Wedding invitation from people you barely know


#1

Yesterday in the mail we received a wedding invitation which had me scratching my head. It took me a few seconds to figure out who it even was.

The bride is the sister of a young man who is married to a girl whose family we have known for years. All of these young people were in our homeschooling support group many years ago, when they were children, but that was about 15 years ago. We went to the wedding of this couple(current bride’s brother). I said hello to these people (the groom’s family at that wedding) and I think I did run into the mother at Wal-mart a few years ago. We never see them, never talk, etc. They live in another town.

I showed it to my teens, who said, “Who is that? Do we know them?” Our 15yo daughter said, “Maybe they don’t have very many friends.” Maybe they don’t. I don’t know them well enough to have any idea about that.

It would never in a million years occur to me to invite them to a wedding of one of our children. Someone told me I should RSVP (there was no response card) by sending a note, perhaps send a wedding card. I feel very odd sending a card with no gift, and I also feel odd buying a gift when I barely know the bride or her family, and do not know the groom at all. Apparently Emily Post says you should send a gift anytime you are invited to a wedding. I am tempted to ignore the invitation and do nothing.

Has this ever happened to you? What would you do?


#2

I would just send a card. I think that is enough for someone you don’t really know.


#3

I agree - and just say something in the card like “Wishing you the best on your wedding day, so nice to hear from you after so many years! We are so sorry we will be unable to attend due to prior commitments. God bless, the PilgrimSongs”

~Liza


#4

[quote="lizaanne, post:3, topic:240618"]
I agree - and just say something in the card like "Wishing you the best on your wedding day, so nice to hear from you after so many years! We are so sorry we will be unable to attend due to prior commitments. God bless, the PilgrimSongs"

~Liza

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#5

So, let me get this straight. It’s the wedding for your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate? :smiley: (sorry, I couldn’t resist the Spaceballs quote… ;))

I wouldn’t feel particularly obliged to follow Post’s etiquette seeing as how the couple didn’t even include a response card in with the invitation. :stuck_out_tongue: Are you sure it is not a Wedding Announcement rather than a Wedding Invitation?

I recall that happening to me once back when I was just out of college. I just sent the RSVP car back saying that I wouldn’t be attending. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but I never felt the need to write anything extra on the reply card beyond checking yes or no. :shrug:

I know the invitation process can be quite an ordeal. Sometimes, a couple is so concerned about potentially offending someone by not inviting them that they err on the side of inviting. Perhaps they thought that, since you were invited to the brother’s wedding and you are old family friends, it would be rude not to invite you. I know that when I got married, I started out by my brother’s invite list as a guide.


#6

[quote="lizaanne, post:3, topic:240618"]
I agree - and just say something in the card like "Wishing you the best on your wedding day, so nice to hear from you after so many years! We are so sorry we will be unable to attend due to prior commitments. God bless, the PilgrimSongs"

~Liza

[/quote]

Good response. As to the OP, I've been on the other end of your predicament. MIL is one to extend invitations to even distant acquaintances, and would define it as rude if their families and friends were left out. As a result, her guest list for our wedding was three times the size of ours. (and no, she wasn't paying for it, we were.). In the end, the young lady who caught the bouquet at the reception was a complete unknown to dh and I, and it took a great deal of asking around before we finally were able to identify her. Don't be too hard on the couple...it may not have been their idea to invite you. :o.


#7

As I understand it, you are not obliged to send a gift if you are not planning to attend the wedding. A card expressing your good wishes for their happiness is sufficient.


#8

I regard these as simply announcements, make a mental note, “how nice” and drop it in the trash

Apparently Emily Post says you should send a gift anytime you are invited to a wedding.

she says nothing of the kind in her former (1920s) or current incarnation, neither does Miss Manners. If you are more thoughtful than I you can send regrets, but don’t see why you should.


#9

[quote="PilgrimSong, post:1, topic:240618"]
Has this ever happened to you? What would you do?

[/quote]

I've not gotten wedding invitations from long-lost acquaintances, but I have gotten baby shower invites for "the sister of my co-worker's best friend" before. Were I you I would simply send a nice card with my warmest wishes for their happy marriage.


