Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: menley on August 21, 2013, 06:17:49 AM

Title: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: menley on August 21, 2013, 06:17:49 AM
General question: When planning an event, is it impolite not to arrange transportation for guests? This is primarily for elderly guests or those who aren't very mobile.

I ask this because of the "But I haven't been invited" thread. In this thread, an elderly man wants to go to a baptism to see family, but wants his daughter to drive him (despite the daughter not being invited). A number of posters made the comment that if the hosts of the baptism really wanted the man there, they would have arranged transportation for him.


I have never considered this before for events I've planned. For my wedding, my husband and I invited a number of his elderly relatives who do not drive. Normally these relatives get rides to events from other family members (who were also invited to our wedding). However, we didn't have any plans in place to get these elderly folks to the wedding if, for whatever reason, their relatives who normally drive them didn't wish to attend. We wanted them there, but we of course understand that elderly people are sometimes not able to make it to events due to distance, etc. Is it wrong of us not to have arranged alternative transportation for them?


And if it is, how far does it go? A wedding is a fairly big event, so it might not have damaged our budget too much to add in some transportation for them. But in the thread I mentioned earlier, it's a simple baptism. Yet many posters said that the hosts should have considered the man's transportation options. Is that really required for gatherings of such a small nature?
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Curious Cat on August 21, 2013, 06:35:39 AM
Hmm good question, and I admit one I've never thought of. I think in general it is up to the guest to arrange for their own transportation but if you have a guest you particularly want to make it to an event and you know might have trouble figuring out a way to get there it would be a kindness to present an option or two (aunt Sally said she would be happy to drive if you need a ride, or please let me pay for a cab to take you to the party, it just wouldn't be a celebration if you weren't here)
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: *inviteseller on August 21, 2013, 06:49:45 AM
For something as large as a wedding, other than maybe your grandparents, I would say no, you don't have to arrange anything.  There could be various people of all ages who may have transportation issues and it is not up to the bride and groom to make all those arrangements.  For something small, like the baptismal or a birthday party, it would be nice to think of the people you want there and if the distance isn't a huge one (out of state), then I think it is nice if you can get Uncle Joe, who is driving by Grandma's house, to get him to pick her up.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 21, 2013, 06:51:39 AM
I was also suprised at the number of people who felt the hosts should figure out transportation. But I assumed that many of them had large families and they were continually roped into transporting family nmembers back and forth.

I think in our family, we know who needs transportation assistance and who they usually relay on for transport needs, so we normally coordinate with them. Sort of like "Cousin Linda, I was planning to have a lunch for aunt Mabell's birthday. Would you or your sister be able to bring your mom up?" And of course they would both be invited.

But for more distantly relatives, I wouldn't assume it's was my responsibility to make sure every relative had transport to an family wedding.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Goosey on August 21, 2013, 07:16:23 AM
Adult guests of sound mind shouldn't need to have their attendance pre-planned for them.

It's perfectly okay to request assistance, but not necessary for people to pre-arrange it for them.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: bopper on August 21, 2013, 08:26:49 AM
This just happened to me.

 
So for DD19's birthday, we are going to take her out to dinner as is our familyís custom.  So I said, why donít we invite my stepmom and her hubby as we havenít seen them in a bit.  Great, they can come.  So I told DH, why donít you ask your parents if they want to come  (out of fairness, and we havenít seen them for a while. The last time they invited us out was on July 4 and we had baseball tickets and really didnít want to deal with Shore/Holiday traffic).  But they donít want to drive at night (DH's dad had a mild stroke this summer), but they said they would come if one of DH's sisters drove.  So he facebooked two of his sisters to see if they could come/drive, and now both of them and their spouses are coming oh and I forgot DH's grandma has to come too (she lives with his parents and I don't think should be left alone for that long!

So now we have 14 people instead of 9 but that is okay.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: DaDancingPsych on August 21, 2013, 08:52:40 AM
I would assume that etiquette says that the host is not responsible for transportation, but I think it's wise to take it into consideration. For example, my Aunt Maria does not drive and relies on her grandson Ronald to take her places. If I want my aunt to attend, then I best extend an invitation to Ronald. I think of them as a package deal.

I think that as far as the hosts making the arrangements for the guest, it really comes down to each individual guest. In the case of my Aunt Maria, she is fully capable of arranging her own transportation. If Ronald can't help her, than she has a few nieces who will drive her. Other than ensuring that her typically rides are invited, I think it would be stepping on her toes to make any arrangements for her.

