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Tacky Invitations

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My youngest sister, now in her early 20s, announced in March that she was getting married to someone she'd known for a month. Within minutes, she was shrieking that wedding planning had her incredibly stressed out, but that she felt duty-bound to have a wedding "for friends and family." She also rebuffed offers of help, stating that she had to do everything herself.

Two weeks ago, she announced that the wedding would be August 14 (yes, three weeks from the date of the news), and that she was busily constructing "formal" invitations on her computer. This is for a small outdoor wedding with a reception at a greasy spoon, but no matter -- she must have FORMAL invitations, and her fiancé could not help because he would not make them "perfect." She also positively had to have her wedding dress sewn that very weekend and told our mother not to give her any attitude about it. Fortunately, she had refused to let Mom do bridesmaids' dresses as a gift to the attendants, screaming that she wasn't having any attendants. She's now having two, but they're borrowing dresses from a prior wedding. Anyway... the invitations...

Invitations are just starting to arrive in the hands of potential guests. Yes, that's less than ONE WEEK before the wedding. In the mean time, the bride has been on the phone demanding of people whether they're going to attend and insisting on firm answers. I suspect many are saying "yes" just to make her hang up.

The invitations are issued with our parents as hosts, to Mom's horror, as they were not consulted or treated with basic courtesy on any issue; indeed, the bride announced that the wedding was being held in a location two hours from our parents' home because it was more convenient for her friends (most of whom have since moved far away, some of whom have stopped speaking to her). The invitations tell the guests that the ceremony will start "promptly at 12:30," which is a hoot, since the bride is rarely less than an hour late for anything. (That could be a problem, as her rental of the site ends at 1:15. That's the site where she reserved it before asking what it cost and was in tears to discover there was a substantial fee.) The invitation also contained a mysterious piece of vellum with the guests' names scribbled at the top, plus a printed card "apologizing for the inconvenience" of sending invitations so late. The entire tone of the invitation suggests that the bride is very grudgingly inviting people who are inconveniencing her -- which may well be the case, as she threw a fit at being told that the groom's mother might wish to include a few family members as guests.

One of my friends is threatening to take pictures of this fiasco from a discreet distance, so that I can enjoy the full effect. (I wasn't invited, having refused told the bride to stop plagiarizing papers from the internet shortly before her college caught her and took action.) While this would be tacky, "tacky" is kind of a theme here: we strongly suspect that there's no marriage license (the bride was talking about getting it at "city hall" in a jurisdiction where licenses are issued by the county), and we're not sure whether the officiant (yes, Universal Life Church) will show up. The bride and groom have also announced that they're having a "real" wedding cake, but they're sure they can just stop by a bakery and pick one up the morning of the wedding (oh, and neither of them has a driver's license).

I told our mother that she has to email you the entire story when the wedding is over. We'll see if she does it.


I received a bachelorette party invitation for a BTB who had already had a wedding shower hosted by her mother and sister (incidentally, they were also hosting the bachelorette event).  On the back of the party invitation was the following:

"This is also a lingerie shower.  Please bring something sweet and sexy.  If you could bring something that will make [BTB] blush, that would be great, too.  We will have munchies and drinks.  If everyone brings a few dollars, we could even order out for pizza!"

Oh, could we?? First of all, is this function a party or is it a shower?  Pick one, please.  And you know, if I had wanted to pay for the food, I could have just hosted the shower.  Then again, maybe they have a point; I guess there's no sense in only hoping for gifts when you can just flat out beg for them!  



My husband received an invitation to a business associates reception not addressed as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" but as Mr. John Doe and Guest.  The business associate knows he is married but either did not relay that message onto his new wife or his associate really is not that bright. We did not respond  since we felt these people really had no clue about who we really are and were just fishing for gifts. I really wanted to send the reply in to the Groom and address it as "Mr. Jones and that other one". (The new bride had sent out the invitations).



