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Can you miss a wedding but not the reception?

grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So my gf had something come up all of a sudden and may have to miss the wedding ceremony for this wedding we're going to on Saturday (or she'd be late, though I told her it's better to not come than come late). She can make the reception no problem. Is that really bad etiquette to just go to the reception, or should she just skip the ceremony+reception entirely? We RSVPed as me+guest, though. I don't really want to ask the groom about it, since it seems sort of tactless, even though we're old friends.

grungebox on
Quail is just hipster chicken
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  • FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I'm no etiquette expert, but if it were my wedding and you were my friends, and she had a good reason for not making the wedding, I'd say she should come to the reception. Better to make what you can than to skip it altogether. Skipping the wedding just from laziness and then coming to the reception would be different, but I gather that's not at all what you're talking about.

    To be honest, they likely won't even notice she wasn't at the ceremony.

    Burnage wrote:
    FWD is very good at this game.
  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I'm no etiquette expert, but if it were my wedding and you were my friends, and she had a good reason for not making the wedding, I'd say she should come to the reception. Better to make what you can than to skip it altogether. Skipping the wedding just from laziness and then coming to the reception would be different, but I gather that's not at all what you're talking about.

    To be honest, they likely won't even notice she wasn't at the ceremony.

    No, it's not laziness, a prior engagement was moved from morning to afternoon. She can skip it, but doesn't want to. So, should I ask the groom (I don't know the bride at all) if it's okay first? I know if I were the groom the last thing I'd want to deal with is crap like this the week of my wedding, in which case I'm tempted to just have her not show up at the ceremony. It's not like the RSVP matters for the ceremony, right? I'm assuming there isn't assigned seating at a church wedding (never been to a church wedding, only Hindu ones).

    I assumed they would notice her absence, though, since they'd see me without her.

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • HoukHouk Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Echo what Funky said. If they're really your friends (and since you're invited to their wedding, I'd assume they are), they'd much rather see you at just the reception than not at all. And depending on where it's being held, it might not be that bad to come late to the wedding. My friend had his in a sort of open-door church, so people arriving late could come in and watch from the back without making any noise.

    edit: and if it were me, I would mention it ahead of time so that it doesn't stick out during the ceremony. He might not wanna think about it now, but you also don't want him to look out during the ceremony and see somebody missing without knowing why.

    nipplessig.jpg
  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    We're not good friends or anything; we haven't talked much in years, but we were roommates in college. That's why I'm wondering about the etiquette part. If it was a good friend or something I know they wouldn't care too much. I mean, I talk to this guy once a year, tops. I guess I'll go ahead and shoot him an email or something, see what he says.

    Related question: how much do you give? They have a registry, but the stuff varies in cost? My gf and I are both still grad students, so we're not exactly lighting up Monte Cristos with $100 bills. Is $75 total appropriate, or is that super cheap? Can I just bring cash in an envelope to the reception, and if so do I buy a cheesy card or just get a blank card from the store and write out something?

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    They're paying for your dinner, drinks, entertainment at the reception, so really unless you have something really big that can't be rescheduled come up, the decent thing is to go to the ceremony. If they like you enough to invite you to the reception, they like you enough to be hurt if you skip the wedding. The wedding should be your first priority for the day--I'm sure SOMEONE spent a crapload of money on it, and it's pretty rude to blow it off without a really good reason.

    Not sure what the prior engagement is, but barring surgery, a funeral, or taking your gram-gram to her monthly bridge club meeting, most likely the wedding trumps it from a purely etiquette standpoint.

    As to cash in an envelope, that varies widely by region. In Long Island that's the norm, some other places cash is a really tacky gift. If they have a registry, a good idea is to buy a lot of the little things that are left (spatulas, dish towels, etc). That's all stuff they need, and they'll appreciate it. You don't need to spend a lot, maybe $50-$75.

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Yah, a random 'prior engagement' that was rescheduled is not a prior engagement as the wedding occupied that slot first, and is not a good reason to miss a wedding. It should be an important engagement like very sick family and that type of stuff.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited July 2008
    If it doesn't bother you to skip the wedding, then I don't know if I'd feel comfortable hitting up the reception were I in your place. These are kind of supposed to be special events and if some random coffee date or whatever is more important than the wedding, skip the whole deal.

    For a presentation, $75 total sounds fine. I've seen people hand in both more and less and since he was your college roommate, I'm sure he'll understand the reality of being a poor student.

    If there's a gift registry, a gift card/certificate is significantly more classy than cash. Assuming it's from where they've registered.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

    I 100% disagree.

    Wedding shmedding. Most couples don't have a fucking clue who was at the actual wedding ceremony and the reception always has more people than the actual wedding ceremony did. I'd say it's far, far, FAR worse to skip both, especially if you have a legitimate excuse to not make it to the ceremony.

    steam_sig.png
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

    I 100% disagree.

