Who Are These People?

by admin on May 13, 2013

Just thought I’d share something that gave me more than a chuckle today.

I saw an update on my phone that a girl I know had sent me an invite to a Stag & Doe party on Facebook. To my understanding, Stag & Doe parties are basically money grabs, with a few lame buy-in games and cash bars, all with the purpose of raising money for the couple to have a wedding that is clearly bigger than they can afford.

Now this is a girl I don’t know all that well, we know each other’s names and have several mutual friends, and have had general chit chat on a few occasions. Of course, all of that is enough to warrant being friended on Facebook! I joked to my fiance that I thought it pretty tacky to be invited to fund a wedding that I had no expectation of being invited to.

Later on, I went on my actual Facebook page and clicked on the invite with the intention of declining (I currently live about 5 hours away from the event anyway). I looked at the event picture, and suddenly realized that I had no idea who this couple was! I had been sent a third-party invite to go shell out money for the wedding of two complete strangers! It took everything I had to not write on the page that as I have MY OWN wedding to worry about (which, incidentally, will NOT be paid for by future guests), I couldn’t possibly care any less about the wedding of people I don’t know. I declined the invitation, and only wrote (since I couldn’t help myself) “congrats to the couple, but I don’t think I’ve ever met them”. Hopefully it’s enough to send the hint that begging strangers for money is weird and inappropriate, even if it is easier to just invite one’s entire friends list. God forbid they had to sift through it to find the people who might actually care to attend.¬† 0512-13

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

WildIrishRose May 13, 2013 at 10:19 am

I just don’t get the whole Facebook invitation thing to events like weddings. I have a friend who is a novelist, and she does post invites to her book-signing parties and things like that, but a wedding is such an intimate affair, in my opinion, that I didn’t even put an open invitation in our church bulletin–I sent individual invitations to individual people and families with whom I wanted to share that big moment in my life. Aside from the personal nature of weddings, they’re expensive, and I couldn’t possibly have paid for a huge lavish wedding even if I had wanted one, so inviting every single person I knew and a bunch I didn’t know would have been stupid. This is just one more nail in the coffin of what weddings are supposed to stand for.

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NostalgicGal May 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

GimmePigs know no reason or season. The shakedown for gifts and money is why the net is cast wide.

A wedding needs: two people that want to and can legally get married, two witnesses, someone to officiate (some places require that person to be registered with the county, a one time fee and producing some proof of ability to do so (such as being ordained) and some don’t even need that, just that the others involved agree this person shall officiate), and a valid marriage license for that jurisdiction.

The five people gather with the valid license; the exchange is as short as asking each person, they agree, and declaring it done. I say there is a 5 word legality, “You?” “Yes!” “You?” “Yes!” “Done.” (and everyone sign here and here and here and here and here) and turn in the license to the proper county clerk.

Anything after that seriously soulless sounding bit, is added on. I’ve given that talk to a few people during pre-nuptial counseling, that they don’t need to spend the national debt to do this deed and find their happiness. And nobody “owes” them anything including a wedding they can’t afford.

The length, breadth, and depth of the GimmePig Syndrome displayed on this site amazes me at times!

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Serena May 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

I grew up in a small town (less than 4000 people) with a few smaller towns within the immediate area. I’m not sure when the practice started, but it’s not unusual to see wedding announcements in the local paper stating “Only out of town invitations are being sent. All friends and family are cordially invited to attend.” That has always struck me as odd. For one, you have no idea how many people are going to show up at the reception, because some people (especially teenaged kids) have no qualms about showing up for a free party. But especially because it’s such a small area and everyone knows everyone else, people you may not necessarily like (including ex’s with an agenda) have free reign to show up at your wedding. I couldn’t imagine NOT sending invitations.

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Ergala May 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I’ve seen this happen on accident. A lot of people don’t know how to make a party private on Facebook and click the box that allows the guests to invite people. Those guests then go through and invite people. OR your friend could have accepted and it appeared in your feed, if you click on the event it gives you the option to accept, decline or click maybe…and you aren’t even invited in the first place.

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Jenn50 May 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I guess it depends, WIR, on what you use Facebook for. For me, Facebook is a way to keep in contact with friends and relatives whom I love. Posting a private invitation to specific group of people there, while somewhat informal, would NOT have resulted in an event for everyone I know and many I didn’t know. The problem here has less to do with Facebook, and more to do with “Third party invites”. Social media just makes it easier for crass people to be crass, it doesn’t REQUIRE it.

