Ask the Expert: Do I Have to Invite All Engagement Party Guests to the Wedding?


Question: I know that I don’t have to invite every person that I’ll invite to my wedding to our engagement party, but is it expected that everyone who gets an invite to our engagement party will also get an invite to the wedding?

Answer: Well, yes  – and you should think carefully about your wedding day guest list before you invite every single coworker, the dog walker and your groom’s cousin twice removed to your engagement party, according to planner Rebecca Richman of Rebecca Richman Events.

“Proper and even modern etiquette would dictate that you should only invite guests to your engagement party if you plan on also inviting them to the wedding,” Richman says.

It makes sense: Better to avoid a too-big engagement party than offend those folks later when they realize they’ve been left off your wedding day list.

“Often times, people will have smaller, more intimate engagement parties for this reason as you can always invite more guests later to the wedding,” she says. “Traditionally, you would invite close family from both sides and also close family and personal friends.”

There is one exception, though, according to Richman: “The only real exception to this rule of etiquette would be if you are having a small, destination wedding, which may only include a handful of people. In this case, feelings wouldn’t be hurt if someone were invited to the engagement party and not the wedding.”

For more Ask the Expert questions (and answers!), go here.

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