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  • November 22, 2017, 06:28:08 PM

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Author Topic: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"  (Read 2560 times)

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TeamBhakta

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"Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« on: July 22, 2017, 01:53:38 PM »
The NY Times had an article about the uptick in surprise weddings among non-celebrities.
-Is it inconsiderate to host a surprise wedding ?
-Are guests obligated to produce a wedding gift or money after being told "surprise, you're at a wedding" ?
-Two of the brides are receiving post-wedding parties from friends. One of them had felt "shortchanged and cheated" (of gifts & parties). If your friend had a surprise wedding, would you feel obligated to throw her a post-wedding bridal shower & bachelorette party ?
-The featured weddings had small appetizers, drinks & mini desserts. Is it rude of guests to stay for less than the length of a "normal" wedding ?
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/fashion/weddings/surprise-weddings.html

rose red

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 02:20:12 PM »
-Is it inconsiderate to host a surprise wedding ?

I can understand some would be put off, but I wouldn't mind personally. Even as a regular guest, there's a lot of prep and stress which I dislike and a surprise wedding eliminates all that. I don't think this question has a right answer. It's each person's own personal feelings.

-Are guests obligated to produce a wedding gift or money after being told "surprise, you're at a wedding" ?

Gifts should never be expected (except maybe a card), but most will probably send a gift anyway. It's a nice thing to do, especially if you like the couple.

-Two of the brides are receiving post-wedding parties from friends. One of them had felt "shortchanged and cheated" (of gifts & parties). If your friend had a surprise wedding, would you feel obligated to throw her a post-wedding bridal shower & bachelorette party ?

No. It was their choice and they need live with their own choices.

-The featured weddings had small appetizers, drinks & mini desserts. Is it rude of guests to stay for less than the length of a "normal" wedding ?

I think a guest should feel free to stay however long they were going to stay when they thought was just a "regular" party. What if someone only hired a babysitter until 8pm, or someone has to work early the next day? Or someone don't show up at all because "it's just a party?" That's the risk the HC need to be aware of.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 02:22:53 PM by rose red »

HannahGrace

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 02:21:54 PM »
My responses:

1.  it's only inconsiderate to host a surprise wedding if you hold a grudge against those who didn't make it because they thought it was only a regular party.
2.  I would say no gift obligation.
3.  No post wedding parties.  No one is obligated to throw you those parties even for a planned wedding.  If you want to go the traditional route, do that, but if you decide to have a surprise wedding, that's your wedding and you're done.
4.  I don't think the amount or nature of food is relevant.  People weren't planning on being at a wedding and budgeted their time accordingly.  If I'm invited to a wedding, I expect to be tied up at least 5-6 hours.  If I'm going to a party, I figure at least 2 hours, but I might well have planned to be somewhere else after, or I might have life things that need to be done (walking the dog) that I would not have planned ahead for, not knowing I was going to a wedding.

Chez Miriam

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 02:41:30 PM »
The bit that stood out to me was:
Quote
And, as Mr. Chavers witnessed, envelopes contain less money and smaller checks.

“Lauren did feel shortchanged and cheated,” Mr. Chavers said.

I'm suspecting that some of the guests felt "shortchanged and cheated" not to know that it was a wedding they were attending/missed (because they didn't know it was a wedding that was planned instead of a regular party)....

I think if I attended one, my feelings would vary immensely: my sweet, casual friends would not be expressing feelings of being cheated, and I suspect I would have a wonderful time at their [putative] surprise wedding.  Some people: for them the world is not enough... ???  If invited to an engagement party, I might feel that the engagement-level present I brought is all I would want to buy [I'm pretty sure it would take exceptional circumstances to make me feel the need to later "top" that up to wedding level] - but who knows?
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TheaterDiva1

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 02:54:45 PM »
The NY Times had an article about the uptick in surprise weddings among non-celebrities.
-Is it inconsiderate to host a surprise wedding ?

I think that's more of a "know your audience" thing... personally, I don't see a problem as long as you're sure everyone would come to a regular party and not miss out simply because they didn't know it's a wedding.

Quote
-Are guests obligated to produce a wedding gift or money after being told "surprise, you're at a wedding" ?

Good question... I would get them something after the fact.

Quote
-Two of the brides are receiving post-wedding parties from friends. One of them had felt "shortchanged and cheated" (of gifts & parties). If your friend had a surprise wedding, would you feel obligated to throw her a post-wedding bridal shower & bachelorette party ?

I wouldn't feel "obligated" - after all, the brides did make that choice, so they shouldn't expect anything. If their friends WANT to do something, that's on them.

Quote
-The featured weddings had small appetizers, drinks & mini desserts. Is it rude of guests to stay for less than the length of a "normal" wedding ?

The surprise factor is irrelevant - I wouldn't expect anything to last longer then a couple hours unless a full meal was served.

Quote
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/fashion/weddings/surprise-weddings.html
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 03:55:16 PM by TheaterDiva1 »

nutraxfornerves

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 03:10:39 PM »
In my rummaging around Reddit archives, I have run into two instances where the wedding was a complete surprise--to the groom.

In the first, the groom showed up at a country club, expecting to play a round of golf, and walked into his own wedding. He left as fast as he could. The poster said that the bride & groom were dating, but the groom had never proposed. The poster did not explain how the bride managed to keep the guests from spilling the beans to the groom.

In the second, the bride was delusional. The groom was a medical student known to her & her family. She managed to convince everyone that the groom was so busy, he couldn't show up for photos or parties. When the groom didn't show up for the wedding, the bride said she feared that his sister, who didn't approve of the match, was preventing him from coming. A delegation of male guests went to the groom's house to rescue him. The groom informed them that not only was he not getting married, he was not engaged. In fact, he & the bride had never even dated.


