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It's like stocking the bathroom with those little emergency kits of bobby pins & bandaids and then sending a note out like, "We're such super considerate hosts. Now you don't have to show up in our photos with fly-away hair or blisters, which would've been so embarrassing for you and grossed everyone else out. You're welcome!"
Maybe well-intentioned -- I'm willing to give this young bride the benefit of the doubt and assume she figured the moms would want to go somewhere private (because she's clueless about breastfeeding, as outlined by Banana) -- but her approach was overbearing. If she'd had some ammeneties set up in the washroom for breastfeeders I don't think it would've gone down like this. Maybe some would've rolled their eyes at her thinking they'd rather camp out in the whiz palace than risk a nip-slip at the dinner table, but I doubt it would've have had this much of a reaction. The fact that she created a Designated Zone and told breastfeeders to use it took things too far.
Mr and Ms John and Jane Doe just reads as clunky to me, even though it would save space if their surnames are long. I'd go with Ms Jane Doe and Mr John Doe or (informally) Jane and John Doe.
I remember reading "ladies first" when listing names separately, but I don't think there's anything wrong with listing the person you're closest to first. Or if you're equally close to both partners, why not go alphabetical? Or whichever order has the nicest ring to it? You'd need to come up with something else if a couple has two ladies or zero ladies in it anyway!
I agree that's the modern format should become the new default. If there are traditionalists on your guest list you worry may be offended, reach out to confirm their preference so that you can address them accordingly.
I say be direct about it, since she is a direct person herself. Tell her you appreciate her helping to spread the word (white lie maybe), but that it's best not to share guest-related info until the list has been finalized in order to avoid confusion.
Then let her know your own plans to get the message out by including it on the website and invitation package so she understands she doesn't need to make it her mission.
What would the outcome have been if you confronted her?
"You told me my thank-you letter was in the mail at the start of September but it hasn't arrived yet, whats the deal?"
- If it got delayed in the mail she'd have no control over that.
- If she lied about when she sent it she'd feel awkward & embarrassed.
I think it just would've come across as you trying to take her down a notch and not really been productive.
It sounds to me like she overreacted and then moved on. Although you may not be as close anymore, it is clear that she doesn't intend to cut you from her life.
Perhaps this is a second case of misunderstanding the significance of words? First you underestimated how tame the story you told was, and then you overestimated how seriously she meant what she said in her anger. I commend you for trying to achieve closure through further discussion, but maybe this is one of those things that time will heal on its own.
I think you should invite her.