However, my grandmother was a different case in her later years. She had difficulty remembering things, so she was not able to make arrangements for herself. Family knew that my mom was her typical mode of transportation, so they would speak with her. (It was best to do so, as otherwise my grandma would not remember the party or occasion.) If my mom could not, there was a transportation service that would drop her off and pick her up. The fees were minimal, so my mom would make these arrangements if grandma wanted to go. In a few cases, family members knew about the costs and would offer to pay just to have grandma there. I don't think that this was their responsibility, but a truly gracious thing to do.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: snowdragon on August 21, 2013, 09:04:49 AM
  I think an adult who is mentally competent, is responsible for their own transportation.  I don't think that making other guests responsible for transporting guests is polite.
  The adult in question can call someone for a ride, but a host should not be extending an invite and then saying "Oh by the bring so and so with you."
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: cwm on August 21, 2013, 09:06:43 AM
I think any adult of sound mind should be expected to plan transportation for themselves. If the host knows that someone is dependent on someone else for a ride and the host is aware of it, it would be nice to invite the customary ride as well, but it's not necessarily mandated. If for some reason the ride would not be welcome at the gathering, it would be nice to offer alternate transportation to the guest.

If the adult isn't of sound mind, it's completely different. If you really want Great Aunt Agatha at your party but you know she's starting to slip mentally, it might be a good idea to send an invitation to her and send an invitation to someone else close to her and make sure there are arrangements in place for her to get a ride to and from, and for someone to help her remember and possibly get ready.

Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Lynn2000 on August 21, 2013, 09:07:14 AM
I think arranging transportation for guests isn't required by etiquette. But, it is an extra, nice touch the hosts can add if they want. And, it may be the difference between that guest attending or declining, so if it's quite important to the hosts that this guest be there, I would think they'd want to go that extra step. Kind of like, you should check with your top must-be-there guests before booking a wedding date or general location, in case they have a conflict.

As an example, I don't myself drive. I try not to make a big deal of it and tend to get along on my usual chores fine, but if there's something out of the ordinary, like a friend's party, transportation to this new place and back is something I have to work on. Since I tend not to be very social anyway, it's much more likely I'll just decline to attend, rather than try to figure out the bus or a cab. No hard feelings on my part, it's just that at some point the negatives of attending start to outweigh the positives for me.

A couple of friends, however, tend to just matter-of-factly arrange transportation for me along with the invitation--like, "Your parents are invited, too," (so they'll drive me) or "Jane can swing by and pick you up on her way here, if you want." Although that could certainly become dictatorial, in my case it tends to work out well and makes it much, much more likely I'll attend their event. I definitely see it as a nice extra, however, rather than something the hostess must do for me.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Sharnita on August 21, 2013, 09:19:14 AM
This came up when my relative's DH died trgically and unexpectedly. My sis got married a  few months later. We weren't going to invite all of "aunt's" kids because while they are all very nice they are pretty distant relatives and live busy lives. Asking them to come would feel gift grabby. Still, we wanted aunt and knew making the trip would be overwhelming, not to mention attending on her own. We invited "Aunt and guest" and called to tell her we hoped to see her with whichever family member or friend who could make the trip with her. She came with her DD.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: NyaChan on August 21, 2013, 10:34:18 AM
I may have mentioned this in other threads, but there is an elderly couple my parents have known for 20 years, who moved in with their daughter after the husband got badly hurt and became ill.  My parents occasionally invite them separately from the kids so that they both get a night off and you can tell just by looking that the husband is excited to be socializing the way he used to be able to.  His mobility issues are such that he can't leave the house without one of his Son-in-Laws to assist.  My dad chooses to go pick the couple up and bring them back.  The SILs would absolutely do it, but my parents figure that they want the people they invited to be able to attend freely and without any worry of how they will get there or if it will inconvenience someone else. 

