Etiquette..The Return!

  1. I suppose it had to happen.. last week we had a letter inviting us to a wedding. Normally a cause of good cheer, but not on this occasion. Try as we may, neither my wife or myself have a clue as to who they are!
    The invitation tells us the first names of the happy couple, where the ceremony and the following reception are, and a reply address, but none of it helps jog our failing memories! The question is, do we go, or not?
    We'd hate to miss a happy time with our friends, especially as it may offend, but the invitation may have somehow been sent to us in error, and we don't want to intrude on strangers. Sitting through an event as "that bemused couple that nobody's quite sure who they are" does not appeal. On the other hand, if we write to confirm who they are, then we risk mortally offending some longtime friends whose offspring's name escapes us!
    A third complicating possibility occurs to me. Included with the invitation is a wedding present list. Perhaps this is a scam to extract presents from befuddled baby boomers, who will post off a present to expunge their guilt, to bypass the need to attend. Can anyone advise on the proper etiqutte in this situation?
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    How unusual! I have never had this happen to me.

    Maybe you could just send a nice card with your regrets?
  4. by   Jrnalist2RNinOR
    I think if you dont know who they are they will likely not be too offended if you did not show - even if they are family ...

    if you havent seen them in so long that you dont know who they are then, well...I would politely reply that you cannot attend

    as for the gift list with the invitation I thought that was considered poor ettiquette in itself - however, times are a-changin and I know that I am not Miss Manners myself by any means :chuckle
  5. by   canoehead
    Send them and etiquette book for weddings, nicely gift wrapped, with your regrets.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    My dearest friend was born in Britain and I find her so charming in her etiquette and manner! We Americans can learn a few things from our polite neighbors 'cross the pond.'

    I also find it distasteful to get invitations from near strangers with very specific gift requests and instructions...seems a bit rude to me but I notice more and more are doing this type thing today. 'Gift seeking behavior'.

    Capitalizing off our collective boomer guilt...they may be doing just that...LOL!!
  7. by   aimeee
    If they are including a wedding present list with their invitation I don't think you need to be worried about being the ones to do anything rude! If you don't know them well enough to recognize their first names, I would say you don't know them well enough to be obligated to attend, or give a gift! Send a card and your regrets!
  8. by   jemb
    If you haven't destroyed the envelope, put it back in, tape it closed, draw a line through your address and write "addressee unknown". Put it back in the mail and forget about it.

    If it is obvious that you've opened the envelope, you can add "opened in error" to "addressee unknown".

    If it's someone you know and they happen to have your phone # or email addy, they may contact you and the mystery will be solved. You can then say that you never received the invitation, and blame it on the postal system delivering it to the wrong address.

    At any rate, no one will get their feelings hurt, and you won't end up at a wedding where no one knows you any better than you know them.
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    Like Jemb's idea best of all!
  10. by   meownsmile
    I think i polite congratulations along with regrets you arent able to attend should be enough. As far as the gift list,, well file that under C for crude along with yesterday's trash. Frankly, im a bit scepticle of sending or giving much for a gift when i do know the couple. How many do you know that are still even together within 5 years anymore. I made the mistake of giving a nice gift one time, only to have the couple divorce after a year. Sorry, but i wanted to ask for it back. It wasnt like i had the extra to be spending anyway. I know some have very different feelings about this stuff but thats just my feelings on it.
    Maybe there should be a new trend started. Gifting after the 5 year anniversary instead.
  11. by   bagladyrn
    I'd suggest starting out by checking with your parents or in-laws to see if they know who these people are - might be some sort of second cousin, or the former neighbor's kid or some such. Then if you find a connection you can figure out where to go from there.
  12. by   iliel
    Strange.... Wedding planners will normally not allow a invite to go out without the last name of the bride and groom. Believe me, they're strict!!!! Plus, they also shouldn't let you place registry lists in the invite. If you don't know them, then I would send your regards. If you find out later that you do know who these two are, then you have up to one year to buy a gift for the happy couple. Don't buy one now and don't accept the invite, they may even be counting on you not coming.
    Iliel....who is neck deep in wedding etiquette crap!