(Closed) Oh Man, the MaryJanes almost committed the biggest of all wedding faux pas

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is it EVER ok to go to a wedding if you did not receive a formal invitation? (Read post first!)
    Never, for either, ever, unless the couple put out a public invitation for anyone to attend. : (38 votes)
    51 %
    Never the ceremony, but I would attend a reception if it seemed socially acceptable. : (4 votes)
    5 %
    Sure for both, if it seemed socially acceptable and I knew the venues were large enough capacity. : (2 votes)
    3 %
    Sure, but only if it seemed socially acceptable AND I knew the couple well (to avoid offending). : (11 votes)
    15 %
    Never the reception (they may run out of food), but I would attend a ceremony in church (uninvited). : (20 votes)
    27 %
    Other : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    6009 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    What you described is not only acceptable in my hometown, it’s expected.  There is basically one place in town to have a wedding reception, and the hall has an electronic sign out front that usually displays the wedding information for the whole town.  I don’t know of any wedding in my hometown that has ever been "invite only."

    That being said, I now know that this isn’t acceptable in most situations.  🙂  So now I wouldn’t go to a wedding without a specific invite.  I’ve definitely done it in the past, though…

    Edit:  We also did not have a hometown wedding because we preferred something… more exclusive.  But we are having a hometown reception at the end of this summer.  I think my mom is running an ad in the newspaper instead of sending out invites.  Seriously.

    Post # 4
    Member
    3162 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Wow, that’s really interesting! I didn’t know that at all about small community weddings. I’m from NYC and that most certainly is not the case around here! That sounds like a really nice tradition, though I did vote for #1 because (a) the concept of being officially invited to a wedding to attend is firmly ingrained in my mind as a result of the environment in which I’ve grown up, and (b) I still think that, even if it is a general rule that all are welcome, I wouldn’t be comfortable going unless it was expressed by the bride and groom themselves (or their families at least).

    Post # 5
    Member
    7081 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Ah a tricky question… especially in small communities like yours (or the one we’re getting married in).

    Our town is the same way.  I don’t think there is any harm in these types of cases to meeting up at the after party or stopping by for well wishes at the end of the celebration… though I probably wouldn’t show up for food, knowing what I know now!

    If it was New York City or San Francisco, I’m pretty confident that I would know better… but North Lake Tahoe, the lines get kind of fuzzy!

    Post # 7
    Member
    3331 posts
    Sugar bee

    Wow, I’ve never heard of this happening before.  I would be completely shocked if someone showed up to a wedding unannounced and would never consider going to a wedding (ceremony or reception) if I hadn’t received a formal written invitation.  Honeslty, I don’t think I would go, even if I knew other people were doing it, just because it feels strange to me.  I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or put anyone in a financially difficult situation.  I would also be shocked if someone showed up to my wedding unannounced…and a little upset!  Where I’m from, everything is pretty pre-planned and calculated, so it would totally throw things off to have an extra person.

    Post # 8
    Member
    445 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I hope that lots of people show up at the ceremony, in fact I’m going to put a note in our parish bulletin inviting everyone in the parish. It is a Mass, and everyone is welcome, as far as we are concerned. I have been to lots of Catholic wedding ceremonies that I wasn’t invited to, because it is considered a community celebration. I would never show up at a reception uninvited, though! That’s completely different.

    Post # 9
    Member
    558 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    Ditto, Mrs. Spring! Fiance and I are both from a small town, and a wedding is considered a community event. We have lots of people that are coming to the reception who weren’t "formally" invited, but that’s just how it goes! Mostly friends of FI’s family asking my Future Mother-In-Law about it. I told her it was fine, with a few rules: 1) She has to ask me about it first, 2) I have to clear it with Fiance first and, 3) she MUST keep a running list of the "extra" invited, just for head counts. I figure, the more the merrier! If we run out of food, or drinks, I know there will be someone(s) who will be willing to "run up to the store" for more!