#10

We were invited to the wedding of a guy I went to high school with. We had been out of school 3 or 4 years and I hadn't seen him at all during that time. I just sent back the RSVP that we wouldn't be able to make it...on a side note, the invites were hand made and the reply card was just a 3x5 index card. On one line was written attending and the next not able to attend, you checked next to the one that applied to you! Never got another one like it!


#11

[quote="puzzleannie, post:8, topic:240618"]

she says nothing of the kind in her former (1920s) or current incarnation, neither does Miss Manners. If you are more thoughtful than I you can send regrets, but don't see why you should.

[/quote]

Actually, yes she does, in the Emily Post website, which is what most folks will turn to first, if they do at all:

emilypost.com/guests

That said, I think it's nuts. I tend to regard invitations from folks I barely know as trollng for gifts, and I certainly wouldn't send one. I agree with those who say sending a congratulatory card with a note saying you cannot attend is more than sufficient.


#12

[quote="dixieagle, post:11, topic:240618"]
Actually, yes she does, in the Emily Post website, which is what most folks will turn to first, if they do at all:

emilypost.com/guests

That said, I think it's nuts. I tend to regard invitations from folks I barely know as trollng for gifts, and I certainly wouldn't send one. I agree with those who say sending a congratulatory card with a note saying you cannot attend is more than sufficient.

[/quote]

I read the link, and while I'm no paragon of etiquette, I think Miss Post is mistaken to urge folks to send a gift with every wedding invitation they receive . Too many people see weddings (and birthdays and pregnancies, for that matter) as gift/money-grabbing opportunities as it is without someone of Post's stature saying we have to send along a gift after every invite.


#13

I would reply and send a "gift" of a nice holy card even if they're not religious. Or perhaps that Scott Hahn book that's about marriage. It's only $10.


#14

Don't believe everything you read on the internet! My Emily Post book says (14th edition, page 850), that sending a wedding gift used to be considered obligatory even if one did not attend the wedding because wedding invitations were only sent to people were likely to know the couple well and be able to attend the wedding. Because people today seem to send out invitations to everyone on their Christmas card list, the old rule no longer holds. She actually uses the example of getting an invitation from some one who lives in another state whole the invitee hasn't seen in ten years. Emily Post is nice and just says don't send a gift. Miss Manner would say that weddings (as well as graduations) are not to used as occasions to extort gifts out of people one barely knows.


#15

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet! My Emily Post book says (14th edition, page 850), that sending a wedding gift used to be considered obligatory even if one did not attend the wedding because wedding invitations were only sent to people were likely to know the couple well and would be able to attend the wedding. Because people today seem to send out invitations to everyone on their Christmas card list, the old rule no longer holds. She actually uses the example of getting an invitation from some one who lives in another state whole the invitee hasn’t seen in ten years. Emily Post is nice and just says don’t send a gift. Miss Manner would say that weddings (as well as graduations) are not to used as occasions to extort gifts out of people one barely knows.


#16

the Emily Post link implies these are people you know, whose wedding you have been anticipating and intend to attend if at all possible, but any case care enough for them to send a gift anyhow. She is not talking about the mass mail marketing campaign indulged in by OP's long lost acquaintance


#17

Thank you for all the replies. This has never happened to me before, and I was trying to understand it, and figure out what to do. I will probably either do nothing, or send a wedding card, but sending a card and no gift seems kind of...inconsiderate maybe? But if I do nothing, they probably won't think about my family and miss something from us.

And yes, it IS a wedding invitation, and says "reception following" at the end. One of you said some people invite everyone on their Christmas card list. Well, I have never received a Christmas card from these people and would be surprised if I even got that! I told a mutual friend who also used to belong to the monthly homeschooling group, and she was very surprised as well.

There have been many weddings where I knew the bride and/or groom, or their families, much better than I know these people, and I was not invited. People cannot invite the whole town or whole parish to their wedding. I get that. I just don't get this.

Thanks again for all your responses.


#18

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