(Closed) Attending funeral v. friend’s wedding

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
652 posts
Busy bee

@mseagles:  One would think that a funeral takes a bigger importance over a wedding. Afterall, someone passed away.

With that being said, I personally think it is acceptable to ask for the timeline so you can juggle around both events if you can (like skipping the ceremony but going to the funeral and the reception).


Post # 4
1293 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

@mseagles:  I would say a funeral trumps just about anything else.

Post # 5
3697 posts
Sugar bee

I would definitely contact the bride, let her know what’s up, and find out the timeline so that you can do your best to attend both (or at least make part of her wedding). She will probably understand the circumstances and appreciate if you can make just the reception, etc. – and appreciate knowing that you didn’t just skip the ceremony for no good reason.

Post # 6
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Find out the timeline of the funeral (call the funeral home if necessary.)  Then have your fiance call the groom to find out the timeline of the wedding (if he tells you to call the bride then call the bride; but try to get the information from someone else first because she will likely be stressed out this close to the wedding.)

Funerals have many different parts depending on your culture; in my family there is a viewing the night before, a service at the church for about an hour, and then everyone drives over to the cemetery for another shorter graveside service.  Then everyone is expected to attend a potluck reception after the funeral at the church.  Needless to say, it pretty much takes up an entire day.

Could you show support by attending the viewing and sending flowers for the funeral?  I really dislike funerals and I would use the wedding as an excuse to skip the funeral unless the funeral was for my immediate family (i.e. parents, grandparents, and siblings only.)

If not, you could divide and conquer with your fiance going to the wedding and you going to the funeral.  Maybe you could meet back up with your fiance at the after party later in the evening.


Post # 7
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

What time is the funeral on Saturday? I think you should be able to work out attending at least part of both.

While I don’t necessarily think it’s unreasonable to ask for the timeline, I will say (as someone that got married a week and a half ago), it does kind of stress out the bride in the last week before the wedding to hear about changing numbers and other people’s problems. Seating charts are probably already done, they have catering locked in, and so on. I would suggest contacting someone OTHER than the bride – a bridesmaid, a parent of the bride, etc – and asking them not to stress the bride out with the information.

As the bride, I wouldn’t mind if you couldn’t make the ceremony and only came to the after party (not sure of wedding vs reception here, it sounds a little unusual). But I honestly preferred when people just did what they needed to do (even no shows) and then told me AFTER the wedding, not putting their problems on me in the last two weeks before the wedding. At that point there was nothing I could do about it, so I preferred not to know until after.

We had one no-show who had an uncle die and one no-show whose child care plans changed. I’m glad they didn’t tell me in the few days leading up to the wedding and instead just did what they needed to do and told us AFTER the wedding.


Post # 8
3369 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I would call up the bride and tell her that you are very sorry, but there has been a loss in your family and the memorial is on the asme day as her wedding. Maybe you might be able to fit in both depending on the timeline of each, but emotionally I know I would be a wreck if I tried to do that.

A family funeral certainly beats out a friend’s wedding, and I’m sure your friend will understand. Sorry for your loss hon 🙁 

Post # 9
2685 posts
Sugar bee

The funeral is more important to attend, but it’s not out of the question to attend part of the wedding or reception if you can swing it.  Just contact the bride and tell her what’s happened.  I think any bride would understand and would work with you if you want to make an effort to attend both events.

Post # 10
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Since it is Fiance friend, I would have him call the groom first instead of calling the bride. If they are in the same city, you may be able to attend the whole wedding since the ceremony is early in the morning and the reception isn’t until later. I think you should be able to at least make it to the reception.

Post # 11
527 posts
Busy bee

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to juggle both events.  Just wear a black or navy dress for everything, I guess? 

And if the funeral and ceremony are at conflicting times, I would say just go to the funeral and the wedding reception.  I’m sure the bride and groom will understand!

Post # 12
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@bleusteel:  No way – the wedding is in TWO DAYS. Don’t call the bride!! Do get in touch with someone related to the wedding to find out a little more info, but seriously – in the last two days before the wedding, the last thing you want to hear is other people’s problems and them asking you what they should do.

Two weeks before the wedding, fine. The bride has time and mental capacity to “work with you” on changing your RSVP. But two days before, leave the bride alone and just do what you need to do without involving her.

Post # 14
11273 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@mseagles:  find out when the funeral is first.  then see if you can accommodate both.

you may be able to go to a portion of each.

Post # 15
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Can your Fiance go to the wedding and you go to the funeral? 

Post # 16
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think it is totally fine to try and fit in both.  It’s lucky for you that they are close together and it is feasible to do so. 

You might be able to attend the viewing the night before the funeral and pay your respects then.  Lots of people just attend the viewing and not the funeral (or even vice versa).  You also don’t need to attend the lunch afterwards.  It is held by the family as a thank you courtesy to guests, it isn’t mandatory. 

Honestly, when my dad died I couldn’t have cared less if people came to the viewing and not the funeral, or if people were unable to attend and just sent flowers, cards, etc., or if people did none of the above and just said they were sorry to hear that he died.  It was nice when people acknowledged my loss in some way, but I wasn’t exactly ticking boxes of attendance. 

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