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Tacky Invitations

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This is a story of the worst "invitation" I have ever received for a wedding.

The back story -- my husband and I have known the bride and groom for several years. We knew them separately before they became a couple and continued to see them socially throughout the time they were dating and after they became engaged.

A few months after their engagement was announced, but before their date had been set, we were at a large Fourth of July party. The bride (Sharon) and I had a slight disagreement that ended with both of us saying some very unpleasant things. I left the party quite upset with her, and pretty much decided at that point that I did not need someone like her in my life. She probably felt the same way.

We did not see them again for most of the next year. We had heard through mutual friends that they had set their date and sent the invitations. We did not expect to receive one, and truthfully didn't want to attend anyway.

A few weeks before the wedding (and this was about a year after the 4th of July argument) we threw a large backyard party. Many of the people there were also friends with Sharon and her fiancé, Bill. Strangely enough, Sharon and Bill came to the party.

We had recently moved into our home. This was our first house purchase, and we had spent many years saving to be able to afford it. We are quite proud of our house, and as we had just moved in were giving many of our friends the "Grand Tour." We were the first in the group to own a home, in fact, many of our friends still lived with their parents at this point. So it was a pretty big deal to everyone that we had purchased this large home with a great yard on a lake.

So, I'm giving a tour to a few of my friends, and Sharon tags along. At the conclusion of the tour, she remarks to my husband that we have a beautiful home and that we must have spent a lot on it (we didn't, we got a great deal). Then she tells him she's getting married in a few weeks (like he didn't know?) and she has some "extra" invitations in the car. She asks him if we will come if she gives us one. My husband, being the clueless sweetheart that he is, just kind of shrugged and smiled. (he loves a good party).

Later, after the party, he handed me the invitation. It was a wonderful invitation, professionally done and beautiful. But it wasn't addressed to us. And it seemed pretty obvious to me that Sharon hadn't planned on inviting us until she saw our house. My guess is that she figured (incorrectly) that we were well-off and good for a large check or present!

We did not attend. I did not send a gift.



Most people will say "Oh, I have a story about a horrible wedding for you..." They're pikers. My sister's wedding would have made a grand tragic comedy in Hollywood; for those of us living it, instead of watching it, we're still waiting for the scars to heal.

Back in the summer of 1995, my sister decided that since I had gotten married about three months before, it was her turn to take advantage of free gifts and a duty-free party. Because her unemployable fiancé had no money and she was supporting them both, the idea was to keep things inexpensive: wedding under a gazebo in my parents' back yard, then a reception at the local boat club meeting hall. At least, that's the idea.

The first sign of serious trouble came when my (now-ex-) wife and I got off the plane, the day before the wedding proper. The first words out of my parents' mouths were, "Did you know your little brother is in a coma?" Little Brudder was a semi-pro bicycle racer, and he was riding to work when some idiot decided to make a right-hand turn from the left lane in front of him. At this time, doctors gave him only a ten percent chance of ever coming out of his coma and a 30 percent chance of living through the month (he finally made a full recovery, by the way, waking up about twenty minutes before he was to be fitted with a tracheotomy tube), but my sister thought that he did it deliberately to steal attention away from Her Special Day. To this day, she still tells everyone within bellowing distance, "Well, my mother almost cancelled my wedding because my brother was in a coma!" After hearing this for the tenth time, I was about ready to put _her_ into a coma, preferably with a cricket bat, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The next sign that this was going to be something less than a grand affair came with the cake. My sister and my soon-to-be-brother-in-law both nagged my father to do the wedding cake: after years of Father-Son Cake Bakes in Cub Scouts, my dad found that he had an aptitude for making strange and wonderful novelty cakes (you should have seen the goldfish bowl cake), so they naturally assumed that he'd make a wedding cake as well. My father balked, seeing as how he was already up to his eyeballs with the rest of the wedding plans, so the BIL whined to his mother, and she made the main wedding cake AND the groom's cake. The problem here was that she only knew how to make pudding cakes, so the day of the wedding, she showed up at the door with a two-tier pudding cake. Since pudding cakes are, by definition, full of pudding, the trip from her house to my parents' house caused the bride's cake to crack, revealing pistachio pudding inside. With the cake looking more like a case photo from a VD clinic than anything edible by humans, my sister _still_ threw a tantrum later when nobody would touch the thing.