    Wedding shmedding. Most couples don't have a fucking clue who was at the actual wedding ceremony and the reception always has more people than the actual wedding ceremony did. I'd say it's far, far, FAR worse to skip both, especially if you have a legitimate excuse to not make it to the ceremony.


    Skipping the wedding and going to the reception says 'Hey, I'm just here for the free food and booze.' It is far more acceptable to attend the wedding ceremony (you know, the whole reason they're having that party)and skip the reception. I can't think of anyone who's ever condoned that sort of behavior though I know that anything you read on wedding etiquette will tell you exactly what I've said.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

    I 100% disagree.

    Wedding shmedding. Most couples don't have a fucking clue who was at the actual wedding ceremony and the reception always has more people than the actual wedding ceremony did. I'd say it's far, far, FAR worse to skip both, especially if you have a legitimate excuse to not make it to the ceremony.


    Skipping the wedding and going to the reception says 'Hey, I'm just here for the free food and booze.' It is far more acceptable to attend the wedding ceremony (you know, the whole reason they're having that party)and skip the reception. I can't think of anyone who's ever condoned that sort of behavior though I know that anything you read on wedding etiquette will tell you exactly what I've said.

    Wrong. Skipping the wedding and going to the reception may say any number of things depending on the circumstances at hand.

    And as far as what you "know" is concerned, I also "know" you are absolutely wrong. For instance, I'm a person and I'm condoning this behavior. For another, I've also read literature concerned with "wedding etiquette" and I've listened to opinions that suggested that not going to either the wedding or the reception is pretty much a horribly unforgivable idea if it's possible to attend one or the other.

    You can disagree if you like - that's fine - but I strongly suggest that the OP (or anyone else reading this) not sit on their thumbs and skip the party just because they couldn't make the ceremony. That's fucking asinine and I certainly wouldn't hold it against someone *I* invited to the wedding if they couldn't make the actual ceremony. It's not like you can actually interact with the people you've invited at the ceremony itself. Traditionally, you get out of your limo, go to the front, diddle with your soon-to-be-wife and the priest, kiss your now-wife, and head off to take pictures with the wedding party. Then you go to the party.

    You probably won't even notice who is there except for the wedding party, the priest, your soon-to-be spouse, and the immediate family that you've involved in the wedding ceremony somehow.

    It's an extremely bad idea to skip the whole thing if you can make either half of it. I don't know a single piece of "wedding etiquette" literature that would condone THAT behavior and any that does is stupid.

    steam_sig.png
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

    I 100% disagree.

    Wedding shmedding. Most couples don't have a fucking clue who was at the actual wedding ceremony and the reception always has more people than the actual wedding ceremony did. I'd say it's far, far, FAR worse to skip both, especially if you have a legitimate excuse to not make it to the ceremony.


    Skipping the wedding and going to the reception says 'Hey, I'm just here for the free food and booze.' It is far more acceptable to attend the wedding ceremony (you know, the whole reason they're having that party)and skip the reception. I can't think of anyone who's ever condoned that sort of behavior though I know that anything you read on wedding etiquette will tell you exactly what I've said.

    Wrong. Skipping the wedding and going to the reception may say any number of things depending on the circumstances at hand.

    And as far as what you "know" is concerned, I also "know" you are absolutely wrong. For instance, I'm a person and I'm condoning this behavior. For another, I've also read literature concerned with "wedding etiquette" and I've listened to opinions that suggested that not going to either the wedding or the reception is pretty much a horribly unforgivable idea.

    You can disagree if you like - that's fine - but I strongly suggest that the OP (or anyone else reading this) not sit on their thumbs and skip the party just because they couldn't make the ceremony. That's fucking asinine and I certainly wouldn't hold it against someone *I* invited to the wedding if they couldn't make the actual ceremony. It's not like you can actually interact with the people you've invited at the ceremony itself. Traditionally, you get out of your limo, go to the front, diddle with your soon-to-be-wife and the priest, kiss your now-wife, and head off to take pictures with the wedding party. Then you go to the party.

    You probably won't even notice who is there except for the wedding party, the priest, your soon-to-be spouse, and the immediate family that you've involved in the wedding ceremony somehow.

    It's an extremely bad idea to skip the whole thing if you can make either half of it. I don't know a single piece of "wedding etiquette" literature that would condone THAT behavior and any that does is stupid.

    Here

    There

    Also here (link fixed)

    You can also check out Emily Post as well. I have yet to see anything that says skipping the ceremony and going to the reception is acceptable. Sources please?

  • CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I agree completely with Drez.

    I cant even recall a wedding where there WASNT more people at the reception than there were at the actual ceremony. And if you arent one of the important parties (best friend, close relative) the groom is unlikely to even notice your gf isnt there. Heck does he even know what she looks like? He's going to be up the front of the church, you know, getting married. He'd be glad you came at all, really.

