Wedding Invitations & Paper

How to word the invitations in this situation

Hello everyone. I have run into a situation when it comes to wording the invitations and could really use some assistance on what the etiquette for this so I don't make any blunders or offend anyone. Some background: I got married back in January. Everyone knows that we are married. When he proposed we planned our wedding, put down deposits, booked a venue etc. In October my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she went downhill quickly. We got married in January the hospice room on less than a days notice, because my mom wanted to see it before she died or got so bad that she didn't recognize us. She passed away a week later.

Now we are NOT have a big redo wedding ceremony with all the trimmings because we are already married and everybody knows. But since we have already booked and paid for things like a venue and catering and it's too late to cancel and get a full refund, we want to have a fundraising event for the hospice that took care of my mom. It was my mother-in-law and sister-in-law's idea and my family is on board. But I'm not sure how to word the invitations or even if I invite people the same way I would if it was a wedding. We need a rough head count for the caterer, but I also don't want people to feel pressured or obligated to come. Everyone we were going to invite to our wedding knows we are married and the situation with my mom. I just didn't want to waste the venue and the caterer and everything else we booked because we are already married, and I am so grateful to the hospice for all they did for my mom and our family. Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated. Do I word the invitations similar to a wedding one or completely differently? How do I ask people to RSVP without being tackey? Thank-you for reading this.

Re: How to word the invitations in this situation

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2015

    Hello everyone. I have run into a situation when it comes to wording the invitations and could really use some assistance on what the etiquette for this so I don't make any blunders or offend anyone. Some background: I got married back in January. Everyone knows that we are married. When he proposed we planned our wedding, put down deposits, booked a venue etc. In October my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she went downhill quickly. We got married in January the hospice room on less than a days notice, because my mom wanted to see it before she died or got so bad that she didn't recognize us. She passed away a week later.

    Now we are NOT have a big redo wedding ceremony with all the trimmings because we are already married and everybody knows. But since we have already booked and paid for things like a venue and catering and it's too late to cancel and get a full refund, we want to have a fundraising event for the hospice that took care of my mom. It was my mother-in-law and sister-in-law's idea and my family is on board. But I'm not sure how to word the invitations or even if I invite people the same way I would if it was a wedding. We need a rough head count for the caterer, but I also don't want people to feel pressured or obligated to come. Everyone we were going to invite to our wedding knows we are married and the situation with my mom. I just didn't want to waste the venue and the caterer and everything else we booked because we are already married, and I am so grateful to the hospice for all they did for my mom and our family. Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated. Do I word the invitations similar to a wedding one or completely differently? How do I ask people to RSVP without being tackey? Thank-you for reading this.

    You had me until the fund raising idea.  You cannot invite people to an event to which you are selling tickets or asking for money.

    First, I am sorry for your loss.  I think that you did the mature thing to let her see your wedding.

    I would suggest that you throw a celebration party.  Have the dinner and dancing that you planned, and invite the people you would have invited if you hadn't changed your plans.  No wedding dress and no wedding traditions.  (You already know this.)  Do get a lovely gown to dance the night away.  You cannot expect gifts at this event, so the fundraising idea is out!

    The pleasure of your company is requested
    to celebrate the recent marriage of
    Mr. and Mrs. John Newlyweds
    Date of party
    time o'clock
    Venue
    Address
    City, State

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Thank-you for your reply CMGragain, and for your condolences.

    I hope this next question doesn't sound dense because I don't mean it to. If I am having a fundraiser I don't invite people with invitations, I just tell people by word of mouth? I do appreciate your response, but the idea of a party to celebrate is out of the question right now. The loss is too raw, it hasn't even been 4 months and neither I nor my father can bear the thought of a party to celebrate. There is no way I could get through that without turning into a wreck. We have a venue, catering and a band all booked and cannot get full refunds on. So I feel like it would be a waste to just not do anything. We would never ask for or expect gifts at a fundraiser. The night would not be for us. We already got married.

