Etiquette Q&A: "Can We Host a Luncheon for Hometown Friends Who Aren't Invited to the Wedding?"


Q. Before she marries, my daughter asked me to host a luncheon for hometown friends and church members not invited to the wedding (five hours away). She would also like to have her fIancé and bridesmaids at the luncheon. How can I pull this off?

A. Asking people who are not invited to the wedding to attend a luncheon celebrating your daughter’s upcoming marriage might be a bit awkward. Will they assume this is a bridal shower? They may, especially if they know that your daughter’s fiancé and bridesmaids will be in attendance. Do they know they’re not being asked to the wedding? Keep in mind that even though the wedding is five hours away, many people would happily make arrangements to attend and may be offended if they’re invited to a luncheon (where they might even bring gifts) but not to the wedding itself.

My advice: Plan a post-wedding gathering instead and invite everyone to your home then. At that point, there’ll be no misunderstanding about who is or isn’t invited to the wedding and I’m sure they’ll enjoy having an opportunity to offer their congratulations to the happy couple and to meet your daughter’s new husband.

—Diane Forden


My daughter is having a destination wedding for family & very close friends. A few of my good friends want to host a wedding shower for her but most of the invitees will not be receiving an invitation to the wedding. As well as her fiance's friends (most will not be receiving a wedding invitation) want to host a shower. We realize this is not following the etiquette rules of people being invited to a shower that aren't being invited to the wedding. Have the rules relaxed somewhat? Thank you.