Thursday, July 13, 2006


Although an offshoot on my "Musings" posts, I thought I'd take the opportunity to focus on an interesting question that a reader raised about certain sketchy bridal behavior.

"I am at the age where my friends are just starting to get married. In each of the past two summers, two of my former college roommates got married. They each got married in their hometowns, which are in my home state. Since I moved away after graduation, the weddings were around a 3 or 4 hour drive each. I didn't mind at all, since I had once been so close to these women (and in one case, her husband-to-be). However, with both weddings, the bride made a comment to me along the lines of how she didn't think I would come. Excuse me? Were they padding the guest list to get more presents? Or were their attempts at thanking me for making the trip just carelessly worded?"

Hmmm. Slip of the tongue? Foot in mouth? Curious.

It's a good question that the reader asks, and unfortunately it's difficult to give a definitive answer, since I don't know the brides-to-be in question.

Nevertheless, I've experienced the "being-invited to a wedding just for the gift- syndrome" -- when I was in college, I was invited to a wedding of a long lost high school friend. Mind you, we were somewhat close in high school, but we COMPLETELY lost touch for 4 years after that, and I really didn't speak with her after graduation. Imagine my surprise when I received a wedding invitation--out of the blue--to this girl's wedding!! The wedding, also, was completely across the country (In Washington State - I live in New York), so I had to think she knew I wouldn't be attending. FYI - I never sent a gift - I was extremely put off by that type of blatant behavior, and I didn't think it necessitated a response.

Having said that, it sounds like the reader is still close with these women, and she still keeps in touch with them--since she is in communication with them, I really would think that their comments were more of slip of the tongue/foot in the mouth than a hint that they were only looking for gifts.

Let's hope so. I would let it go, and see if anything else "fishy" comes up along the way.

Sometimes, you never know what brides to be are thinking -- but I do hope that most brides are considerate enough to try and be gracious--even if that graciousness doesn't always translate correctly.

The Wedding Fairy is going to be visiting TallGuy's adorable niece and nephew (4 and 6, respectively) tomorrow, so I will be back with more early next week. Sorry for the spotty showing the past few days--work has been a little much!! So please stay with me... and stay tuned!


Dataceptionist said...

it's hard to know without knowing exactly what was said.
My wedding has very few out of towners, but I did email one who would be travelling 50 million times futher than anyone else and said
"we haven't sent formal invitations but wanted to extend an early invitation to you and your family to attend our wedding on 4th November so that if you wanted to make arrangements to attend you could, if not then we understand as it is a way to travel"
or something such. Now I didn't want to pressure them, and it would be well within their bounds to decline as we only just discovered they existed a year or so ago. We thought this would be a lovely joyous occassion for them to meet the family and such though. Some people may construe that in a "we've-only-been-invited-for-a-gift-as-we-probably-won't-go-and-we've-only-met-them-once". But you can MAKE the facts fit any circumstance you want virtually.
The other thing, is that if they aren't able to attend, we CERTAINLY DON'T expect a gift from them, unless it was extremely important to them to give something to us.

Megan said...

I invited one of my friends from Middle School to my wedding- she is living in California and the wedding was in France. We had seen each other in College a few times, and communicated on a sporadic basis. I didn't think she would come, but was hoping she might and thought she would like an invitation anyway. She came to my wedding, which I was pleased about. I didn't invite her hoping she wouldn't come and would just give a gift.

Anonymous said...

As someone currently planning my wedding, I can offer this perspective. I think I know what her friend was getting at, and that it probably didn't have anything to do with gifts. When you're making the guest list (as with any party), you develop a pretty good idea of who can/can't make it. A three- or four-hour drive would be a lot to expect from a guest. While I would be touched if someone went to all that trouble for me, I wouldn't expect them to do so. I think that's what the bride meant. Our families and friends are very spread out, so we have invited people from across the country. We did this knowing that some couldn't make it--but it was not for the gift. We did it because they are special to us and we wished they could be there. I think the bride was pleasantly surprised and pleased to have her friend there.

Twistie said...

Unless there's a really strong reason not to, I would think charitably of the bride's comment. Goodness knows I've put my foot in my mouth right up to the kneecap on several occasions when I was honestly trying to be nice! Sometimes when you're excited, the oddest things come popping out of your mouth before your brain has a chance to consider how it will sound to someone else.

bbb said...

I just stumbled across your blog and love your articles.

if and when you get a chance i'd like to invite you over to BBB. I think you might really fit in.

It's a wedding message board but it's not obnoxious.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your opinion about invites as gift grabs. I don't think it's fair to assume that any invitation from an old friend with whom you haven't kept in touch is insincere (assuming you don't already know them to be greedy). MAYBE THEY JUST WANTED TO INVITE YOU! I know, crazy. Yeah, it would have been nice if they'd called you up or sent a birthday card recently. I've been invited to several childhood friends' weddings and although I didn't attend (or get them a gift) I thought it was sweet. I think your reaction says more about you than them. You get to decide whether to attend, and whether to send a gift. Simply inviting people is never rude.