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Wedding Etiquette Dilemna

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by JR, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. JR

    JR Active Member

    This is from Ellie's "advice column" in today's Star.

    Just wondering what everyone thinks about it.

    My take is, unless it it's addressed to "JR and Guest", then no, you can't bring a date along.

    Oh, the irony is there's NOTHING preventing the guy from bringing his g/f to the actual ceremony. That is a public event. The homeless people living outside the church can attend that if they want.


    Dear Readers: A number of you have written to me about my column of May 31, in which a man asked my opinion about a wedding invitation he received that didn't include his girlfriend of three months.

    He told the groom he'd be uncomfortable alone and his friend said he could bring his girlfriend for the dancing. But when he then complained about the solo invitation and asked if instead he could bring her to the wedding portion, the groom angrily replied he should come alone or forget it.

    I sided with the groom. Some readers took exception. As I've written before, our society seems to have developed a sometimes hostile gap between the expectations and desires of a wedding couple and those of their guests.

    Here are some of the comments:

    I was the author of that May 31 question. My girlfriend and I canvassed some 25 people and every one said the wedding couple was "rude," "wrong" or "insulting" not to allow me and other single people to bring their girlfriend or boyfriend, and that they themselves wouldn't attend. Many suggested going to just the wedding together and then leaving, which I then proposed to my friend. If everyone felt that unmarried people don't get to bring guests to weddings, a lot of people would never get to go to a wedding with a date. Doesn't that seem a little wrong to you? Further, if you cannot canvass a large number of people and tell your friend what they all said and your friend flips out at you for suggesting it, how are we ever supposed to know how to act?

    ELLIE: You appear to have canvassed single people, not those who've just paid for a wedding or gone through the agonizing decisions of cutting people they like off their list in order to include must-haves. It didn't matter what all these people thought to the groom, who might be under much pressure about his guest list, and who isn't making his decision based on public opinion polls but on what he and his bride have already decided for their very special day. A girlfriend of three months might last forever, but at the time she was not a fiancée or long-time serious relationship, which is the usual standard for being considered a couple.

    My opinion, which you asked for, comes from thousands of letters about wedding woes from both "sides," as well as from much personal experience. I firmly believe that the best response is to accept the bridal couple's decision.

    The bridal couple was completely correct in etiquette — unmarried guests may be invited to attend a wedding solo. An engaged guest must be allowed to bring his fiancée. A modern exception to this rule is to treat unmarried people who are living with a partner the same as a married couple. When I got married, a friend of my husband's was so peeved that our financial and space limitations didn't permit us to include his "date of the week" as a guest that he ended his friendship with my husband! When this former friend later got married, he and his bride discovered how expensive it is to host friends of friends whom one is never going to see again —and we heard he invited unmarried guests to attend alone! People who have never hosted a wedding really don't understand that it costs on average $100 to $200 per person for a dinner and drinks reception, and most couples do have budget limitations.

    ELLIE: Read on.

    If you ask someone to a social event, they ARE allowed to bring someone. No ifs, ands or buts. The invitation should have been addressed to Mr. ____ and Guest, if unmarried. And no one really cares if the "place is expensive," or that they put an arbitrary limit on the number of guests, etc. Boo hoo hoo! That's their problem, not his. His only social faux pas is he TOLD the groom what he thought about the entire situation. He should NEVER have done that. He should've simply said he could not make it and sent a gift. And then he should've sent a nice, thoughtful and reasonable gift under the circumstances and wished the couple well. Obviously the bride and groom are more concerned about the wedding being a social statement of power and wealth than a celebration of love.

    ELLIE: There you have it, both sides. And never the twain shall meet. Until, perhaps, the guest starts planning a wedding.
  2. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member


    Unavailable for comment
  3. JR

    JR Active Member

  4. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Sorry, but that last commenter in the column is a moron. Any takers on whether or not it's an SportsJournalists.com member?
  5. JR

    JR Active Member

    He's the same sort of person who doesn't even bother to RSVP. Just shows up.
  6. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Whiny guests, just remember: It's not your wedding.
  7. DisembodiedOwlHead

    DisembodiedOwlHead Active Member

    If "and guest" isn't included, then a guest isn't invited. It's pretty simple, and maybe has less to do with the price than with arrangement. Ten tables of eight = 80 guests. You show up with an extra, where is she going to sit? Thinking you can just bring someone if you want is quite unsympathetic toward all of the planning that the couple and their families have to do for a wedding. Seating assignments at a wedding are one of the biggest hassles of the whole ordeal anyway.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    The last thing you want to do as a guy is take a date to a wedding unless you're planning on marrying said date.
  9. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    It's crap like this that makes me avoid these type of events. No offense, JR.

    Carry on.
  10. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    I'm getting married soon, and every last one of you is not invited.

    Ok, there's one known exception. And he's bringing his wife.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Anybody who evens asks should be shot... The bride and groom have enough to worry about without having to deal with friends whining about bringing a date...

    Sometimes what you think is a simple request can add an extra $100 to a wedding tab.

    If it makes you uncomfortable, you're a loser. If you feel that way, don't fucking go...
  12. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    There must have been a period about 15 years ago where I just completely dozed off.

    I wake up, and all of a sudden "boys" became "boyz" and weddings became $25,000 coronations.
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