Post # 1
What is the etiquette on this?
A girl I used to work with invited Darling Husband and I to her huge black tie wedding. Her and I aren’t overly close anymore but we RSVPd “yes,” forgetting that DH’s sister and her kids are coming to stay with us that weekend from out of state. (Also, because they are a military family and her husband is currently deployed, they are very rarely able to visit us and it is also very diffcult for us to visit them, so rescheduling isn’t an option.)
I realize this is totally our fault.
Anyway, the wedding ceremony is at 3pm and the reception starts at 6pm. Both events are 1-2 hours away from us so it would not make sense for us to come home between them. Upon realization of our mistake, Darling Husband is really upset that we are going to be busy almost the entire day, on the only full day his sister and neice and nephew have with us.
We have been trying to think of solutions and the only thing we could think of was maybe skipping the ceremony at 3pm and only attending the reception at 6pm so that we can have the morning and afternoon with SIL and the kids. I guess our other two options are to attend both the ceremony and reception and just miss out on time with SIL and the kids or contact the bride and groom ASAP to let them know we won’t be able to attend afterall. (Even though it’s past their RSVP date.)
So what would you do? Am I totally tasteless if we end up skipping out on the ceremony to try to compromise both commitments?
Post # 2
Hmmm. Tricky situation. I would probably attend. If anything, one attends the ceremony and both attend the reception. I would say it would look pretty bad if you just attended the reception and not the ceremony (free meal ticket and none of the non-fun stuff). Leave after dinner if you must.
Post # 3
How soon is the wedding? If you’re at least a month out, you might be able to politely retract your RSVP in time for it to not impact the final cost of the food. If you’re within a couple weeks, the bride is probably overwhelmed with last minute details and you might not want to start a conversation.
Another option is to move the whole vacation crew to the same town the wedding is in. Are there cool attractions for the kiddos? Maybe you can attend the wedding while your husband spends time with his sister.
Although the ceremony is the meat of the wedding (and the whole purpose of going), your RSVP impacts the cost of the reception. If she’s having a large wedding, she might not notice that you skipped the ceremony if you did (less wiggle room for a more intimate setting, but you did mention that you’re not that close). It’s not the most polite thing to do, but you’re looking for options to balance this weekend.
Post # 4
Call them ASAP and cancel.
Post # 5
I think it’s a bad look if you are invited to both ceremony and reception but only choose to attend the reception, it’ll look like you just came for the free food and booze.
Post # 6
Agreed to these so far. I definitely don’t want to look like we only came for the free food and “fun stuff” which is why I was worried about this compromise and thus why I asked. My issue about not attending the reception was knowing the numbers would affect how much they paid.
I think the ideas of me attending the ceremony and having my husband join me at the reception later might be a good idea. Or attending the ceremony and only sticking around the reception for dinner might be good. I doubt she will notice if we leave following dinner…
Post # 7
Honestly, this is that time as a bride I would have been okay with you saying you couldn’t make it. Life happens, you value your family that you never get to see.
Let them know you are sorry, send a nice gift.
Post # 8
How much do you want to attend the wedding? If you’re on the fence about going anyway, I’d try to decline. Likely, they still have some wiggle room with their caterer, etc. Mine allowed for a change of up to 5 plates up to 48 hours, so we could remove a last minute cancellation or two, but not a large group.
If you would really like to attend, then I think you attending and dh joining for the reception isn’t a bad idea or taking off shortly after dinner. Honestly, unless it’s a tiny wedding, the bride is unlikely to notice you leaving early.
Post # 9
I really don’t think there are any good options here. It’s too late to change your RSVP without being rude, but I also don’t like the optics of attending the reception but not the ceremony. Leaving right after dinner still means you’re not getting home til 10 PM or later anyways, so I see no point in that at all. I think you either need to let your SIL know that unfortunately, you won’t be around most of the day on Saturday, or you see if they want to take a mini family trip to the town where the wedding is, as suggested by one PP.
Post # 10
You cannot come to just the reception. That’s super rude. You can just go to the ceremony though. Call them and explain
Post # 12
I agree that you going to the ceremony and your husband joining later at the reception would be the best bet. I’d still inform the Bride/Groom to let them know that is what will be happening due to unforseen circumstances.
We are all human. We all make mistakes in scheudling. Things happen. Just be honest and upfront and it shoudl be fine.
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2019 - Vineyards
Showing up at the reception only really comes across as you’re just there for a free meal. I’d really avoid that option. Either send your apologies to the couple for your mistake or go to the full day event that you committed to.