Dear Miss Manners: Upon opening what I thought would be a wedding invitation from good friends, I found, printed on very nice stationery:
“Our wedding is coming but oh, what dismay.
“The venue is small on our big day!
“Though we can’t squeeze you in during our special hour,
“Would you please come to our wedding shower?”
Underneath is a list of stores where the couple is registered.
How rude and hurtful is this? What a gift grab! I don’t even feel up to making a RSVP.
Gentle Reader: Why, it was just recently that another bridal couple wrote Miss Manners that they were sending “a sweet poem that is nice for asking for cash” with their wedding invitation.
Do we have a trend here? Is the word spreading, in the white tulle set, that crudeness is charming when it is put into rhyme (even if not exactly rhythm)?
However, Miss Manners insists that you reply to the paltry invitation you did get. One rudeness does not excuse another. How about:
“Accepting with pleasure
“A day of leisure (British pronunciation required),
“We wish you the best.
“As you are feted and wed,
“We’ll be home in bed;
“Good luck, and the rest.”
Well, no, not really. Please forgive Miss Manners that lapse and write a simple answer declining the shower invitation.
Paring party list
Dear Miss Manners: For the last several years, my husband and I have hosted a quite nice holiday party (catered food, serving staff, crystal, silver, etc.) for friends and neighbors.
As planning begins for this year’s party, I can’t help but notice when I review the guest list that there are people we haven’t seen since our party last Christmas. It would be nice if some of our guests thought enough of us to at least have had us over for a drink at their home, but that is not the case with several couples.
How do I politely drop them from our guest list? What would be an appropriate response if someone inquires if we are having our party and they are not invited?
Gentle Reader: Unfortunately, people often do treat annual parties as a sort of public service, failing to reciprocate and brazenly assuming they have standing invitations. It is, as you have found, a poor return for hospitality.
For that reason, Miss Manners advises skipping an occasional year, or at least varying the party – one year making it New Year’s, instead of Christmas, for example – so that you can honestly say that you are not giving the usual annual party and dislodge the expectation.
Even now you can still claim, to those who have the nerve to ask, “Oh, we’re not having that big party this year. We’ll just be getting together with a few people whom we see all year.”
No response to Evites
Dear Miss Manners: My roommates and I decided to throw a casual house party since we wanted to meet each other’s various groups of friends. We decided that the easiest way to coordinate among the four of us would be to send out an online invitation via Evite along with word of mouth.
We sent the Evite out six days in advance of the party but have received very few responses back compared to the number of those invited.
Since this is a casual get-together, it is not a crisis; however, the four of us do need to figure out how much food and drink to purchase for our guests.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask guests to click a response given the lead time, whether it be yes or no.
Do I have overly rigid expectations for guests to respond to a casual method of invitation?
Gentle Reader: If it is any comfort, people who send out engraved invitations to decidedly not-casual weddings also have trouble getting responses from their guests.
That is not a comfort to Miss Manners, who cannot understand how people can be so callous as to fail to realize the difficulty this imposes on hosts, in addition to the insult.
But it is evidence that the problem is not ease of responding. Like other disrespected hosts, you will have to call or text around to find out who plans to attend.