Pre-wedding Parties

Engagement Party Too late

hi,
we got engaged June 30 2018.  Someone told me we had to know when/where our wedding was going to be by the engagement party.so we’ve been trying to figure out destination vs. in state and finally landed on doing it in state Bc my parents changed their mind on a destination wedding and was refusing to come.  Anyways, now it’s November and we found a venue and will be getting married September 27, 2019.  I was thinking of having an engagement party on Dec 1, 2018. Is it too late to have one? I’m just super bummed because our friends and family really don’t know eachother and I feel like we really didn’t get to celebrate with everyone and I would really like to.  Also if we have one should we just invite local friends and family? Or also include those who we would invite to the wedding that live across the country in CA? We live in NJ/NYC.

thanks for any advice! 

Re: Engagement Party Too late

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think I have read on here that 6 months after the engagement is the time limit for engagement parties (correct me if I'm wrong knotties). However, @missJeanLouise is right, you don't throw one for yourself. You only have an engagement party if someone throws one for you. If someone else is throwing it for you, I would limit it to local friends and family.
    InLoveInQueensshort+sassyernursej
  • @missJeanLouise thanks for your advice. Yea my parents would be throwing it for us. My mom just hadn’t planned anything yet Bc she was waiting for me to know wedding details.  

    @ILoveBeachMusic thank you for your advice. I’ve read many say 3 months and a couple say 6 months. So I really wasn’t sure.  I was hoping I would get a lot of responses that said 6 months is ok and that it’s not too late.  

    Anyone else want to weigh in??
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @giglechk4u I've never heard that you needed to know wedding details in order to have an engagement party. Has anyone else?
    ahoywedding
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @giglechk4u I've never heard that you needed to know wedding details in order to have an engagement party. Has anyone else?
    No. It sounds like casual "Helps to know that because you'll be asked 50 times" or "You need to have some idea of your guest list because obviously you can't invite anyone who won't be invited to the wedding." But maybe someone said that as a serious rule.

    I do think it's too late. At 4-5 months after the engagement it isn't really a new thing any more.
    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    hi,
    we got engaged June 30 2018.  Someone told me we had to know when/where our wedding was going to be by the engagement party.so we’ve been trying to figure out destination vs. in state and finally landed on doing it in state Bc my parents changed their mind on a destination wedding and was refusing to come.  Anyways, now it’s November and we found a venue and will be getting married September 27, 2019.  I was thinking of having an engagement party on Dec 1, 2018. Is it too late to have one? I’m just super bummed because our friends and family really don’t know eachother and I feel like we really didn’t get to celebrate with everyone and I would really like to.  Also if we have one should we just invite local friends and family? Or also include those who we would invite to the wedding that live across the country in CA? We live in NJ/NYC.

    thanks for any advice! 
    As is the case with many weddings, friends and/or family will not know each other prior to the wedding.  It is not a requirement nor does it impact the wedding in any way.  You will celebrate AT the wedding.  Outside of the wedding, how often would any of these people get together any way?  More often than not, a larger family event that draws many people together still remains somewhat "separate".  A's family will congregate together because larger family events are few and far between, and they will all want to catch up with each other.  B's family will be prone to do the same thing.  Other than some brief pleasantries, I'm not sure how much "mingling" is done between the two families at a wedding.

    I don't know any particular hard and fast rules, but I would expect most engagement parties to be smaller affairs as opposed to literally inviting a good portion of the wedding guest list.

    I agree with @missJeanLouise that a more casual, non-specific get together would be the better option at this point. 
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • I lean toward it is still soon enough to have an engagement party.  At worst, some guests might think "huh, that engagement happened awhile ago," but I wouldn't think anyone/most would side-eye it.

    I also think of engagement parties as being smaller, more intimate gatherings. 

    Though one of my coworkers threw a doozy of one!  I think they had a 350-person wedding guest list and invited about half those people to the engagement party.  Of course, to each their own, but that sounded utterly exhausting to me, lol.  I think they had their engagement party about 6 months after getting engaged.  I do remember being a little surprised at how long it was after their engagement but, at the same time, didn't think it was a big deal.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I lean toward it is still soon enough to have an engagement party.  At worst, some guests might think "huh, that engagement happened awhile ago," but I wouldn't think anyone/most would side-eye it.

    I also think of engagement parties as being smaller, more intimate gatherings. 

    Though one of my coworkers threw a doozy of one!  I think they had a 350-person wedding guest list and invited about half those people to the engagement party.  Of course, to each their own, but that sounded utterly exhausting to me, lol.  I think they had their engagement party about 6 months after getting engaged.  I do remember being a little surprised at how long it was after their engagement but, at the same time, didn't think it was a big deal.

    I mean, how I will view it very much depends on the couple and how they behave with respect to it. My brother got engaged in September. Based on what I heard from my mom today (i.e. not from him) there's an engagement party in the works for January (at a bar they like, near their place). Unclear whether they're throwing it for themselves, but sort of seems that way. It's 5 hours away from me, January is going to be a rough month, and obviously I wasn't consulted about that.

    So if they just want to have the party (although why it can't be earlier than January confuses me), I'm kind of like, whatever, go for it. But if it affects me - if I'm expected to go and it will at all damage my relationship if I don't - that annoys me, because no, I don't really want to go to an OOT engagement party 5 months after the engagement happened. Even for my brother.
  • I think 6 months after the engagement is a little late, but not terrible. If your parents really have their heart set on throwing one for you, I don't think it's too ridiculous. 

