Q: My fiancé and I have a ton of friends but a pretty small budget, which means we can’t afford to invite more than half of them to our wedding. Can we invite them to the engagement party that’s being thrown for us instead?
A: The short answer? No. Are there couples that do this? Absolutely. Are the wedding police coming after them? Not that we know of! 🙂
Tradition says that if a guest is invited to an engagement party they should be invited to the wedding, so technically you’re not supposed to. And I agree with tradition for the most part. However, if you and your friends feel comfortable with this then I say go for it!
Personally, I would feel a little odd if I was invited to an engagement party and not a wedding. But I’m also not a big fan of post-wedding parties where you invite all the guests that weren’t included at your wedding. In theory it sounds sweet, but something about it feels forced to me. I think friends understand if you can’t afford to invite them all to your big day!
My advice? Instead of inviting them to your engagement party, have an informal get-together at your house BEFORE the wedding, and make dinner for your closest friends who you won’t be able to invite (or have a pot-luck!), making it clear that NO gifts will be accepted. It feels more special, personalized, and a way to let them know how much they mean to you, even if you aren’t able to invite them to your wedding.