At first, I thought it was a joke, but news anchors do not usually call to joke with me. Nikki Medoro from KGO Radio San Francisco called to interview me about a slowly evolving — very impolite — trend in the wedding industry: the “You’re not invited announcement” or “Anti-invite alert”. No, I am not kidding.
Nikki conveyed, (interview) that basically, the bride and groom send out emails or cards informing those near and dear that their presence is not required at the wedding. As an etiquette consultant, I did my best to respond in a polite manner that I find this behavior hurtful and obscene. Actually, I was shocked that anyone would consider these missives appropriate.
Honestly, guest list issues are not a new phenomenon. Money and space limitation often cause couples to whittle down their guest lists. It is not easy; and quite often those we love will not make the cut. Can you imagine sending a message informing these loved ones that they are not good enough? That is just not nice.
Announcements announce and invitations invite.
Oddly enough, some still feel that a wedding invitation obligates the receiver to send a gift–very common for those on the east coast. While I find a piece of paper dictating a gift rather silly, many will send a gift if they receive any wedding related correspondence. Therefore, to avoid confusing or insulting those we love, it is extremely important to follow standard etiquette rules for wedding related correspondences.
It is simple; send wedding invitations at least eight weeks before the wedding to those invited. Send announcements — sparingly — to those not invited, and only to those who would want or need to know about the marriage. Send directly after the wedding. Thus, invitations invite and announcements announce. After all, it isn’t polite to send any type of wedding correspondence to those not invited to the wedding before the event. It’s like saying, “Sorry bud, but you’re just not special enough to invite to my wedding.”
How do we politely inform people that they will not be invited to our wedding?
Not many of us can afford to host a huge wedding and reception including all our loved ones. Most of us must include only those with whom we are very close; and most people understand this. In fact, most will wait until they receive an invitation or save the date to discuss attending the wedding. In those cases when people do inquire, we simply inform them that we had to keep the guest list very tight. Of course, including, “I really wish we could have included you” will help sooth any hurt feelings. Additionally, try to do something special with those excluded from the guest list later.
Avoid posting impending nuptials on social media.
To avoid causing a torrent of hurt feelings, attempt to keep wedding plans private–only discussing them with those invited. Hence, avoid posting plans on social media. To do so is like saying, “Na, na, na, na, na, na, you’re not invited.” A perfect alternative is to host a wedding website to help those invited stay current with your plans. Give only those invited the address to the site, reducing the chance of hurt feelings.
If hosting a wedding website, please do not include registry information on the first page. These sites should focus on your love story and wedding plans, not on gift suggestions.
Enjoy the wedding planning process!
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