Wedding Etiquette Forum

Different wording for "it's ok not to come"!

Ok we're having the wedding at my father's house. We decided on there because I have the most relatives that live in that area. We have a few relatives that don't live anywhere close (literally across the country), and we know they're not planning on coming, but I'm supposed to still send them an invite (Dad and Grandma both instructed me to because of drama from my cousin's wedding a few years ago). So I was thinking of including a little note inside the invites to the people who live across the country, basically saying that I know that everyone lives far away and may not be able to make it, and not to feel obligated to spend thousands flying in. Is there a nice way to put that?!!
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Re: Different wording for "it's ok not to come"!

  • So putting a note in there makes them feel MORE obligated?!
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  • OK! Thanks ya'll!!
    They all know about the wedding, and that we offered to pay for hotels if they did decide to come. So you're all right---no need to mention it :-) I just didn't want to deal with drama like my cousin did!
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You didn't describe the drama, but if it was caused by deciding for adult guests that they wouldn't want or be able to attend and leaving them off the guest list accordingly, I wouldn't have been happy to be one of those guests.

    In fact, I wasn't invited to a bar mitzvah in my family in a few weeks, probably for that reason. My parents and presumably my brother and his family are invited. While I'm not making any issue of it in order to avoid "drama," the exclusion is hurtful, just as any "don't come" message would be, no matter how "helpful" or "understanding" the family members hosting that bar mitzvah might mean to be.
    Knottie3135957
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Again with the disclaimers. Why does everyone think they need disclaimers in their invitations these days? No, no, no. People know they don't have to come.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    PrettyGirlLostSTARMOON44hashtag43016
  • What happened was that she was having a very small ceremony. She invited family that lived in the area, and the ones that didn't live in the area, didn't even receive an invite. So the out-of-town family thinks she has issues with them (to this day!). They were all verbally invited, but no formal invite sent. I was one of the out-of-town family, but she knew I wasn't able to make it...apparently no one else was understanding and happy for her anyway! haha I would've LOVED to go, but financially I couldn't afford it and told her as soon as she announced the date and location.

    I'm just going to send the invite like I am to the ones who I know are coming.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Why would she verbally invite them but not send a written invitation?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    huskypuppy14PrettyGirlLost
  • Who knows! Maybe trying to keep costs down?! IDK...I didn't care and I'm glad she didn't care that I couldn't afford to go because at the time we were across the country!
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited April 2015

    What happened was that she was having a very small ceremony. She invited family that lived in the area, and the ones that didn't live in the area, didn't even receive an invite. So the out-of-town family thinks she has issues with them (to this day!). They were all verbally invited, but no formal invite sent. I was one of the out-of-town family, but she knew I wasn't able to make it...apparently no one else was understanding and happy for her anyway! haha I would've LOVED to go, but financially I couldn't afford it and told her as soon as she announced the date and location.

    I'm just going to send the invite like I am to the ones who I know are coming.

    Not following up a verbal invitation with a formal written/printed one is rude.  It leads the guests in question on. 

    But don't just send your invitations to the people you know are coming.  This is not a good way to cut corners.  If you would really like it if those people came, then go ahead and invite them.  It makes them feel wanted, liked, respected, loved, etc. even if they can't come.  Not to invite them just because you think it's too inconvenient for them can come off like a major slap across the face because it takes away their right to determine if it's convenient and if they would like to come.  The fact that you think it's too inconvenient doesn't mean that it is inconvenient, or that it won't be convenient when they actually receive the invitation. 
    SP29
  • Agreed, just don't. If they don't want to come or aren't able to make the trip, they'll let you know.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • I have a few people that I think will probably not be able to come due to logistics and money. I'm still sending them the invite though so they can make that decision. We have talked about it with our long distance family and friends and have said that we'd love to see them at the wedding but if it's not feasible that we totally understand and that we will see them later in the year (we're having a celebration in my hometown across the country after the wedding to help with this very situation.

    I don't think I'd like to receive that kind of note, so I wouldn't in turn give one to others. And who knows? Maybe their situation has changed and they actually can come. That could be a lot of fun!