So for me, this is generally an extra where you have no reason to think that someone would have trouble getting there.  But for some reason, it seems off to invite someone to an event that you know they can't get to without help.  We don't have public transportation in our town and I've never seen a cab (probably have some "downtown" if you can call it that).  If I invite someone I know has no driver's license while their spouse is out of town, am I really inviting them if I don't offer some option for transportation?
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 21, 2013, 12:03:35 PM
Like so many things, I think it depends. I come from a small family, so in my grandmother's later years, it fell to me to pick her up, and bring her home. esp after my mom broke her leg, and due to other issues, was now in a wheelchair. while she eventually could drive, she couldn't help Grandma carry her things, etc. something like that I had no issue with at all; it wasn't far, and it was grandma

for something larger, I don't think its the hosts' responsibility, but it is nice, if they can help out certain folks who might not be able to attend otherwise.

not transportation, but the daughter of my grandmother's neighbors got married, and she was invited. she didn't feel comfortable going to the reception, but accepted going to the church, and I took her. It was literally across the street from her apt, so we walked over, attended the ceremony, she got to say hello to everyone in the receiving line, and then we went home.  everyone was fine with me "crashing" since she otherwise wouldn't have been able to go, and she had known the bride since she was a baby.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: DottyG on August 21, 2013, 12:07:26 PM
I would assume that etiquette says that the host is not responsible for transportation, but I think it's wise to take it into consideration. For example, my Aunt Maria does not drive and relies on her grandson Ronald to take her places. If I want my aunt to attend, then I best extend an invitation to Ronald. I think of them as a package deal.

^  That

Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on August 21, 2013, 06:02:30 PM
. . . We invited "Aunt and guest" and called to tell her we hoped to see her with whichever family member or friend who could make the trip with her. She came with her DD.
This is the solution that came to my mind.  If you know someone needs a caretaker or a driver, give them the "plus one" option.  The phone call is a nice gesture.   
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Marbles on August 26, 2013, 05:37:24 PM
I think that a host isn't responsible for providing transportation, but can be part of the guest finding a solution. So, for instance, when Greatuncle calls the hosts to say "I would like to come, but can't drive that far. I'm still trying to find a ride. Do you know of anyone coming from my direction?" The host can give Greatuncle a list of a few people who have been invited and suggest he call them (provided they are family or mutual friends). Or, if the other guest is unknown to Greatuncle (or even if the hosts wish to extra helpful), the hosts may offer to ask on Uncle's behalf.

By giving Greatuncle the names of people who have also been invited, it prevents the awkwardness of him trying to get a ride from someone not invited which we saw in the other thread. It is even better if the host can suggest the names of folks who have already indicated that they are coming.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Lynn2000 on August 26, 2013, 06:04:53 PM
POD to Marbles. Once I was invited to a friend's wedding some distance away, and as I don't drive, I asked him if there was anyone else I knew who was invited, so I could check with them about getting a ride. (Unfortunately there wasn't.)

It would not be very welcoming to respond, "I don't know, I'm too busy planning this to check," when a guest proactively tried to find a solution that would enable them to attend, and wouldn't make an awkward situation for other guests/non-guests. I guess it would be okay if a host did respond that way, but it wouldn't exactly encourage the guest to make the event a high priority.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: snowdragon on August 26, 2013, 06:21:45 PM
On the other hand, I as a guest who drives would be very put off by being put on the spot, because a host gave my name as a possible ride to another guest.  I would feel I was only invited so I could transport the other person and would be either declining or changing my RSVP to no.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Lynn2000 on August 26, 2013, 06:42:17 PM
On the other hand, I as a guest who drives would be very put off by being put on the spot, because a host gave my name as a possible ride to another guest.  I would feel I was only invited so I could transport the other person and would be either declining or changing my RSVP to no.

That's a good point. I think it would depend on the attitude. If either the host or the ride-less guest just assumed the driving guest would be able to help out, that wouldn't be cool. But if a name was just put forward as a suggestion, and a polite inquiry was made, I don't see how that would be wrong. Probably a know-your-audience thing.

But on the other hand, what are you going to say as a host? "No, I won't tell you who else is invited"? That could likely lead to someone calling people on their own, and talking to them about an event they aren't invited to, possibly trying to get them to come anyway. Might be better to have some pre-vetted suggestions ready, rather than risk Great-Uncle Henry finding his own, non-preferred solution.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: snowdragon on August 26, 2013, 06:54:14 PM
On the other hand, I as a guest who drives would be very put off by being put on the spot, because a host gave my name as a possible ride to another guest.  I would feel I was only invited so I could transport the other person and would be either declining or changing my RSVP to no.

That's a good point. I think it would depend on the attitude. If either the host or the ride-less guest just assumed the driving guest would be able to help out, that wouldn't be cool. But if a name was just put forward as a suggestion, and a polite inquiry was made, I don't see how that would be wrong. Probably a know-your-audience thing.

