So, I ignored this whole ‘You’re not invited’ “trend” the first several times I heard about it, in short, because it just seemed so insane I refused to believe it was actually a thing that people were doing. Or, I guess I kind of thought of it along the same lines as those crazy emails you see circulate every once in a while that appear to be from an uber Bridezilla to her bridesmaids (Remember this one? So good.): Like, ok, this does happen sometimes, but only among lunatics, and that does not make it a thing.
But, it keeps popping up! It’s in articles, blogs, in TV news segments—across the country! So, enough. Philadelphia Wedding will now issue its official stance on the concept of couples either sending along cards/emails/any physical notification proactively announcing to various people in their lives that they are not invited to their wedding, or having their wedding planner proactively call various people in their lives to announce that they are not invited to said couple’s wedding: It. Is. Batshit.
Sorry to use a somewhat un-pretty-wedding-world word, but it just is. And thank goodness our etiquette go-to, Mark Kingsdorf of Philly’s The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants, agrees with us: “It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of from an etiquette stand point, bottom line,” he says.
It seems—both when you comb through reports on this “trend,” and to both Mark and myself as we try to make sense of where this might be coming from—that it’s often stemming from the repercussions of life-status sharing on social media. Way before Facebook existed, it would certainly happen from time to time that an acquaintance of a bride might mention to her how excited they were for the wedding (or make somesuch comment)—except, little did they know, they weren’t invited. In those cases, the poor bride either would have to mumble something about the extremely teeny-tiny-very intimate-size of her wedding, that the person might get the hint, or, the person would just get the hint when, you know, an invitation never arrived. And honestly, that’s on the would-be guest. You can’t just walk around assuming things like wedding invitations.
Now, because all 593 of your Facebook friends are aware that you are engaged, that’s just making for even more occurrences of people assuming they are invited. It’s true, we get it. “It is a really challenging concept,” says Kingsdorf. “Because of social media, everyone knows your business.” But here’s the thing: If these people assume, just because they are aware that you have gotten your dress fitted, that they are invited to your wedding—and more importantly, make it known to you that they assume they will be invited—that is still on them. (Though, a good way to cut down on this type of thing? Limit your wedding stuff-sharing on Facebook. You don’t have to curb your joy, or anything, but for the love, do not post a status update requesting that those who have not sent back their RSVPs do so, stat.) The moment that you start randomly contacting people who have made no such verbal assumption and delivering the unsolicited announcement that they are not, in fact, invited to your wedding, it is on you.
There are special exceptions, of course—if you decide to get married in the Bahamas with just your immediate families, then yes, your best girlfriends from high school are probably going to need to be filled in on this—and I’m not going to get in to all of those here, but just suffice it to say this whole thing is not a good idea. Deal with awkward assumptions and certain situations on a case-by-case basis, says Kingsdorf, and all will be well. Holla that, I say.
Has anyone ever been involved in one of those awkward assumed-invitation situations? What did you do about it?