Wedding Woes

How horrible would this be?

We are being invited to a wedding and reception (I think) late spring/early summer. The bride has had posts all over social media asking for addresses, posting save the dates, reminding people to RSVP and talking about the event. People have responded asking about the event. She has said that they can't afford to invite everyone to the reception but all are invited to the ceremony. There will be a cash bar at the reception. The event is local for us. I don't think our adult children will be able to attend as they are all out of town (DD will not be able to travel at that point being too close to her due date). The groom and his parents are very close family friends. My question - could we reasonably just go to the ceremony? His brother's reception a couple of years ago was a sh*t show. I don't know yet if the ceremony and reception are in the same location. We have received the STD but not the invitation (too early for that). I want to support the marriage but don't care to attend a reception that I have to pay for and not enjoy.

Re: How horrible would this be?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I would make a token appearance at the reception. For example, if there's a receiving line, I'd go through the receiving line to greet the couple and then leave at an inconspicuous moment. If there isn't any receiving line, then I'd find the couple and greet them, and then again leave at an inconspicuous moment.
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensahoywedding
  • I would either attend the ceremony only or leave after the meal if there is one.   I wouldn't skip out on the reception pre food even with a cash bar.
    mollybarker11ahoywedding
  • I think this is the option most likely to offend. You’d be better off just RSVPing no and skipping the entire thing. Less noticeable. Send a card and a gift if you want. 
    CMGragain
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I think this is the option most likely to offend. You’d be better off just RSVPing no and skipping the entire thing. Less noticeable. Send a card and a gift if you want. 
    Unfortunately, skipping the whole thing when the families are close friends is very likely to offend. The OP wants to attend the ceremony and at least appear supportive of the marriage, and skipping the whole thing over the reception would be counterproductive in this instance.
    MesmrEweahoywedding
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I will definitely send a gift and card, never a question about that. I'm pretty sure there will be a meal. I guess I'll wait until we receive the invitation and try to ascertain if there is a meal. If there is, we will leave after that. I will definitely discourage DS2 from attending - he is the closest but would still need to travel 2 hours to get here. I agree, it would be offensive if we didn't attend at all unless something is going on with DD, and we need to be with her at the time.
  • Jen4948 said:
    I think this is the option most likely to offend. You’d be better off just RSVPing no and skipping the entire thing. Less noticeable. Send a card and a gift if you want. 
    Unfortunately, skipping the whole thing when the families are close friends is very likely to offend. The OP wants to attend the ceremony and at least appear supportive of the marriage, and skipping the whole thing over the reception would be counterproductive in this instance.
    I disagree. I think it’s more understandable to just not be available that day than to show up for part so it’s clear to everyone you could go but you just don’t want to. 
    banana468MairePoppykahluakoala
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 10
    We are being invited to a wedding and reception (I think) late spring/early summer. The bride has had posts all over social media asking for addresses, posting save the dates, reminding people to RSVP and talking about the event. People have responded asking about the event. She has said that they can't afford to invite everyone to the reception but all are invited to the ceremony. There will be a cash bar at the reception. The event is local for us. I don't think our adult children will be able to attend as they are all out of town (DD will not be able to travel at that point being too close to her due date). The groom and his parents are very close family friends. My question - could we reasonably just go to the ceremony? His brother's reception a couple of years ago was a sh*t show. I don't know yet if the ceremony and reception are in the same location. We have received the STD but not the invitation (too early for that). I want to support the marriage but don't care to attend a reception that I have to pay for and not enjoy.
    It is entirely up to you whether or not you want to attend this very rude event.  Personally, I would decline, but that's me.  The couple is insulting their guests by violating basic etiquette,  You do not need to worry whether or not they notice that you attend their "reception".  There is no obligation for you to do so, and you do not owe anyone explanations.  Sorry, but I remember my own non-alcoholic cake and punch reception, and this seems so ridiculous.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • I will definitely send a gift and card, never a question about that. I'm pretty sure there will be a meal. I guess I'll wait until we receive the invitation and try to ascertain if there is a meal. If there is, we will leave after that. I will definitely discourage DS2 from attending - he is the closest but would still need to travel 2 hours to get here. I agree, it would be offensive if we didn't attend at all unless something is going on with DD, and we need to be with her at the time.
    No.  A wedding invitation is not a court summons.  You do not give a reason for declining an invitation.  What is offensive is their not inviting all their wedding guests to the reception afterwards.  Huge mistake!  Cash bar?  Eh.  I would go dry that day.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948 said:
    I think this is the option most likely to offend. You’d be better off just RSVPing no and skipping the entire thing. Less noticeable. Send a card and a gift if you want. 
    Unfortunately, skipping the whole thing when the families are close friends is very likely to offend. The OP wants to attend the ceremony and at least appear supportive of the marriage, and skipping the whole thing over the reception would be counterproductive in this instance.
    I disagree. I think it’s more understandable to just not be available that day than to show up for part so it’s clear to everyone you could go but you just don’t want to. 
    Completely agree.  