    If anything, i'd say its the reception thats more important you attend out of the two events. At least there you'll be able to shake his hand, congratulate him & the bride, and maybe exchange a few words. At the ceremony you wont get to talk to him at all.

    Fuck the cost. If i didnt want two people there, i wouldn't have invited you at all. You always assume anyone you invite will be a person +1 unless you know for a fact they'll be alone.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

    I 100% disagree.

    Wedding shmedding. Most couples don't have a fucking clue who was at the actual wedding ceremony and the reception always has more people than the actual wedding ceremony did. I'd say it's far, far, FAR worse to skip both, especially if you have a legitimate excuse to not make it to the ceremony.


    Skipping the wedding and going to the reception says 'Hey, I'm just here for the free food and booze.' It is far more acceptable to attend the wedding ceremony (you know, the whole reason they're having that party)and skip the reception. I can't think of anyone who's ever condoned that sort of behavior though I know that anything you read on wedding etiquette will tell you exactly what I've said.

    Wrong. Skipping the wedding and going to the reception may say any number of things depending on the circumstances at hand.

    And as far as what you "know" is concerned, I also "know" you are absolutely wrong. For instance, I'm a person and I'm condoning this behavior. For another, I've also read literature concerned with "wedding etiquette" and I've listened to opinions that suggested that not going to either the wedding or the reception is pretty much a horribly unforgivable idea.

    You can disagree if you like - that's fine - but I strongly suggest that the OP (or anyone else reading this) not sit on their thumbs and skip the party just because they couldn't make the ceremony. That's fucking asinine and I certainly wouldn't hold it against someone *I* invited to the wedding if they couldn't make the actual ceremony. It's not like you can actually interact with the people you've invited at the ceremony itself. Traditionally, you get out of your limo, go to the front, diddle with your soon-to-be-wife and the priest, kiss your now-wife, and head off to take pictures with the wedding party. Then you go to the party.

    You probably won't even notice who is there except for the wedding party, the priest, your soon-to-be spouse, and the immediate family that you've involved in the wedding ceremony somehow.

    It's an extremely bad idea to skip the whole thing if you can make either half of it. I don't know a single piece of "wedding etiquette" literature that would condone THAT behavior and any that does is stupid.

    Here

    There

    Also here

    You can also check out Emily Post as well. I have yet to see anything that says skipping the ceremony and going to the reception is acceptable. Sources please?

    I'm too drunk to look stuff up so I'll respond to what you've posted, instead:


    First link:
    Ceremony and Celebration ~ I am always surprised to hear that some people feel attending the marriage ceremony is optional. The whole point of a wedding is to watch the actual event take place. It is rather tacky to skip the ceremony and attend only the celebration. The bride may not notice, but the other guests will.

    You're not there for the other guests, you're there for the bride and/or groom. I'd say the text of this link supports my claim more than it supports yours.


    Second link:
    Most importantly, don’t skip the ceremony and then attend the reception.

    There's a massive, very significant difference between "skip" and "miss." Yes, it's dickish to just sleep through the 4PM ceremony and go to the 7PM cocktail hour and beyond. But if you literally cannot make the ceremony, that's quite different.


    Third link:
    Your third link is the same link as your second link.


    Yes, it's rude to "skip" a ceremony for no good reason. No, it's not rude to attend the reception if you miss the ceremony for a legitimate reason.

    steam_sig.png
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    It would be incredibly tacky to go to the reception and not the wedding. Your gf should either go to both or neither, period. If she doesn't go, call the couple and let them know. As for the gift, $75 in cash would also be pretty tacky. The best thing to do is find out where they're registered and purchase something from there. Make sure to get a gift receipt for whatever you get and do not stray from the registry if you don't know them well.

    I 100% disagree.

    Wedding shmedding. Most couples don't have a fucking clue who was at the actual wedding ceremony and the reception always has more people than the actual wedding ceremony did. I'd say it's far, far, FAR worse to skip both, especially if you have a legitimate excuse to not make it to the ceremony.


    Skipping the wedding and going to the reception says 'Hey, I'm just here for the free food and booze.' It is far more acceptable to attend the wedding ceremony (you know, the whole reason they're having that party)and skip the reception. I can't think of anyone who's ever condoned that sort of behavior though I know that anything you read on wedding etiquette will tell you exactly what I've said.

    Wrong. Skipping the wedding and going to the reception may say any number of things depending on the circumstances at hand.

    And as far as what you "know" is concerned, I also "know" you are absolutely wrong. For instance, I'm a person and I'm condoning this behavior. For another, I've also read literature concerned with "wedding etiquette" and I've listened to opinions that suggested that not going to either the wedding or the reception is pretty much a horribly unforgivable idea.