My dear sister, who spent every second planning her entire wedding by herself, was very mindful of the cost of everything.  My father decided that he wanted to increase the guest list and offered to pay for the additions, which was fine; however, this still did not leave room for all of the people she would like to invite due to the cost constraints.  So, I was highly amused when, during her college graduation, a mother of one of the girls I was on a team with in high school (I am four years older) whose younger daughters were in high school at the same time as my sister (but not in her class) stopped to ask her about her wedding plans (the woman was also graduating).  My sister replied with the usual chit-chat.  So the woman proceeds to tell my sister that she should invite her daughters to the wedding.  To which, my sister replies that it is small and she is trying to keep the guest list down (never mind that she never associated with either of the girls who were close to her age).  So the woman says something about how she could just add them in…they would probably like to go!  Well, gee, thanks.  If my sister couldn't invite the people she really likes, I'm sure she's just dying to add on two people to whom she never speaks.  Sheesh.  I knew the woman was very loud and boisterous, but I never thought she would have the gall to invite her children to someone else's wedding.  What is it about a wedding that brings out the tacky side of people?



My mother was recently invited to a wedding in which she received a very nice invitation, It was the little typed note that accompanied it that was the kicker. 

Mr. and Miss John Doe do not have a lot of money so they are asking that everyone pay their own dinner, it will be 20 dollars per person, also in lieu of gifts please make a monetary contribution to help Mr. John Doe move to Canada. 

Needless to say my parents will not be attending the wedding and if they are to send a gift it will not be money.



My step-son is getting married and the wedding invitations came in a timely fashion. This is not so much an invitation faux pas - they are a little over the top with purple flower petals adorning them - it is the way the invites were addressed. Bizarre. My mother-in-law got hers first and called me laughing hysterically. The envelope was addressed:   

BGen. and Mrs. John (insert middle name) Jr. and Lea Smith, U.S.A.F.., Retired   

Huh? Who is Mrs. John and who is Lea Smith? Mine was even worse:   

Dr. and Mrs. John (middle name) III and Sue Smith and Children   

Do the children belong to Mrs. John III or Sue Smith? And the children are all over the age of 21 and should have had their own invitations. I started calling everyone and almost all of the invites had some strange/inappropriate wording. Our soon to be daughter-in-law simply didn't have a clue. My 85 year old mother is beloved by everyone but is wicked funny. Since my father died 10 years ago, my mother said her invitation should have been addressed (if you follow the "etiquette" the bride is using):   Mr. and Mrs. David John Jr. Deceased and Lila Moore. Needless to say the poor girl is going to get an anonymous gift of an etiquette book.               



Here's a Tacky invite or lack of one.... After being invited to an IL wedding (niece) and flying halfway across the country to attend (thousands of $$).  We were "told" that we were not invited to the rehearsal dinner.  That we "could meet up with the bridal party" at a later time so we could all "get together" at the club that they had designated.  The *bride (said niece) couldn't wait to see us.   Fine.  Insulted, yes.  Devastated, no.  So we do.  After flying 6 hours, hailing a cab, checking into the hotel, hailing another cab to "downtown".  Great club, fun place.  As long as you are 21 or over.  Carding at the door.  Fine, except that several of the "cousins" are not over 21.  We manage it, get all cousins in.  Bride greets us.  Very busy with BM's and wedding party.  VERY  short greeting.   Fine.  Fun club.  No tab, we all pay for our own.  Fine.  Lots of dancing, lots of drinking, fun club.  Very late in the very long evening, we find out the Bride and Groom have left, never said a word.  So much for being so glad that we could attend, and so happy to *see us.



My cousin, “Lynn” sent an invitation to me and my parents.  Clearly, we were not on her “A” list of invitees because the RSVP date had already passed when she mailed the invitations, thus, we never could RSVP on time.  Also, she misspelled our surname and used my father’s nickname instead of his proper name.  Finally, she completely left off my name in the invitation (all the more reason why she didn’t get a gift from me personally) and included her gift registry information in the invitation.  People please, the correct way to do things is easily found out—go to the library or consult a reputable website.  I don’t understand why people persist in being so tacky in this age of information. 



