Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?

Online Users: 0 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 10


Tamikiwa Posts : 3 Registered: 1/5/09
Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 11:06 PM

I sent out an engagement announcement to family, friends, acquaintances, etc., and without thinking, I added "Hope to see you at the wedding!" After doing the number-crunching, we just can't afford to invite all those people. Would it be rude not to send everyone on that email list an invite? I heard that if it's not an official invite, it doesn't count. What do you all think?

Reply


Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 11:29 PM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

I think you're up the creek without a paddle. That's a really tough situation to have put yourself in and I can't see a way of doing it without hurting someone's feelings. I guess you'll just have to be truthful and let some people know that you can't afford to have them there, but of course they'll know that they were at the bottom of the priority list when you had to start cutting... Hopefully they'll just be good sports and understand.

is there really no way you can adjust your plans to fit everyone? that's really the only other option I can see. Unless yer gonna win the lottery! (but me first! ;) )


IMG_7875.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

Reply


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 5, 2009 11:33 PM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

dear Tami,

Yeah, it counts. You can't say "hope to see you at the wedding" then later, "you're not invited to the wedding.".

I hope you can, somehow, rebudget. It's possible to have a wedding with a low cost per head.

Reply


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 3:19 PM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

I agree that you've placed yourself in an awkward position. But, for argument's sake, let's assume that you can't change your plans and must cut your list. Do you have any distant people that you're almost certain would not/could not attend? Then you can risk sending invitations. Otherwise, put out the word (word of mouth) that plans have changed and due to, say, "the economy," you have had to limit the size of your wedding to immediate friends and family only. Most people nowadays understand that. If there's nobody that actually speaks to these people on a regular basis, then it's very possible that a] they won't care, b] they might actually be relieved not to have to travel or buy you a present. What you can't do is have an extravaganza and then have word get back to those not invited that, unfortunately, they were not among the 350 people you invited to your over-the-top affair.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

Reply


Tamikiwa Posts : 3 Registered: 1/5/09
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 6, 2009 11:16 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thanks, everyone. I considered using the economy as a reason, but I think I'd probably feel guilty afterward. The problem really started when my family insisted I invite 2nd and 3rd cousins that I never see or talk to. They were NOT on the email distribution list, but I am obligated to invite them because, due to my mother's big mouth, they all now think they're coming.

Reply


RachelOS Posts : 70 Registered: 9/27/08
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 7, 2009 2:49 AM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

I hate to have to say it, but I think that you're only option is to formally invite the people that you have really already invited. There has to be a way to work it out. Cut out the alcohol, rehersal dinner, aisle runner, etc. The only other option that I can conceive of is your DRASTICALLY cutting the guest list, explaining to the numerous people that you are having to uninvite that you have decided on a very small, intimate wedding with very close family and friends only. Sorry!

Reply


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 12:31 AM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

I considered using the economy as a reason, but I think I'd probably feel guilty afterward. The problem really started when my family insisted I invite 2nd and 3rd cousins that I never see or talk to.

Is your family paying for these people? If not, they have no right to "insist" that you invite virtual strangers. As for guilt, frankly you have nothing to feel guilty about with a little "white" lie. I'd rather beguilty than broke from feeding all those people.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

Reply


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 12:05 PM Go to message in response to: myra

While I generally agree with the PPs, depending on the circumstances, I think you may be able to get away with not inviting everybody.

First off, how far off is your wedding? If it's within the next year, you may indeed be up shit creek...but if the wedding is, say, two years away, most people will have forgotten about the email by the time you send your invitations.

Secondly, I disagree that verbal invitations always count - particularly if they're issued by someone other than the host of the event. For example, my MIL 'spread the word' among her acquaintances that we were getting married - even before we had set a date or budget, she was telling people that she'd inform them of the date ASAP. She did so without consulting DH and myself about the size of the wedding or the number of guests she would be able to invite. I'm sure some of those people expected invitations, but they didn't get them and I don't feel bad about it. My MIL was upset about it before the wedding, but we told her that she shouldn't have implied that people were invited without checking with us. Months after the wedding, I asked her whether it had been an issue, and she said, 'Oh, no - not at all. I spread the word that it was a small, OOT wedding and people understood. Most likely, they wouldn't have made the trip if they had been invited.' So if you HAVE to not invite some of the people who were verbally invited, spreading the word that it's a smaller wedding than anticipated (in my case, much smaller than my MIL assumed it would be) might work out Ok. People seem to understand.

