I think that it does send a very clear message. Whether they intend it or not, the HC are making it clear that they value something, whether it's the location or the value or whatever, over the attendance of some of their invitees and the comfort of others. That is their choice and that, in and of itself, isn't rude. But it does tell the OP and others where they stand relative to other things in the HC's lives.
The bolded in particular really crystalized what I don't get about this thread: Why is a wedding the sum total of statements about the couple's relationships?
It's not about the sum total of the relationship
. In this one context, some things are more important than others. That's all. Many people would be upset at arrangements like these in the OP because they feel that their relationship
with the HC is a better one than what is being shown.
Let's take an extreme example. Let's say my sister loves to sky dive so she wants to get married while jumping out of a plane. I'm an acrophobe and won't do it, so she's chosen that activity over my attendance. That's her choice and she isn't being rude, but she is telling me where I fit in the scheme of things - the parachute is more important than my attendance. Now, if someone were to chide me for not attending, that
would be rude. Just as someone chiding the OP or anyone else for not attending the subject wedding would be rude.
People make these choices all the time. Someone who wants an expensive wedding may have a limited guest list. The people not invited are less important to the HC than having the quality of wedding that they want. There's nothing wrong with that in etiquette, but it does have relationship
implications. We get our knickers in a twist here all the time when people try to have both the quality and quantity, but have to turn to pot lucks and wedding-party labor to achieve that. The acceptable alternative is to prioritize -- quality or quantity -- which is more important? In fact, I find this thread to be quite ironic. We have a HC who has chosen to prioritize, but those of us who point out that that's what the HC did are meeting with quite a bit of resistance.
To some people, the wedding is about two people pledging their love for each other, in the manner that makes them happy and comfortable rather than about placating and including their entire extended family. Perhaps nature is something that brought this couple together, and so celebrating at a state park is more true to their relationship than celebrating at a nice hotel would be. That doesn't mean they don't love and value their family.
Nobody is saying that it isn't about two people declaring their love in a way that makes them happy and comfortable. But if the way that makes them happy and comfortable excludes many people who would like to celebrate with them and they would like to celebrate with
, then it's telling those people that this specific thing that makes the HC happy and comfortable is more important than the other people.
I'm sorry that this is making folks uncomfortable, but it's a fact of human relationships
. If you exclude someone, deliberately or inadvertently, you're telling them where they stand in relationship
to you. The fact that it's a wedding doesn't make everything ok.
What bugs me, and I think other people, is the fact that the circumstances around this particular wedding make it exceptionally
difficult for many of the invitees. I'm happy to put up with some discomfort, if that's what makes the HC happy.