Post # 1
I would love to get other opinions on this – it’s a strange situation and I will provide some back story for clarity (leaving some holes for the sake of anonymity).
Yesterday, I received an invitation to an extended family member’s upcoming nuptials. The envelope was post-marked June 8th. I opened the invite (surprised I had received one) and the request to RSVP was dated June 1st. I am not a stickler for some etiquette, but this rubbed me in the wrong way. Oh, before I forget, the RSVP is by phone (as in – I would have to call their house to decline the invite and there is just no way I’m dialing them up).
I never assumed I would be invited as the family has been estranged and this particular family member and I have not seen each other, spoken, or interacted since I was 16 (I am now 31). My Mom was surprised to receive one as well but she received hers three weeks ago.
So Bees, my question is this.
Would it be appropriate for me to simply send a card with a small gift card (I just can’t be a bitch and send this family member nothing because I’m not that mean) and decline the invite? I refuse to call their house – I feel like it’s almost baiting me to get into dramz that I have managed to stay out of for the better part of two decades.
Post # 3
Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to decline an invitation – for any reason. You aren’t close, so sending a gift would be a kind gesture, but really quite above what is called for.
All you are required to do in response to the invitation is to send your regrets (by mail is more traditional, so you really can’t be faulted for not calling!) and to wish the happy couple well.
Post # 4
@MsMindle: If it will cause drama to call, then yeah send a small token and don’t attend the wedding. I think it’s nice you are sending a gift!
Post # 5
Unless the post office made some sort of error, it sounds like this was a B list invite situation. Based on the relationship you have with these people, I would definitely not go. I would RSVP though, maybe your FI can call, and try calling at a time of day you think you’d get an answering machine. I would not send a gift, just a congratulatory card. IMO, These people are gift grabbing and knew you wouldn’t come.
Post # 6
Who leaves a phone number to RSVP too???
Weird – I too wouldn’t call. And I think a small gift and a nice note is a very nice gesture! Be the better person 🙂
Post # 7
Yeah, I’d totally just send a card and decline that way.
Post # 8
Sadly, this sounds like a situation where “poor planning” went into executing the B-List (there is a way to do this tactfully, and sending out the Invites after the RSVP Date IS NOT IT !!)
Agree that wanting RSVPs by phone, for a Wedding is a bit unusual (odd)
To avoid drama, I understand your wanting to reply in writing. As the Invite had a very “casual” choice of doing the RSVP by phone, you could always do so my email which is also considered “casual”… the advantage would be that your reply would be more timely… you being the very conscious etiquette gues (which obviously the Host / Bride wasn’t)
Then you are free to, or not to, follow-up with a card for Best Wishes, and gift if so like.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I think that’s completely appropriate.
Post # 10
I would respond by mail as well. I was recently in a similar situation with an estranged family member, and I felt that responding by phone would cause drama so I sent my response in the mail.
Post # 11
Thanks all – makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one who thinks a by phone RSVP for a wedding is a bit odd! Card is going into the mail today. 🙂
Post # 12
I think a card declining the invite and sending good wishes is totally appropriate. The fact that you’re even considering sending a small gift is pretty amazing. If I hadn’t spoken to someone in 16+ years, there’s no way I’d be sending them a gift for their B-list invite.
Post # 13
I like @Luv2BeachIt: idea. A nice handwritten card wishing them the best and declining the invite is all you should have to do. A small giftcard is more than I would do!
Post # 14
Correct formal manners say that you should reply to an invitation in the same form as the invitation was made. Since you received it in the mails, you should reply by mail, on your own stationery, using the same tone of formality. The phone number is obviously there simply as a convenience for those who don’t know how to respond properly 😉
As a separate note, send a sweet letter of congratulations and good wishes. If you like, you may send a wedding gift along with the note: the note is mandatory, the gift is optional.
Post # 15
sounds like you have a good plan! i am really confused though – do you think they would be upset if you declined? is that how calling would create drama? the family member might be reaching out to establish a connection rather than to start something?
Post # 16
@bostongirl27: No, I don’t think the drama would be as a result of declining, but it would ensue because I know that the person I have to call (not the bride) would take advantage of getting me on the phone. I don’t want to be caught in the middle of family feuds and I certainly don’t want to hear someone bad-mouthing people I love. As crazy as it sounds, I’m fairly positive that would be what happens, no matter how kind I am when I call. It’s happened before (via Facebook – ugh, FB is the devil) with the same family members.