ASK AN EXPERT: My Parents Want to Invite Everyone They Know to My Engagement Party
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Erica, Bride-to-Be, asked:
I’m newly engaged and my parents have offered to throw an engagement party for me and my fiance. While I love the idea, they want to invite pretty much everyone they know… We have a magic number in mind for the total guest count at the wedding, but we’re going wind up going way over it if we need to invite everyone who comes to this first celebration. Does everyone who’s invited to the engagement party need be invited to the wedding?
Kellee, Founder & CEO of Loverly, answered:
This is a really good question, Erica, and one that we’ve been asked countless times!
It’s an incredibly sweet and generous gesture for your parents to host an engagement party, and it’ll be a super fun time, no doubt. However, if you’re truly concerned about keeping your wedding guest list lean and mean, it might be smart to have a conversation sooner rather than later (before mom and dad put stamps on those sure-to-be-adorbs invites).
Photo by Rawpixel.com/BigStock
Here’s the thing… Your parents are undoubtedly over the moon about your newly engaged status, so of course they want to shout it from the rooftop. It’s also very possible that they’re subscribing to old-school wedding ways, where parents’ friends often dominate the guest list at all the festivities. That said, pretty much every school of etiquette says that anyone who is invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. So if you’ve got a guest count in mind for your big day bash, you and your parents will need to factor it in now.
With that in mind, here’s how to deal (especially if you and your partner are footing the bill for most of the wedding):
If your parents are helping with costs of the wedding, let them have a little wiggle room with the invitees. Greeting guests with a smile on your face (regardless of whether you’ve met them formally or remember them from latter days) isn’t too hard to handle, especially when you can look down on your stunning sparkler and remember that they’re there to celebrate you and your S.O.
If you’re still not feeling 100 percent about a no-holds-barred bash, then just be honest with them. A candid conversation with mom and dad never hurt, and if they see that you’re taking time to have a serious sit-down, maybe they’ll see your point-of-view a lot more clearly.
If you’re up for the friends and fam fete, but still want to vet the invitees first, then brainstorm other ideas for your parents to “go viral” with the news. Share a couple of your standout engagement photos with them and strategize a cute “my daughter or son is getting married” announcement that they can share on social media. Or, if they’re not Facebook or Insta-inclined, work with them on a “something new” email that they can blast out to their besties. Pop in some deets of your proposal and include a few snapshots of the special occasion. At the end of the day, this can do the trick with those “nosy neighbors” who you weren’t too psyched about having at your party.
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