Author Topic: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding  (Read 9465 times)

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Drunken Housewife

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fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« on: September 24, 2013, 07:58:06 PM »
Here are some heroes of etiquette: after a wedding was cancelled, the bride's family decided to go ahead with the expensive, 4 course meal they'd paid for but invite homeless people to come eat it.  After they learned that a huge percentage of the homeless in their area are children, they hired a clown to entertain.  What an amazing way to make the best of a terrible situation and feel that the money wasn't wasted. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if this caught on?  I wanted to share it with you, fellow etiquette devotees.

 http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/family-hosts-200-homeless-people-for-dinner-after-daughter-s-wedding-gets-called-off-180643590.html
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something.new.every.day

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 08:05:09 PM »
I saw this story earlier this week, and I'm so glad you've posted it here. I hope this idea takes off as a way to make something good out of canceled events.   :)

Surianne

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 09:09:51 PM »
What a great story!  Thank you for sharing this.

ladyknight1

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 09:11:50 PM »
I saw that and am just amazed by the class of this family!

Shoo

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 09:17:08 PM »
I think it's nice if you can afford it.  I, personally, don't know many people who could.  They'd WANT to, but practically speaking, there's no way a lot of people could afford to forfeit that money.  That said, I think it's wonderful that these particular people could afford to do something so nice.  I don't know that it makes them "classy."  Generous, yes.

allgone

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 09:55:42 PM »
A lot of things are nonrefundable for a wedding.  I think this is an amazing and classy family.  They could have had a big party for family and friends but they decided to feed people who needed to eat.  I love this story.

EllenS

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 09:57:15 PM »
Shoo, I got the impression that the dinner was prepaid and nonrefundable. They could have thrown a massive party for their friends, or just let it go to waste.  Instead, they thought of others.  It's not the scale, it's the outward focus that I think is classy.

Psychopoesie

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 10:11:31 PM »
I also got the impression that the wedding was cancelled to close to the actual day to get refunds. (40 days before?).

However, they seem to be planning to make the charity dinner an annual event. Not clear if they're planning to cater the next event on a similarly lavish scale (4 course catered meal for 200 at the reception venue). If that's the plan, it's a very generous thing to do, certainly.

Obviously, their money, their choice. Still, I have to wonder whether that's the most helpful way to go about feeding the homeless, assuming that's the goal. That's a big chunk of change to spend on making one evening of homeless person's life better (though I'm sure the good memories last longer).

TootsNYC

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 10:46:51 PM »
I don't think that's really etiquette.

I think that's charity.

Admirable, yes. But nothing really to do with etiquette.

Drunken Housewife

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 12:09:37 AM »
For me it immediately felt like an etiquette-related event.  Why?  Because a wedding being cancelled is an etiquette crisis.  It's kind of the classic etiquette ultimate crisis.  Weddings are so fraught etiquette-wise as it is, and if one must be cancelled, dealing with the aftermath is more fraught.  So that was my thinking. 

The usual response is to argue with the vendors to try to get as much money back as possible (money which the people involved felt they could afford to spend before the falling out between the bride and groom), the not-so-happy couple wondering if they have to give back gifts they've already scored or can keep them, who gets the ring...  It seems like a refreshing change to have a family deal with it in a generous way.
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CakeEater

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 01:24:27 AM »
I don't think that's really etiquette.

I think that's charity.

Admirable, yes. But nothing really to do with etiquette.

Admirable, sure.

But would they not have had to uninvite 200 guests in order to do this? Sure, that particular group of people may not have wanted to come together for dinner, but each guest was uninvited, I assume. I wonder how they actually did that.

That's the etiquette question I'd be interested in. I mean, if a friend or family member of mine called off their wedding after I had RSVPed yes, I'd be completely understanding about there no longer being a wedding reception. I don't go to the wedding for the free meal, after all. But to then hear later that the party did go ahead, but a different set of guests were invited instead would feel a bit strange.

That sounds a bit cold, and I wouldn't begrudge a homeless person a meal in any way. But the principal of the thing stands. Can you cancel an event for one group of people, and re-invite a whole separate group to that same event?

Last_Dance

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 03:45:01 AM »
That sounds a bit cold, and I wouldn't begrudge a homeless person a meal in any way. But the principal of the thing stands. Can you cancel an event for one group of people, and re-invite a whole separate group to that same event?

But it's not the same event: the original guests where invited to a wedding. Yes, weddings include a party afterward, but you can't really have a wedding reception without a wedding beforehand, now, can you?

Additionally, I imagine half of the original guests were from the groom's side. The bride's family might have decided to turn the reception in a big dinner, but at this point they would have had two choices:

a) keep the guest list absolutely unchanged. But in this case, I expect many people would have declined (can you imagine how awkward it would have been?) and so they would have ended up with a lot of uneaten food anyway

b) disinvite the groom's side of the family and eat the food themselves - now that would have been rude!

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mspallaton

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 10:07:48 AM »
...That's the etiquette question I'd be interested in. I mean, if a friend or family member of mine called off their wedding after I had RSVPed yes, I'd be completely understanding about there no longer being a wedding reception. I don't go to the wedding for the free meal, after all. But to then hear later that the party did go ahead, but a different set of guests were invited instead would feel a bit strange....

If I recall the responses I got on a thread about thank you cards, one of the things one of the posters said was that the reception is, in essence, saying thank you to the guests for attending the ceremony (in my case, it was the reasoning given for not sending thank you cards to those who didn't bring a gift - since the card is the thank you for the gift alone).  It occurs to me, as others have said, that the 'party' ceased being a reception at the point that the wedding was called off.

At that point, there is no event to thank guests for attending.

I could see how a wedding guest, seeing this choice, could be upset - but I think that displeasure would be inappropriate.  Not only because everything is going to charity, but because the key purpose of the event they were invited to has been lost.

Sharnita

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 10:16:36 AM »
Mixed feelings. The ceremony might not have happened but for some guests and/or wedding party members the cost of plane tickets, clothes, days off of work, etc. have as lrwady been dpent. If they aleady committed those resources and there is food/party for somebody it serms reasonable to "spend" it on them.

Hmmmmm

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Re: fabulous etiquette solution for a cancelled wedding
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 10:28:13 AM »
I don't think that's really etiquette.

I think that's charity.

Admirable, yes. But nothing really to do with etiquette.

Admirable, sure.

But would they not have had to uninvite 200 guests in order to do this? Sure, that particular group of people may not have wanted to come together for dinner, but each guest was uninvited, I assume. I wonder how they actually did that.

That's the etiquette question I'd be interested in. I mean, if a friend or family member of mine called off their wedding after I had RSVPed yes, I'd be completely understanding about there no longer being a wedding reception. I don't go to the wedding for the free meal, after all. But to then hear later that the party did go ahead, but a different set of guests were invited instead would feel a bit strange.
That sounds a bit cold, and I wouldn't begrudge a homeless person a meal in any way. But the principal of the thing stands. Can you cancel an event for one group of people, and re-invite a whole separate group to that same event?

The wedding and party did not go ahead. The wedding and reception was cancelled. The family chose to use the funds the funds they had committed for the reception portion of the wedding to an entirely different event.

I think it was a nice gesture of the family.

The real etiquette question is what did they do with any wedding gifts already received.