    You can disagree if you like - that's fine - but I strongly suggest that the OP (or anyone else reading this) not sit on their thumbs and skip the party just because they couldn't make the ceremony. That's fucking asinine and I certainly wouldn't hold it against someone *I* invited to the wedding if they couldn't make the actual ceremony. It's not like you can actually interact with the people you've invited at the ceremony itself. Traditionally, you get out of your limo, go to the front, diddle with your soon-to-be-wife and the priest, kiss your now-wife, and head off to take pictures with the wedding party. Then you go to the party.

    You probably won't even notice who is there except for the wedding party, the priest, your soon-to-be spouse, and the immediate family that you've involved in the wedding ceremony somehow.

    It's an extremely bad idea to skip the whole thing if you can make either half of it. I don't know a single piece of "wedding etiquette" literature that would condone THAT behavior and any that does is stupid.

    Here

    There

    Also here

    You can also check out Emily Post as well. I have yet to see anything that says skipping the ceremony and going to the reception is acceptable. Sources please?

    I'm too drunk to look stuff up so I'll respond to what you've posted:

    First link:
    Ceremony and Celebration ~ I am always surprised to hear that some people feel attending the marriage ceremony is optional. The whole point of a wedding is to watch the actual event take place. It is rather tacky to skip the ceremony and attend only the celebration. The bride may not notice, but the other guests will.

    You're not there for the other guests, you're there for the bride and/or groom.


    Second link:
    Most importantly, don’t skip the ceremony and then attend the reception.

    There's a massive, very significant difference between "skip" and "miss." Yes, it's dickish to just sleep through the 4PM ceremony and go to the 7PM cocktail hour and beyond. But if you literally cannot make the ceremony, that's quite different.


    Third link:
    Your third link is the same link as your second link.


    Yes, it's rude to "skip" a ceremony for no good reason. No, it's not rude to attend the reception if you miss the ceremony for a legitimate reason.



    Except it's something she can delay but she just doesn't feel like it. If she doesn't feel like making the wedding there's no reason she should attend the reception. You can be that person who shows up for the free dinner and booze but he asked about wedding etiquette and the etiquette clearly says skipping the ceremony and going to the reception is tacky.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Except it's something she can delay but she just doesn't feel like it. If she doesn't feel like making the wedding there's no reason she should attend the reception. You can be that person who shows up for the free dinner and booze but he asked about wedding etiquette and the etiquette clearly says skipping the ceremony and going to the reception is tacky.


    Good lord man, they are acquaintances with the bride/groom and the OP's girlfriend has a prior engagement. If they'd been bosom buddies for the last 20 years then I would agree, but they haven't been. Neither the bride nor the groom will notice that they are absent. I can almost guarantee this. So really, who gives a shit about etiquette? I disagree that it is tactless to maintain a prior engagement and then go to the wedding reception, but even if it is, so what? Do you really think the bride and groom are going to be significantly enraged or whatever by the fact that the original poster and his girlfriend couldn't make it to the church? Hell, I've gone directly to the cemetery for a funeral or two because I couldn't make it to the church and I really couldn't care less if the entire human race has a problem with that because one's actions shouldn't be about trying to please everyone. The fact is, a wedding is about a bride and groom. So these blogs and wedding mags and Cosmopolitan and what-have-you can make a big stink about etiquette if they want but in the end the only people you have to answer to is the bride and groom so as far as the OP is concerned I think the only answer that makes sense here is "do you think the bride and groom are going to notice your absence from the ceremony and do you think they will be really pissed off if they do?" I contend that most couples would not care unless the invitees in question are close friends. And so my default advice is to go to the reception even if you cannot make the ceremony or if you have a prior commitment or whatever, unless you specifically know that the bride and groom will notice and be upset.

    steam_sig.png
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically. The wedding is the important part, and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all? This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically.

    Granted, but that doesn't invalidate my answer that etiquette is pretty much irrelevant here.

    The wedding is the important part

    See, to me "wedding" means "ceremony + reception." But I assume you're referring to the ceremony, and I still disagree. As far as most couples are concerned - couples that I know, anyway - and despite what blogs and magazines that concern themselves with issues such as "etiquette" would tell you, the reception is the social gathering where guests pay homage to the new couple. The ceremony has diddly shit to do with the guests and thus while I agree it would be better for as many guests to come to the ceremony as possible, it's really not much more than observation. Which is certainly important, but not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

    Also, a wedding ceremony is pretty much a public event. You do not actually invite people to a wedding ceremony. You just invite them to the reception.

    and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all?

    Because the wedding reception is where you can actually mingle and interact with the bride and groom?

