Thank You For Coming To My Wedding

by admin on April 8, 2014

While my husband and I were completing thank you cards for our wedding, my husband recalled a wedding he attended 4 years ago.

Instead of thank you cards, the Groom sent out a mass text message to his guests the day after his wedding, stating something along the lines of, “Thanks everyone for coming out, it was great seeing you.”

No formal thank you cards were ever sent out. Just that text message. I am not sure how people who do not own a cell phone were thanked. 0328-14

If the bride and groom has circulated through the guests during the reception thanking them in person for coming, there would be no need for an impersonal text message blasted to everyone.

As for the lack of a thank you note, expect to see more of this kind of belief that people are entitled to receive  wedding gifts and that guests have an obligation to endow them with materials goods.   Kings and queens don’t bow to plebeian expressions of gratitude when their inferiors bestow upon them what they view as rightly theirs in the first place.

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Save The Dates, Shower Invites and Evites

by admin on April 7, 2014

My question is in regards to invitation etiquette. While I’ve spent most of my life in the States, I haven’t been invited to many weddings, so I don’t really know wedding etiquette that well. Plus, my culture is different from the US, so that makes things more complicated.

I recently received two e-vites–one was a “Save the Date” evite, and another was a Bridal Shower e-vite. On the Save the Date evite, the couple said that a formal invitation was to follow, so I suppose they covered their bases there. The bridal shower evite is the only invitation that I’ll get, which I don’t particularly mind, but anyway.

My question is, is it appropriate to send evites for Save the Dates and Bridal Showers? I’m going to get married soon myself, and while I probably won’t have a Bridal Shower (never understood the concept of asking guests to bring two gifts–one for the shower, one for the wedding), I’m wondering about the Save the Dates. Is it rude to send electronic Save the Dates/Bridal Shower invitations? I know for an actual wedding invitation, that’d be extremely rude, but I couldn’t figure this one out.

Also, do I have to send a Save the Date? Can I just send out my wedding invitation earlier so that guests will have enough time to plan? 0401-14

I’m not a huge fan of the online event invitation sites since I strongly oppose the privacy policies.   We actually have evite.com blocked at the server level in our house so I would not see any invitations sent to me.     Also, electronic invitations have been known to be be filtered off into Spam in boxes and I’venown of people who never knew of a party because they never received the invitation or did not know to look in their Spam folder.

We are about to celebrate a wedding in our family and there were two shower-type events hosted by two different individuals.  One was sent by evite.com and the other by regular mail.   I know evites are becoming rather ubiquitous but the paper invitation sent through the mail was so pretty and definitely “keepable” for a scrapbook whereas the evite invitation was…..not particularly special or save worthy.    A wedding is a once in a lifetime (we hope!) event and it just seems to me that such events should be celebrated with a high degree of personalization and specialness.   Evites don’t meet that criteria,in my opinion.

But you should not be sending out invitations for a bridal shower for yourself since that would be greedy, rude and tacky.   That decision rests with a friend or bridesmaid who may choose to host a shower for you.

“Save the date” notifications are a rather recent development in wedding planning and the only reason I see the need for them is for a destination wedding or to send to distant guests who must plan well in advance to travel.    A simple post card in the mail can suffice since it can be stuck to a bulletin board or the refrigerator as a reminder.

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Catching Those Mistakes Early

by admin on April 4, 2014

I wanted to share a story that still makes me cringe when I think about it. And the faults were entirely mine.

Doing our own wedding planning, DH and I tried to make everything as efficient as possible. As part of it, we ended up addressing our invitation envelopes (no names on the invitations) together almost assembly line style over the course of several evenings.  Then we sent them out. “Done,” we thought!

When I received an email from a friend that I had called her new husband by his last name, I was embarrassed, but she didn’t seem offended, and DH and I were able to find the humor in it.

Then, a few days later,  I was thrilled to receive a card from a relative who I was not especially close in touch with and who I knew would not be able to attend due to distance, but who I wanted to make sure had an invitation. (Upon reflection, I have also realized with mortification that this could have been seen as “give-me” to people who I invited this way but I promise that I never expected gifts from them and meant it only as a kind gesture.)

I opened up the lovely card and was horrified to find an inserted note pointing out (politely) that I had included their spouse who had passed away several years ago on the envelope and that it would have been prudent of me to double-check my guest list. I felt genuinely horrible. I knew their spouse had passed away, but as we hadn’t kept in touch well, I had honestly forgotten in the midst of copying addresses from an old address book.

I immediately sat down and wrote an apology letter to them (owning up to my oversight) and thanking them for their gift.

Fast forward to my DH and I mailing out thank you cards. We each worked from an Excel sheet with names and gifts – splitting up the work. While I was finishing up the very last step – sealing the addressed envelopes, I came across an envelope with this relative’s name on it in my DH’s writing. “Odd,” I thought, “I already wrote them a thank you card.” I opened the envelope to find a thank you card I wrote for a friend with the same first name as this aforementioned relative.

I am so incredibly thankful that I caught my second mistake, otherwise this poor relative would have received a wedding invitation with their deceased spouse’s name on it as well as a duplicate thank you card for gifts they knew nothing about!!!!! 0117-14

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Tracking The Elusive Gift Giver

by admin on March 26, 2014

I have a question that would most likely be at home on the Hells Bells site that hopefully you or your readers will be able to help me out with.

