These are some ideas I have seen friends implement when they are unable to invite more than a handful of friends to their child's wedding.
Although it is not always the case in today’s society, often the bride’s family still forks over the brunt of the cost for the wedding. Even if you, as the parents of the groom, offer to pay for your friends, your son and his fiance might want a small wedding or the venue may not accommodate the number of friends you want to invite. Thus, the groom’s family may be limited as to the number of guests that they can invite. If you have a large family, the likelihood of inviting many friends is next to nil if you have family that fills those invitation slots. Thus, the groom’s family may struggle to find a way to share their joy and include their friends in the celebration. Here are some ways to include your friends when you cannot invite them to your son’s wedding.
Host an Engagement Party
Inviting your friends to an engagement party that the groom’s family hosts can be a wonderful way to make your friends feel included in the celebration. Just be careful to word the invitation so that your friends do not expect a wedding invitation. Be honest and explain the situation, and indicate that you hope they can meet your son’s fiance and share in a pre-wedding celebration even though you will be unable to invite them to the ceremony.
Share the Ceremony Online
Even though the groom’s family may not be able to have many friends at the wedding, you can still invite them to view the ceremony online. Watching the nuptials virtually can make the groom’s friends feel like they are a part of the celebration. Often an online showing can allow those watching from afar to comment on the celebration or give their wishes for a long and happy marriage.
Host a Meet the ‘Mr. and Mrs. Party’
Invite the groom’s family friends to meet the couple after they are married. You can host a simple lunch or brunch after the nuptials and honeymoon. If it makes you more comfortable, you can have a ‘no gifts’ party or encourage friends to make a donation to a favorite charity in honor of your child’s marriage.
The advantage of hosting a party after the wedding and honeymoon is that there is no expectation that those invited will be attending the wedding. Everyone knows the wedding already took place, so the focus is on extending well wishes. By the time of the party, the newlyweds have set up their house and have most of their registered items, so there is no obligation for extravagant gifts.
Invite the Groom’s Family Friends to an After-Hours Party
This option really works best if the groom’s side has family friends that enjoy late nights and drinking. Nevertheless, if you want the groom’s family friends to share the celebration of the date of the wedding, it is an option. Even better, if the wedding is in the afternoon, it is possible to host an after-hours party that starts in the early evening and ends at a reasonable time. Many of the bride and groom’s friends are likely to partake in an after-hours party, so the celebratory atmosphere will make the groom’s friends feel like part of the celebration. There is no need to have elaborate food. You can have a coffee bar, drinks, and some desserts.
Small At-Home Post Wedding Introductions to Uninvited Friends
Lastly, if finances are an issue, you can have one or more small gatherings at your home to let any close friends that you were unable to invite to the wedding meet the bride and groom. Keeping the gathering to a few couples and hosting it at home allows you to budget more easily than hosting a large party. In addition, you will not have a liquor bill at a restaurant or need to pay for a venue.
Regardless of the way you include the groom’s family friends in the wedding celebration, they will be happy that you found a way to include them. Happy times are special, and it is likely your guests will make the effort to attend whatever you decide to host.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Abby Slutsky