News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 21, 2017, 11:54:31 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.  (Read 3258 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Oh Joy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1982
Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« on: November 22, 2016, 12:31:35 PM »
A friend of mine (Midwest US) is invited to a wedding ceremony this weekend, and reached out to me for gift-giving etiquette.  She's an acquaintance of the bride, but not part of a specific category like current coworker, church member, hobby club, etc.

There is a formal invitation to the wedding mass.  The printed enclosure card reads "We are honored and delighted to have you come pray with us at our marriage ceremony.  Due to venue accommodation we are unable to extended (sic) an invitation to you for the reception.  Thank you for being a part of nuptial mass and see you at the church!" 

Bummer that I didn't think to ask her if there was any registry enclosures, but she did say she brought a gift to a shower.

I'm trying to look generously at the invitation as opening the doors to all who want to be part of their day, but haven't encountered this particular situation before.  I suggested mailing a card with written good wishes (she likes the bride, after all) to their home regardless of whether she attends the ceremony.

Any other opinions?

Mustard

  • Member
  • Posts: 1974
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2016, 12:59:51 PM »
That does seem strange; it's quite common in the U.K. to be invited to just an evening reception but I'm fairly certain anyone can attend the wedding invited or not - the reception requires an invitation but the church is a public place.  So your friend has an 'invitation' to an event anyone could attend.. but not the celebration afterwards.... I'd send a card.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3722
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2016, 02:01:09 PM »
I think that whoever designed the invitations was being foolish as well as rude.

I mean, it's just barely acceptable, per etiquette if not socially, to invite someone to a ceremony but not the reception, especially if it's a very tiny, almost private -- like, immediate family only -- reception.  Even then I'd have at least coffee or punch and cookies after the ceremony for everyone.

But you don't make a point of telling people that there will be a reception and they are not invited to it!  Bad enough to be doing it; what on earth did they think they were gaining by adding that sentence?  Did they really think it would make anyone feel better about not being invited to the reception?  Seriously, what do you suppose the thinking -- and I use the term loosely  ;D -- here was?

It would be so tempting to send a note saying "Due to personal accommodation we are unable to extended (sic) a gift to you."

It's not entirely clear what "[d]ue to venue accommodation" means, but I assume it means space limitations.  In other words, "We could only invite X number of people, and you didn't make the cut."

So even if it's acceptable to invite people to the ceremony but not the reception, it is still definitely rude -- extremely rude -- to send them an "un-invitation" to the reception.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 02:03:26 PM by gellchom »

Outdoor Girl

  • Member
  • Posts: 16405
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2016, 02:03:01 PM »
Technically, if the ceremony is in a public place - park, church, whatever - anyone can attend the ceremony.  So I find it a little weird that she was invited to the ceremony but if she wants to go?  Go and enjoy.  If she's already given a shower gift, I think a card is sufficient; a gift isn't necessary.  It wouldn't be, even if she hadn't already given a shower gift, IMO.

(Two examples:  one couple getting married in a park.  Chairs were set up for the invited guests.  Some folks who knew the couple but weren't invited came to the park and set up lawn chairs well back from the seating area so they could see the ceremony.  Another friend getting married in a church and the parents of her friends (attending the festivities) lived close enough that they decided to come and sit in on the ceremony, sitting at the back.  Bride was slightly upset; not because they'd come but that if they'd told her they were doing it, she could have included them in the reception because there had been a couple of last minute cancellations.  But the parents weren't comfortable staying.  No gifts in either case, AFAIK.)
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

lakey

  • Member
  • Posts: 967
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 03:14:08 PM »
Quote
Technically, if the ceremony is in a public place - park, church, whatever - anyone can attend the ceremony.

This is especially true in the Catholic Church. In the old days parish members would go to weddings of other parishioners, not the reception, just the Mass. People don't do that much anymore.

I think that sending someone an invitation and telling them that they aren't invited to the reception is rude. This looks like a gift grab to me. If you want to have a small wedding, then have a small wedding, but this makes it sound like they are trying to save money on the food and drinks.

sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 04:25:28 PM »
Breathtakingly rude. I wouldn't attend, nor would I give them a present.

It was also rude to invite this person (and any others to whom the non-wedding invitation was extended) to a shower when they had no intention of inviting them to the full wedding/reception later on.

Moonie

  • Member
  • Posts: 553
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 04:26:57 PM »
If a gift was already given at the shower, I'd give them exactly what they requested in their "unvitation"....prayers.

greencat

  • Member
  • Posts: 3899
  • Trap...Neuter...What was that third thing again?
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 09:26:31 PM »
I think the only real determining factor in whether or not a gift should be given is if you feel warmly enough toward the couple that you want to give them a gift.

Now, the rudeness of being given an invitation like the one the OP's friend got could easily push the friendliness gauge down into the cool, "I don't feel like giving a gift," zone, for someone who is already not that close an acquaintance.


katycoo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4204
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 03:12:31 AM »
So, in my neck of the woods, a ceremony only invitation is usually unnecessary in that its at a public venue (church/park) but you want to reassure those people such as friends' parents or church members who don't really expect to be invited to the wedding that they are welcome to the ceremony.  I do think adding the end sentence is odd.  And I would never expect a gift from anyone not actually invited to the reception.