    Would it be proper etiquette to announce I am having a fundraiser verbally so that way people can decide if they want to come without pressure? Sorry for all the questions, I feel so overwhelmed and in over my head, my mom was always the one who was good at all this and she isn't with me anymore.
  • You can announce a fundraiser, in the local newspaper, perhaps.  You can sell tickets.  You can also talk to the people at the hospice about DONATING the venue and other arrangements to the hospice and let THEM run the event.  Of course, you could help.  You can then write the cost of the venue, band, etc. off on your taxes as a charitable donation.  I really recommend this.  Everybody wins!
    You cannot invite people to a party where they are expected to pay.  It would be worse than a (shudder) cash bar!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    CMGragain said:

    You can announce a fundraiser, in the local newspaper, perhaps.  You can sell tickets.  You can also talk to the people at the hospice about DONATING the venue and other arrangements to the hospice and let THEM run the event.  Of course, you could help.  You can then write the cost of the venue, band, etc. off on your taxes as a charitable donation.  I really recommend this.  Everybody wins!
    You cannot invite people to a party where they are expected to pay.  It would be worse than a (shudder) cash bar!

    I agree with the donating the venue to the hospice and allowing them to run the event. You could even act as the hostess and have the event in memory of your mother. A lot of fundraising events are hosted by a person or are in memory of someone. I am so sorry for your loss and understand why you don't want to throw a celebration party. Best wishes to you and your husband.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    CMGragain said:

    You can announce a fundraiser, in the local newspaper, perhaps.  You can sell tickets.  You can also talk to the people at the hospice about DONATING the venue and other arrangements to the hospice and let THEM run the event.  Of course, you could help.  You can then write the cost of the venue, band, etc. off on your taxes as a charitable donation.  I really recommend this.  Everybody wins!
    You cannot invite people to a party where they are expected to pay.  It would be worse than a (shudder) cash bar!

    I agree.

    I'm very sorry for your loss. I can totally understand that you don't want to have a personal celebration right now, and I can also support your idea of a fundraiser for the hospice.

    That said, if you do a fundraiser, it has to not have the appearance of a personal celebration of your marriage. That means that you should avoid wedding-type trappings like a wedding cake. Also, don't expect your guests to pay for food, drinks or any other costs of their entertainment. It's just not appropriate to invite someone and tell them to pay for themselves.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm sorry for your loss Georgina06.
    I like @ILoveBeachMusic 's suggestion.
                       
  • I think people are getting too caught up in the idea that (at one time) this was planned for a wedding.

    It would not be against etiquette to invite people to a fundraiser.  Otherwise how would you get people to show up to an event?  I receive an invitation every year from the American Heart Society for their Gala.  I get something from UCLA to support scholarships. I make the decision to purchase a seat, a table, or not go at all.  Your friends and family can make the decision if they want to attend.  An invitiation to a fundraiser is not a subpoena.

    What you want to be careful is to remove all wedding stuff from the discussion; which I think you already plan to do.  It would purely be an invitation to buy a seat/table for an upcoming fundraiser for XX hospice.  It would include cocktails, dinner and dancing. 

    ohannabelle
  • I think people are getting too caught up in the idea that (at one time) this was planned for a wedding.

    It would not be against etiquette to invite people to a fundraiser.  Otherwise how would you get people to show up to an event?  I receive an invitation every year from the American Heart Society for their Gala.  I get something from UCLA to support scholarships. I make the decision to purchase a seat, a table, or not go at all.  Your friends and family can make the decision if they want to attend.  An invitiation to a fundraiser is not a subpoena.

    What you want to be careful is to remove all wedding stuff from the discussion; which I think you already plan to do.  It would purely be an invitation to buy a seat/table for an upcoming fundraiser for XX hospice.  It would include cocktails, dinner and dancing. 

    These aren't invitations.  They are solicitations.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I think people are getting too caught up in the idea that (at one time) this was planned for a wedding.

    It would not be against etiquette to invite people to a fundraiser.  Otherwise how would you get people to show up to an event?  I receive an invitation every year from the American Heart Society for their Gala.  I get something from UCLA to support scholarships. I make the decision to purchase a seat, a table, or not go at all.  Your friends and family can make the decision if they want to attend.  An invitiation to a fundraiser is not a subpoena.