And to me, a wedding isn’t necessarily intimate. It’s a joyous celebration that I’d share with my whole “village” if I could. The fact that my village is now scattered across the globe and is reachable on Facebook doesn’t change the size of the celebration, or the meaning.

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Ashley May 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

This is why I HATE Facebook invites unless it is for an event involving no more than 8 or so people, via invite by the host/hostess only, and not to be shared with anyone and everyone.

I’ve had it happen once where I got an invite for people I had never seen. I ultimately just declined but I saw a lot of people had typed things to the effect of “Why am I invited? I don’t know these people!”

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the concept of stag and does…

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kingsrings May 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

WildIrishRose – I actually just recently attended two wedding events that were done by Facebook invites. The first was a wedding/reception of two friends of mine. It was kind of thrown together in a hurry, so although they meant to send paper invites, because of the small timeframe, it was just easier and faster to send Facebook invites to all the guests. Being that it was a casual wedding held at the groom’s parent’s house, it actually worked out well to invite that way. The second was for a friend’s wedding reception. Again, it was such a casual affair in the couple’s backyard that Facebook invites worked out well. It all depends on the event.

As for stranger invites, I did once get one for a couple at my church. I didn’t know them, but I found out through this site that sometimes people just send invites to everyone in the congregation. I still don’t understand that one. I realize we’re all part of the same church, but that doesn’t mean I know everyone that personally to go to their wedding! And OP – I wonder if you received this invite by accident? Especially if she sent it via social media – I can see how she could accidentally click on someone else’s name instead of the intended recipient or something like that. On a similar note, an aquaintance of mine in a same social circle I’m in is getting married soon. We’d been told by others helping her plan the wedding that she wouldn’t be able to invite everyone in our group, so don’t be hurt if you’re not. I’m not invited since I hardly have said two words to the woman in all the time I’ve known her, but another member of our social circle (who held the same standing with the bride as I did) was invited to the woman’s bridal shower – but not to the actual wedding itself. She asked the shower planner why she did that, and the planner answered back that she thought my friend might still want to celebrate the bride anyway even though she wasn’t close enough to her to be invited to the wedding. She honestly didn’t see the etiquette error in this at all and thought there was nothing wrong with it! And this is a woman who prides herself on always being polite. If someone isn’t invited to the wedding, you don’t invite them to the shower, period.

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NostalgicGal May 13, 2013 at 11:33 pm

I grew up in small town, classmate’s older sister was getting hitched, and I am still in HS when this happens. She the classmate invited the rest of us to attend, to hear her play piano… and she was a natural at that, trust me, she could play!

The church was a large one and a Sat afternoon service, so I did take this as an invite. I dressed up nice. This was during my craft-for-money phase, and I took a then in fashion macram√© plant hanger in a nice neutral dark color and wrapped it up. (you don’t go to wedding without a gift, that much I knew) and I did attend. Sat on bride’s side in the back, behaved, listened to my friend’s playing. Nice service. There was enough room, and yes they had invited their entire congregation (I was not a member). I did not go to the reception, classmate had not extended that invite. Bride to her credit, sent me a nice thank you note handwritten thanking me for the gift and mentioned it. [A few years later I would not have done this, but at the time I didn't know better, and I at least knew enough to dress nice, behave, and bring a gift... and I had an invite such as it was.]

It depends on the congregation I think. Some consider all the members their family in Christ, so will invite everyone. Not unusual.

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Mousewife May 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Part of me wonders if the writer was *actually* invited or if a friend clicked that they were attending and so it showed up in your events as a “suggested event”. Facebook is horribly, terribly, notoriously awful for privacy issues. I have had several events show up in my calender that it looks like I have been invited to, but which in reality are just events that my friends are attending. And, because Facebook thinks that if my friends are attending, I must want to, too, I have have the option of joining the event and saying that I’ll be there – even if I wasn’t really invited.
That’s it’s own issue apart from a stag and doe, which I tend to disagree with on principle (why not just send your friends a bill for the amount you need them to contribute to your wedding? Much more efficient.) :P
I always simply don’t bother rsvp-ing events I’m unsure about on facebook – especially if I don’t know the organizer or guest of honour.

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Vanessa C. May 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm

In my tiny hometown (less than 2,00 people) Stag & Does are considered a social event as it would be the only opportunity for such a large number of people to get together to dance, play games and raise money for the bride and groom.

Now that I’ve moved to the “big city”, I find them to be a lot less community-minded and completely about cash grabs. The whole Facebook invite just ups the tack-factor.

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Lo May 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Whenever I see a mass impersonal invite to a life event of someone I barely know– shower, birthday, graduation, etc. I know one thing off the bat; I’m not being thoughtfully invited, I’m being wrung out for gifts.

If people were still expected to host their own do’s, cater their own parties, throw cash upfront for their own events there would be no mass invites to almost-strangers. There’s no sense of responsibility to your guests when you do things this way, it’s the complete opposite of considerate hosting.

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Lynne May 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm

My first thoughts were in line with Mousewife’s: if the event is not “closed” to a set guest list Facebook tends to volunteer the invitation to all friends of friends who are going — it will show up on your page, with FB asking, “Are you attending? Yes/No?”

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SingleGal May 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

I was just invited to the wedding of a formerly very close friend via Facebook. The invitation only contained the date, time and address of the wedding, which will be held during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Since this friend had previously asked me for large sums of money to pay bills in the past, I assume that I (and perhaps a number of other guests) are only being invited for the gifts she hopes we’ll be guilted into buying.

She and her adult daughter have already been relegated to Ehell for hosting a baby shower a few years ago and asking the guests to pay for the whole thing. I haven’t decided if I will attend or just send a card and my regrets.

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Dorothy Bruce May 14, 2013 at 7:06 am

Single Gal, I agree that all they’re looking for from you is $$$$$$$.

Do yourself a favor, send regrets through Facebook and then drop her from your friends list.

A friend she is NOT.

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Angel May 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I don’t like Facebook event invites for this reason–you often get invites for people you don’t know at all, or maybe know only second or third-hand. I would just send your regrets and the invite should disappear from your profile. I don’t think I would drop the person as a FB friend, I would just block her from sending you anymore invites. I think you can do this in privacy settings.

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ladycrim May 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I was recently invited via FB to a handfasting of two of my casual friends. It was at a costumed event, so: a) I don’t even know if this was their official wedding or just a celebration (they listed their character names in the e-vite); and b) Guests who didn’t have passes to the event already would have to pay admission to get in. I get that a lot of their friends would be there already, and far be it for me to tell someone they can’t hold their wedding when and where they like (if the venue is cool with it), but I still feel it was pretty tacky.

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kingsrings May 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Add me to the list of people who have also been confused by the way Facebook handles event invites. However, from what I understand, all the confusion could be alleviated if the one(s) who issue the Facebook simply set it to private and invite-only. I believe then that those not invited won’t see any activity regarding it.

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Lacey May 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

I doubt it was a Facebook glitch – I was once invited via email to a stag and doe by a friend who said the couple had instructed all their friends to invite as many people as possible. These things are cash grabs, pure and simple; they have nothing to do with wanting to celebrate your wedding with friends. I don’t know how they have become socially accepted.

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Kovitlac May 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I’ve never actually seen Doe or Stag parties used to gain money for the couple. When I was a bridesmaid for my friend’s wedding, sure I bought a drink for the bride, but I was never pressured to do so. in fact, her mother bought martinis for the group. As such, I see nothing wrong with the concept of a doe or stag party, although they’re aren’t necessarily to everyone’s taste.

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PHW May 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I personally agree with everyone who has said that Stag and Does are a cash grab. If you want to celebrate with your friends, you wouldn’t be inviting people you don’t know and charging them to attend. I have attended maybe one or two in the past because they were for close friends, but I have since decided that I will not attend again. I will already be purchasing a wedding and, likely, a shower gift, so I shouldn’t feel obligated to fork over even more money to help them pay for THEIR wedding. If they can’t afford it, they should scale it back or wait until they have the money.
I have yet to see a FB wedding invitation, although I’m sure the day isn’t too far off. I have, however, seen Stag and Doe invitations. Usually for friends of friends where they have been instructed to distribute to as many people as possible to ‘raise more money’. I have done the same thing as OP and put something to the effect of “Thanks for the invitation, but I don’t know the couple so I won’t be attending. Congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming nuptials”.

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Viki May 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I had to read this twice to fully understand it; here in England stag and hen parties are a fun night out or weekend away with friends before tying the knot. I’ve never heard of any “money grabbing” parties over here.

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Maggie May 16, 2013 at 12:18 am

The UK stag and hen parties are the equivalent of US bachelor/bachelorette parties. These stag and does parties in the US sound like they are something else altogether.

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jen a. May 16, 2013 at 5:13 am

Ugh, I’ve heard of these. They’re also called Jack and Jill’s. They are cash grabs, but they’re becoming fairly common. A friend of mine was hinting for one when I was one of her bridesmaids. Luckily the other bridesmaid was on board and we both ignored her hints.

They are huge money grabs. I’ve posted about them on here before, but a friend was telling me that they are huge money makers. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. Apparently there’s usually a 50/50, but typically the winner of the 50/50 will “donate” their winnings to the bride and groom.

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Lacey May 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

For those who have never heard of these, they’re basically billed as a joint bachelor and bachelorette party (lame enough in my opinion, but that’s not really an etiquette topic ;)), yet they charge cover, have a cash bar, do things like the aforementioned 50/50, and invite strangers. Also, whenever I’ve been invited to these, I either didn’t know the couple or wasn’t invited to the wedding. People who defend them as simply an engagement party or bachelor/bachelorette party just aren’t being truthful.

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AJ May 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm

You know, I get the tackiness of inviting people you don’t know to any event with the hopes of getting gifts. But I have to say, the tone of this submission, makes it hard for me to take the OP’s side.

1. It could have been a suggested event.
2. It could have mistakenly gone out to everyone, not everyone is overly Facebook competent
3. Even if it was meant to be sent to everyone, even IF it was meant as nothing more than a money grab, get off your pedestal, decline the invite and move on.

Your self satisfied, condescending tone throughout the entire little missive does not not exactly win you any good grace prizes.

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Nancy May 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

I think these couples who throw Stag and Doe parties are in for a rude awakening when they find out how much money they really walk away with, aside from the whole “tackiness” aspect. I used to live at a frat house that held keggers, with a door cover charge. Granted, they didn’t charge for booze, but trust me when I say this was not the finest of beers being served. There were literally HUNDREDS of people that came, and I promise you they were not making 5-10K on an event. It took all day beforehand and all day afterwards to set up and clean up, and they didn’t even hire DJs, bartenders, or a hall like you’re supposed to for these parties. I’d be surprised if, after hiring a DJ, reserving a hall, getting a bartender, and basically setting up a wedding dance minus the wedding, the couple cleared even $500. Brides and grooms would probably be better off getting second jobs to finance their wedding dreams. I’d hire a bride/groom to come weed out my lawn in a heartbeat.

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Sarah May 19, 2013 at 3:48 am

I would love to know what a 50/50 is? Could someone please enlighten me? When my friends were getting married we did not have anything but maybe a stag/hen do – pay your own drinks and one for the bride/groom (how was he/she going to drink more than one per person!), possibly a funny crown or L sign and then the wedding! No weekends away, no showers (which were unknown or considered an American custom). It was a major celebration but very solemn. I wonder if the fact that being Irish and until well after my generation was married divorce was impossible factored into this solemnity. Only in my thirties was a limited type of divorce brought in that guaranteed the first wife a third of the estate, the children a third of the estate and so a second divorce and remarriage was not possible.

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AustinRhea May 21, 2013 at 6:28 am

If I remember correctly a 50/50 is where a name at the party is drawn and that person gets 50% of the “take”. The “winner” is expected to “donate” the money back to the stag/doe. But I might be mistaken. It has been a LONG time since I was even invited to one.

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Fiona May 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

A 50/50 is a lottery used to raise money. I’ve occasionally seen them at parties raising money for charity. Guests buy one or more tickets, and the money paid for the tickets is pooled into a large “pot”. At the end of the evening one winning ticket is randomly selected. The winner keeps 50% of the pot, and the charity gets the other 50%.

Hope that explains it. But I’ve never heard of the winner being expected to surrender their winnings. The venue (or charity) already gets the first 50%, isn’t that enough?

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Another sarah May 20, 2013 at 7:17 am

Sorry I’m confused? Are these in addition to normal bachelor/bachelorette (stag/hen in the UK) parties or instead of?

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AustinRhea May 21, 2013 at 6:19 am

The Stag/Doe parties in the US are usually in addition to a bachelor/bachelorette party.

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