This was a long time ago, but this popped back into my mind recently and I was wondering what eHell would think about it (as I don't think eHell was really in existence back then.
DH and I had a normal big wedding where we invited pretty much all of the family, cousins and everything. DH's parents were the youngest in pretty large families and married rather late in life, so all of DH's cousins are quite a bit older than he is. Some second cousins are closer to his age than most of the cousins. They all were invited to the wedding/dinner/dance, with their kids, even though I honestly had no idea who some of these people were when we addressed the invitations (hadn't met them all yet). Yes, we knew that this would be quite the expense with the head count for the dinner, but hey, that was just how it was done. We mentally prepared ourselves for it.
We had to have the final number to the caterer something like two weeks before the wedding. RSVPs were 'due' weeks before that, so we thought we'd be fine with that deadline.
Now, one of DH's many cousins was a farmer, and he and his wife had six children. They were all invited. We received their RSVP card, and they indicated that all eight of them would be attending. Wow(!!), but that was fine; we invited them, after all.
But then, they wrote on the card that they wouldn't really know if they could come or not until the week before the wedding. See, like I said, they were farmers and this was May, and if the weather was good, they'd have to get the crops in that weekend instead of coming to the wedding. In my pre-wedding days of stress and worry, I read this note and my jaw dropped. Yeah, I got that they were dependent on the weather, but we were talking about EIGHT dinners! That was one entire table worth of meals that we'd have to pay for, but would be wasted if they didn't show up! (I was OK with expense, yes, but I certainly didn't want to incur the expense if they were going to be wasted!)
Now, I totally get that this is their livelihood, and it did and should take precedence over attending our wedding. However, what is their responsibility for ensuring that they didn't cause the hosts undue expense if they don't show up? (Even at the time, I thought, seriously, how do you NOT know that eight dinners are kind of a big thing when RSVPing?) After all, we had to have the numbers to the caterer at least a week before they promised to get back to us.
Was that an OK thing to do....to RSVP positively for eight people but know that there's a very real chance that you won't show up?
And for those of you who are wondering....we ended up having a beautiful day for our wedding, but the farmers never did show up, obviously, given the good weather. And no, we also never received any sort of an updated RSVP from them to say that they wouldn't be able to make it. (Nor did we receive so much as a card to congratulate us on our wedding afterward.)