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Can the groom's family have an engagement party for the couple? The bride's family lives three hours north and may want to have a party up there. How do we do this?
By Lynn Shellenberger from St. Paul, MN
Of course! My in-laws had a party at their home (4 hrs away) for their friends and family and my mom had one for us - both parents were invited to each others party too! It was a great way to meet each other's extended families and friends before the wedding reception! And, it was a meet and greet - no gifts!
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When is it improper to not attend an engagement party?
By ray from Cornelius, NC
Engagement parties started years ago as a Jewish tradition, and back then Jewish girls didn't have bridal showers.
I assume the bride and groom will be expecting gifts at both the bridal shower and wedding reception. If they are expecting gifts at the engagement party as well, if that is a problem for you, I would skip the engagement party.
No, it is not mandatory that you go. You can just say you have conflicting plans and leave it at that. (05/07/2009)
If I am invited to both the wedding and shower and I go to the shower then I take a gift to the shower and not the wedding. I understood that the gifts at the wedding were usually from people who lived out of town or could not come to the shower for whatever reason. Most people can't afford to give a gift at all the showers or parties held for couples now a days. You don't have to go to the engagement party. (05/15/2009)
By Teresa Tart
My boyfriend and I have been reunited after 22 years and just recently became engaged. We are planning on a June wedding in NC where he lives. I will also be moving there about 3 weeks before the wedding. He will be coming down to help me with the move. So that all of my Texas friends can meet him, my friend offered to give us an engagement party. All of the etiquette tips I have read say to invite all of the guests to the wedding that are invited to the engagement party.
I wasn't planning on doing that since I know very few of them would or could travel 1300 miles to go to my wedding. Would it be proper to make an exception since I am getting married out of state? Should I just have a BBQ while he's here instead of an engagement party? Tell me what you think. I have probably 150 people that want to meet him while he's here and only about 15 are coming up for the wedding. Thanks for your help.
Amanda from Central Texas
How romantic that you were reunited after 2 decades! I think you should invite everyone, as it's an opportunity for your friends to share your happiness. The BBQ sounds like fun, but in the end, you should do what suits yours and your fiance's personality best. Congratulations! (12/27/2007)
Hi, Amanda! Congratulations on your fairy-tale engagement! You're lucky that you have such a generous friend, not to mention 150 people who'd want to meet your fiance!
I'd send wedding invitations to everyone I'd invite to the wedding if it were planned for Texas. I'd include a separate card for the "meet-my-fiance" BBQ and state that it was "casual dress." You'd want the RSVPs directed to your friend hosting the party.
If anyone asked, your friend could let the guests know where you are registered for gifts (it wouldn't be a bad idea to choose some place that has branch stores in your new home area, too, so you could pick up gifts in NC, instead of having to transport them from Texas.)
Of course, the idea isn't just to get gifts (although they'd be welcome!), but to have your friends get to know your fiance, but you'd want to make it easy for those who'd like to give a gift. Your friend could explain that gifts could be ordered to be picked up in the NC store, if anyone asked. Then friends who want to wish you well can attend your casual BBQ; everyone would be able to share in the wedding happiness and have your invitation as a memento.
I hope this doesn't sound greedy; I'm trying to think like a guest as well as a hostess.
Congratulations! Nancy in Florida (12/27/2007)
By Nancy in NC
Invite everyone you would if you were staying in Texas for the wedding. Maybe some people would actually be thrilled to make the trip to NC! I think your friend sounds like a real sweetheart, and I wish you the best! (12/27/2007)