I recently got married at the beginning of this month, and thanks to my extensive reading of your site, hopefully we didn’t commit any blunders that will cause us to end up in your infamous halls. However, now that we are back from our honeymoon and working industriously on getting thank you notes written and in the mail before the end of the month (not only to be punctual, but because stamp prices are going up in April!), we’ve hit a bit of a sticky point:

DH and I threw a small-ish wedding (70 people invited, around 55 people attended). Because we were paying for the wedding ourselves, and because DH is a rather introverted person, we wanted to host an event where we actually knew everybody who was going to be there. When we were building our guest list our rule was couples who were married, engaged, living together, or who had been in a serious relationship for over a year were invited together – single guests were not invited with a +1. We made an exception for our best man and our maid of honor. BM and MOH had actually been a couple for about 4 years before our wedding, and were actually the ones responsible for introducing DH and I, and setting us up on our first few dates. However, about 6 months before the wedding, they broke up. A little while later, BM reconnected with an old high school girlfriend (who had been friends with DH for years as well), and MOH started dating another guy. DH and I discussed it, and we decided that even though the separate couples hadn’t been together for over a year, like our rule said, that because they were standing up for us, it would be OK for them to bring dates. So we invited them, they accepted, everybody came and had a good time, and it was a pretty awesome wedding.

The day after the wedding, my parents hosted a gift opening lunch, and we received lovely practical gifts from both BM and his new girlfriend, and from the MOH and her new boyfriend.

DH and I get back from our honeymoon. We had been without phones and computers for the past 10 days, and hadn’t had contact with anybody back home except calling our parents from a pay phone to let them know our plane had landed safely. I texted a few of my closest friends letting them know we were home safe and ready to get back into real life. MOH texted me back enthusiastically. I asked how everything had been with her while we were gone, and she told me that the biggest news item was that she had broken up with the new boyfriend. I haven’t heard the whole story yet because she wants to tell me in person, but he was apparently kind of a jerk about it, too. I expressed my sympathy, but MOH didn’t seem really broken up over it, so we moved on to other topics of conversation, and it didn’t really bother me until I sat down later that night with my gift list, address book, and thank you cards to start churning them out.

Do I write a thank you note to MOH’s short-lived ex-boyfriend? I don’t have his home address (we had sent the wedding invitation directly to MOH’s house, addressed to both of them), and I’m not sure how I would get it. He was invited as a guest of my best friend, but his name was attached to one of our gifts. Aside from Facebook, I don’t know any other way to get in contact with him. I am tempted to just leave it alone, but I feel like it would be rude to not at least acknowledge his presence at our wedding. What is your advice? 0321-14

I would send him a private Facebook message thanking him for his contribution to the wedding gift and be done with it.   While it is good to have an attitude of gratitude regarding the gifts one receives, etiquette doesn’t demand that you walk over glass shards, bend in two and twist like a pretzel to find people in order to send them a thank you note.

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Keeping The Shower Donations Leashed

by admin on March 25, 2014

I saw the following (names have been changed) attached to a bridal shower invitation my mother received. We both agreed it was tacky, and she wasn’t sure how she would proceed, but said I could run it past the eHellions for their opinion. I thought it took entitlement and solicitation to a whole new level.

The shower is being hosted by the bridesmaids, but the note was clearly from the bride:

“Throughout this exciting and happy time in our lives we would like to pass along our blessings to those less fortunate than ourselves. Both Groom and I are animal lovers and have had wonderful experiences adopting animals from local shelters. We are inviting guests to bring an item to donate to the local animal shelter in exchange for a raffle ticket for a prize basket. Each item will earn you one ticket. We would love nothing more than to donate a wonderful assortment of gifts to animals in need and we thank you in advance for your generosity.” 0322-14

Your mother has no obligation to facilitate or participate in a charity event disguised as a wedding shower.   She does not need to bring a donation item if she clearly understands that by not doing so she is not eligible for the prize basket.    And she does not need to explain to people why she may choose to not bring a donation item since how one spreads the personal charity is really no one else’s business.    I have no problem declining to participate since I am confident of my own levels of charitable giving and where it goes and if someone wants to think badly of me because they don’t know all the facts or are peeved that I am not supporting their pet charity, all I can say is, “What an interesting assumption.”

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I simply love the site! This story happened a few years ago, at my cousins wedding reception. After dinner the toasts came up, and it was the MOH’s turn. She proceeded to tell us about the time the bride and groom went out and got drunk! Apparently the groom was approached by a “lady of the night” who tried to lure him into being her next customer, with the bride to be right there! The bride to be ran up to her and kicked her in the head, and both she and the groom were arrested. And this was told at their wedding with the groom’s extremely Christian family shell shocked. The worst part? The bride and groom thought that was the best toast! 0316-14

I personally would not have been shell shocked to hear such a toast but I would certainly not have smiled as if amused by its contents.   Some situations can become great family folklore in years but prostitution, violence and arrests are not topics that should be fodder for wedding toasts.

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Food Assignments For Reception (Or “My Guests Are My Caterers….Not”)

February 25, 2014

I am hoping that you could help me out with how to deal with a very strange wedding. A friend of mine is getting married at the end of March. He and his fiance have just issued an open invitation via Facebook, linking to their website with all the wedding details. The website has details […]

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Cancelling The Wedding Vicariously

February 14, 2014

This is actually an article from the BBC in which a woman was so jealous of her brother’s fiancee she called the Register Office to cancel the ceremony. However, this landed her in jail for 8 weeks. She claimed she just wanted to distress the bride, not her brother. (Oh boy.) Not only did she […]

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Lace And Sleeves Making A Comeback In Wedding Dress Design

February 5, 2014

Brides.com reviews the latest wedding runway fashions and more lace and sleeves are in!   Check them out HERE. Click to Share:

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Using Statistical Modeling To Determine The Guest List

February 5, 2014

Here’s a couple who found a way to celebrate with the maximum number of family and friends they could afford while avoiding the trap of A and B guest lists. It wasn’t perfect, but might statistics help us with etiquette? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25980076 Your thoughts? I read it and thought, “I do this in my head already.”   […]

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