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Three questions of etiquette - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Three questions of etiquette
1. Is there any non-offensive way to say to people (who have misinterpreted our probably-confusing invitations-and-website nonsense and RSVPd to say they will be pleased to come to the wedding) "I'm sorry but the invite was only to the reception (because the actual wedding is v small)"? I just feel as though any way of saying it feels really horrible but we honestly can't fit everybody in. :-(

2. Is it even worse to ask this on my LJ where a) inevitably some people reading this will not have been invited to either (all other things being equal, this would still be a world-readable journal and the venue would still be finite) and b) everybody will think "oh noes are they talking about me?".

3. Might it be better to just shoot myself now?

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emperor From: emperor Date: December 1st, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
1) "RTFI, n00b"
2) no. HTH
3) definitely not!

[sorry, these are probably not very helpful replies. Have some *hugs* and *mustelidae*]
tinyjo From: tinyjo Date: December 3rd, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand, they are exactly what I was going to say so you have saved me the typing :)
james_r From: james_r Date: December 1st, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe. Maybe. No. Congratulations :-)
colinmurtagh From: colinmurtagh Date: December 1st, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
We had to do that, as we got married in the registry office, which wasn't really that big. We just bit the bullet and tried to be tactful about it, leaning heavily on the smallness of the hall, and how few people were going to the actual wedding.
Good luck
nja From: nja Date: December 1st, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. I think most people will not react badly to having that explained to them, unless they are one of the parents of the bride and*/or groom.
2. Oh noes you are talking about me!!!!!1!!!
3. Please wait until after the wedding to shoot yourself, as I wouldn't want to miss the possibility of cake.

*For weddings in some parts of Somerset
nja From: nja Date: December 2nd, 2008 08:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, having re-read the invitation it seems unambiguous to me - "a party to celebrate their marriage" ≠ "their wedding ceremony", and it's also implied by the 7pm start.
truecatachresis From: truecatachresis Date: December 1st, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. What you have written there in the question is perfectly polite.
2. No.
3. No.
cleanskies From: cleanskies Date: December 1st, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

it all depends

I tried on a dress today.

Also, I'd assumed you meant reception only. It usually does!

Reminder to self - RSVP.

From: rmc28 Date: December 1st, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. We're not offended! I think most adults can grasp the concept of limited capacity in a wedding venue, and we're just delighted to be invited to join the celebration. I thought what you wrote in our (lovely) invitation was clear and helpful and had no thought of being offended at all.

2. Not at all. (but oh bugger, I fulfill your prediction b)

3. Pls no shooting, we wantz wedding party.
redbird From: redbird Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think what you're doing is offensive, any more than it would have been offensive, 30 years ago when everything was done on paper, to send out invitations to a dozen people to the wedding and separate invitations to 100 (including those dozen) to a reception. [For those dozen, I believe that it was proper to include both invitations in one envelope.] If someone then heard, say, the bride's sister mention the wedding, that didn't mean they were invited to both.

I gather the reverse was sometimes done: a wedding was considered open to the entire congregation, which could mean most of the residents of a village, without that obliging the people getting married, or their parents, to feed anyone who chose to show up.

From what I've seen here, you are quite capable of saying "I'm sorry to have confused you, but the invitation is to the reception. We're having a very small, low-key ceremony, with only a few people, and couldn't invite everyone we wanted. I do hope you'll come to the reception" in a polite fashion.

Sure, someone might take offense to that. Someone else might take offense to hearing that a person they know casually is getting married thousands of miles away without inviting them. That is their problem.
venta From: venta Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I gather the reverse was sometimes done

Not "sometimes done", I believe, but the norm. My mother was recently telling me how confused she is by this invitation-to-reception-but-not-wedding idea. In her day (ie marrying 40 years ago) it was unheard of - but very, very common to invite someone to the wedding but not to the reception.

I think this was as you say largely because the wedding part is free, but the reception must be paid for per-head. It also makes more sense if most of your guests are local and can easily pop to the church (church weddings were still very much the norm) for half an hour.

Modulo constraints on space, I'm not sure what people's reasons are for inviting someone to the reception but not the wedding.
covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: December 2nd, 2008 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Definitely not to the third.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: December 2nd, 2008 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
1. It's simply not offensive to say that, as the wedding venue is small, you've limited invitations to that to your family and close friends. It's a matter of practicality. I should think that very few people will be offended.

sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: December 2nd, 2008 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Nah, they should learn to read.

However, labelling the card "wedding" might not have been the smartest move in retrospect.

See you at 7 then.

(In my defence, I didn't actually have the card with me when I replied. I remembered the URL from memory.)

Edited at 2008-12-02 07:40 am (UTC)
addedentry From: addedentry Date: December 2nd, 2008 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
It was too good to resist, but we should have looked for a second railway station, called 'Rezeption' (-;

Thank you for being understanding. We'll be glad to see you for the party, though we can't promise to be any less confused.
ewx From: ewx Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)

4. How long should one leave before reminding people that 'RSVP' means they have to get off their arse and répond?

(Yes, we would love to come, thankyou for inviting us.)

vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: December 2nd, 2008 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
In reverse order:

Do not not not shoot yourself (unless, perhaps, with a rubber-band-off-the-finger, if it would make you feel merrier, on a "there, I shot myself, job done" kind of way).

No, it's not worse.

First question: If people show up and you can't shoehorn them in IT DOES NOT MATTER. Prime your best man/maid/matron-of-honour/Chief-Wrangler to say "How delightful to see you! Do sit down here where you should be able to hear/in the hotel across the street/in the pub down the road, the room is TINY and we're so sorry it filled up so soon, Janet and Owen will be out as soon as the ceremony is done and I know they're looking forward to seeing you."

See? You have a plan. It isn't important if more people show up to wish you well than you can fit in at the registry office. Everyone will cope admirably. Your friends could start and run a small country from scratch quite well, if need be, FCOL, complete with a working IT system, orchestra, schools, medical care, and agriculture, yanno? :-)
sbp From: sbp Date: December 2nd, 2008 10:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Happy having-a-wedding! Hope it all works out.
ewx From: ewx Date: December 2nd, 2008 11:00 am (UTC) (Link)
...why are so many wedding venues so tiny? It seems to be a very common problem.
mobbsy From: mobbsy Date: December 2nd, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

  1. Buy an old aircraft hanger

  2. Get a civil wedding licence

  3. Profit!

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