Wedding Invitations And The Drama That Follows
Recently social media and news outlets have been buzzing with the story of a Minnesota couple who had a wedding that was missing two guests. The reason the story is catching fire is because the two guests who did not attend the wedding had previously responded saying they were going to be in attendance. After the wedding was over, the couple who did not end up attending received a “bill” or “invoice” in the mail because the meals were reserved for them and paid for ahead of time by the married couple.
Many responses and comments on internet discussion boards seem to indicate that even the thought of sending a bill to the people that missed the wedding is not very classy. I agree. My thoughts are that the topic of missing the wedding should have been brought up in normal conversation. For example, if the couple who just got married sees or talks to the invited couple on any type of regular basis, it could have easily been brought up. A statement like: “We missed you guys the other day. What happened?” would have been sufficient. Instead, it almost seems as if the newly married couple is more concerned about getting money than they are about cultivating or continuing to sustain a friendship. Obviously if the topic was discussed in person, the couple who did not attend could explain to the married couple what happened and also apologize for missing the event.
Instead of talking about the issue in normal social interaction, the newly married couple ultimately demonstrated a passive approach to the situation or problem by sending a bill. I really think people should think more about who they invite to a wedding. A wedding isn’t about having hundreds of guests to impress people or show off. A wedding is about sharing a special moment with people you care about. It seems obvious to me that the relationship between these people is now strained. Honestly, do you really think that this one couple who did not attend the wedding was really the only couple who did not make it? It seems clear that sending the “bill” to the non attendees is clearly not going to improve the relationship between either of the parties.
Ultimately, it appears that the married couple has no intention of continuing or maintaining contact with the couple who did not attend. I feel that wedding invites should be sent to people you care about and plan on maintaining a relationship with. I have heard about weddings from “a friend of a friend” but when I do not get invited, I never get offended. If you invite someone to a wedding to just get a gift, or to “bring the numbers up” so you look better you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Just because there are more guests at a wedding, it does not mean you have more friends. If you never talk to them again after the wedding, then really you are not being very respectful either. Why should a person take time out of their day, and dress up and bring a gift if the married couple will never talk to him or her again? It happens all the time. People are invited for the wrong reasons, and people also do not stay in contact with each other.
The couple who got the “bill” was not entirely in the right in this situation either. Think about this for a second. How did any of us ever come to know about this wedding bill situation? Somehow, through posting on social media, or talking to a radio or tv station, or talking to a newspaper, the word got out about the bill that was received. If the couple who could not make it to the wedding was really focused on maintaining a good relationship with the married couple, than the conflict would have been resolved in a different way. A phone call to the couple or even an email would have been a good way to talk about the conflict. Instead, the couple who could not make it got a bill, and then basically after that the couple who got the bill did SOMETHING and the story was blown up all over the place. We still do not know how either party is going to handle this friction going forward.
Basically, my thoughts are you should not invite people to your wedding if you do not feel your friendship is long, powerful and enduring. If your friendship does not and will not exceed the length of the marriage, do not invite people for a gift or to “pad your numbers.” Never going to contact them again or even attempt to contact them? Forget them on the wedding guest list! Also, everyone should handle conflicts head on. Talk to the person or persons involved and try to reason with them and resolve the issue instead of involving someone or something that can be harmful such as the media. I hope this relationship with these wedding people can be repaired, but with a bill in the mail from one party as well as a media blow up from the other, I don’t believe it is very likely that they will reconcile.