    This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

    There's little reason in your eyes, sure, but I don't think you or I can really speak to the OP's girlfriend's motives. Even the OP might not be able to.

    steam_sig.png
  • LintillaLintilla Registered User
    edited July 2008
    The invitation invited you plus one guest. Your guest is optional and only invited so you'll have a date to dance with and chat up at the reception. Your hosts aren't terribly interested in who it is as long as they aren't causing trouble. If you, say, broke up with your date two days before the wedding and decided to bring your mom instead, I don't think anyone would bat an eye. Even if it's a really structured formal affair, at most they've got your girlfriend's name written in calligraphy on a place card somewhere next to yours. They have planned to have food and drink and seating for that extra person.

    I am in no way qualified to tell you if it'd be taken by the actual people you're dealing with as rude or not, but as someone forced to read etiquette books as a childhood punishment, I find showing up to the ceremony yourself and bringing a date to the reception to be an acceptable solution. I cannot imagine your hosts wishing you be uncomfortable all night or not coming at all over something so trivial.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically.

    Granted, but that doesn't invalidate my answer that etiquette is pretty much irrelevant here.

    The wedding is the important part

    See, to me "wedding" means "ceremony + reception." But I assume you're referring to the ceremony, and I still disagree. As far as most couples are concerned - couples that I know, anyway - and despite what blogs and magazines that concern themselves with issues such as "etiquette" would tell you, the reception is the social gathering where guests pay homage to the new couple. The ceremony has diddly shit to do with the guests and thus while I agree it would be better for as many guests to come to the ceremony as possible, it's really not much more than observation. Which is certainly important, but not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

    Also, a wedding ceremony is pretty much a public event. You do not actually invite people to a wedding ceremony. You just invite them to the reception.

    and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all?

    Because the wedding reception is where you can actually mingle and interact with the bride and groom?

    This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

    There's little reason in your eyes, sure, but I don't think you or I can really speak to the OP's girlfriend's motives. Even the OP might not be able to.

    The OP thinks it'd be tactless to even ask the groom about this. If he thought it was acceptable he wouldn't see a problem with asking, much less doing it.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically.

    Granted, but that doesn't invalidate my answer that etiquette is pretty much irrelevant here.

    The wedding is the important part

    See, to me "wedding" means "ceremony + reception." But I assume you're referring to the ceremony, and I still disagree. As far as most couples are concerned - couples that I know, anyway - and despite what blogs and magazines that concern themselves with issues such as "etiquette" would tell you, the reception is the social gathering where guests pay homage to the new couple. The ceremony has diddly shit to do with the guests and thus while I agree it would be better for as many guests to come to the ceremony as possible, it's really not much more than observation. Which is certainly important, but not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

    Also, a wedding ceremony is pretty much a public event. You do not actually invite people to a wedding ceremony. You just invite them to the reception.

    and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all?

    Because the wedding reception is where you can actually mingle and interact with the bride and groom?

    This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

    There's little reason in your eyes, sure, but I don't think you or I can really speak to the OP's girlfriend's motives. Even the OP might not be able to.

    The OP thinks it'd be tactless to even ask the groom about this. If he thought it was acceptable he wouldn't see a problem with asking, much less doing it.

    I do think it is tactless to ask the groom about this, but mostly because the groom probably has more important things to worry about. See, brides and grooms don't manage guest lists for their wedding ceremony. Because there is no guest list. Wedding masses, even Jewish ones as far as I know, are pretty much just that - a public mass. You can tell people where and when but it's not an invitation, really.

    I'll stop talking about this now but I must stress my opinion, one last time, that I think it is foolish to worry about this to this degree and to get this wrapped up in "etiquette."

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  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez is right. They don't care what your girlfriend does, they're too busy shitting themselves with happiness to worry about what an acquaintances girlfriend is doing.

    You go to the ceremony. You both go to the reception. No one will mind.

  • mugginnsmugginns Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Don't worry about missing the wedding ceremony, it happens all the time. I've already told people that they don't have to come to my wedding ceremony (next summer) if they don't want to. All that the bride/groom really care about is seeing you at one or the other.

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically.

    Granted, but that doesn't invalidate my answer that etiquette is pretty much irrelevant here.

    The wedding is the important part

    See, to me "wedding" means "ceremony + reception." But I assume you're referring to the ceremony, and I still disagree. As far as most couples are concerned - couples that I know, anyway - and despite what blogs and magazines that concern themselves with issues such as "etiquette" would tell you, the reception is the social gathering where guests pay homage to the new couple. The ceremony has diddly shit to do with the guests and thus while I agree it would be better for as many guests to come to the ceremony as possible, it's really not much more than observation. Which is certainly important, but not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

    Also, a wedding ceremony is pretty much a public event. You do not actually invite people to a wedding ceremony. You just invite them to the reception.

    and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all?

    Because the wedding reception is where you can actually mingle and interact with the bride and groom?

    This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

    There's little reason in your eyes, sure, but I don't think you or I can really speak to the OP's girlfriend's motives. Even the OP might not be able to.

    The OP thinks it'd be tactless to even ask the groom about this. If he thought it was acceptable he wouldn't see a problem with asking, much less doing it.

