Post # 1
One of my MOHs called the other day to ask for advice. She’s attending a wedding this weekend with a mutual friend. He’s the best man. She’s met the bride and groom a few times through this mutual friend, but she doesn’t know them very well and she’ll know no one else at the wedding. (Our friend asked her to go partly because she can converse with anyone and won’t feel uncomfortable while he’s sitting at the head table or off doing wedding-related things.)
The reception is at a pretty swanky place and is black tie. The ceremony at a local church is set for 2 p.m. but the reception does not begin until 8 p.m. Our friend/best man will be required to attend pictures from 11 until 2, and then from 2:30 until 6:30. My MOH is wondering whether it would be awful of her to skip the ceremony and only attend the reception. For the record, the friend/best man made this suggestion.
I was curious to see what other Bees think: would you be upset if a guest did this at your wedding? (Personally, I always attend both because I know you’re supposed to, but it seems ridiculous even to me in this situation.)
Post # 3
I bet they wouldn’t even notice, but I have to stick with my gut and say that she should go to the ceremony and then take a nap, get room service and enjoy a chick flick back at the hotel while the Best Man snaps some photos.
Post # 4
I always attend both, but seriously…no one even knows her and will therefore know she’s gone. I say she can skip it.
Post # 5
I think it would be fine.
The bride and groom don’t know her that well and they probably won’t even notice or care. As the bride I wouldn’t care if someone did that, personally. Especially since her date suggested it, it should be perfectly ok for her to do that.
Post # 6
People do this all time. No, would not be upset. If people that I thought were close did that, then maybe. But not a date of someone or acquaintances.
Post # 7
they probably won’t notice and if she’s going as a +1 and not as an invited guest, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal.
Post # 8
I agree with MsMindle. They probably won’t even notice if she’s at the ceremony. However, good etiquette would be to attend both.
Post # 9
I went to a wedding with DH in the wedding party just like this and to be honest, I wish I had skipped the ceremony (I knew the bride and groom though so I went). I actually went back to my hotel room as soon it was over for the 2 hour gap and then went to the cocktail hour thinking the bridal party would be there, nope.
As a bride I wouldn’t be upset at all. It might not be the “right” way to do things, but I wouldn’t care. We had people we both know pretty well only come to our reception and I was just happy they were there to celebrate with us.
Post # 10
@sportsgal31: What does it say, on the invitation that was sent to her in her own name at her own address, that she was invited to? If it says she was invited to “the marriage” (or “wedding”) of the bride and groom, she should go to the ceremony: that is where the wedding actually takes place. The reception is just an after-party for the main event, to celebrate the wedding that just took place. She has nothing to celebrate, if she was not part of witnessing the vows.
But if — as I suspect — she got no invitation at all; that the best man was simply invited to accessorize himself with a beautiful dancing-partner to dangle off his right arm, then she has no more obligation to witness the wedding ceremony than have his cufflinks. Actually, the cufflinks have more obligation: they HAVE to be dangling off his arms during the ceremony to hold his shirt-sleeves closed, whereas she pretty much as to be kept out of the way until the ceremony is over. I guess her status is more like a silver hip-flask or cigarette case, a fancy accessory to show off at the party but out of place at the ceremony.
I despise being an “and Guest”, and have reached the point in my social life where I simply refuse to be some man’s accessory. The brides who offer such “privilege” are no doubt confused about proper form or too over-worked to actually find out the names and addresses of (and become acquainted with!) these distal guests, but they have already shown that they are not all that concerned with what is proper. And the gentleman receiving such an invitation and deciding to treat me as his accessory is not offering me any compliment, thank-you-very much. I imagine your friend feels differently, but she should not feel that she needs to attend the ceremony.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t but I’m sure no one will notice if she isn’t there.
Post # 12
Well, @aspasia475, if you say my MOH shouldn’t feel that she’s required to attend the ceremony, then that’s the bottom line for me! I trust you in all things etiquette. (You were correct, of course, that the invitation was extended to the friend/best man with a +1 and that she did not receive her own invitation.)
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Not a big deal and probably won’t be noticed. However, I wouldn’t brag about it or mention it to anyone at the reception. I figure there will be people who run late and miss my ceremony by accident and end up only attending the reception.
Post # 14
@sportsgal31: I am honoured by your respect! (and awed, and terrified by the responsiblity 😉
Post # 15
Iif he suggested it, then yeah, she should do it. No one knows her so she won’t be missed.
Post # 16
I would attend both, and just keep myself occupied during the middle time. However, there is no reception without a wedding.