    If they want to duck out after the food is served they can bluff an early night or they can just decline altogether.   

    What I wouldn't do is attend the ceremony and then show up only to a reception receiving line.


    CMGragainMairePoppy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    banana468 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    I think this is the option most likely to offend. You’d be better off just RSVPing no and skipping the entire thing. Less noticeable. Send a card and a gift if you want. 
    Unfortunately, skipping the whole thing when the families are close friends is very likely to offend. The OP wants to attend the ceremony and at least appear supportive of the marriage, and skipping the whole thing over the reception would be counterproductive in this instance.
    I disagree. I think it’s more understandable to just not be available that day than to show up for part so it’s clear to everyone you could go but you just don’t want to. 
    Completely agree.  

    If they want to duck out after the food is served they can bluff an early night or they can just decline altogether.   

    What I wouldn't do is attend the ceremony and then show up only to a reception receiving line.


    Only problem with just declining is that if these are very close relatives and friends, and your absence will be noticed, then while it's okay etiquette-wise to decline the whole , it could do serious damage to your relationship if you do that and they find out that you didn't have an emergency.

    If you do just decline, then I would be very discreet about what you do while the wedding is going on. For example, if you go do something fun instead of attending, I wouldn't check in to your location on Facebook during the time the wedding reception is happening. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    Jen4948 said:

    Only problem with just declining is that if these are very close relatives and friends, and your absence will be noticed, then while it's okay etiquette-wise to decline the whole , it could do serious damage to your relationship if you do that and they find out that you didn't have an emergency.

    If you do just decline, then I would be very discreet about what you do while the wedding is going on. For example, if you go do something fun instead of attending, I wouldn't check in to your location on Facebook during the time the wedding reception is happening. 
    That is my dilemma, @Jen4948. These are very close friends - almost like family. Like I said, I think we will just leave after the meal (if there is one). While I realize you don't normally give a reason for not attending a wedding, I could definitely see my friend (MOG) asking why we weren't attending since it is in our home town, and we have known for months when the wedding is occurring. For her other son's wife's baby showers I have given reasons as to why I haven't attended (actual conflicts) because I felt it was expected that I would attend.
  • 6fsn6fsn
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    In my mind the important part is the ceremony. So if you only go to one, the least offensive option is the ceremony only. 

    I mean a cash bar isn’t ideal, but you can go to the reception without having to pay. If you truly want to support the marriage and these are close friends, suck it up go to both and leave after the cake to go get your drink on and laugh at the shit show. 
    ShesSoCold
  • WTH at publicly announcing that you're b-listing some of the guests - especially after all of the "social media" advertising. 

    If these are very close family friends, how do you feel about mentioning to your friends just how rude this is? If they are concerned about costs for the reception, there are plenty of ways to cut costs without excluding guests. (Keep it dry, heavy apps, low cost meal, low cost venue/restaurant catering, etc.) If you're invited to the wedding, you should be invited to the reception. If you don't want to go, you don't have to offer a reason. If you decline and they ask, tell them that you're trying to save the B&G some money on dinner, since they have publicly said about reducing guest count. 

    From my standpoint, you can support the marriage by skipping everything and sending a nice card - it sounds like this is all a gift grab, anyways. 


    CMGragaincharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    Jen4948 said:

    Only problem with just declining is that if these are very close relatives and friends, and your absence will be noticed, then while it's okay etiquette-wise to decline the whole , it could do serious damage to your relationship if you do that and they find out that you didn't have an emergency.

    If you do just decline, then I would be very discreet about what you do while the wedding is going on. For example, if you go do something fun instead of attending, I wouldn't check in to your location on Facebook during the time the wedding reception is happening. 
    That is my dilemma, @Jen4948. These are very close friends - almost like family. Like I said, I think we will just leave after the meal (if there is one). While I realize you don't normally give a reason for not attending a wedding, I could definitely see my friend (MOG) asking why we weren't attending since it is in our home town, and we have known for months when the wedding is occurring. For her other son's wife's baby showers I have given reasons as to why I haven't attended (actual conflicts) because I felt it was expected that I would attend.
    A childhood friend of DD's invited us to her wedding.  It was "local" (in the city) but we are out in the suburbs.  There was a 3 HOUR gap between the ceremony and reception.  The event was very close to black tie in formality.  We declined because......GAP + formal wear +summer schlepping in the city all dressed up with no where to go ='s decline.  This girl was so shocked we would decline this "must see" event that she actually asked why.  I was honest.  Her response?  "Well, my sister did it that way, so......".  We were not the only ones to decline.  Sadly, they got the message too late that their plans were rude.

    I would wait to see the invitation and the details.  IF the event was truly local, and there was no gap, I would probably attend through dinner and forego any alcoholic beverages.  I would leave after dinner.  If there is any other faux pas, however, including a gap, I would debate attending only the ceremony and coming up with an excuse for declining the reception.
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMomshort+sassy
  • I think it would be fine to stay through dinner only. Chances are your leaving would go unnoticed... the bride and groom and their families will be too preoccupied to keep count on all guests. 

