Real Life MMD: Is it okay to send late wedding invites?

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  • AlisonMC wrote: »
    Thanks to everyone who commented (well, most of you anyway...!) and don't worry, I wasn't going to actually use the phrase I used in the question and will be VERY tactful.
    I think honesty is the best policy- timing will be an issue because the main reason some of the guests may pull out is because they're very frail and elderly and although they want to come, until a few days before the event, they won't know whether they'll be well enough.
    Thanks for all the ideas about the lovely ways to phrase it and for the good wishes. :T

    In that case why not put a couple of your mates "on standby" speak to them now, say that you really wanted to invite them but numbers were tight and you had to invite the family. Say great auntie so and so has said she's coming but realistically you don't think her health will allow, and you are really gutted that she might cancel at the last minute leaving you with spare places that could have been taken by your actual friends. Then say to them, you know we really wanted you to be there, but disn't have spaces, if I do have a cancellation I would really love it if you could come to the whole day.

    That way hopefully if it is short notice they will be reasonably prepared and won't have other plans.
  • Back to the topic... we are currently collecting in RSVPs for our wedding and a few of our close friends and family are really quite ill at the moment. I am saying to them not to worry if they can't make the wedding, as we can cancel their meals with 3 days' notice or upgrade people from the evening reception to the day.

    I think upgrading evening guests or inviting people last minute is such standard practice now - we have been upgraded twice in the past two years, and both times we have been absolutely delighted.
  • This is a very delicate matter. No matter how diplomatic you are the 'replacement' guest will feel second-best. My son and daughter-in-law did this and whilst I understood that they only wanted people that they knew and could not afford to widen the guest list, the result was that I (mother of the groom) was the only person from my family there. My relatives being fairly ancient and/or scattered. My ex-husband's family were well-represented. So it was an already potentially sensitive situation. Fortunately my daughter-in-law's family were very welcoming, but it did not stop me from feeling very alone. If some of my family, who were invited late and declined citing too short notice, etc., had been there it would have an opportunity for broken links to have been repaired. I have spent the last few years trying to undo the hurt and hopefully am succeeding. Think very carefully, how you behave now could affect you and yours for a long time to come!
  • Perfectly acceptable surely? However, I would try to speak to the 'additions' and fully explain the circumstances and the necessity of their original exclusion. If they have have trouble accepting that they don't deserve to be invited anyway.
  • motoko
    motoko Posts: 81 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I don't see why not, after its got to be better than not inviting them at all, both for them (as they get to go to you wedding) and for you (as your money isn't wasted).

    However, I think I'd tell a little white lie, and say you weren't sure of your budget and how many people you could afford to invite, but have now decided to invite a few extra. That way it doesn't sound like they are second choice to someone else that couldn't come.
  • Hi,

    We had some people pull out of our wedding breakfast, so had to bump people from the Evening to the day. We phoned and emailed them and described it as an "exclusive upgrade".

    Hope you have a fabulous day.
  • dave2
    dave2 Posts: 264 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 27 January 2011 at 8:57PM
    BTW try putting email address option on the RSVP slip, friend did that and the bride's parents were getting into nice email conversations, plus quite a few people sent thank-yous.

    I wouldn't hesitate to send invites for replacements. It may be better phoning so you can exclaim how glad you are that you can invite them after all, though personally I can't imagine any of my friends/family who would be offended at an "upgrade".
    I personally find the way weddings in the UK conducted are strange. In Australia you invite the ones you want to the wedding, there is not a separate list, you come to the whole wedding, and you sorry you are just not good enough for the wedding so please just come to the evening so there is no chance of an upgrade! (the cheek!). Either you want people at your wedding, the full day or not, that's the way I see it. If you can't afford it that's fine, do the people who go to the evening also have to buy a present?

    I have yet to be invited to an evening part of the reception, if i was I personally wouldn't go, I wouldn't be offended, but if i am not considered close enough for the whole day - then why bother with an evening, wouldn't really get to speak to the bride and groom anyway!

    Now, when i get married - it will be just me and my partner on a beach somewhere and we will have a party to celebrate on our return. My family is just too big and weddings are just too expensive!!
    You seem to have more or less answered your own question, though I think you should reconsider the meaning of the day and realise it is an honour to be invited to any part of it.
  • GreyQueen
    GreyQueen Posts: 13,008 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    :) I'd think it would be fine, but the wording would have to be sensitive. You wouldn't want to give the subtext of "Hey, you were B List guests and didn't make the first cut, but now some A List guests have let us down, d'you want to come anyway?" ;) Still, if your friends are your friends, they should be happy to celebrate your big day with you, assuming you haven't left it too late and they've committed to something else.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)
  • We were in exactly the same position as yourselves when we got married.
    We knew there were going to be 10/20 people we were sending invites to who were def not going to make it so we set up a 'reserve list' of people we wanted to invite if the others couldn't come.
    The way we worked it was we sent out all our invites as normal, luckily for us the people who couldn't make it responded pretty quicky (this nearly always happens as people who can come take longer to reply than those who can't!!)
    As and when each 'no' came in we sent an invite to a person / couple on our reserve list.
    We covered ourselves by phoning that said person and saying 'so did you get our invite yet, what did you think of it?'
    If they said they hadn't received it, we said 'oh don't tell me that, there's been so many of our guests have said they haven't got theirs yet and we sent them all together!'
    It makes it look like it's Royal Mails fault as opposed to yours, and then lo and behold their invite arrives in the next few days!!
    Hope this helps!
  • I am amazed by the number of replies that assume that there is an "evening list" and an "all day list". This is not mentioned in the original post! I would think that an invitation is to the wedding and the reception. If I were to be invited for the evening only, I would wonder why I was not good enough to witness the ceremony. Perhaps this is the problem for most people: a wedding is an excus for a good party, not an important ceremony. Invite as many guests to the ceremony as you wish, but then limit the reception. Of course if one doesn't have the evening session, one is in a position to intive more to the reception if space allows.

    For those who have two lists: cut out the second list and have alarger first list.

    As the Australian person says, it produces second class citizens.
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