    PrettyGirlLostSP29Knottie3135957
  • littlepeplittlepep South Carolina member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    We have had several people tell us straight up that they will not be coming for various reasons, but we are still sending them an invite. You don't need to include a note because it implies that you don't really want them to come and you are only inviting them out of obligation which is rude. They may decide they want to come, which is awesome, or they may not. We have someone who canceled a trip and is flying across the country to come to our wedding, which is so wonderful and we are thrilled. You never know. 
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • This is somewhat related- I've been told (maybe on here, I can't remember), that if you send a STD or verbally invite someone and they tell you that they absolutely won't be able to make it, that it is actually rude and gift-grabby to send them an invitation after that. I see why that would be, but I can also see that you should still give them the invitation, just in case. What do you guys think? 
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    This is somewhat related- I've been told (maybe on here, I can't remember), that if you send a STD or verbally invite someone and they tell you that they absolutely won't be able to make it, that it is actually rude and gift-grabby to send them an invitation after that. I see why that would be, but I can also see that you should still give them the invitation, just in case. What do you guys think? 

    I haven't heard of that before. It's technically rude to not send an invite to anyone you've verbally invited or sent an STD to, even if they said they can't make it, because plans change.

    Formerly martha1818

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    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostJCbride2015
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    This is somewhat related- I've been told (maybe on here, I can't remember), that if you send a STD or verbally invite someone and they tell you that they absolutely won't be able to make it, that it is actually rude and gift-grabby to send them an invitation after that. I see why that would be, but I can also see that you should still give them the invitation, just in case. What do you guys think? 

    Years ago, my cousin gave me an STD back like March for her mid-Aug wedding.  I told her then I would not be able to make it.  I was working on a boat that was going to be taken out of the water for 6 weeks starting in Sept.   We didn't get PTO or get paid while the boat was hauled-out. I was OOT, going to her wedding would take at least 4 days.  It just didn't make financial sense.  

    Fast forward about 8 weeks before the wedding, We were told the boat was going to pullout of the water a few weeks early.  Meaning I now would be out of work and could attend the wedding. However, I never got an invite.  :(    

    Point is,   things change.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostSP29redoryx
  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I have several overseas relatives that I am 99% sure wont be attending my wedding. However these relatives are important to me and I would love if they could come. So even though I know its a slim chance, I included them on the guest list, effectively cutting down space for some local people to attend, and sent them an invite.

    Invites are not a summons. Invites are a 'hey, you are important to me and I would love to see you and share my day with you'

    I think those relatives would have been really upset if they hadn't got an invite to my wedding simply because they are far away, it would make them feel like I really didn't care about them.

    And hey, who knows. there's that 1% chance that they will actually come! And wouldn't that be great!

    Send invites to everyone that you would love to see at your wedding and let them make the decision on whether or not it is feasible for them to come.
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  • Update--sent everyone the invitations (even those that previously said they won't make it). Received a few RSVPs back (only from the ones I already knew would make it). Dad received a phone call from 1 relative asking why they got an invitation when they live across the country, he received another phone call from another relative asking if I was looking for money since they previously told me they wouldn't make it, and Grandma received a call from my uncle saying that I "must be expecting something since I sent them an invitation." 2 friends sent me messages on FB that they wouldn't be able to make it and apologized for 15 minutes.
    So needless to say, several people were pissed off and now 2 close friends think I'm upset with them, even though I reassured them that I just wanted them to know they were more than invited in case they wanted to get away for the week :-/
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  • Update--sent everyone the invitations (even those that previously said they won't make it). Received a few RSVPs back (only from the ones I already knew would make it). Dad received a phone call from 1 relative asking why they got an invitation when they live across the country, he received another phone call from another relative asking if I was looking for money since they previously told me they wouldn't make it, and Grandma received a call from my uncle saying that I "must be expecting something since I sent them an invitation." 2 friends sent me messages on FB that they wouldn't be able to make it and apologized for 15 minutes.
    So needless to say, several people were pissed off and now 2 close friends think I'm upset with them, even though I reassured them that I just wanted them to know they were more than invited in case they wanted to get away for the week :-/

    You did the right thing. I'm sorry your friends & family don't know any better and are being rude. That is unfortunate.