An acquaintance of mine is getting married at the end of the month.  I didn’t get invited to the wedding and I wasn’t surprised by this.  But I was surprised to get this the two week ago. The names have been change. I don’t even know what to say.

Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 9:19 PM
To:  Kathleen  Subject: Busy on July 30th?

Hey Kathy, > > Beth and I were hoping that you're free on July 30th and can come to our wedding.  If you are able to come can you please send me your  mailing address?  I thought I had it but appear to  have lost it in the shuffle.  

 I'm sorry we weren't able to send you an invitation sooner, my dad's family is huge and we had to make sure we weren't  going to exceed the reception hall limit before we could invite more of our friends. 

 Also, we'll be serving steak, chicken or fish at the reception, if you're able to come can you let me know what you'd  like? 

 Hope to see you soon!  Neil


Did they have to send me an email telling me I was on B list and they didn’t have enough people to fill up the room. 


I received the invitation to my brother’s wedding the day after the wedding.



A "friend" was getting married to a guy we had all known for years, as we all went to college together. I had met this girl my first semester and by this point we had know each other for about 10 years. She went on and on about her upcoming nuptials from the moment they got engaged. I then received an invitation to the wedding shower, but no invitations to the wedding had been received yet, so I thought nothing of it. Right before I was going to RSVP that I would be in attendance at the shower, a friend mentioned that she had received her invite to the wedding. So I gave it a few more days, and a few invitation.

I then found out that she had just sent out the B list invites and that once they got a count of them, she would decide how many C list invites to send out. WTF?

I then received and invite to the bachelorette party, at an expensive restaurant followed by drinks out on the town. Needless to say I did not attend, but was still admonished by one of her bridesmaids for not showing up. The final straw was when she told the B list friends that they could bring a date, but only if it was one of the C list people..........

I can't quite remember why we ever became friends.....                 



Hi, A friend that I bumped into in the street was excited to invite me to his engagement party. I was really surprised when I opened the invitation to discover that he is charging $20 per person to attend the wedding. The engagement party is at his house and the $20 is for the barbeque and alcoholic drinks.



"Give people an invitation directing them to cater your wedding reception and you hand them proof positive of what they may have suspected for years, that you are one tacky hairball."

Jeanne Hamilton, Wedding Etiquette Hell:  A Bride's Bible To Avoiding Everlasting Damnation , page 57


I received a wedding invitation for a friend's wedding and was very excited to attend. I knew the groom well and many of my friend's and acquaintances would be attending as well. Just as a side note, not many people cared for the bride and the joke was that when the minister asked if there was anyone that had doubts about their union to rise and speak, the congregation would erupt with chaos. And the bride pretty much let everyone know she didn't care for them either. The wedding was in the bride's hometown located about 7 hours away.   I received an invitation for a cocktail party on Friday evening. The rehearsal party was before that. 

My friends and I showed up at the appointed hour to attend the party. When we walked into the club we noticed that there was a small room that was set up with a full bar and a table with cheese and crackers and fruit but we were the only people there besides the bartenders. We thought that perhaps this room was for another party and our cocktail party was located upstairs where the noise was coming from. When we reached the top of the stairs was walked onto a room with about 20 tables of ten people having dinner. We recognized this as the rehearsal party that was still taking place. Horrified, we walked back downstairs to wait for them to finish dinner. 

When we were back in the reception room a few other people had arrived and we told them about what we saw. There were a total of 10 people that were not included in the rehearsal dinner but were invited to attend the cocktail party. I was raised to understand that all out of town guests were invited to a rehearsal party of some sort the night before the wedding but also understand that this is not customary for others. However, the 10 of us that were to stay downstairs for the next hour and a half until the dinner ended, were embarrassed that we were so blatantly excluded. We became known as the "B-List" for the rest of the weekend. We laughed it off and had a lovely time at the wedding the next night but I'm still in awe that this southern bride that prided herself on her southern charm and hospitality could be so rude. And tacky.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007