Post # 1
I invited friends and family members where I attended their wedding, sometimes driving long distance. So is it normal to expect them to attend my wedding now? I’m asking this question because my cousin declined my invitation. It doesn’t bother me too much that he’s not attending because we’re not close at all but I am just curious about the reciprocity rule.
Post # 3
Well, I think generally that’s a normal expectation. But, maybe he had other plans that were impossible to get out of? Be careful about expectations, they always let you down… enjoy the people who are able to come!! 🙂
Post # 4
I think if you were invited to someone’s wedding, it’s nice to reciprocate the invitation, but don’t think you should expect someone to attend. People have a lot of stuff going on that was likely scheduled before they got your invitation. No biggie.
Post # 5
There isn’t a reciprocity rule in terms of ettiquette. Common manners would likely suggest that close family make every effort to attend important family events like weddings.
Post # 6
I think it’s only human to be a little annoyed if they don’t acknowledge your wedding in some way (even if they had other plans and can’t make it). You went out of your way for them, it would be polite for them to at least send a card/gift even if they can’t come.
Post # 7
Honestly, I see a lot of posts about brides upset that someone isn’t attending and yet to me it seems like a blessing! About 20 of our invites (which is still a small number) are cordial. Meaning not people I truly want to pay for and see. I would have LOVED for them to politely decline. And yet every single person felt like they should absolutely be there. And I’m talkiing about conversations like
My mom: But its your sons birthday. Don’t you want to take him on a trip like you always do?
Stepdads brother who I don’t love: Of course not! Its Gaby’s wedding. We can do a trip another weekend.
Post # 8
I’d imagine most people who invited you to their wedding would attend yours but there are always cases where people are going to have other plans (vacations etc) or traveling might be more difficult to them now (e.g. if they have young kids).
Post # 9
The level of commitment may be the same, and yet they may not attend even though you did. For example, perhaps you went to someone’s wedding because you didn’t have anything else to do that weekend, and knew that several friends of yours would be there. Should that person attend yours even if they had other plans for that weekend, and would know no one there?
Or you went to their wedding five years ago, when the two of you saw each other every day. However, they now live on the other side of the country, and you only exchange Christmas cards. Do they still have to come?
Reciprocity can sound good in the abstract. However, there are many reasons why it just doesn’t work that well in real life.
Post # 10
There is no etiquette rule that demands reciprocal invites, contrary to popular belief. Invite people because you cannot imagine the day without them and you really want them there. Do NOT invite people out of obligation whom you may have had a falling out with or whom you have no relationship with at all.
Post # 11
I think your title implies that the guests come out of obligation. I think attending a wedding should NEVER be an obligation. Whatever the etiquette rules are, I don’t think anyone should HAVE to go. I think even family members who really don’t want to be there shouldn’t be there.