Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Etiquette Schmetiquette

When you're getting married, there are so many "rules" of etiquette that you should follow. For example, if you have a friend who is in a relationship, but not married, you should always invite their significant other. (It should go without saying that if they are married, you HAVE to invite their spouse) They are considered a "social unit" therefore it doesn't matter if you haven't met him/her yet or if you have and just don't like the person. It doesn't matter if you're trying to keep your per person costs down, you should, according to etiquette, invite the significant other regardless.

Etiquette also states that if you're having an adults only wedding reception, you should NEVER state that in your invitations, you should just address the envelopes to who you actually are inviting. For example, if you only want to invite Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you address the envelope to them only. But if you wanted to invite their kids, you would address it to The Smith Family. I have had a huge issue with this and apparently so have many other brides from what I've read on the various wedding websites.

See, when I married Sammy, I wasn't aware of this etiquette. We weren't intentionally trying to have an adults only reception, but we addressed the envelopes to the couple rather than the family. Again, this was unintentional. People showed up with their kids anyway, which we didn't think anything of it. It's looking back, now knowing this etiquette, that makes me realize that no one knows what the fuck this particular rule of etiquette is! Ok, maybe saying no one is taking it to the extreme, but I think it's fair to say that the ratio of people who don't know as opposed to know, is fairly lop sided. And that's not in favor of those who do know.

Joe and I are on a tight budget for our wedding. We are paying for the whole thing ourselves. So when we were faced with having a per person rate, we thought of ways to keep the people count down. One of those ways was to have an adults only reception. The other reason for that is because we want our guests to have a good time. I know I've written about this before, asking for your thoughts on having an adults only wedding. This post isn't about that. The issue we're having is that the very first RSVP we received, they included their kids. They included them even though we followed the etiquette and only addressed it to Mr. and Mrs. Suckmyballs.

Etiquette dictates that you call these people and tell them, "I'm really sorry, Mr. Suckmyballs, but we just can't accommodate your children too." My problem with this is that I feel there's no nice way of saying this to someone. I feel that no matter how you put it, you're going to offend someone. So, my question to you is, do you feel there's a nice way to say this? Is there a way to tell them their kids aren't invited without offending them?

This does just reiterate my point that people do not know this stupid rule of etiquette and it should no longer be rude to say "Adults Only" on your invitations. Actually, on our invitations, I even wrote, "Please join us for an adult dinner reception on....." and people STILL didn't get it.

Deep Throat of the Day: Only 46 days away!


Grant said...

Weddings in this country have become an insane money-making scam. My ideal wedding would be to cut the bride a check, go on vacation by myself, then return when the ceremony is over and she's relaxed back into her normal self and ask her ow it went.

April said...

Grant, I couldn't agree with you more! And actually, I wish I could do what you'd like to do. Joe is the one who wanted the wedding. I wanted to elope in Vegas.

alana said...

I'm not gonna lie, I don't plan on getting married but if I did I'd want a wedding. It'd be small and affordable, but it'd be precious where I could obsess over all the little details. Considering the fact I do this even with small gatherings though, its not surprising. There's just something about a well planned menu and table setting that rocks my socks. lol

Good luck with your dilemma though! It looks like the only thing you can do is let them know. Maybe you can say you're trying to keep it small so you can only accommodate 1 and 1+. Then again, i don't really know anything about wedding etiquette.

~ Eclectic Enchantress ~ said...

You know, it's your wedding, you should do it how YOU wish. If you have people inviting additional guests that you can't afford, let them know. In truth if they are offended then that's their problem, not yours. I know, easier said than done sometimes but really, sometimes we have to do the ugly in order to survive.

I'm totally ok with an adults only wedding reception, have been to a few myself and it's nice with no kids around. Seems some people don't believe in keeping their kids in check and lord knows at a reception that is the last in my list of enjoyments as a guest ;)

My dad was a minister and did many fancy schmancy weddings where etiquette was the first course, not the wedding itself...*sigh*.

Enjoy your wedding the way you'd like it to be!! And I'm totally hip to eloping. My hubby and I did the justice of the peace. While I would love to have a wedding I'm ok with me, him, minister and beach front ;)

ChopperPapa said...

My first response would be to say so in the invitation, but since you're too late for that I'd either email them or call them and explain the situation.

"we're are trying to keep this a very intimate affair and we really aren't able to accommodate but a set number of people."

Yes there will undoubtedly be somebody who will get their feelings hurt because you don't want their adorable child at the wedding. But as other commenters have said, its your wedding and they will get over it.

f1trey said...

is soooo cool youre gettin married.....i wish you two all the best!!!!!!

Randi said...

I think a phone call is an appropriate approach to this problem. Just be honest and apologetic with them and let them know that your wedding is for adults only. I wish I remembered the exact wording but my invitation said something along the lines of "An adult reception to follow." Children do not need to be a part of every goddamn event. That's why God made babysitters.

Kira said...

You're making me very glad that Alex and I just got married in our apartment living room with two sets of friends, our kids, and the JOP! It was cheap and stress-free :)

I don't know why folks would assume that their kids were automatically invited. I would also assume that people who felt that their kids also could be included on an invite that says Mr and Mrs Smith are the kind to then say, "Well then we can't come to your wedding since little Buffy and Bradley are not invited too!" Think of it this way: it's fewer people showing up, period, thereby making the wedding even more affordable ;) I'd probably have Alex call (I hate the phone) or, if I had the email address of the person, I'd email them (even better--I don't have to hear their indignant rage). I would also stress that since NO CHILDREN ARE INVITED, the kids would be bored anyway because there will be NO CHILDREN THERE.

hotdrwife said...

We got an invitation to a wedding next weekend and it was the first time I had received an invitation stating "Please join us for an adult's only reception". We, by the way, are totally cool with that and understand why.

I think, though, some people are just so used to bringing kids, they probably didn't read the invite that close.