I have attended engagement parties when I was not invited to the wedding in the past, but it was always for small weddings or destination weddings. This year I was invited to two engagement parties but not the weddings and there was no communication about the engagement party guest list being independent from the wedding list. Is this a new trend?
I’m not sure if I am more shocked or saddened by the number of guests put in this situation. Shame on the bride and groom for being so thoughtless.
Traditionally engagement parties were a time to announce an engagement and introduce the parents from both sides of the family. Today engagement parties are more often a celebration and kick off wedding planning. Although the purpose of the engagement party evolved, etiquette surrounding the guest list remains the same: everyone invited to the engagement party should be invited to the wedding.
As with all etiquette there are exceptions to the rule. If the wedding is small or out of town, a bride and groom may choose to invite more friends and family to the engagement party than the wedding. When this is done, a formal announcement should be made so that guests are not-disappointed when they do not receive invitations, or even more burdening, don’t plan vacation days or budget for travel unnecessarily.
Just because your friends treated you so carelessly does not mean you should feel uncomfortable for their mistake. Take the unknown out of the situation and talk to the bride or groom:
- Remind your friend that you appreciated the invitation to the engagement party.
- Mention that you are trying to budget or budget your vacation days and ask if you should allocate time for the wedding.
- If you do find out that you are not invited to the wedding, appreciate the confirmation and move on without harboring on the topic; the point is not to put your friends “in their place” or put any of their wedding planning fun, it is merely to alleviate the question in your mind.
So take the vacation days and savings you didn’t have to spend on the wedding (it probably was going to involve a dreadful cover band anyway) and treat yourself to a relaxing mini-vacation with friends.