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Wedding Shower/Engagement Party?

Hi everyone,

My fiance and I just got engaged less than a week ago and we are already beginning the planning process, as we are looking forward to a fall wedding. My question is this: we can only afford to have a small wedding ceremony and reception. Nevertheless, we want all of our extended friends and family to be a part of the beginning of our lives together. We thought about hosting a large, informal wedding shower or engagement party to have everyone celebrate with us. However, if not everyone is going to be invited to the wedding, how do we appropriately make it clear to our guests?

Any advice you guys can offer is helpful! Thanks so much.

Warm regards,
Sarah

Re: Wedding Shower/Engagement Party?

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    You should not throw your own engagement party or shower. Anyone invited to an engagement party or shower needs to be invited to the wedding.
    Are there things you could cut in your wedding to be able to accomodate more people? How many people are you planning on having?
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    Anyone who participates in pre-wedding events (parties, showers, etc.) MUST be invited to the actual wedding and reception.
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    This can't really be done. First, you aren't supposed to host your own Engagement party or Shower. It screams "asking for presents." So, not spending money on your own pre-wedding party should free up some wedding budget...

     Second, wedding showers & engagement parties imply wedding invitations. Inviting people to a shower, but not to the wedding, says "gift grabby."
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    If you invited me to that, I would take it as, "please come give me a gift, but don't come to my wedding."
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    The reason for that is if someone is good enought to get you a gift, they'd better be good enough to see you say your vows. If you invite someone to a shower and not the wedding, the message you're sending (whether you mean to or not)  is "buy me a gift. You're not actually important enough to celebrate the event the gift was for, but gimme."
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    This is not a good idea, and goes against several rules of etiquette.  As others said, only those invited to the wedding may be invited to showers or engagement parties. 

    Hopefully you're asking this on the etiquette board because you want to not be rude to your guests.

    Suggestion: If you can afford to host a huge shower/engagement party, what's stopping you from inviting them to the wedding? Why not just make the wedding a little less formal? As long as you provide them with food, drink, and a good time, it will be a great wedding. I guess I just don't understand how you can afford to have a huge shower party but a tiny wedding.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-showerengagement-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c110ec3-fb74-4478-bf56-b66d04f65fb3Post:1e40affc-20b3-4424-8461-ce32544beb06">Re: Wedding Shower/Engagement Party?</a>:
    [QUOTE] I guess I just don't understand how you can afford to have a huge shower party but a tiny wedding.
    Posted by tlv204[/QUOTE]
    This.
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    I guess they've pretty much said it.
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    I agree with the above.  If I was invited to your engagement party, and brought presents etc etc, I would EXPECT to be invited to your wedding.

    Maybe consider having a pay bar at the wedding so the most expensive thing (the booze) is paid for.

    Or skip the engagement party and just have a fun and informal get together.
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    You can't invite people to a shower/engagement party and not the wedding. Maybe do a vow renewel next year, with a casual party and invite everyone to celebrate that?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-showerengagement-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c110ec3-fb74-4478-bf56-b66d04f65fb3Post:1e40affc-20b3-4424-8461-ce32544beb06">Re: Wedding Shower/Engagement Party?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is not a good idea, and goes against several rules of etiquette.  As others said, only those invited to the wedding may be invited to showers or engagement parties.  Hopefully you're asking this on the etiquette board because you want to not be rude to your guests. <strong>Suggestion: If you can afford to host a huge shower/engagement party, what's stopping you from inviting them to the wedding? Why not just make the wedding a little less formal? As long as you provide them with food, drink, and a good time, it will be a great wedding. I guess I just don't understand how you can afford to have a huge shower party but a tiny wedding</strong>.
    Posted by tlv204[/QUOTE]

    This.  You really shouldn't host your own shower or engagement party, those are thrown by other people.
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    Ditto everyone.

    1) It's not appropriate to throw any party in honor of yourself.  It's not just about the gifts but the idea of saying, "Come celebrate us!"

    2) Anyone invited to a pre-wedding function must be invited to the main event as well. 

    It's fine to throw a party for the sake of throwing a party, but don't call it anything that has to do with your wedding. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_wedding-showerengagement-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:5c110ec3-fb74-4478-bf56-b66d04f65fb3Post:2a025879-4586-4684-8ce5-f3fd7d6aa9dc">Re: Wedding Shower/Engagement Party?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with the above.  If I was invited to your engagement party, and brought presents etc etc, I would EXPECT to be invited to your wedding. <strong>Maybe consider having a pay bar at the wedding so the most expensive thing (the booze) is paid for.</strong> Or skip the engagement party and just have a fun and informal get together.
    Posted by chaparrita81[/QUOTE]

    Being rude to your guests is not the solution.  If you can't afford a bar, don't have it.  Asking your guests to pay for it is not ok.  That's no different than asking your guests to pay for cake. 

    Like PPs said, you cannot invite people to a pre-wedding party if they are not invited to the wedding.  Also, you don't throw these parties yourself.  Very gift grabby.

    If you can afford to throw this party for all these people, you can afford to invite them all to the wedding.  If you have a more casual event, you'll save some money.  If you can't invite them, it's ok.  People understand if you choose to have a smaller wedding.
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