    I personally would avoid attending the ceremony only, as that has a higher chance of going noticed and putting you in an awkward position to explain yourselves. Though, if you do decide to go that route, at least make that known when you send the RSVP so that you are not accounted for in the catering count. You’ll still probably feel obligated to give an explanation but at least you won’t be joining the poor etiquette camp. 

    Now, I completely agree that many facets of this wedding seem to be in poor taste, but at the end of the day, if these are close family friends, is it really that big a deal to go and spend an evening dry? And if it’s a sh*t show, ok you get dinner and a show?! And like @6fsn said, go out for drinks and a good laugh after. 
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
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    Yes, they are super rude and it will probably be a disaster. But at the end of the day, if you are already dressed up, have a gift bought and are sitting through the ceremony, what is a few hours more at the reception (i'm talking 2 hours, max)? This is assuming there isn't a crazy gap or something. 

    If they are as cash strapped as you make it out to be, chances are they will not be having a plated formal meal, and maybe even non-assigned seating. Go through the receiving line. Fix yourself a plate from the buffet. Make sure you give big, memorable hugs to the Groom/ your friends and then duck out. Don't buy a drink at the cash bar and bring a standard, non-expensive gift off the gift list (ie: cake tin and spatula instead of a china place setting).

    Stick around for 1.5/2 hours after the ceremony then 'throw a smoke bomb' (when you suddenly disappear from party when everyone is distracted by something else). Don't make a production of it, don't say goodbye to anyone, just slip out.

    Most likely no one will notice you left. And even if your good friend does notice just tell a small while lie of "Yes, I felt a migraine coming on so DH had to take me home. I didn't want to bring the beautiful day down because everyone was having so much fun! How wonderful were those Church flower arrangements? I love Hydrangeas" and then just bean dip. 

    If these are very close family friends, then 2 hours isn't that much to suck up.

    banana468mollybarker11
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    edited February 12
    We were in a similar situation many years ago. We and the groom's parents are close friends. The FOG had confided in my husband that the FOB was hosting the wedding and insisting on a cash bar. The FOG offered to pay for the bar, but FOB didn't want anyone getting drunk at the reception. Never mind that the wedding party had pre-gamed before the ceremony. We had planned on leaving the reception after dinner. When we got there, we realized we were assigned to the POGs table. We didn't have the hearts to leave. We stayed till the end, taking turns with the POG buying rounds for our table. At the end of the day, we are happy that we made our friends awkward situation more comfortable and we had a great time at the wedding. The FOG died a few years ago, unexpectedly. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

                
    banana468charlotte989875short+sassy
  • If all you want to do is go to the ceremony and not the reception, RSVP that you'll be at the ceremony but aren't able to attend the dinner/reception, no explanation necessary.  Stop complicating it - you don't want to attend out of fear of it being the experience like the sibling's wedding, so go to the ceremony and leave!  (just be kind and decline attending the reception on the RSVP)...  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I completely get that this can be a wedding that may not be fantastic to attend.   But sometimes for the sake of a friendship you grin and bear it.

    My ILs talked about attending the wedding of a mutual friend's child.   It was NOT their scene whatsoever.   However, the friend is near and dear to them so they went, smiled, and came home with a story but also knowing that it meant a lot to their friend that they attended.   


    charlotte989875MairePoppy
  • What I don't understand is, if these are such close friends that they are almost like family, why they seem to be okay with treating you and other invited guests so rudely. 

    I understand your dilemma with not wanting to offend, and feeling obligated to attend; however, your manners and regard for others' feelings is clearly not being reciprocated here.

    I am not saying two wrongs make a right, but I think you should not try to walk on eggshells to avoid offending your friends when they are not concerned about offending you. 

    I agree with PPs that you should attend - but don't feel bad about leaving early. Enjoy the (hopefully free) cake!
    charlotte989875
  • 6fsn said:


    I mean a cash bar isn’t ideal, but you can go to the reception without having to pay. If you truly want to support the marriage and these are close friends, suck it up go to both and leave after the cake to go get your drink on and laugh at the shit show. 
    This is what I am thinking, and then I thought maybe I missed something. Not attending just because there is a cash bar seems a bit over the top to me. I get there are other things like the FB announcements about not inviting everyone but it sounds like you guys will be invited to the entire thing so I don't see why you wouldn't attend if you are able.
  • banana468 said:
    I would either attend the ceremony only or leave after the meal if there is one.   I wouldn't skip out on the reception pre food even with a cash bar.
    This. We had people leave our wedding shortly after dinner for various reasons (kids they chose to leave at home, pregnant & exhausted, there was a final four basketball game that night) and it was totally fine. They went through the receiving line, we said our hello's and we didn't take offense. We knew why some people left early but I didn't worry about the others. It seems pretty common at most weddings that there will be SOME people ducking out early. 

    Plus I usually don't turn down someone else providing dinner ;) 
    short+sassy
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