
    charlotte989875
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 15


    How would an event like this be introduced to potential guests? Are print invitations necessary? That makes it seem more formal to me. Email? Word of mouth? 
    The event can be as formal or as informal as the hosts desire.  Formal parties should have written invitations.  I, personally, do not like email invitation or social media.

    Mr. and Mrs. John Brideparents
     request the pleasure of your company
    to celebrate the recent marriage of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Date of party
    time o'clock
    Address
    City, State

    or, less formally

    Come meet the newlyweds
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    at a luncheon (tea, barbecue)
    to celebrate their recent marriage
    Date of party
    Time o'clock
    at the home of Jane and John Bridesparents
    Address
    City, State





    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44
  • My Inlaws (basically MIL) was po’d that her friends weren’t invited. We agreed to have her host a meet the newlyweds cocktail party. It ended up making her very happy and releasing the tension. In saying that, we didn’t have to travel. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensmollybarker11STARMOON44
  • @MobKaz @CMGragain thank you so much for the input - I really appreciate it. I have never heard of an event like this before, so it is helpful to have outside perspective. 

    My mom did mention it wouldn't be a 'wedding party', but a get-together because they have want their friends to meet my FH and celebrate. My FH is more strongly opposed than I am, so I will talk with him and we'll decide how we want to move forward. I know that not agreeing to this event would disappoint my mom but am weighing that against the inconvenience and (to me) somewhat ridiculousness of flying across the country for a party. Unfortunately I have no idea when we would be back (potentially not until next year) so postponing doesn't seem like a solution my parents would be happy with. 

    How would an event like this be introduced to potential guests? Are print invitations necessary? That makes it seem more formal to me. Email? Word of mouth? 
    For the meet the newlyweds party that MIL threw, she sent out fancy invites with wording similar to what @CMGragain suggested above. My MIL is a party throwing queen so I wasn’t the least bit surprised that things were a bit more than we did for our actual wedding. I just showed up, ate food, met people and it made everyone happy. 
  • @ernursej thanks for sharing your experience. If we didn't have to travel it would be a no brainer to keep my mom happy - after all in the end it's just a party. But we would have to take 2 flights (~9 hours total each way including layover and airport travel time) and are trying to do that without taking time off work. So that would involve leaving work early on Friday, getting in late on Friday night, having 1 full day on Saturday (evening taken up by the party) and leaving around 2 pm the following day to get home late on Sunday night. 

    @CMGragain appreciate the wording advice. 
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No disrespect to your mom, whose heart is in the right place, but that time frame is insanity.  To exhaust yourselves, and incur costs for a “meet and greet” is insane.  I live in the Chicago area, and my son and his wife are in LA.  As I type this, my DH and I are on a late flight for a long weekend to visit them.  By the time we return Monday night, I am wiped out, and typically go to work the next day on “fumes”.  I cannot imagine doing that for a shorter time and a less significant event.
    charlotte989875ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
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