The immediate wedding itself went all right, but then it was time for the reception. The new groom had gone insane with reception invitations, giving them out to every friend, relative, and vague acquaintance he'd meet. We're talking about nearly 300 invitations, and at least half of them, not counting family, decided to come out. This would have been fine even with my sister insisting that no alcohol be served under any circumstances...if she hadn't decided to go the cheap route. The sole food items consisted of one wilted vegetable platter, and she actually budgeted one can of soda for every THREE guests. My parents made a frantic run for extra items upon seeing this, as most of the groom's buddies were threatening to riot if they didn't get something to eat and drink, and my sister did nothing but yell about how my mother and father ruined the reception by bringing platters of brisket and cheese. (My sister couldn't be bothered to buy food, but she _could_ afford to hire a string quartet: just the thing you want when everyone wants to dance.)

This whole discussion can't leave out the bride's friends and the groom's family. When we arrived at the boat club clubhouse, it's no surprise that nobody had set out tables or chairs, because the groom just assumed that they'd be ready for him. My other brother (the one not in the coma), my wife, and I frantically set up tables while the groom's family, the best collection of Wisconsin's best pig farmers to be seen outside of the Oshkosh Mall's stage presentation of "Deliverance", literally tapped their toes in impatience until we had enough seats set up to allow them to sit down. Neither they nor my sister's spoiled Marquette University classmates could be bothered to help, and said lack of help extended toward getting food or drinks to the crowd, as well as in cleaning up afterwards. My brother, his wife, my wife, and I finally had it and started a labor strike: we ended up leaving the party for two hours until the vermin decided to start serving their own drinks.

Oh, and then there was the situation with the presents. My sister started tearing into the packages like a hyena into a fresh zebra carcass, and only thought later to keep tabs of what came from whom. Nearly nine years later, I still don't think that my ex or I ever received a thank-you letter; if we did, it probably came with a request for more money. No food, screaming family of the new in-law, and a wedding cake with a terminal case of the clap...I almost look forward to her getting married again just to do it again! (The fact that my ex and my sister are now best friends is just gravy: they deserve each other in the Whiny Entitlement Brat Sweepstakes Hall of Fame, but that's a story for another day.)



Please find attached a wedding invitation that my husband received, via email, and which we were not even invited to. The story goes like this, my husband, "Tim", and this woman, "Lisa" had been friends through church as they grew up. As adults they had drifted apart and had not seen each other in years. My husband had attempted to plan lunch with her several time, but was always greeted at the last minute with an excuse. Then last fall he received an email, starting out with how she wants to get together with him and get caught up, but ending with how this Thursday night would work out really well because they could get caught up while he helps to move her out of her apartment. He never responding to the email. 

Then we hear nothing for almost a year, when he gets another email informing everyone of her wedding the following weekend, that it will be a small wedding with only the "clan" (read in here that we are not invited), and attaching the invitation which I am sure she did so that we could have an address to send the gift to. Given her already selfish attitude I was not surprised to see that the invitation for the wedding and potluck dinner afterwards. The guests are even asked to specify what they will bring for the potluck and told that the suggested serving size is 30. And it is not like this couple is hurting for money! 


My cousin got at engaged a couple of years ago and immediately went into planning an elaborate to do... complete with an outrageous number of bridesmaids, myself included.  Months go by and I haven't heard anything.  No big, I live in another state and truth be told, I wasn't too excited with the idea of being a part of her "princess Tiffany" extravaganza. 

Well, it's getting closer to the date and I still don't hear anything.  Again, I'm not too concerned until it comes time for the invites to be mailed.  It's a couple months before the wedding and I haven't heard anything.  My aunt, her mother's sister, keeps trying to fill me in on all the plans, but I point out, I haven't gotten an invitation yet.  "Princess Tiffany" even goes so far as to send wedding info through e-mail.  Again, my mailbox is conspicuously empty.  Keep in mind, I AM totally ok with this, but she still keeps telling me, through my aunt, that she wants me to be part of her wedding and blah blah blah...  (yeah, sistah has yet to pick up a phone.)

