Etiquette

Help me find ways to tell my friend he's wrong. ;)

Friend told me about a wedding this weekend:

  • Couple told everyone they were eloping and getting married in foreign country, just the two of them.
  • Couple sent out invites months in advance to their "wedding reception" which was going to take place right before they left to get married.
  • Invites specifically mentioned not to bring gifts.
  • People who chose to attend this pre-wedding reception get told once they're there that SURPRISE! It's a wedding!
  • Couple gets married right there.

His thoughts are:
  • "No gifts" in the invite is good because it let people know they weren't required to bring gifts. And that YES being invited to a wedding reception means gifts are required.
  • Just because there's no actual wedding ceremony doesn't mean the invitatiosn weren't for a wedding.
  • That if people chose not to come to the only wedding related event (the pre-reception) that the couple was having, they must not care enough about the couple and therefore shouldn't be upset they missed the wedding
  • That the fun of the surprise made some people very happy which cancels out making some guests unhappy
  • Initially they really were going to elope so it's not exactly lying to guests.


Thoughts?


Re: Help me find ways to tell my friend he's wrong. ;)

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    aurianna said:
    Friend told me about a wedding this weekend:

    • Couple told everyone they were eloping and getting married in foreign country, just the two of them.
    • Couple sent out invites months in advance to their "wedding reception" which was going to take place right before they left to get married.
    • Invites specifically mentioned not to bring gifts.
    • People who chose to attend this pre-wedding reception get told once they're there that SURPRISE! It's a wedding!
    • Couple gets married right there.

    His thoughts are:
    • "No gifts" in the invite is good because it let people know they weren't required to bring gifts. And that YES being invited to a wedding reception means gifts are required.
    • Just because there's no actual wedding ceremony doesn't mean the invitatiosn weren't for a wedding.
    • That if people chose not to come to the only wedding related event (the pre-reception) that the couple was having, they must not care enough about the couple and therefore shouldn't be upset they missed the wedding
    • That the fun of the surprise made some people very happy which cancels out making some guests unhappy
    • Initially they really were going to elope so it's not exactly lying to guests.


    Thoughts?


    Did this friend specifically ask you for advice or input? Otherwise I don't think there is anything you could tactfully say unprompted. 

    I agree it is really rude, but all you can do is choose to (or not to) have rude people in your life. 
    ernursejAddieCake
  • Did this friend specifically ask you for advice or input? Otherwise I don't think there is anything you could tactfully say unprompted. 

    I agree it is really rude, but all you can do is choose to (or not to) have rude people in your life. 

    Oh we're just having a very good-natured debate. We bicker a lot. :)

    But I can't figure out how to explain some things and he's trying to claim victory! He must be stopped. :)
    InLoveInQueensgeebee908
  • Gifts are never required, and saying "No gifts" implies there was an expectation to begin with. But if your friend is still all, "Gifts are required at weddings", then you can come back with it's still rude to tell people what to do with their money, so if someone wants to buy the couple a gift (which I am sure they still will even with "No gifts"), they will, and the couple should graciously accept it.

    As for the "if this is the only pre-wedding party.... everyone should show up or they suck". I would tell him that A) it is rude to invite guests to a pre-wedding party without inviting them to the wedding itself. Thus their pre-wedding reception comes off as gift grabby and AWish. It is also NOT a wedding reception, it's a party. B) Guests may be uncomfortable (or just dead set against) attending a pre-wedding party when they aren't going to the wedding, thus decline the invite. C) Pre-wedding parties aren't required, nor is anyone required to be invited to a wedding. So I *could* see some people say, "Hey! If you want to elope, that's fine! Your choice! I'm not offended, so don't feel you have to throw some sort of consolation prize for me with your pre-reception" (similar to point B), and not go. Where as if they were invited to the wedding, of course they would go.

    If there is no ceremony, then no, it's not a wedding invitation. The ceremony IS the wedding. The reception after is a party.

    I don't know how you'd argue it with him, but no, the fun of the surprise doesn't cancel out other guests' hurt feelings- they will still be hurt. A does not equal B, they are mutually exclusive.