    Post # 10
    Member
    405 posts
    Helper bee

    I voted for sure if it was socially acceptable and I knew the couple only because I’d never go to any wedding (invited or not) unless I knew either the bride or groom.
    Weddings are invitation only around here and I’m glad! LOL I do find it charming and sweet that there are still places where it’s acceptable to go to anybody’s wedding. 🙂

    Post # 11
    Member
    613 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    I think if its common in your town, then more power to you! My only question is, what about food and drink? If its in a hall, then there probably arent per person catering fees, right? We had a few crashers at our wedding but it balanced out the no shows.  I would have been super pissed if at the end of night I got a bill for the extra heads though…

    It seems like it might be fun…no assigned seating or formal evening attire…

    Post # 12
    Member
    141 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    Egads! I am so scared of this happening at our wedding. We are not from a small town, but FI’s friends think in this same way, and it is SO appalling to me. Plus, they don’t treat the occasion like they should–they often just show up in jeans, get rowdy, don’t bring a gift (when this is not the norm)… I’ve been to weddings of his friends where people the couple had met maybe once came with someone who they knew better, and had to sit outside the fancy ballroom on the floor while the bride cried about having the "look" of her wedding ruined by these people. And they didn’t care–just drank her liquor, ate her food, partied with their friends, and left.

    Now, if it’s acceptable in your town and is expected by the couple, I’m sure it’s a different story. (As is a religious ceremony where the whole congregation is welcome, etc). But we’re having assigned places, and chose our guest list for a reason, and if people I don’t want coming show up, yes, I would be a bit upset. (Not that these people didn’t want the Mary Janes coming, I didn’t mean that!) Just that we spent a lot of time determining who is close enough to us at the moment for us to want to share this very personal day with them.  I understand wanting to hang out with old friends, but (I feel) that a wedding is not the place to do that if you weren’t invited.

    I hope this doesn’t sound harsh, but this exact issue is plaguing me, and I had no idea that it was actually socially acceptable in some places!

    Post # 13
    Member
    141 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I’m feeling like a b%*ch after that comment. I was just a little shocked!

    Let me clarify– Miss MJ–if this is the norm where you’re from and the kind of wedding lends itself to uninvited guests coming (like you said, BBQ, sheet cake, etc) then go for it, if you’re comfortable. I guess I was thinking more about the social norms around here, and what we’re doing specifically for our wedding.

    We could have chosen to pick up a bunch of burgers from Costco and a keg and invite anyone and everyone (which is what we’re doing for the rehearsal, and what we do for BBQs all the time!) but we chose to have a more formal dinner, which is paid for by the head, and to have seats, cake, etc for the number of people we wanted to invite. This led to some tough choices about guest list, and I would be sad if a bunch of people showed up uninvited, when I could have used those slots for more people I really wanted there…does that make sense?

    So if it wouldn’t make the bride and groom uncomfortable, to each his own, but I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable showing up uninvited.

     

    Post # 14
    Member
    997 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel

    Wow! This is completely new to me.  I’m also from a big city (NYC) and am also used to being formally invited (or not, in which case I wouldn’t show up).  But it totally depends on the norms of the location – if the informal invite is standard, then I guess I’d go with the flow!

    Post # 15
    Member
    636 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I’d only go to a reception in I were formally invited but it is fairly common in my area to go to the ceremony even without an invite.  Clients of my husband, as well as children and relatives of some of our invited guests came to our ceremony but no one came to the reception who wasn’t invited. I wasn’t offended that uninvited guests came to the ceremony.  I was flattered that so many people cared enought to come to the ceremony

    Post # 16
    Member
    3124 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    I am so not small town – no invite, no go!  I can’t believe a pastor would announce to the crowd and invite.  What if the couple runs out of food for the invited guests?  Or budgets X amount for the alcohol and drinks, and ends up with more guests than invited?  oh no.  I’m way out of touch with that tradition – people doing that for me or my fam/friends would have me wound super tight and calling security haha.

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