Day of the wedding rolls around and my aunt calls to ask if I want to send anything on to the blushing bride-to-be.  (Unlike the rest of the family, she has been invited to the wedding.)  Send something on? Um, excuse me, but what wedding?  Technically, I haven't been told word one about a "wedding."  I spend the day planning my own wedding, and contemplating why this whole ordeal just feels so rude.  

Then, a few days later, I get a call from my aunt telling me that "Miss Tiffany" is having a wedding photo/video viewing for "those who couldn't make it."  I am not kidding.  That is a direct quote.  "Those who couldn't make it?"  How about "those who weren't invited!"  This call is of course after I told my aunt how hurt my mother, Tiffany's other aunt, was at not being invited.  At this point, I am SO through with "Miss Tiffany" and her wedding nightmare and politely, (because it's not my aunt's fault, she's just the messenger) tell my aunt where she can put the pity call.  Truth be told, neither Mom nor I wanted to go and would have politely declined and sent a gift, but since the bride didn't feel it important enough to include us until after the fact, we didn't feel it important enough to reply. 

That is one side of the family I didn't want to deal with and thankfully, I am not even mentioning I am getting married to them!


Granted it was his third wedding, but a buddy sent out his wedding invitations via bulk e-mail...



This must be a common breach of etiquette, but I am still fairly surprised that it happened to me. My wedding is in about six weeks. We have severely limited the guest list because of space and personal finances. We plan to have an informal cocktail party for the reception rather than a traditional sit-down dinner. We had to really pare down our list of invitees, and have left out some people I'd love to invite, but just can't. It was pretty hard to decide, but we did it. I am sure most couples go through this. 

We carefully wrote the names of the invitees on the inner envelope of the invitations. I sent one to "Mr. and Mrs. Smith". Yesterday, they sent back the response card that reads "Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Billy, Bobby and Susie Smith". They have apparently invited their three children to the wedding, which will be just plain unsuitable for kids. I have already discussed this subject with two close friends, who have five kids between them, that while I told them they CAN bring their kids, it would probably be inappropriate for them, and they agreed. I have essentially told close friends not to bring their kids, so this puts me in a right pickle. Also, it will cost us a couple of hundred extra dollars that we hadn't planned on. (Did I mention our budget was severely limited? As a special extra insult, my fiancée was laid off two weeks ago). If I was going to have three additional people on the list, I'd frankly rather have invited some other friends of the family instead. Don't get me wrong, I love kids, really. These three will be the only children there.



This Sept (2004) my old youth director "Megan" and her long time boyfriend "Greg" are getting married. I've always been close to Megan and very close to Greg, who thinks of me as a family member.

In the past few months I've had many disagreements with Megan and Greg over numerous things (including my boyfriend of 2 and a half years) but we always seemed to still be good friends.

When it came time for the invitations to be sent out, my dad received one, with my name included on it. At first this hurt my feelings because I knew that Megan's father had basically given them an un-limited budget (something she mentions frequently) but I figured that the invitations were just very expensive.

I opened them up to find the invitation printed out on computer paper from the church office. A nice response note is included, along with a bright yellow card giving directions to the reception. Their save-the-date card was also made on the computer.

I thought all this was rather tacky (and upon asking around found that many of my friends had been lumped in with their parents as well) for them not to send out invitations to their friends and former kids in the youth group when it was all being done so cheaply.

This is also an out-of-town wedding so my dad is already planning on dropping at least $200 for the hotel. This isn't even mentioning the gift (and Megan is spreading the word that they prefer cash. I'm glad that wasn't included on the invitation.) But what seemed very tacky to me, Megan pulled me aside one day to request that my dad not bring a date because they couldn't afford it. Me bringing my long-term boyfriend (who they have met and spent time with) was not even mentioned. And every time someone calls saying they can't come Megan will talk about how relived she is because there's now more room at the reception hall.

My thinking is, if you can't seat and feed 280 guests, don't invite 280 guests.