    I just don't get the "surprise" wedding. Deciding to marry is a serious decision made together by two adults. There is discussion and planning involved (the marriage itself, not just the wedding), it isn't something that is entered into on a whim.... so why make your wedding ceremony that way? Their guests should have an idea they are getting married (sounds like most know, they just think the couple is eloping), so the marriage itself shouldn't really be a surprise??
    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueens
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Sorry, reading comprehension fail- I thought this was your mate's wedding and you were asking how you could give him unsolicited advice. 

    As for the pre-wedding party, just say that you'll remember this next time you throw a party and he has a work event, or is out of town. Sure, he could rearrange for a wedding, but not just a party. He must not care about all the people he has declined to attend their parties. 

    Surprises are are fun for birthdays, but not for weddings. There are a lot of complex emotions around weddings. Maybe your parents wanted to say something to you before you got married. Maybe your Gran wanted you to have her handkerchief she had at her wedding. It's manipulative and mean to play with people's emotions. 

    charlotte989875sparklepants41InLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • I should mention that they WERE going to elope but their parents were upset about that, so they decided before hand to get married at home. I'm not sure whether they decided this before or after they invited people to their pre-wedding "reception" or not. Their parents and a few people were in on it. The bride came out in a wedding dress. So it was a surprise to everyone but the big VIPs.

    These were good arguments, all, but he's being bull-headed and saying things like, "you can't please everyone." He tried to argue that most people don't even like the ceremony so they were happy to be invited to the wedding reception without the wedding and that the people who like the ceremony who maybe decided not to come don't deserve to be catered to anymore than the other group. What??
    And that because gifts ARE required at a reception, it would be rude NOT to tell people not to bring gifts to something that wasn't a real wedding (even though it was...).
    Also apparently Emily post is no more an authority on etiquette than he is and that whether he or I is right is a matter of opinion...

    I've dropped it with him because too much crazy makes me fussy.
  • I think another reason he didn't need to mention the "no gifts" on the invite is because, if I'm not invited to the ceremony, I'm not bringing a gift to a party that the couple erroneously wants to call a reception.

    In addition, I don't know if all his guests were local, but I wouldn't fly (or drive more than 1-2 hours) for someone's party.  Whereas, I would potentially do either one of those things for someone's wedding.

    What I find the most unfortunate, though, is it sounds like he is confusing what "part" of the day is important.  It wasn't their party...surprise, really a reception...it was the ceremony itself.  Hopefully, now that the "laughs and trickery" are over, they will wise up and actually take their marriage seriously.

    It sounds just as well you dropped it.  Nothing to do about it now anyway.  Even if he miraculously changed his mind and agreed with you, the damage is already done.

    As for me, if I was at a party and "surprise" it suddenly turned into a wedding ceremony, I wouldn't be offended or upset at the couple.  But I would find it super weird and puzzling.   

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29cowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
  • aurianna said:
    I should mention that they WERE going to elope but their parents were upset about that, so they decided before hand to get married at home. I'm not sure whether they decided this before or after they invited people to their pre-wedding "reception" or not. Their parents and a few people were in on it. The bride came out in a wedding dress. So it was a surprise to everyone but the big VIPs.

    These were good arguments, all, but he's being bull-headed and saying things like, "you can't please everyone." He tried to argue that most people don't even like the ceremony so they were happy to be invited to the wedding reception without the wedding and that the people who like the ceremony who maybe decided not to come don't deserve to be catered to anymore than the other group. What??
    And that because gifts ARE required at a reception, it would be rude NOT to tell people not to bring gifts to something that wasn't a real wedding (even though it was...).
    Also apparently Emily post is no more an authority on etiquette than he is and that whether he or I is right is a matter of opinion...

    I've dropped it with him because too much crazy makes me fussy.

    It's a bait and switch!   They weren't invited to a wedding but a pre-wedding event.   

    Plenty of people say you can't please everyone but that's not a reason to bait and switch them.

    What about if you invited him to your house for a party only to tell him that it was a marketing event where you're selling him a sales pitch but it's food?   It's still a party!   You're still hosting him!   That you're asking him for money shouldn't matter.

    The point is that the couple invited him to an event and called it one thing and did something else.   What if they did the opposite?     What if they invited everyone to a party and announced that they weren't getting married at all?  

    His logic makes no sense.   The reason why this wasn't a great approach and rubs people the wrong way is because they were fed one line and then the couple opted for something totally different.   And when you do that, it creates hard feelings.


    short+sassySP29
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