But on the other hand, what are you going to say as a host? "No, I won't tell you who else is invited"?
That could likely lead to someone calling people on their own, and talking to them about an event they aren't invited to, possibly trying to get them to come anyway. Might be better to have some pre-vetted suggestions ready, rather than risk Great-Uncle Henry finding his own, non-preferred solution.

"there's no one near you that I feel I can say would be willing." or something similar. But I think it's a lot to ask someone - They have to leave early from their house, (necessitating them to get ready early - giving up more of their day) and get home later than they would going  straight there and back. And while some folks might not mind once in awhile, being the person/people that hosts  give out your info as a possible ride gets old really quick.  ( No, I don't have any experience with that, why do you ask? seriously, I could stories about this, many here could.)  I think if you (general you)  don't have a license, you need to realize that that comes with consequences and look into cabs and other forms of public transit. 
  If it's not the hosts responsibility to solve, it's even less the responsibility of the other guests. 
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Lynn2000 on August 26, 2013, 07:09:21 PM
Well, just speaking for myself, I would contact the person the host suggested and ask politely if it would be possible for them to give me a ride, not demand they do it. And, I wouldn't contact a stranger--it would be more like, "Which of our mutual friends have been invited? Oh, okay, I'll see if I can get a ride with Betty." And if Betty's like, "No, sorry, not possible," I would look into other options. I think that would be a polite way to handle it. But, I do agree that it depends on several people being polite (host, ride-less guest, driving guest) and in some groups that might not be something one could count on. :)

I don't think it would be right for a host to give out contact info between strangers who hadn't agreed in advance, just like that wouldn't be right in general. Or to make promises/agreements on behalf of someone.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: shhh its me on August 26, 2013, 07:27:49 PM
On the other hand, I as a guest who drives would be very put off by being put on the spot, because a host gave my name as a possible ride to another guest.  I would feel I was only invited so I could transport the other person and would be either declining or changing my RSVP to no.

That's a good point. I think it would depend on the attitude. If either the host or the ride-less guest just assumed the driving guest would be able to help out, that wouldn't be cool. But if a name was just put forward as a suggestion, and a polite inquiry was made, I don't see how that would be wrong. Probably a know-your-audience thing.

But on the other hand, what are you going to say as a host? "No, I won't tell you who else is invited"?
That could likely lead to someone calling people on their own, and talking to them about an event they aren't invited to, possibly trying to get them to come anyway. Might be better to have some pre-vetted suggestions ready, rather than risk Great-Uncle Henry finding his own, non-preferred solution.

"there's no one near you that I feel I can say would be willing." or something similar. But I think it's a lot to ask someone - They have to leave early from their house, (necessitating them to get ready early - giving up more of their day) and get home later than they would going  straight there and back. And while some folks might not mind once in awhile, being the person/people that hosts  give out your info as a possible ride gets old really quick.  ( No, I don't have any experience with that, why do you ask? seriously, I could stories about this, many here could.)  I think if you (general you)  don't have a license, you need to realize that that comes with consequences and look into cabs and other forms of public transit. 
  If it's not the hosts responsibility to solve, it's even less the responsibility of the other guests.

"let me check."

I don't think its the host responsibility to arrange transportation but  I do think not doing so in some circumstances it can border on a lack of kindness.   
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: blarg314 on August 26, 2013, 07:59:00 PM

This is the kind of thing I see as a family thing - if I were arranging a family get-together, and some people didn't drive (or have a car) we'd work it out, not just from the host, but a family perspective ("Who's going to pick up Mom?  Stacy's coming in from university, and will need to be picked up at the train station") Same for something that had people flying in - we'd talk amongst ourselves, and work out a way to get people where they were going without undue hardship, particularly for elderly/frail members, or those who

For large events, or people who were more distant connections, or who invite themselves, I'd say it's up to them to work it out.