My boyfriend has a circle of 8 friends that he has remained close with since graduating from college. We meet up with this group for holidays etc. and he remains pretty close with most of them. Now 4 years out of college, 5 of the 8 have recently been married or engaged. We've been invited to all of these weddings and attended all that we could. 

The most recent engaged couple decided on a destination wedding in Bermuda (we live in NY), however, my boyfriend was the only one out of the circle of 8 that was not invited to his wedding. My boyfriend was not hurt nor bothered by it, but was a little curious to know why he was excluded. In recent months, we've attended parties with this circle of friends where the engaged couple has blatantly talked about how their wedding plans have gone and what fun the trip will be etc. All others invited were able to contribute to the conversation while my beau and I just kept quiet and would then try to engage in other topics of conversation. I've sat with the girls where they all talked about going shopping for new outfits for the tropics and they all knew I wasn't invited, but never once mentioned it while I kept silent. Not once was it acknowledged that we were not invited to their wedding and we of course never brought it up. 

Now that the wedding is exactly 2 weeks away, my boyfriend received a phone call at about 9pm last night from the groom who apologized and said that we were invited to their wedding. No explanation was provided, and my boyfriend didn't ask for one. No invitation via the mail, nothing. To me, the lesser evil was not being invited at all (if that even was an "evil"), but to invite someone, via the telephone, 2 weeks prior to a destination wedding? Is it me, or is that just completely insane? Obviously we cannot attend at this point because of work obligations, last minute travel expenses etc., not that I would want to anyway.


How clever to wait until the last minute to issue a quasi-invitation which lets the groom feel some relief from his guilt of not inviting them earlier but guarantees that the invitees will not be able to attend the destination wedding.


This story has some background to explain. I have been dating my boyfriend, "Matt," for over a year and are talking about getting married. Before he moved to CA, he lived in Louisiana and was friends with a girl we'll call "Judith." Well, it is my belief that Judith had/has a crush on Matt. I believe this because of the following reasons: 1) She asked him to be her first kiss, (apparently, she's extremely religious and this would be the equivalent to her losing her virginity) which he declined. 2) She's introduced him to her parents and insisted he spend a lot of time with them. 3) When he returned from a lengthy business trip, she sent him cookies that spelled out a "secret message" and then apologized for the perfumed box as her perfume came in that box (ummm, right.). (She is considerably younger than Matt or I.) Matt and I enjoyed the cookies thoroughly. :)

Well, after the cookies incident, Matt set some boundaries with her and explained that he and I were very serious and that the cookie thing was really inappropriate. Since then, she has repeatedly emailed him and he has not responded to her emails. We were both scheduled to be at the same national meeting this fall and when she wasn't there, I told her friend to say hi for me. My point is: She knows that Matt and I are together and that we are pretty serious.

Well, Matt gets an invite in the mail for Judith's sister's wedding. The inner envelope simply says "Matt" on it. No "Matt and Guest." Apparently, after some investigation, Judith had planned on Matt being her date. Way to use your sister's wedding to move in on someone else's boyfriend....


My friend of 28 years asked me to officiate her ceremony and I was more then happy too. We started working on vows when an email came from someone I didn't know. The subject line was "It's a wedding for such and such" so I opened it. My first clue that friends really can and do change over short periods of time!

The email was an invitation to the wedding and included was the announcement it would be a pot luck and that roasted pig would be provided. I was suppose to email this person to tell her what dish I would be bringing and it said if they got too many of one dish I would receive an email back so that they could change what I would be bringing. I responded and told her I would bring rolls and butter since I was coming from out of town and had no access to a kitchen. I took my big bag of dinner rolls and butter to the wedding and I went to place them on the buffet table, it somehow didn't shock me that there was 8 packages of hamburger buns sitting there. Nobody even used them because they didn't have mayo or anything usable for a pork sandwich. It was a shame the tubs of butter I took somehow grew wings and took off. 

As if all this wasn't tacky enough, the bottom of the email stated that since the B&G just purchased their first mobile home, they wanted Wal-Mart or Home Depot cards!!

I called it the wacky tacky wedding and it turned out to be just that although the B&G thought it was the most perfect day ever!


You fed the gimme pigs?  Bad, bad Etiquette Hellion! 

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007