Sunday, November 10, 2019

Missing wedding invitation creates consternation

Almost four months ago, a couple I'm calling Jack and Diane received a save-the-date card for a wedding. Aside from the date of the upcoming wedding, there was no other information about a wedding website or a gift registry. It was simply a thoughtful announcement to save the date and to expect a forthcoming invitation.

Unfortunately, Jack and Diane already had committed to attending another event on the same day. While they live in a different city from the couple and didn't know them well, they looked forward to wishing the engaged couple well on their marriage.

As the wedding date drew closer, Jack and Diane grew a bit concerned that they had not received an invitation. Even though they wouldn't be able to go, they did want to do the right thing by RSVP-ing with their regrets. But they decided to wait to see if anything showed up.

Finally, with two weeks to go before the announced wedding, Jack and Diane still had received nothing. They decided that they must have been sent the save the date by mistake or the guest list had gotten cut down since the original cards were sent out or that the invitation had been sent but never arrived.

Jack and Diane are torn about the right thing to do. But since it was Jack who knew the couple the longest, it was decided that he should make the final call.

"We're concerned that if we don't say anything and the invitation was sent that the couple will think we're just being rude by not responding," writes Diane. "But we don't want to make them feel awkward by telling them we'd gotten the save-the-date card but no invitation in case we ended up not being invited after all."

Neither she nor Jack wanted to do anything to put a damper on the couple's wedding day or their plans leading up to it.

"Would it be wrong to just let the event come and go and say nothing?" asks Diane.

Strictly speaking, it's nearly impossible to respond to an invitation you never received, so there's no rudeness or ethics lapse in doing nothing. But, given their receipt of the save-the-date card, Diane and Jack are thoughtful to be concerned that something might have gone awry.

The right thing to do is for Diane and Jack to let the couple know that they had received the save-the-date card, hadn't received the formal invitation, but wanted to let the couple know that they would be unable to attend their wedding.

If it's possible to call to speak to one member of the engaged couple rather than text or email that might diminish the awkwardness a bit because tone and intent are offer lost in texts or emails. No matter how awkward, it's likely the couple will appreciate being able to get an accurate head count for the wedding reception. 

Follow him on Twitter: @jseglin 

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