Won’t Come To My Wedding? I’ll Get You On Facebook

by admin on March 3, 2010

I was friends with “Kaye” back in high school, but we drifted apart after I went away to college.  I haven’t actually seen her in about 5 years, but we “friended” one another on Facebook.  It was on Facebook that she announced her engagement to “Doug,” whom I have never met.  I congratulated her on Facebook, but under the circumstances I was not expecting an invitation to the wedding.

Well, lo and behold, three weeks ago, I received a wedding invitation to Kaye and Doug’s wedding from her parents.  There was no reply card inside, in fact no mention of a reception or any RSVP instructions at all.  There was, however, an insert that read, “The couple is registered at Bed Bath & Beyond and Wal-Mart.”  I knew that the bride along with her mother had assembled and mailed the wedding invitations, because she said so on Facebook.  So what’s the message here?  I am invited to the ceremony, but not to the reception, and they still expect a gift?  If Kaye had written me a note or called me to say that she missed me and really wanted me to attend, I probably would have relented, but the lack of any personal message coupled with the direct solicitation for a gift made this decision a no-brainer.

I RSVP’d to the wedding invitation by writing directly to her parents, the hosts, saying I was sorry, but would not be attending.  I wasn’t sure how to say anything to the bride, or even what to say.  I never heard from Kaye.

Today I logged onto Facebook and discovered that Kaye had posted a “Friend Facts” poll on my profile Wall, posing the question, “Do you think Theresa O’Neill is a loyal friend?”  My jaw dropped.  So far, my other Facebook friends have not given that poll the dignity of a response.  (Except for one who doesn’t know Kaye or the wedding situation, but that person defended me.)

The coup de grace? Although it had been a couple of weeks since I sent my regrets for the wedding, today I received an invitation to Kaye’s bridal shower, hosted by her mother, sister, and another woman (don’t know the relationship). Ironically enough, conspicuously absent from the shower invitation was any mention of a registry!

If I screwed up anywhere along the way, I humbly repent to the etiquette gods.  I have only told this story to one other person, who basically told me to cross Kaye off my list—although his language was a little more colorful.   0223-10

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Izzy March 3, 2010 at 7:12 am

Haha the poll could have been an app advertising – it does that sometimes so that people can click and join. Facebook applications are shameless, it might not have been about you.
Glad you saw through this gift grabbing, I doubt there’ll be serious consequences from a simple de-friend

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J. March 3, 2010 at 8:51 am

I too think that the “Friend Poll” was a coincidence. I get them from time to time asking things like “Could J. beat A. in an arm wrestling match?” or “Do you like J.’s hair?”

I commend you on taking initiative and RSVPing to this tacky invitation.

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Nikadi March 3, 2010 at 9:23 am

As Izzy said, the poll could easily be an app, but then I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t either! Cheeky cow. so glad that we don’t do bridal/baby showers in the UK!

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nkkingston March 3, 2010 at 10:27 am

I agree with Izzy – before jumping to conclusions have a quick skim around her other friend’s profiles. It’s possible it’s posted itself to everyone on her list. Some apps try and convince you that you have to do that before you can post it or respond to someone else’s (you usually don’t have to, but they try and hide that fact).

The invitation itself was an obvious gift grab, though, and you were under no obligation to attend. The shower might be meant in good faith (maybe someone pointed out the poor etiquette of the wedding invite to the parents?), but I’m sure the bride-to-be won’t be too upset by a distant friend turning it down anyway.

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Nelle March 3, 2010 at 10:42 am

An almost identical scenario unfolded with an old friend of mine who found me on Facebook — except that we were getting married within three months of one another. And I’ve wondered ever since if I did the right thing.

A girl I’d been friends with back in middle school, but hadn’t seen for years, found me on Facebook. Less than a month before her wedding, I was shocked to receive an invitation — for my entire family, no less — to her wedding. Through Facebook chat, she had told me all the woes of her tight, tight budget, lack of family support, and, at last, how few people she expected to show up. I should mention that whenever I brought up anything, good or bad, about my own wedding, she quickly changed the subject back to her own. Just before her RSVP deadline, I went against my better judgment and told her I would attend the ceremony, but not the reception. I didn’t want her to feel like no one was there for her on her special day. But I also didn’t want her to have to pay for a meal for me when her budget was so small, and she had told me how she searched long and hard to find a venue that would charge less than $15 per guest. Oh, and I bought her a nice gift off the card-enclosed-in-the-invitation registry.

Fast forward to two weeks before my wedding, which was jam-packed with family members and very close friends, and which we had slightly over-budgeted at around $60 per guest. I had told this girl long in advance that we’d had to trim the guest list a lot due to the sheer size of my husband’s family. (The guest list was still over 200.) When I got on Facebook one day, I found a snarky message about how she and her husband must have been among those trimmed.