MariaE

  • Member
  • Posts: 5055
  • So many books, so little time
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2016, 03:35:18 AM »
With a small twist this is quite common in Denmark. However, the twists makes a huge difference.

A traditional Danish wedding is split up into three parts: the wedding ceremony itself, a standing reception (usually with drinks and chips, finger foods and/or cake served), and a (semi-)formal dinner.

It is completely acceptable to invite people to just the ceremony and the reception, without inviting them to the following dinner.

But of course, it's the reception that makes all the difference, as it still provides the guests with some level of hosting, even though it usually is quite low-key. It also allows the HC to mingle and talk to guests who won't be at the following dinner.

I guess technically it's an A-List/B-List situation, but it's been the norm here for so long, that nobody ever questions it. And at the end of the day it means that a "ceremony only" invitation would implicitly include this reception as well.

I'm probably giving the couple in the OP too much credit, but if they have a similar setup for the ceremony (so it's not just "service ends, go home"), then I have no problems with a ceremony-only invitation and would personally be happy to bring a gift, just like I would if I had been invited to the whole shebang.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

Chez Miriam

  • Member
  • Posts: 2088
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 05:15:29 AM »
I think the only real determining factor in whether or not a gift should be given is if you feel warmly enough toward the couple that you want to give them a gift.

Now, the rudeness of being given an invitation like the one the OP's friend got could easily push the friendliness gauge down into the cool, "I don't feel like giving a gift," zone, for someone who is already not that close an acquaintance.

This.  The friend is self-distancing themselves from the "gift zone", in effect.

If the OP's friend still feels like sending (another!) gift, of course they can do that, too, but I very rarely feel the need to send a wedding gift to a reception where I'm not invited.
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

YummyMummy66

  • Member
  • Posts: 1176
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 08:36:12 AM »
In my neck of the woods in Eastern U.S., we do not send an invitation to a wedding if you are not invited to the reception.  At least, back in my day.  Now, married almost twenty years, so things have changed. 

As for showers, it is possible to have a work shower, without co-workers being invited to the wedding.  Most people know that you cannot invite everyone, but still want to celebrate you in some, small way.   Other than that instance, it is usually understood, that if you are not invited to the wedding/reception, then you are usually not invited to a shower.

In this case, the invitation is not asking for a gift specifically, they are asking that if you are so inclined, to come and pray for them at their mass.  If I was so inclined, that is what I would do.  I don't think I would take another gift, since I had already attended a shower.  I might take a card of congratulations on their wedding, but that would be it.

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3722
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 01:14:48 PM »
In my neck of the woods in Eastern U.S., we do not send an invitation to a wedding if you are not invited to the reception.  At least, back in my day.  Now, married almost twenty years, so things have changed. 

As for showers, it is possible to have a work shower, without co-workers being invited to the wedding.  Most people know that you cannot invite everyone, but still want to celebrate you in some, small way.   Other than that instance, it is usually understood, that if you are not invited to the wedding/reception, then you are usually not invited to a shower.

In this case, the invitation is not asking for a gift specifically, they are asking that if you are so inclined, to come and pray for them at their mass.  If I was so inclined, that is what I would do.  I don't think I would take another gift, since I had already attended a shower.  I might take a card of congratulations on their wedding, but that would be it.

This is a generous interpretation, and I think it's probably accurate for these people. 

But that "oh by the way we are having a reception and you didn't make the cut" sentence still just ruins it.  Why didn't they just invite them to the mass and leave it at that?  MariaE, I assume they don't write something like that in Denmark, do they?

MariaE

  • Member
  • Posts: 5055
  • So many books, so little time
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2016, 03:13:54 PM »

MariaE, I assume they don't write something like that in Denmark, do they?

Oh, absolutely not! I think pointing out to people that they're left out is probably always rude.

Here two sets of invitations go out. One will say "You're invited to the wedding of A and B. The ceremony is at Place. The dinner is at OtherPlace. RSVP." The other will say "We're getting married at Place, and would love if you could join us for the ceremony."

No mention of the dinner in version 2 - and generally no RSVP either.

(The latter is often referred to as "attending a gawk-wedding" - as in, you're only there to gawk at the HC, but not actually officially invited to the full shebang.)
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Member
  • Posts: 10101
Re: Just to be clear: you're not invited to the reception.
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 05:14:38 PM »
In my neck of the woods in Eastern U.S., we do not send an invitation to a wedding if you are not invited to the reception.  At least, back in my day.  Now, married almost twenty years, so things have changed. 

As for showers, it is possible to have a work shower, without co-workers being invited to the wedding.  Most people know that you cannot invite everyone, but still want to celebrate you in some, small way.   Other than that instance, it is usually understood, that if you are not invited to the wedding/reception, then you are usually not invited to a shower.

In this case, the invitation is not asking for a gift specifically, they are asking that if you are so inclined, to come and pray for them at their mass.  If I was so inclined, that is what I would do.  I don't think I would take another gift, since I had already attended a shower.  I might take a card of congratulations on their wedding, but that would be it.

This is a generous interpretation, and I think it's probably accurate for these people. 

But that "oh by the way we are having a reception and you didn't make the cut" sentence still just ruins it.  Why didn't they just invite them to the mass and leave it at that?  MariaE, I assume they don't write something like that in Denmark, do they?

Yeah, there is no polite way to say, "We want you to come to our wedding but we're not willing to host you afterwards."
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls