Etiquette

Who can I invite to my bachelorette party?

edited January 8 in Etiquette
So I'm having a very small wedding in March (30 people, assuming everyone invited comes). It will be 22 family members and then a few of my and FH's closest friends. 

I've already decided to not have a shower, because we live together and own a house already and don't need more stuff, but also because etiquette everywhere says I can't invite anyone who isn't invited to the wedding, and that would be literally everyone. I don't want to make anyone feel left out or that I'm being a gift-grabbing bridezilla.

I'm now debating what to do about the bachelorette party. A friend wants to throw one for me, we don't have a wedding party but she's a close friend who is attending the wedding, and we're debating whether we can invite a lot of my other friends who aren't coming to the wedding.

Is that super rude? Would you be mad if a friend was having an essentially family-only wedding but you were invited to a bachelorette party to celebrate with the bride instead?

Also keep in mind this won't be some night out on the town with a limo and a lot of things for people to chip in for me. I'm going to be five months pregnant at the time of the wedding, so it would be something like dinner and a craft night.

Please help! Not sure what to do!

Re: Who can I invite to my bachelorette party?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    If you want to have a party where non-wedding guests are invited, then it needs to be billed as something that's non-wedding related. "Bachelorette" indicates that the party is wedding-related. "Girl's night," on the other hand, doesn't, so I would call your party something like that.
  • Thanks for the advice, everyone! My quandary with just calling it a girl's night is that it will be a large group of people who never would hang out with each other in the first place (high school friends, college friends, coworkers I actually see outside of work, etc.) so billing it as a large girl's night feels disingenuous. Especially if everyone will know I'm getting married in the next week or two.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    In that case, I'd just call it a party and let it go at that.
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Your friend was gracious to offer. 

    I would agree that under any other circumstance, you would probably never mix that group of friends and colleagues. 

    Your friend could still host an intimate event with the friends that are invited to the wedding.  Simply thank her for her offer and explain that it would be best to either decline altogether or limit the event to invited guests.
  • Maybe UO opinion here..

    I know what etiquette dictates, and PPs have it well covered, but personally this wouldn't bother me, especially where the wedding is all family. If you were having 100 people at the wedding or this was a gift giving event it would be different but if a close friend invited me to a bachelorette that didn't cost much when I knew she was having a very tiny wedding I wouldn't be offended.
    short+sassy
  • Maybe UO opinion here..

    I know what etiquette dictates, and PPs have it well covered, but personally this wouldn't bother me, especially where the wedding is all family. If you were having 100 people at the wedding or this was a gift giving event it would be different but if a close friend invited me to a bachelorette that didn't cost much when I knew she was having a very tiny wedding I wouldn't be offended.

    These are my thoughts exactly. As a friend, I wouldn't be even the slightest bit annoyed to be invited to this party, especially since it's super low key / inexpensive. TBH I wouldn't be annoyed even if it was a dinner and drinks type night out where I did have to spend money. 

    short+sassy
  • MobKaz said:
    Maybe UO opinion here..

    I know what etiquette dictates, and PPs have it well covered, but personally this wouldn't bother me, especially where the wedding is all family. If you were having 100 people at the wedding or this was a gift giving event it would be different but if a close friend invited me to a bachelorette that didn't cost much when I knew she was having a very tiny wedding I wouldn't be offended.
    The guest list is NOT restricted to family.  "It will be 22 family members and then a few of my and FH's closest friends."

    I understand what you are saying, however, some friends made "the cut" and others did not.  I think this runs into the potential of creating some hurt feelings.  Could those who are hurt simply decline?  Sure.  But etiquette says those friends should not be placed in that position in the first place.



    It’s a slippery slope.  Two of my close girlfriends have had tiny weddings- immediate family only, fewer than ten guests, JOP and then treated their guests to a nice lunch.  No wedding party, no bridal shower either time...but both times our friend group took the bride to be out for a night on the town.  We did call it a bachelorette party both times.  It was dinner and drinks both times.  Neither bride asked for it, but it gave girls’ night a fun spin for it to be a BP.
    The difference here is the BP guest list is a couple of friends who have made the cut, as well as “a lot of my other friends who aren’t coming to the wedding” in the OP’s words.  A wedding with your parents and siblings as guests is different than 30 guests, including friends.  To avoid hurt feelings, I ditto PP who suggest planning a gathering without any mention of bachelorette party or wedding.

    charlotte989875ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • How nice that your friend has offered to throw you a bachelorette party!  Surely you wouldn't want to embarrass her by asking her to invite people that are not already invited to your wedding.  That would be a huge act of rudeness!
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  • I wouldn't invite someone who isn't invited to the wedding, out of being polite mostly.

    Just an idea for yourself :

    For my "bachelorette" - technically I had 2 but I'll explain in a second - we just went for brunch and got our nails done.
    It was my BM's plus my mum and MIL

    For the '2nd bachelorette' {as they joked about it} it was the night before since one of my BFF's couldn't attend the first one {didn't live nearby} and we drank, joked about sex stuff {I have a tea steeper my friend joked that looks like a sex toy she has lmao}, watched "Bridesmaids" and had snacks.

    I never wanted a huge deal for my bachelorette party, so this was perfect for me.
    If a friend wants to throw you a party, that's wonderful! Make sure you communicate what you do/don't want. My friends originally wanted to do something over the top, but I talked them down - explaining that while I appreciate it, I would just rather something simple.
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    short+sassy
  • I personally wouldn't be offended to be invited to a bachelorette party, even if I wasn't invited to the small and intimate wedding (even if some other friends were invited).  But then, that is my own personal feelings.  As PP's pointed out, some people might be hurt by that.

    It sounds like you have your friends' best interests at heart and I'm sure you and the person hosting the party can figure out how to phrase/hold it, without it seeming like a "bachelorette" party.  A fun night with your friends, even if they come from different social groups.

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  • MandyMost said:
    Thanks for the advice, everyone! My quandary with just calling it a girl's night is that it will be a large group of people who never would hang out with each other in the first place (high school friends, college friends, coworkers I actually see outside of work, etc.) so billing it as a large girl's night feels disingenuous. Especially if everyone will know I'm getting married in the next week or two.
    If you were going to throw a party, wouldn't you invite all these people? When I throw a party I don't decide "Oh, this party will be with my college friends, I'll throw another party with my coworkers next month". I just invite everyone.

    I see no issue with having a "Girls night for Jane" (or whatever your name is!) and inviting all of your girl friends. It doesn't matter that they don't know each other. Meeting "friends of friends" is basically the only way people could meet new people and expand their social networks before social media existed--give it a try. 
    I agree with this. I would maaaaaybe be a tiny bit put off that I wasn't invited to the wedding since it's not 100% just family only, but it would depend on how close I thought we were. Personally, I love meeting people from my friends' "other lives," and I like mixing up my friend groups and introducing people who may get along or develop their own friendships. As long as you don't make it all wedding-y, I probably wouldn't be put off by it.
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