    All you can do is deflect these insulting comments and if people are actually rude enough to say "she must be expecting a gift", just instruct your mother to say "of course not." And leave it at that.

    You can only control your own behavior and you behaved correctly.
    Knottie3135957 mollybarker11
  • We sent a formal invite to FI's distant cousin who is 95 & lives in LA. I assumed he wouldn't come b/c it's across the country and he's so old.

    Turns out, he was THRILLED to receive the invite. Unfortunately, he cannot come but not due to the circumstances we assumed. It's because he'll be traveling in Austria for 6 weeks! You really can never make these decisions for people based on assumptions of age, distance, whatever. You create your guest list, you own it, and shame on people who were ungracious about receiving an invite!
    Knottie3135957 mollybarker11
  • Yep. None of them said it to me--or even mailed back the RSVP. Dad informed that person that we specifically didn't want ANY physical gift or money, just wanted to be around friends and family. Grandma said the same thing. Oh well! Quite frankly, after their comments, I'd prefer that they do NOT show up.
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    onefootinthebayouwhovianstark
  • whovianstarkwhovianstark member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited May 2015

    Yep. None of them said it to me--or even mailed back the RSVP. Dad informed that person that we specifically didn't want ANY physical gift or money, just wanted to be around friends and family. Grandma said the same thing. Oh well! Quite frankly, after their comments, I'd prefer that they do NOT show up.

    Love it! You did the right thing. I'm sure there were relatives that were pleased to have received an invite.

    Edit: B/c words hurt my brain.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2015
    I'm sorry your relatives responded so rudely to you doing the right thing.
  • Yeah I REALLY hope they decide NOT to show up!
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    I'm sorry your family was so rude.  You definitely did the right thing!  I often find that those who think other people expect gifts are the ones who would be gift-grabby themselves.  Try to brush it off.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

    SP29[Deleted User]
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Sorry that happened to you OP. You did the right thing. 

    I'd be annoyed too- not only because they are being rude, but because even though I really dislike confrontation, if you have a specific problem with me, address me directly, don't go around my back talking to other people. But your dad and grandma handled the situation well- you sent the invitations because these are people you care about and wanted at your wedding. Geez. 
  • JCbride2015--actually the funny thing is that one of them are millionaires, and the other makes very close to a mil! So I found it pretty funny! If they do show up, I'm curious what they'll have to say about my dress--that I made myself...I'm sure the fact that I spent $80 on material and supplies won't be up to par!

    SP29--my family is very small, I can count on my hands the relatives I have living, so yeah, having them there would've been great, but now I could care less because of the way they handled it.
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  • This is somewhat related- I've been told (maybe on here, I can't remember), that if you send a STD or verbally invite someone and they tell you that they absolutely won't be able to make it, that it is actually rude and gift-grabby to send them an invitation after that. I see why that would be, but I can also see that you should still give them the invitation, just in case. What do you guys think? 

    See that's what I had thought too, but a few days after posting the original question, my BFF changed the plans of her October wedding since they moved, so now, financially, I may not make it. We told her we'd hope to be there if we can, but we'd let her know closer to the date. She said she was still sending a STD and invite just in case we could make it. That plus everyone's comments changed my mind on including a note in the invitation. We'll be providing accommodations, and there will be food and plenty to do if anyone is able to take a little vacation and come for a few days, a week, or whatever. So the only expense is travel. A few friends are driving up together, so they can split the gas. We're so excited to have them come :-)
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  • JCbride2015--actually the funny thing is that one of them are millionaires, and the other makes very close to a mil! So I found it pretty funny! If they do show up, I'm curious what they'll have to say about my dress--that I made myself...I'm sure the fact that I spent $80 on material and supplies won't be up to par!

    SP29--my family is very small, I can count on my hands the relatives I have living, so yeah, having them there would've been great, but now I could care less because of the way they handled it.

    Just goes to show, money doesn't buy class! I'm glad everything has worked out for you, it sounds like you already have your friends excited about your wedding, it should be fun!
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