Thirdly, consider whether you CARE about offending some of these people. Seriously. I know it sounds terrible, but I took our wedding guest list as an opportunity to reevaluate relationships in my life. For example, we have some former close friends that we now see once a year, if that. We had always considered them to still be our friends, due to our history with them, but in actuality, we're not really friends anymore - we're acquaintances who might have a friendly beer together if we all happen to be in the town where we grew up. Well, the Christmas before our wedding, we were in town and had a beer with them. These 'old friends' started asking whether they'd be invited to the wedding (well, it was more like, 'You guys had better invite us to your wedding! We'd be SO SAD if we weren't invited.' Yeah right. I'm sure they forgot we were getting married ten minutes after leaving the bar.) Anyway, I was pretty honest and said, 'I'm sorry, but it's not a big wedding. I'll try to remember to bring photos next Xmas, in case we run into each other again.' Well, apparentely the same people went behind my back and pressured DH into saying 'Sure, you can come to the wedding,' while I wasn't paying attention. I wasn't happy when I found out, but there wasn't anything I could do about it. In the end, we didn't invite the 'old friends' for two reasons: firstly, we had no idea where to send an invitation, as we don't know where they live; and more importantly, we didn't care whether we offended them. So if you feel like a relationship has run its course and you don't care about staying friendly with someone, I wouldn't worry about inviting them, even if you said you would. In this case, we really don't care if we never see these people again, so it's no big deal to us if they're mad about it.

If I were you, I would probably feel obligated to invite the people that I sent the email to, as an 'I hope to see you at the wedding!' from the bride is as good as an invitation. I'd probably put my foot down about the 2nd and 3rd cousins, though. For one, you didn't tell them they were invited - your mom did. (If your mom is paying for the wedding, this argument holds no strength) Secondly, you have no relationship with them, so who cares if they're mad about not being invited? What are they going to do - talk to you LESS in retaliation?

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Reply


NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 8, 2009 2:52 PM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

First of all, your profile pic is super cute!

Anyway, I had something similar happen when I was planning. I sent out save the dates and didnt keep a really accurate list (KEEP LISTS!! Ask artbride, she'll tell you all about lists) Well 4 weeks before the wedding MIL gets a phone call from her family friend asking where their invite was. And I couldnt prove if we did or didnt send them an STD. SOOOOO we ended up having to send them an invitation. I do think it was super rude of them to call her out on it and put her in a weird spot, and we didnt wanna invite them anyway. But since we apparently sent them a STD, we couldnt NOT send them an invitation.

I think the only acceptable circumstance is if you really do not speak to those people anymore, so they wouldnt expect an invite. I had a few couples on my list (co workers) who got STDs and when I got fired from that job, they proceeded to not speak to me anymore so I axed them.

I think you need to realy try to cut the list down, and do what Myra suggested and really look at the people who you think will not come. Maybe you can get away without inviting them. Maybe you can get your mothers to non-chalantly mention the wedding to guage if they plan on coming?

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

Reply


Tamikiwa Posts : 3 Registered: 1/5/09
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 9, 2009 12:52 AM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

Thanks, Ladies! Your advice helped greatly!

Oh, and don'tcha love the meerkats? This is one of my favorite pics! :)

I've accepted the situation, and I think we'll be OK. I've got some ideas about how to shave off a great deal of the flower cost. Plus, I'll be designing and printing my own invitations/programs, etc.

I'd rather have everyone there anyway (except those pesky 2nd and 3rd cousins, but no wedding is perfect ;-).

Reply


TickledPeenk Posts : 175 Registered: 7/19/07
Re: Guest list etiquette - Does an informal invite count?
Posted: Jan 10, 2009 5:49 AM Go to message in response to: Tamikiwa

I have had kind of a similar problem. The day I went dress shopping with my mom, she told me "cousin-so-and-so-I-so-barely-know-him-I-don't-even-remember-what-she-said-his-name-was" was looking forward to coming to the wedding. He is either a 3rd or 4th cousin and I have met him exactly ONCE that I know of which was my great-grandmother's 80th birthday party that was 12 years ago! I don't think he even came to her funeral in 2005.

While making up my list for STDs (I didn't send them to our entire list, just people we are close to and knew would DEFINITELY be invited) my dad started asking me "is Ski (my grandpa's friend who I see only once a year at our annual family christmas party, IF he even comes- he didn't this year) invited?" "Is Jim Duke?" (haven't seen him in about 10 years.)

And just last week, he told me "Ruth is really hoping she's invited" Granted, her husband is a great friend of my dad's who I've known most of my life and they were invited to both my high school and college graduation parties and they even let me live in their home for almost a year after I lost everything in a house fire, the thing is, I haven't seen them since I moved out of their house and that was in July of 2007!

I told my dad that due to limited space (only fits 100 tops) and budget (and FH and I are footing the bill, all dad is contributing is he is giving us a honeymoon) that I am starting with close family and people that I see at least once a year and have seen within the last year and then going from there.

Sure, I wish we had unlimited money and unlimited space to invite everyone we've ever known but that's just not realistic. Most people understand that weddings are expensive.

The people who will be offended by not being invited will be people we hardly see or don't really care that much about anyway. shrug

Reply
RSS

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine