My H2B and I are getting married in July and we are so excited. Our story comes from a phonecall I had with my Mum (MOB) earlier today.
We were chatting about the wedding, more specifically, who had accepted/declined the invitations when she casually says,”Yes, and don’t forget you will need chairs for Rosie’s Granna and Grandad during the ceremony.” Then she starts talking about something else.
At this point, I asked her to repeat her comment again, and she said the same thing. I was stunned into silence.
Rosie is my flowergirl and although she is not a relative of mine or H2B’s she is akin to a baby sister to me, or a goddaughter. Her Grandparents, whom I have never met, have informed my Mum they will be coming to the ceremony to “watch Rosie walk down the aisle.”
I believe there are several things wrong with that statement, the first being that she wont be “walking down the aisle” as we are having a civil ceremony, with no aisle to walk down. After that of course, what I believe is rude in and of itself, is their intention to “gatecrash” a wedding, so they can see their granddaughter. Then there’s the fact that because we don’t know these people we didn’t invite them!
My Mum then finishes the conversation with, “Aunty Shirley and Aunty Ida are coming early to see the wedding ceremony. But, don’t worry they won’t be there long, they’ll just ‘sneak in the back’ and stand and watch, then go get something to eat elsewhere. Bye.”
At this point I was fuming. Aunty Shirley and Aunty Ida have been invited to the evening only (this is very very common in England, so don’t get grouchy about it, it’s actually how things are ‘done’ traditionally here and how most places ‘package’ their weddings. EG you have 60 guests for day and 100 for evening.) They haven’t been invited to the ceremony because of the sheer cost, plus the fire safety regulations of the room.
I don’t know what to do. There are several people who were not invited to the ceremony who now are planning on “sneaking in the back” to watch and at no point was H2B or I consulted on this. We were only told because Mum “slipped up” by telling me. (She told me she had been told not to say anything.) What on earth is the polite way to say, “You weren’t invited to the ceremony, don’t come,” without offending anyone?
Please help! 0414-13
Regarding Rosie’s grandparents, call them and say, “I am sorry but we cannot accommodate your desire to come see Rosie in the wedding as that would usurp my other guests’ ability to be seated in our very tiny wedding venue. I will make sure the photographer takes good pictures of her and send you a few afterwards.” And then make sure you do.
As for Aunties Shirley and Ida, I do not understand why relatives have been so conspicuously assigned to the B guest list. Why did you not plan a wedding ceremony that included all your relatives on the same guest tier? It’s not as though the aunties have been utterly overlooked as potential guests and therefore not invited as was the case with Rosie’s grandparents.
And what is this, “go get something to eat elsewhere”? Are you saying that the guests to the ceremony will be treated to a meal while the “evening” guests are invited to partake in possibly light or even no refreshments? That would explain why Aunties Shirley and Ida, if they sneak into the ceremony, must go find food elsewhere while the ceremony guests enjoy a meal prior to the evening dancing reception.
I am going grouchy on you. I don’t care how “common” these types of wedding arrangements are in England. It is still hierarchical treatment of guests with some deserving of gracious, generous hospitality while others must make do with the hospitality crumbs from the tables of the elite guests. I cannot wrap my brain around the concept of assigning friends and even relatives to a second class guest status who are only invited to an evening dance to celebrate a significant life event they were not deemed sufficiently worthy enough to witness. That seems like prioritizing the partying over the solemn occasion of a wedding commitment.
Op, your dilemma is a common one for those who choose to segregate their guests into tiered levels of hospitality. To be honest, I do not have a ready answer as to how to extricate you from the horns of a dilemma of your own making. Best I can advise is that you suck it up and ignore the Aunties’ presence at your ceremony since calling to tell them they are not invited to witness your wedding ceremony just screams out how ungracious you are and unkindly brings blunt attention to their exact place in the wedding guest hierarchy which they had the audacity to try and rise above.