    I do think it is tactless to ask the groom about this, but mostly because the groom probably has more important things to worry about. See, brides and grooms don't manage guest lists for their wedding ceremony. Because there is no guest list. Wedding masses, even Jewish ones as far as I know, are pretty much just that - a public mass. You can tell people where and when but it's not an invitation, really.

    I'll stop talking about this now but I must stress my opinion, one last time, that I think it is foolish to worry about this to this degree and to get this wrapped up in "etiquette."

    Unless you're having you're ceremony in a very public place, it's hardly a public event. You send out invites based on the size and capacity of your venues. That's why you invite people with wedding invitations. The ceremony is the first thing on the invitation and then announces something along the lines of 'dinner and drinks to follow' or 'reception to follow' and the location. The ceremony details are the actually the bulk of the invitation.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically.

    Granted, but that doesn't invalidate my answer that etiquette is pretty much irrelevant here.

    The wedding is the important part

    See, to me "wedding" means "ceremony + reception." But I assume you're referring to the ceremony, and I still disagree. As far as most couples are concerned - couples that I know, anyway - and despite what blogs and magazines that concern themselves with issues such as "etiquette" would tell you, the reception is the social gathering where guests pay homage to the new couple. The ceremony has diddly shit to do with the guests and thus while I agree it would be better for as many guests to come to the ceremony as possible, it's really not much more than observation. Which is certainly important, but not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

    Also, a wedding ceremony is pretty much a public event. You do not actually invite people to a wedding ceremony. You just invite them to the reception.

    and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all?

    Because the wedding reception is where you can actually mingle and interact with the bride and groom?

    This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

    There's little reason in your eyes, sure, but I don't think you or I can really speak to the OP's girlfriend's motives. Even the OP might not be able to.

    The OP thinks it'd be tactless to even ask the groom about this. If he thought it was acceptable he wouldn't see a problem with asking, much less doing it.

    I do think it is tactless to ask the groom about this, but mostly because the groom probably has more important things to worry about. See, brides and grooms don't manage guest lists for their wedding ceremony. Because there is no guest list. Wedding masses, even Jewish ones as far as I know, are pretty much just that - a public mass. You can tell people where and when but it's not an invitation, really.

    I'll stop talking about this now but I must stress my opinion, one last time, that I think it is foolish to worry about this to this degree and to get this wrapped up in "etiquette."

    Unless you're having you're ceremony in a very public place, it's hardly a public event. You send out invites based on the size and capacity of your venues. That's why you invite people with wedding invitations. The ceremony is the first thing on the invitation and then announces something along the lines of 'dinner and drinks to follow' or 'reception to follow' and the location. The ceremony details are the actually the bulk of the invitation.

    Most wedding ceremonies are in "very public places," like a church. I mean, a Church is private property, but a church doesn't check a guest list when you show up. Also, where you have your ceremony is not really a "venue" in the sense you are using it and certainly not in the same way the reception is.

    Assuming you have your wedding ceremony in a traditional church or a synagogue, I could probably attend it unimpeded, Vision, with or without an invite. A courthouse I am not too sure about.

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    He asked about etiquette though, actually used the word specifically.

    Granted, but that doesn't invalidate my answer that etiquette is pretty much irrelevant here.

    The wedding is the important part

    See, to me "wedding" means "ceremony + reception." But I assume you're referring to the ceremony, and I still disagree. As far as most couples are concerned - couples that I know, anyway - and despite what blogs and magazines that concern themselves with issues such as "etiquette" would tell you, the reception is the social gathering where guests pay homage to the new couple. The ceremony has diddly shit to do with the guests and thus while I agree it would be better for as many guests to come to the ceremony as possible, it's really not much more than observation. Which is certainly important, but not nearly as important as people make it out to be.

    Also, a wedding ceremony is pretty much a public event. You do not actually invite people to a wedding ceremony. You just invite them to the reception.

    and if you don't care enough about it to want to be there for the bride and groom at that moment, why attend at all?

    Because the wedding reception is where you can actually mingle and interact with the bride and groom?

    This isn't an engagement that is super important and must happen then, it's something she just doesn't feel like changing. If she cares so little there is no reason for her to go.

    There's little reason in your eyes, sure, but I don't think you or I can really speak to the OP's girlfriend's motives. Even the OP might not be able to.

    The OP thinks it'd be tactless to even ask the groom about this. If he thought it was acceptable he wouldn't see a problem with asking, much less doing it.

    I do think it is tactless to ask the groom about this, but mostly because the groom probably has more important things to worry about. See, brides and grooms don't manage guest lists for their wedding ceremony. Because there is no guest list. Wedding masses, even Jewish ones as far as I know, are pretty much just that - a public mass. You can tell people where and when but it's not an invitation, really.

