Friday, July 15, 2005

Etiquette [or lack thereof]

Etiquette, it seems is a dying practice in our society. At least overall. I'm not talking about saying "please" and "thank-you", those are certainly pleasantries that should still be acknowledged...I am referring to the more deeper levels of etiquette that so many people seem to be painfully oblivious.

While I clean I generally start thinking about things. How I could have handled situations better, and what not. And today while I was cleaning I was thinking about my wedding day, or more specifically the planning of my wedding.

There will be other posts in regards to this topic, because it was such a traumatic process for me to go through, and whenever I think about it I get upset. I am just so thankful that I will never have to do it again.

Well, one portion of the wedding planning was the dreaded guest list. Caleb and I went around and around about the stupid guest list. He wanted a big event, I wanted a more intimate event. Money was extremely tight, having dealt with a flood, and a move, and the fact that his job didn't pay anything for weeks at a time...I didn't want to peg us in for a big event and then have to cancel. Makes sense to me.

Well...I tried cutting down the guest list several times. I tried rationalizing, I tried screaming, I tried everything. However, whenever I approached my fiance on this, he became upset at the thought of cutting anyone from the list. Afraid that they would be insulted, or hurt for not being invited...nevermind about how stressed I was in regards to the thought of inviting everyone and thier cousin.

And to be honest, he wanted to invite EVERYONE. Even people that he hadn't seen in years, or people that he rarely ever talked to. For me, it was ridiculous. Because my thought was that if you didn't hang out with them, or talk to them, and they weren't relatives...then they had no place being at the most important event of your adult life. Sorry.

Anyway, Caleb saw otherwise. And so we ended up inviting many many people. Some of who I do not particularly like. But what the heck it wasn't MY wedding day was it? [already I am getting angered by thinking about this]

So...onward. To compromise, I told Caleb that if he wanted to invite all these people we would have to make certain stipulations. One of them being that all of our single friends would not be able to bring a date, and there would be no children under 16 allowed to the reception.

He agreed. However he did not support me in enforcing this AT ALL.

Here's where the etiquette part comes to play...

If you receive an invitation that is addressed to YOU and YOU not assume that you are welcome to bring a date. You should ASK first to ensure that it is OKAY. The following examples should help you to determine if you should ask or not:

Example 1:

Mr. J. Taylor
86 Washington Lane
Monroe, MI 48157

[ask if you can bring a date]

Example 2:

Mr. J. Taylor and Guest
86 Washington Lane
Monroe, MI 48157

[bring a date, no need to ask]

I don't think that the majority of American people know that there are rules regarding weddings...and especially invitations to weddings.

Everyone is under the assumption that it is going to be a back yard BBQ and it's okay to bring 5 extra people with you, because the more the merrier...For weddings..."The more the merrier" is NEVER a slogan unless the bride puts it on the me.

Okay, moving on. So I sent out invites to specific single friends. And I received RSVP's that informed me that they would be bringing dates.
None of these invites stated "...and guest" on the invitation.

Hmmm...problem. I do not have the budget to allow this. Trust me. So Kassi starts freaking out. Because 1. our guests [who are Caleb's friends specifically] do not know wedding invitation etiquette, and are now starting to stretch my budget. I I now nix having a wedding cake so that Cindy won't feel lonely at the reception? Hell no.

So I call Cindy, and I email Cindy...and I leave messages for Cindy to apologetically inform her that I am sorry, we are asking that our single friends not bring dates to the reception due to budgetary restraints.

So...I never receive a return call from Cindy. I even leave a message with Cindy's best I think everything is good.

Trust me, there were more scenarios just like this....some were even escalated to the point of disownment by family members. I kid you not.

Everyone, for some screwed up reason, feels that it is their right to impose thier point of view on your wedding regardless of how much strain it will put you through. My thought is that if you aren't helping to fund the shin dig, then shut the heck up.
Caleb's dad was the only one who offered up any type of financial assistance for the wedding, though I did receive a generous donation for my wedding dress

So...guess what? Cindy brings her date anyway.

To top it off Cindy gives us a card [after she and her date eat their free $60 meal] in the card it states "Your gift is on the way". With the signature of her, her best friend [who also attended], and her fiance. Okay so three people to a that is $90 worth of food they've consumed, and to compensate...I get a $2 card!
Side Note: Just to dispell any thoughts of greediness on my is proper etiquette to buy a gift for the couple that is close to equal in value to the meal that they are providing you. That is how it works...bride and groom feed you and show you a good time, you present a gift to acknowledge and honor the couple's new life together. Everyone goes home happy.

Your gift is on the way...are you frikkin kidding me? Are you mad? I know I and your inconsiderate date just ate well [our dinner menu rocked by the way]...I want a gift. Not a promise. Ante up sweetheart!

Well...fine...settle down Kassi the gift is on the way. So I wait. And I wait.

And we do not receive a present in the mail...however we do receive an invitation to Cindy and her fiance's wedding.


I was honestly half tempted [okay more than half] to RSVP that we were attending with my three children. And then not show up. Just to compensate for their dinners and the lack of gift at our wedding...

All I can say is that it is July 15, 2005.

We were married on October 8, 2004.

We have not received said promised gift.

I do not have to like those people...but I must do unto others. So I sent our regrets, and on the night of their wedding we went to the movie theatre and watched War of the Worlds.

The End.
Disclaimer: alternatively, had Cindy contacted me and asked if her boyfriend/ fiance could attend...I would have said yes...because it would have been the proper thing to do.


At 14:16, Blogger Fin said...

I still wish I had eloped

At 14:22, Blogger Kassi said... too.

At 14:25, Blogger Kassi said...

You have no idea how relieved I am to get this off my chest...there may have to be more "in retrospect" posts regarding the wedding...*sigh*

At 19:54, Anonymous Dave said...

Great post. I totally agree that there is such a lack of knowledge about etiquette these days.


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