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Chez Miriam

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 03:16:09 PM »
In my rummaging around Reddit archives, I have run into two instances where the wedding was a complete surprise--to the groom.

In the first, the groom showed up at a country club, expecting to play a round of golf, and walked into his own wedding. He left as fast as he could. The poster said that the bride & groom were dating, but the groom had never proposed. The poster did not explain how the bride managed to keep the guests from spilling the beans to the groom.

In the second, the bride was delusional. The groom was a medical student known to her & her family. She managed to convince everyone that the groom was so busy, he couldn't show up for photos or parties. When the groom didn't show up for the wedding, the bride said she feared that his sister, who didn't approve of the match, was preventing him from coming. A delegation of male guests went to the groom's house to rescue him. The groom informed them that not only was he not getting married, he was not engaged. In fact, he & the bride had never even dated.

I'm not fully convinced that the first bride wasn't delusional, too?  Clearly the "groom" saw the writing on the wall...
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

jedikaiti

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 03:58:10 PM »
That reminds me of a TV show where they got these couples where the women wanted to get married, so they surprised their BFs, on TV, with an ultimatum - get married now, or split up forever. Not a one of the couples had been dating more than 6 months, and every one of the guys went for it. I really wonder how that worked out for them.
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iridaceae

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2017, 06:14:03 AM »
Well, I can see it working if you think something like "yes! Everyone important RSVPd yes, so it's on!" Also it probably helps if you have either a small or a family that doesn't do big family things.
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Alicia

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2017, 06:53:03 AM »
Years ago I was dating a guy. His sister was having a bbq we planned to go. My boyfriend got sick(bad cold) emailed his sister he could not make it.  That night we found out it was her surprise wedding. He missed his sister's wedding because a cold is enough to skip a bbq but he would have taken Sudafed and made it for a wedding.  So much family drama could have been avoided by telling people what they were inviting them to.

Sharnita

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 10:28:45 AM »
I would not be thrilled by it.

When you are led to expect something you have a kind of mental "appetite" for that. When a bait and switch is pulled on you, even when the switch is what others might consider equal or better, it can be disappointing or upsetting. The "gotcha" element would also be off-putting for me. I can't imagine I'm the only one.

I definitely don't think there is an obligation to give a gift when you are a guest at this event.

If someone had a wedding like this I would take it as a sign that they DIDN'T want the more traditional trappings like a shower or engagement party.

Any party that had appetizers and desserts but no meal would be expected to last for less time than a party with a meal.

lakey

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 03:07:20 PM »
Quote
If someone had a wedding like this I would take it as a sign that they DIDN'T want the more traditional trappings like a shower or engagement party.

I agree. My niece and my nephew's wife both fell into this category. They had very low key weddings, because the brides did not like being the center of attention. Also, both couples had already set up homes and didn't really feel the need for a lot of shower gifts.

If a couple chooses to have a surprise wedding, they have to accept the consequences of it. These consequences include people perhaps not taking it as seriously, some guests not showing up, guests showing up late, less gifts, and missing out on the trappings. It's a personal choice.

mime

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 09:10:16 AM »
Quote
If someone had a wedding like this I would take it as a sign that they DIDN'T want the more traditional trappings like a shower or engagement party.

I agree. My niece and my nephew's wife both fell into this category. They had very low key weddings, because the brides did not like being the center of attention. Also, both couples had already set up homes and didn't really feel the need for a lot of shower gifts.

If a couple chooses to have a surprise wedding, they have to accept the consequences of it. These consequences include people perhaps not taking it as seriously, some guests not showing up, guests showing up late, less gifts, and missing out on the trappings. It's a personal choice.

I agree with all of the above. The HC chose to forgo all of the traditions that build up to the Big Day, so they have to accept that things aren't going to play out the same. There will be guests who are thrilled and love the surprise. There are guests who feel they were cheated from some wedding-guest experience that *they* expected. There are guests who will just roll their eyes at the whole situation. The HC would be foolish to *not* realize that they're going to get a mixture of responses when they throw expectations out the window.

That said, I want to celebrate and I want to give a gift to loved ones getting married, regardless of the style or size of the festivities, so I wouldn't hold back on gifts and celebration just because it isn't my preference.

lowspark

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 10:54:32 AM »
The whole idea doesn't thrill me. If I were a guest, I'd be (internally) rolling my eyes because, why not let the guests know in advance? What is the goal here? In a way, it is inconsiderate simply because some people might miss it or might think it's fine to show up a little late, things which they wouldn't do if they'd only known.

I probably would not worry about a gift. As PPs mentioned, the idea of springing a wedding on your guests at a party like that indicates that you are not interested in any of the normal trappings of a wedding so I'd assume that the couple doesn't want gifts. Some couples don't so I would figure this was their way of saying that, among other things.

I would not give any kind of party for such a bride. Again, the couple is communicating "no normal trappings". I would not even feel comfortable attending such a party after the fact. Particularly a bachelorette party since the bride is no longer a bachelorette!

As far as how long I'd stay, that would depend on a few things including how close I am to the couple and how the party is sort of playing out. If most people are leaving and the party is winding down, I'm going to head out as well. If the party is naturally lasting longer and I don't have any place I need to be, then I'd be more likely to stay.

I can tell you that if I declined attendance to such an event and then found out later that it had been a wedding I would feel pretty unhappy about it and feel that the couple just didn't greatly value my presence at their wedding to give me a heads up. Depending on my actual relationship with the couple, it could feel pretty hurtful.
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rose red

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Re: "Surprise! You're at a wedding!"
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 11:03:14 AM »
I'm more than happy to send a gift after the wedding since it doesn't matter how the wedding happened. However, I wouldn't throw or go to a shower or bachelorette party after the fact just because they decided they felt cheated due to their own actions.