GINA'S ANSWER: No, as I think that would be incredibly awkward. You’ll probably have invited guests at these pre-wedding events, and they’ll likely mention something about your upcoming wedding, and the univited people will feel reeeaaaaally awkward and/or slightly hurt. The only time I think this would be okay is if you are having a small destination wedding with just a few friends and family (understandably so), but are organizing a pre-trip event so you can celebrate with the masses.
JESS' ANSWER: This is a decision that is best felt out based on the friendships you have with these guests (or, non-guests, if you will). If you’re having a casual,“more the merrier” engagement party celebration, like a BBQ, then inviting those outside your guest list would be appropriate. However, if it’s a more formal setting (think of your parents throwing you a cocktail party, paper invitations, the whole shebang) then inviting guests you don’t intend to have at the wedding might give them the wrong idea.
ASHLEY'S ANSWER: You may invite guests to any event you feel like, but you should be wary of who is throwing the event, their financial ability, and also who else will be in attendance. You really don’t want to create any awkward situations between guests and non-guests You might create expectations by inviting someone to one event and not the wedding, and you should be prepared for some hurt feelings too if they are not invited to the wedding
Engagement parties are probably the best case of an event to invite non-guests wedding guests to. They generally fall way before the wedding, and are hosted by someone other than the wedding hosts. If you wish to invite someone to other events, I think that a less formal and less special gathering is acceptable. Establishing some distance from the wedding is best because it gives people a chance to be included but is not so fresh or close to the actual event.
Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.
Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she's not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She's an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she's a freelance graphic designer (www.designscribble.com).
Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She's partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she's not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.
Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.