OK, maybe you ladies can help me. FI and I have been together 8 years and our families have somehow never met. We're well into wedding planning and we decided that we should throw a "little" party to introduce the families. Some background- we're both italian so this goes far beyond introducing just our parents. FI was actually raised by several family members (we have 10 aunts and uncles a piece!). We want to invite them all. My family is extremely close and I want them to meet everyone too. So basically when we say "little" we're still looking at 40-60 people. (the wedding guest list is well over 250)
We thought we would call this an "engagement party" but make it very clear to everyone not to bring gifts. Where this is only close family that's easy enough to do. However my mom and several other family members said it's wrong to call this an engagement party since we're so far into wedding planning already (the wedding isn't until next October) and if we called it an engagement party people would feel obligated to bring gifts even if we told them not to. They also seemed to think that engagement parties were just for friends, not family and so calling this an engagement party was incorrect. So is this an engagement party? I don't mind calling it a family get together, (honestly I don't see what the big deal is either way - all of life's problem should be this minor, right?) I'm just curious about engagement party etiquette vs. regular party etiquette.
"I got married in 1968 and EVERYONE only had 1 photographer, I don't know where all this nonsense came from. Who wants two flashes popping all night anyway? and really as long as they get you dancing, kissing, and throwing the bouquet the rest is just fluff." - My mom