I can sympathize with someone who is stuck, though. If you can't drive anymore, and you aren't physically robust enough to handle public transportation, it can be very isolating to want to socialize, be invited, but have to turn it down because you can't get there. It's particularly tricky for an event where you don't know who else is invited, because you can't phone up people to ask if they've been invited to something, but you can't get there unless you can ask for a ride. [Cabs work sometimes, but they can get get very expensive for someone on a fixed income, or a student - an extra $50 to get to and from a social event is not necessarily possible, particularly on a regular basis]

My mom is currently at a family wedding, travelling with my aunt. She drives, but  isn't keen on big city driving, and doesn't want to rent a car in an unfamiliar city and navigate all over the place, and really doesn't want my aunt to do the same (aunt is a scary driver in a familiar environment).  So she talked to various people, they talked to others, and she's got a combination of rides which will get them to see various relatives. Many of them live in small towns which are too far apart to make cabs practical, but aren't served by buses or trains.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: snowdragon on August 26, 2013, 08:26:52 PM
I can sympathize with someone who is stuck, though. If you can't drive anymore, and you aren't physically robust enough to handle public transportation, it can be very isolating to want to socialize, be invited, but have to turn it down because you can't get there.

yone
  I can sympathize with this, too.  I've been on both ends- but I am not sure that there is a solution that is "fair" to everyone. When I did not drive I decline more than I went, but when I did go with someone else, it was their suggestion not mine or the hosts.
  I also think that hosts and riding guests need to be  aware of what "close" is. Rochester may be "near" Buffalo to those in Columbus or Colorado, but it's really not right to ask someone to drive that distance  to pick up great aunt Sally so she can get there. It's one thing if the trip to pick up Aunt Viki is a slight detour - but having  someone an hour or so (inclusive of both ways) is a bit much, IMHO.
 
I also think it's a whole different scenario when it's a family event and family members are being asked to help out - and a bunch of friends when it's the same people doing all the driving over and over again.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Raintree on August 26, 2013, 09:03:44 PM
For elderly family members, I'd probably help them find transportation. For regular people (young, mobile, of sound mind and body), I get kind of annoyed when they expect me to figure out their transportation.

Example: I was crazy-busy moving, but decided to have people over for one last hurrah to say goodbye to the house. Actually, it was my dad's house but I was doing all the work of moving him out of it as he was/is elderly. The get-together was for his entertainment as well. It was a nice, vacation-style home that a lot of people had strongly hinted they wanted to visit, and we never got around to it as life gets busy, etc. So I invited a small crowd of those who had expressed interest in the past. The catch: the house was out-of-the-way and required some complications and expense to get to.

Some drove, some carpooled, some came on public transit, most did not pester me for transportation arrangements. Except one, who kept pestering me: "Nobody wants to carpool with me! Sue's car is full! I don't want to drive myself! How am I going to get there?" She was one of those people you feel obligated to invite although she has always been high-maintenance, and this just reinforced my view of her. I was busy moving! I was busy getting my elderly dad sorted out! It was all I could do just to have people over and throw down a few refreshments and treats! I wanted to do this, but....don't make it more complicated for me! Adults can and should figure these things out amongst themselves.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: lkdrymom on August 27, 2013, 06:08:42 AM
I don't think the host is rally responcible...it is a nice gesture but not required.  When I had a surprise 80th birthday party for my mother I did make sure one elderly single friend had a ride there.

On the flip side...my BIL is in his 70s. He often goes to events at his niece's house which is at least 2 hours away. They expected him to pick up another elderly relative that was a good 45 minutes out of his way. He felt like he couldn't say no, but he sure resented it.

Then there is the other part....someone asks you to drive an elderly relative. What happens when this relative is ready to go home hours before you intended to leave the event?  I had this happen when I took my father to a wedding last year. By 10pm I had a couple relatives come up to me and tell me that my father was looking tired and I should probably take him home (he wasn't seated with me so I didn't know what he was up to). The party was no where near over.  And it was a 90 minute drive so I just couldn't run him home and come back.
Title: Re: Arranging Transportation (s/o "But I haven't been invited")
Post by: Raintree on August 29, 2013, 03:36:19 PM
Then there is the other part....someone asks you to drive an elderly relative. What happens when this relative is ready to go home hours before you intended to leave the event?  I had this happen when I took my father to a wedding last year. By 10pm I had a couple relatives come up to me and tell me that my father was looking tired and I should probably take him home (he wasn't seated with me so I didn't know what he was up to). The party was no where near over.  And it was a 90 minute drive so I just couldn't run him home and come back.

I've had this happen too. Elderly relative ran out of steam before the cake was even served. Luckily a good friend saw how disappointed I was having to leave, and offered to run this person home. I was very, very grateful. (I was closer to the guest of honour than this friend was, so it was less of a big deal to the friend to have to leave early). Just as they say it takes a village to raise a child, I can definitely also vouch that it takes a village to care for an elderly person and it's hard when the onus is always on the same person.