Well . . . honestly, they were never on it to begin with, because we hadn’t been friends — except through Facebook — for years. Was I wrong to attend her ceremony and give her a gift but not also offer to spend $120 for her husband, whom I’d never met, and her to come to my wedding? I’d already had to cut friends I actually spend time with on a semi-regular basis. Does etiquette dictate that you must invite someone to your wedding if you’ve been invited to theirs?

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Rebecca March 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm

The facebook thing? Please. Those are just random questions that facebook generates for you. Get over it- it has nothing to do with you personally. Since you weren’t really in touch with her anyway, why are you getting all bent out of shape that her invitations don’t meet your personal standards? Maybe she was just trying to reconnect with you. Sounds like you’re being really petty and she’s better off that you chose not to celebrate her special event with her.

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Mom March 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Well, first to the original post. It actually is quite traditional to NOT have a reply card with the wedding invite, as you are expected to write a response – so you did the exactly correct thing. That’s gone by the wayside these days – most people include a reply card – but I like the tradition. And yes, sometimes people are invited to the wedding but not the reception (though the reverse is more common). I don’t really understand why. Certainly listing the registry on the invitation is in very poor taste.
@Nelle – no, etiquette does not require that you invite ANYONE to your wedding – certainly not a FB friend you haven’t seen in years. I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

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Annie March 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm

To the LW, big kudos for having the guts to refuse to condone a blatant gift grab attempt. Let the poll thing on Facebook go, it probably was just an app but even if it wasn’t it doesn’t dignify a response. As Izzy said, simply de-friend her, no loss to you …..

And to Nelle, I sincerely hope that your ‘friend’s’ comment did not warrant a response from you, it is simply beneath you to defend any decisions you make regarding your life and the events therein. Especially on an open forum such as Facebook.

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Slartibartfast March 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Honestly, I think the only big “faux pas” was including the registry info in the invitation. We only know the OP’s impression of how close friends they are – it’s entirely possible that the bride still considered the OP a good friend even though they had more or less lost touch. And assuming the OP didn’t plead “too far to travel” for her reason to turn down the invitation, inviting her to the bridal shower seems fine to me. It seems to me like the bride-to-be was trying to reconnect, and the OP is automatically assuming it’s because the bride is a gimmee pig.

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Leah April 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Not wedding-related, but I recently had a (now ex-) friend “unfriend” me on Facebook due to a ridiculous misunderstanding. A truly terrible punishment, considering I am rarely on the site. This would seem to be the modern equivalent of being “cut dead” at a social engagment… I have to say I’m not all that torn up about it.

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Raccoon Princess April 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

A lack of response card or “RSVP” stated on the invitation could mean that they don’t need a head count. I am doing that for my wedding where the food will be delivered at my house and the guy I hired to serve will put out an appropriate amount for however many turn up.

I do see a faux pas in telling people where you are registered, but it is done frequently. Even that is less tacky than the brides I’ve met who request cash. Doing that is the best way to get something in crystal from me, probably etched with the bride and groom’s names.

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livvy April 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

@Nelle: While I don’t think you were under any etiquette obligation to invite the other woman, as mentioned by another poster. I do think the other woman considered herself a better friend of yours than she was – a notion probably reinforced by your attendance at her wedding. Considering the other woman was having a hard time drumming up friends to come to her own wedding, she may have been extra especially hurt (and jealous) that she didn’t even make it to the top 200 of your list. It’s a tough situation – without a really good solution. Maybe it would have been better to decline (with or without gift), knowing you wouldn’t be able to invite her to your own wedding.

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KitchyKoo August 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I completely agree with Raccoon Princess. The registry listed is tacky, but unfortunately common now, to the point where most forms you fill out for the invitations even have a spot for it. The rest of it, I don’t get the offense unless she’d stated on Facebook that “assembling the invites” specifically meant putting an invite, RSVP, and reception information all together. Otherwise I’d assume that assembling meant stuffing the envelopes and addressing them for mailing, and that others got what you did.

The Facebook thing, that’s from various apps, she didn’t specifically target you in any way. It’s a sad commentary that people are taking Facebook at its word rather than actually checking things out before deciding if offense should be taken. I can’t tell you how many automatically generated “It’s time to lose weight!” event invites people take offense to without bothering to find out that Facebook sent it automatically, no one was singled out.

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Sarah Lamb August 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm

It is a random facebook application. When someone plays it asks set questions, such as ‘do you think so and so is a loyal friend?’ about random people on the player’s friends list. When the player answers, the box to post this question as a poll others can answer is automatically checked so if they forget to uncheck it, the poll is automatically posted. It means absolutely nothing about you.

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Carly August 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

Yeah, she didn’t do it on purpose. Facebook sometimes posts those things automatically – not necessarily her fault

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