The “No Pretenses” Sham Wedding

by admin on July 16, 2009

I actually just found this in the mail today and thought of you first. I got back together with my man about a month ago after not being with him for 2 years. I received an invitation in the mail today to a wedding of one of his cousins. My name first, his name second. I have no idea how they found out we were together, never mind how they got my address. My man hardly knows them.

Inside the envelope were two one page cards. They were fairly pretty and nicely done. The first (bigger) card is a standard invitation to a wedding taking place at 11:11am with a dessert reception at 2pm. Not too bad..although if I travel 2-3 hours I would appreciate supper. Although I do realize it’s not required. Then they say to RSVP to an EMAIL address! Sure! lol!

But the second card says this..

The Bride and I, on July 5th, in the company of a couple close friends, had a private, yet intimate, ceremony at Kiwanis Park, Regina. This celebration on the 20th is to give all our friends and family the ability to share in our joy and to link arms with us through our adventures to come. Due to everyone’s extreme generosity in helping us get set up and established here in Regina, we have no need for household items as we obtained all the necessities(i.e. toaster). If you wish to bless us on our special day there are a couple things we are without. We are in need of a reliable, mechanically sound vehicle to help us through our first winter together and on a personal note any contributions that we may put towards a honeymoon would be greatly appreciated. All monetary gifts will go towards these two areas of need.

Sincerely, Groom and Bride

Okay wait! So I was not good enough to go to your REAL wedding but I am invited to your fake wedding so I can bring you money? I don’t even know these people! I really want to go and take a toaster full of pennies! lol! I get to drive over 2 hours to bring people I don’t even know some money and all I get is some dessert… Sure! Where do I sign up? 08-26-08

Wow, there were no pretenses as to why the newlyweds were inviting people to their sham second wedding.  They might as well have put on advertising sandwich boards and walked the streets of their hometown announcing to the general public that they are greedy and certainly not above abusing a wedding to beg.  What is truly pitiful is they acknowledge the “extreme generousity” of the friends and family but this is not enough.  They must have more and were willing to invite bare acquaintances and minimally connected relatives to get more. 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy July 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

“Sorry, I had been planning to give you a toaster and it can’t be returned to the store.”

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Alexis July 23, 2009 at 9:51 pm

This is not a wedding invitation. This is a sales pitch. As such, it can be ignored and discarded with the rest of the junk mail. There’s another thing about this that really bugs me: If you schedule a ‘wedding’ and reception in such a way that guests will have to miss lunch or dinner to attend, you are obligated to serve your guests lunch or dinner, or enough hor’devores to equal a meal, not just dessert. If you can’t afford to do so,trim your guest list, or change your plans. Or something, ANYTHING but this, to save money. Do you expect your ‘guests’ to have a few pizzas delivered at their own expense during the reception? If you want a dessert reception, you hold the ceremony and reception at a time that dessert is actually eaten. Dessert follows a meal, it does not replace it. (OK, sometimes dessert DOES replace a meal, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue!)

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wherever October 6, 2009 at 3:35 am

I disagree… I have many times heard of receptions held after the main wedding in order for extended family members and friends to participate. Sometimes for whatever reason the bride and groom desire a more private ceremony with just a few people (or sometimes just them) but then after the fact they will have a bigger reception so that everyone can celebrate with them, and don’t feel left out. This often happens when a couple lives in one location and have friends there, but their family lives somewhere else, like where they grew up.

Also, they said *if you wish*, meaning that if you don’t want to give them a gift, you don’t have to. No one is required to give a gift.

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Kitty November 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm

I don’t see what this couple have really done wrong here. I think you’re being overly harsh.

1) They took the trouble to find out that you and your man are together and to invite you by name, yes they could have put his first, but that’s a very small error.
2) They have acknowledged the generosity of their friends in setting them up with all their household needs.
3) They’ve said ‘if’ anyone wants to give them a gift- they’re not expecting it.
4) Asking for money isn’t polite, but they’ve done their best to explain why they need it and what they’ll spend it on, and the planned spending is on something useful rather than superfluous rubbish. I think this is the best way to attempt to remedy what can come off as a crass request, and surely it’s better manners than returning registry gifts for cash as I know some very ill-mannered people do?

As a bride-to-be myself I know how expensive these occassions are. They may have decided on a small initial ceremony for a number of reasons- one of them may have awful stage-fright and would find it unbearably hard to cope, they may have had their hearts set on a particular place to marry but it was too small for their guests… all sorts of reasons. I think it’s nice that they’ve actually decided to invite more people to the reception than they did to the wedding- I think it shows that they want to celebrate and party with as many friends as possible to mark the start of their marriage. I think it shows that they don’t want to leave people out. I think it’s far ruder to have evening-only guests at weddings, as the implication there is that these people aren’t as important as the day-time guests, and while this may be true it’s rude to make it obvious.

Also, catering such events is expensive. Perhaps the couple prefer to be able to celebrate with more of their friends than have a 3-course sit-down meal. This story also doesn’t mention whether or not the reception is intended to continue into the late afternoon and evening. If, as it appears, this is a morning ceremony-type thing and an early afternoon reception ending before the evening, then a dessert reception seems like a lovely, celebration-y thing to do.

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Smiling Charmer February 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Hi Kitty,

May I suggest you read Ms Hamilton’s books?

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Ziya February 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Kitty – sorry but I completely disagree with you. Proper etiquette means that under NO circumstances should you hint, encourage, ask for presents or money (regardless of what you plan to use it on) on an invitation. An invitation is to invite people to share your joy (and a reception after the fact is becoming common) but it is up to the guests should they choose to give them a gift, what type of gift (monetary or physical gift) to give.

Additionally, an invitation is hardly the place to advertise your financial woes, which is what is happening in this case if they wrote a paragraph about what they plan to use it for.

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livvy April 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Dear Kitty,

I’d like to invite you to a party to celebrate myself and my husband. At our wedding, lots of people generously gave us lots of stuff. However, we now realize that we forgot to give you an opportunity to celebrate us, and would now like to rectify that error. We have chosen to re-stage the event for your benefit, and will even throw in pie. Why pie? Because even though the close friends who saw the real wedding were very generous, we’re still needy as hell. If you really love us, you could express your love with a car, or cash, which we may use to buy the car we need, or otherwise will blow on a vacation for ourselves. Look forward to seeing you there! RSVP: gimmegifts@tackyspot.com

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essie August 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm

wherever & Kitty, this wasn’t just an invitation to a mid-afternoon reception (at which desserts would be appropriate), this was an invitation to a WEDDING AND a reception. You can’t be wedded again if you’re currently maried – even if it IS to the same person. What you CAN do, though, is invite people to a “re-enactment” of the wedding. Having a reception several days (weeks, months, even years) after the marriage ceremony is fine, nothing wrong with that at all, but it’s incredibly tacky to send an envelope with one card saying “Please come to our wedding” and another saying (in effect) “Suckers! We’re already married! However, we’d love for you to come see us in a fake ceremony. Afterward, you’ll be left wondering what to do (oh please, go feed yourselves somewhere) for a couple of hours before you join us for some sweet treats – and bring your cash.”

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