    I'll stop talking about this now but I must stress my opinion, one last time, that I think it is foolish to worry about this to this degree and to get this wrapped up in "etiquette."

    Unless you're having you're ceremony in a very public place, it's hardly a public event. You send out invites based on the size and capacity of your venues. That's why you invite people with wedding invitations. The ceremony is the first thing on the invitation and then announces something along the lines of 'dinner and drinks to follow' or 'reception to follow' and the location. The ceremony details are the actually the bulk of the invitation.

    Most wedding ceremonies are in "very public places," like a church. I mean, a Church is private property, but a church doesn't check a guest list when you show up. Also, where you have your ceremony is not really a "venue" in the sense you are using it and certainly not in the same way the reception is.

    Assuming you have your wedding ceremony in a traditional church or a synagogue, I could probably attend it unimpeded, Vision, with or without an invite. A courthouse I am not too sure about.

    I suppose if you really wanted to crash and decided to lie at the front door when asked if you're there for the bride or groom you could get in. If you walked up and said 'Neither, I just feel like checking it out,' you wouldn't be allowed in. That's why weddings have ushers.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I was just going to write the same thing; the guests aren't attending to have a one on one with the bride and groom and there won't be a roll call. The only possible problem I could forsee would be if a snooty guest decides they want to police the attendees and judge you for not following 'etiquette' because your girlfriend missed the ceremony but came to the reception.

    And they really ought to be getting drunk. This is a happy occasion, most people won't know you or each other anyway, so I don't think you ought to be concerned.

  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Holy good grief-on-a-stick this thread exploded in a few hours. Lots of good reading here, though. This is why I like H/A vs SE++ or even D&D...actually reasonable discussion. So, I needed to clarify a few things:

    @VisionOfClarity:My gf isn't skipping the wedding to go to a sale at Macy's or whatever. It's a class she can't miss that's been moved to the afternoon. She was told there'd be a morning session to attend, but we found out today that wasn't the case. She'd end up 30 minutes late, best case scenario.

    -He's my old roommate, so I'm the invited dude. The envelope says "Mr. Grungebox and Guest." I think the links VisionOfClarity provides talk more about whether or not the invited person doesn't want to go to the wedding or not. I totally agree that if my gf was the invited one she shouldn't skip the ceremony. I'm definitely going in any event.

    @Drez:I wouldn't call him an acquaintance; we were very good friends first two years of college, but that was 7-8 years ago. He knows both my gf and I from college (loooong-term relationship ftw?), but he's friends with me, not her. Basically he'd know she's gone if he sees me there. Does that change things?

    -I don't want to ask the groom about it partly because he's busy, and also because I thought it seemed bad to mention this sort of stuff ahead of time. That's why I was wondering if church weddings have assigned seating or not, but it seems like they don't (never been to a christian wedding).

    -My gf talked to a few of her friends, and they seem to echo Drez's statements. They suggested my gf come stay outside for the procession or whatever instead of missing the wedding entirely since she'll be there 30 minutes late (wedding is 90 minutes based on the schedule online). How does that sound? Are processions normal for orthodox weddings?

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I don't think being late changes things; shit happens, even on wedding days. And hey, she could apologise to him for being late at the reception, so long as it's wedged inside lots of congratulations.

  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    edited July 2008
    I second the "you go to the wedding, she can meet you at the reception" vote. I really doubt it's that big a deal, since you're the one they know, and you'll be there for both.

    Just a note: A number of the weddings I've been to had much smaller ceremonies than receptions. Like, MUCH smaller. Because while both are important and meaningful, the reception is the part with audience participation.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    grungebox wrote: »
    -My gf talked to a few of her friends, and they seem to echo Drez's statements. They suggested my gf come stay outside for the procession or whatever instead of missing the wedding entirely since she'll be there 30 minutes late (wedding is 90 minutes based on the schedule online). How does that sound? Are processions normal for orthodox weddings?

    Your gf's friends sound like they're giving good advice. Not sure about the logistics of this particular wedding, but if it's closed-door, there should be an antechamber or foyer in which she could wait. Very likely she'll have company from other people who were running late, cause you know, shit happens.

    You don't have to ask the groom, he's busy and doesn't really care (not to slight your gf, he's just got other things to think about besides whether the dates of his invitees are going to be late). And don't trouble yourself over the etiqutte of your date, hearty handshakes and congratulations, big hugs, and big smiles for the wedding couple and you've done your job.

    How much to give? I dunno, it shouldn't inconvenience you. If you want to buy them a gift, pick one from the registry (don't get them something not on their registry that you think is nifty, unless you also got them something on their registry). Personally I'd have more then welcomed cash, because if I really want that butcher block or set of steak knives I can buy them, you know, with that cash you gave me?