    That said, your family and friends do not need to get to know each other before the wedding, and as @MobKaz pointed out, most people will probably stick to hanging out with the guests they already know anyway.
    image
    thisismynickname2
  • Well, I had an engagement party 8 months after I got engaged (8 months before my wedding date and 6 months before my shower) because my mom wanted to throw it in our vacation house and she was getting surgery and my FI and I were moving cross country. Basically, a lot of moving parts and that’s what worked for everyone, mostly my parents, the hosts of the party. 

    Everuone close to us knew all or most of the moving parts so we didn’t really get any push back - it was the first time I’d seen a lot of the family since the engagement! Engagement parties are a large thing in my fiancé’s culture so people continued to ask us about it - it didn’t really seem like something we could skip (like months after our engagement my FMIL would be like “cousin Edna called and was wondering if you guys decided when your engagement party will be?!” - it was definitely expected) so my perception was that yeah, maybe people thought it should have been sooner, but they got it and no one begrudged us doing it.  

    we had about 65 guests (invited 80) at the party and will have about 220 at the wedding. 

    Im not saying definitely do it just cuz I did, but just maybe think about context and familial expectations and make your judgment call

    Hope this helps!
    charlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think you're fine to still have an engagement party. I'd stick to only inviting local family members though. 

  • I think you’re okay to have one as far as timeframe.  The most important things are that you don’t host your own (which you’re not) and that everyone invited to this and any pre-wedding party be invited to your wedding.

    I know we all have our things to stress over, but try not to sweat it too much if the families and your friends don’t meet before your wedding.  If they choose to meet then they can, but most adults seem to enjoy hanging with people they already know.  It was important to my H and me that our parents meet, so we invited both sets of parents over for dinner at our place a few weeks after we were engaged.  But don’t worry too much about all family and friends not knowing each other.
  • I lean toward it is still soon enough to have an engagement party.  At worst, some guests might think "huh, that engagement happened awhile ago," but I wouldn't think anyone/most would side-eye it.

    I also think of engagement parties as being smaller, more intimate gatherings. 

    Though one of my coworkers threw a doozy of one!  I think they had a 350-person wedding guest list and invited about half those people to the engagement party.  Of course, to each their own, but that sounded utterly exhausting to me, lol.  I think they had their engagement party about 6 months after getting engaged.  I do remember being a little surprised at how long it was after their engagement but, at the same time, didn't think it was a big deal.

    I mean, how I will view it very much depends on the couple and how they behave with respect to it. My brother got engaged in September. Based on what I heard from my mom today (i.e. not from him) there's an engagement party in the works for January (at a bar they like, near their place). Unclear whether they're throwing it for themselves, but sort of seems that way. It's 5 hours away from me, January is going to be a rough month, and obviously I wasn't consulted about that.

    So if they just want to have the party (although why it can't be earlier than January confuses me), I'm kind of like, whatever, go for it. But if it affects me - if I'm expected to go and it will at all damage my relationship if I don't - that annoys me, because no, I don't really want to go to an OOT engagement party 5 months after the engagement happened. Even for my brother.


    Admittedly, I personally view engagement parties as fairly casual.  Not necessarily referring to the party itself, but more as a "it's a fun party, if it's convenient to go".  But I'm not going to knock myself out trying to attend one.  Even for an immediate family member or close friend.

    In your example, I wouldn't make a 10-hour r/t drive just for a sibling's engagement party.  Unless I wanted to partially use it as an excuse to visit and see family anyway.  But those are my choices and I understand some people might feel differently.  And yeah, your brother or any other family shouldn't be miffed if you don't go.  Especially since it's not like he even consulted you about the date.

    @giglechk4u, If it's close family and friends who live long distance, I'd still issue an invite.  I'd think most OOT people will probably decline.  But that is their choice to make, if they are people you would normally want to invite.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    thisismynickname2
  • Thank you everyone for your advice and input. I think we are going to have one still. Have to discuss it with my mom.  Maybe we just put on the invite no gifts? We would like to get gifts but we don’t want people to think that we are having it to get gifts. Thoughts on that? 
  • I've never though of engagement parties as gift giving events so I wouldn't bring one anyway. But it's tacky to put "no gifts" on the invitation regardless. If you get any, accept gratefully but if not (which I think is more likely to happen) just enjoy your party.
    charlotte989875
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Thank you everyone for your advice and input. I think we are going to have one still. Have to discuss it with my mom.  Maybe we just put on the invite no gifts? We would like to get gifts but we don’t want people to think that we are having it to get gifts. Thoughts on that? 
    Putting no gifts is rude. Engagement parties aren't typically gift giving events anyway. Putting no gifts implies that you were expecting gifts.


  • Thank you everyone for your advice and input. I think we are going to have one still. Have to discuss it with my mom.  Maybe we just put on the invite no gifts? We would like to get gifts but we don’t want people to think that we are having it to get gifts. Thoughts on that? 
    Putting no gifts is rude. Engagement parties aren't typically gift giving events anyway. Putting no gifts implies that you were expecting gifts.


    Depends where you are.  I've only ever been to *one* engagement party in these parts that wasn't a gift-giving event (out of many, many engagement parties), and that couple wasn't originally from here.  My sister and I both actually refused engagement parties because we didn't want to be gift grabby.

    But yeah, don't put "no gifts."  Just let the chips fall where they may.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
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