Wedding Reception Forum

Engagement party date woes

Hello everyone,

My future hubby and I decided to throw an informal engagement BBQ this summer for everyone to attend, so everyone can meet, that sort of thing. We picked a date in July, not realizing it was a friends husbands birthday. We planned and paid for everything for that date. And in the 2 weeks since we've sent out the invites and told everyone to be expecting them, I have heard, "that's my birthday" and "that's my husband's birthday that you picked for the party." Mind you, this is not an all day affair, but a casual BBQ. Can anyone recommend some advice on how to deal with this? I am sick of getting snarky comments. 

Re: Engagement party date woes

  • Invitations sent out six months in advance just SCREAMS informal BBQ.  I'm sure some people are more confused than anything by getting an invite six months in advance and may assume it's more formal than it is. 

    Pick a new date or learn how to handle declines graciously.
  • I'm one of the few here who doesn't side-eye the couple throwing their own engagement party, but I do agree it should be done sooner than 6 months after being engaged and that you're sending invitations WAY too early for this shindig, especially for being a casual BBQ. 

    Either reschedule or continue as planned and say, "Sorry you can't make it!" when you get the comments about the birthday. There's really not much else you can do.
    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
  • If this party is informal, as you say, why on earth are you inviting people 6 months in advance? That's more than double the time when wedding invitations are to be sent! And engagement parties are soon after you get engaged, not over 6 months later, this is just a BBQ that for some reason you think people need to plan for 6 months in advance.

    Just change the date if you want these people there, you shouldn't have sent invitations so early in the first place, or tell them "oh sorry I didn't realize, we're sorry you won't be able to make it (if they decline)" and accept that they might not come because of it. 

    My advice, and what others will probably say, take a chill pill, their comments might not even be declines, just a heads up maybe they'll leave early to celebrate or something. You're seriously making a mountain out of not even a mole Hill, an ant Hill, and if this is how you think about a "casual bbq" you're in for a real freaking headache planning a wedding. Those aren't snarky comments, holy crap, they're just comments. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited January 2017
    This is not an engagement party.  An engagement party is given by someone other than the bride and groom, usually the parents, soon after the engagement.
    You do not invite people to a party six months ahead of time.  What were you thinking?
    When the time comes (about 4 weeks out), send invitations to a barbecue, NOT an engagement party.  This is not a part of your wedding.  If someone says that they have a conflict, you smile politely and say, "Oh, I'm sorry you can't attend.  We will miss you."
  • You're never going to find a date that avoids birthdays, anniversaries, etc. for your entire guest list. This couple can either decide to attend or not. Their choice. You're doing nothing wrong in your date selection.

    But an engagement party should be within a few months of you getting engaged. Six months is way too long. 

    Also, why on god's green earth are you sending out invitations in JANUARY? This party is 6 months away. Even wedding invitations don't go out until 8ish weeks before the main event. 

    Are you registered somewhere for this event?

  • Seconding @AddieCake in that I don't necessarily GAF if a couple throws their own engagement party, if it's more like "hey we realized we have friends who haven't met FI" or something. I think that's kind of nice; that you want your friends to know your future spouse before the day of your wedding. 

    That being said, cool your jets on the invites for this BBQ. For a casual party, there's no need to plan so far ahead of time. Summer is a popular time for vacations, so if you have some VIPs, you could check with them maybe in the spring to try and plan around that. But you're never going to avoid everybody's everythings.
  • MobKaz said:

    Your issues?  If these are your nearest and dearest, why didn't you do a little recon regarding the date?  Informing you of conflicting dates/plans is not being snarky; these people are telling you factually that your date does not jive with their plans.  Change the date; don't change the date.  Regardless, you will not get 100% attendance.
    This.  Every year, I have a Christmas get-together with my friends from out of town, and even though there are less than a dozen people, I can never get a date that works for everyone.  People lead busy lives and their schedules fill up fast with obligations from work, family, other friends, personal vacations, etc.  You can't take it personally.  I'm not sure how many people you're inviting to this BBQ, but you can expect that several will not be able to make it for one reason or another.  Same with your wedding.  We do tell people on TK to budget for and expect 100% attendance, so that you're prepared to host everyone properly, but most of us do experience a number of declines.  Even if someone has the time to attend, they may not have the money.  Again, if you take every decline for your wedding personally, you're going to have a bad time.
  • I think the BBQ idea sounds really cool (giving your nearest and dearest a way to meet each other before the big day is such a good idea). Invitations six months out is a bit weird, but you do you. 

    Mostly, I'm just here to lend a massive eye roll to any adult who stamps their feet at other people having the audacity to schedule something on their birthday. This dude is a grown man! 
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