  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Djeet wrote: »

    How much to give? I dunno, it shouldn't inconvenience you. If you want to buy them a gift, pick one from the registry (don't get them something not on their registry that you think is nifty, unless you also got them something on their registry). Personally I'd have more then welcomed cash, because if I really want that butcher block or set of steak knives I can buy them, you know, with that cash you gave me?

    I'll get something off the registry, but how much should I get? Like I said, we're both grad students, but we're not really living paycheck-to-paycheck. $75 for two people good enough or do I seem like Chester Cheapo? Also, reception's at a fancy hotel in town (the Omni), so should I give more as a result?

    edit: I mean $75 worth of crap off the registry

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    My policy on wedding gifts is to cover the plate. That is, if they're spending $100 a head on you, you should probably spend at least $100 on them. That's x2 if you brought a guest.

    Spoiler:
  • grungeboxgrungebox Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    My policy on wedding gifts is to cover the plate. That is, if they're spending $100 a head on you, you should probably spend at least $100 on them. That's x2 if you brought a guest.

    In that case I can't get a gift until after the wedding once I have an idea about how much it cost, right? I have no idea if it's a buffet or not, for example, until after I'm there.

    Quail is just hipster chicken
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Lintilla wrote: »
    The invitation invited you plus one guest. Your guest is optional and only invited so you'll have a date to dance with and chat up at the reception.

    But they RSVP'ed for two people.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    grungebox wrote: »
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    My policy on wedding gifts is to cover the plate. That is, if they're spending $100 a head on you, you should probably spend at least $100 on them. That's x2 if you brought a guest.

    In that case I can't get a gift until after the wedding once I have an idea about how much it cost, right? I have no idea if it's a buffet or not, for example, until after I'm there.


    The etiquette columnist who was linked to emphatically stated that the gift price matching the plate cost is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    To paraphrase her: "Weddings are not money making propositions. The gift you give should be based on what you can afford and feel is appropriate."

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    grungebox wrote: »
    I'll get something off the registry, but how much should I get? Like I said, we're both grad students, but we're not really living paycheck-to-paycheck. $75 for two people good enough or do I seem like Chester Cheapo?

    I think 75$ is fine, assuming a cash bar or no bar. If it's an open bar I'd go $100+. These opinions are soley from the perspective of my own financial situation (I'm a working stiff) and assuming I have some personal link to the groom and/or bride. If I was a groomsman or usher, my gift selection would likely be different.

    The only other rule I've heard has been for cash gifts, and that might be a cultural thing (e.g. $101 not $100, or $51 not $50).

    If it were my wedding, your presence is of highest importance. The gifts are just bonus, I'm not going to think less of someone because they gave me a $75 toaster instead of $100 blender. I have a lovely set of silver candlesticks received as a wedding gift, probably $100-200, just tarnishing away, never used. Kitchen utensils/appliances get used (though I've no idea who got me that great blender), china not so much (in my experience).

    Edit: And I'll re-iterate, cash is awesome. It's great going home or to the hotel and pulling a shitpile of cash/checks out of your pocket, just more to blow on the honeymoon. The groom will like it, though the MILs might go "tsk tsk."

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    hey i have had a wedding, i can chime in

    First off don't bother asking the groom, more than likely he is not going to care either way.

    second. the purpose of inviting people to the wedding is to have them there to celebrate with you the couple. whether you celebrate by shouting mazel tov when they kiss or drink to them at the toast, you are still celebrating. if it was at my wedding and a friend couldn't make the ceremony but could make the reception i would be all over that. hell my groomsman fiance didn't come to our ceremony but was there for the reception. it isn't a big deal.

    third. the OP is still going to the ceremony so its all moot, technically since he is the invited one all you people screaming etiquette have no base.

    A cash gift of $75 is acceptable. its really a token and you are both grad students and its an old roomate. We recieved mostly cash/checks and it was great since we got married back east and would have had to bring everything back. registries are only suggestions. cash can be spent on anything and 75 bucks will pay for a nice dinner on the honeymoon.

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  • ArdorArdor Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Most of this really depends on the couple in the end. While most people may consider X, Y or Z acceptable, that does not necessarily represent this couple.

    I'd agree with the folks that said you should go to the wedding and your g/f can meet you at the reception. It might not be a bad idea to let the groom know that your g/f will be coming late just to give them a heads up in case it ends up mattering to him or her.

    As for a gift, it mostly depends on your financial situation in the end. I'd give what you consider reasonable that won't break the bank.

  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I think this is getting made into more of a deal than it really is. Just talk to the couple, I think they'll be fine with it. Who even wants to go to the ceremony anyway? Our wedding is coming up in less than three months, and we're only inviting about 10 people to the ceremony, but having around 130 at the reception. We don't care if they give us cash or something off the registry. Your friend's personality would suggest he'll be cool with her coming to the reception. Just remember this is *their* day, and realize you probably aren't a drop in the bucket of their problems/concerns/worries/expectations.

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