    What you want to be careful is to remove all wedding stuff from the discussion; which I think you already plan to do.  It would purely be an invitation to buy a seat/table for an upcoming fundraiser for XX hospice.  It would include cocktails, dinner and dancing. 

    This. There is a correct way to word fundraiser invitations that are mailed out. Look at all the non-profit gala and political fundraiser invitations. We always mailed invitations for our annual formal event when I worked for a local child abuse non-profit. You don't just run an ad in the paper. There is a proper way to do this, but a wedding board may not be the best place to find it. Perhaps speaking with someone who throws these events regularly would be more helpful. 

    I agree that people are hung up on the fact that this was originally planned as a wedding. Now that the wedding has been removed from the equation, there is nothing wrong with a charity fundraiser.

    I do agree that donating the venue to the non-profit and asking them to help coordinate the fundraiser is likely the best option. They will have a database of likely donors, contacts to get some other necessities donated or at cost, and the expertise to deal with the tax parts. 
  • CMGragain said:

    I think people are getting too caught up in the idea that (at one time) this was planned for a wedding.

    It would not be against etiquette to invite people to a fundraiser.  Otherwise how would you get people to show up to an event?  I receive an invitation every year from the American Heart Society for their Gala.  I get something from UCLA to support scholarships. I make the decision to purchase a seat, a table, or not go at all.  Your friends and family can make the decision if they want to attend.  An invitiation to a fundraiser is not a subpoena.

    What you want to be careful is to remove all wedding stuff from the discussion; which I think you already plan to do.  It would purely be an invitation to buy a seat/table for an upcoming fundraiser for XX hospice.  It would include cocktails, dinner and dancing. 

    These aren't invitations.  They are solicitations.



    Seriously? They are invitations. To fundraising events. And like all invitations, the guest is free to decline.

    As long as everyone knows it's a fundraising event from the get-go and it's not being hosted under false pretenses, I don't understand the big deal. This is how non-profits make money.

    image
    ohannabelleILoveBeachMusic
  • It isn't at all bad etiquette to host a fundraising event. It isn't a wedding, it's a benefit, and people host benefit fundraisers. 

    It isn't the wording of the invitation, I think, that is awkward feeling, so much as the collection of contributions, which need to be addressed in a very clear way. In the event of a fundraiser, it's usual to indicate the expected activities, and benefits of contributing. I'd choose paper or invitations that are very non weddingy, to be extra clear that this is an unrelated event. Because it isn't a normal social invitation, it should be very clear about what's happening and how.  
    I'd do something like this: 


    Mr. And Mrs. Angry Moose
    invite you to join them
    for an evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing
    at a fundraising event to benefit
    The Society of Lost and Abandoned Sloths
    Saturday, May 25th, 2016
    8PM to 11PM
    The Poobah Hotel
    1234 Poobah Avenue
    Seattle, Washington

    Dinner will be provided by Viva La Moose.
    Silent Auction to follow
    Music will be provided by BillyBob's Big Time Swing Band

    Your fifty dollar per person donation will enable The Society of Lost and Abandoned Sloths to continue their invaluable work in the field of sloth rehabilitation and release. 



    Aaaand, response card:
    Guest names.................................................................
    Will be attending. .............................................
    Please indicate one meal choice per guest:  Chicken....Salmon....Vegetarian plate

    Will be unable to attend.......................................

    Will be unable to attend, but would like to contribute...

    Please return this card before May 10th with your enclosed donation of 50.00 per guest. Checks should be made out to The Society of Lost and Abandoned Sloths, and will be donated in memory of Mr. Large Irritable Moose.





    [Deleted User]MairePoppyredoryx
  • I neglected to say I'm sorry about your mama. Truly. 
    And I think it's admirable that you're contributing your venue and catering to do something to help other people, instead of yourself. 
    CMGragainILoveBeachMusicJen4948
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