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Wedding Etiquette

I got invited to my first cousin's wedding today. As children we never got along and now our parents aren't really getting along. I haven't seen him in 6-7 years, although he knows I'm gay.

I'm 30 and the only single first cousin (there are about 10 of us) and I wasn't invited with a guest. I don't think he knows if I am dating someone (I am not) and I'm not sure if I should read it as "don't bring a guy" or "since you're single, you don't need a guest." It is black tie and in an Orlando suburb.


by Anonymousreply 6207/02/2013

I think it's rude to invite a single person to a wedding without offering a plus one.

Don't go.

by Anonymousreply 107/01/2013

Orlando? Is it at Disney World?

by Anonymousreply 207/01/2013

It should always be plus one.

by Anonymousreply 307/01/2013

More news is that all of the children of my first cousin's were invited (they are all under 6), so I'm feeling more and more like this is a gay thing.

by Anonymousreply 407/01/2013

OP, The hosts have sent an invitation. You either accept or send your regrets. Since the most important thing for you is to look for a slight, send you regrets. You clearly do not care about the wedding couple at all.

by Anonymousreply 507/01/2013

Sorry, send "your" regrets.

by Anonymousreply 607/01/2013

Go if you want. Don't if you don't. Ponder something that matters.

by Anonymousreply 707/01/2013

Go to EPCOT instead and ride Soarin a dozen times.

by Anonymousreply 807/01/2013

Bring a date anyway.

by Anonymousreply 907/02/2013

[quote]As children we never got along and now our parents aren't really getting along.

[quote]I wasn't invited with a guest.

[quote]It is black tie and in an Orlando suburb.

How many grade-AAA reasons do you need for not going? I can't believe you're contemplating attending. It will be beyond tacky and SCREAMS "This will be hell."

by Anonymousreply 1007/02/2013

r10 nails it.

And even worse: it's in a non-marriage equality state, so they're celebrating a right others don't have. Skip it.

by Anonymousreply 1107/02/2013

Suburban Orlando? For this reason alone.

by Anonymousreply 1207/02/2013

Is it in Winter Park? It's where I grew up and it's lovely there.

However, seems to me you need permission to send your regrets. At some point in life we stop feeling guilty about not subjecting ourselves to invites from those we really don't want to associate with any longer.

Remember that when making the list the bride probably has more to say about who is included and who can bring a guest.

Unless there are other reasons why you might want to attend, such as seeing other relatives you'd like to reconnect or keep in touch with or just because you do feel part of the family, then you have society's permission to send regrets.

If you do go there are some lovely neighborhoods that gays are very responsible for rehabbing and upping the property values - College Park area in Orlando for instance. The Orlando area is surprising not as homophobic as you would think. As is typical in American history, once the economic value of a minority gets established then they also get accepted though obviously prejudices can remain.

by Anonymousreply 1307/02/2013

A lot of people have a standing rule about plus-ones. If you aren't married or engaged, you don't get to bring a date. If you need to limit your guest list, often it comes down to inviting a good friend, or your second cousin's latest fling. Establishing such a rule makes it cut and dried.

by Anonymousreply 1407/02/2013

Should OP send a gift anyway?

by Anonymousreply 1507/02/2013

R11 Dear lord, really?

by Anonymousreply 1607/02/2013

Yes, R14, but a single blood relative should always get a "and guest" invitation. It's simply good manners and respect toward family. That said, I can't imagine anything as dull as attending a wedding as the "and guest".

This is clearly a case of "...but he's my cousin so I have to invite him, and at least we'll get a gift out of him"

If he doesn't like you, she sure as hell won't. Why punish yourself? Send your regrets and your congratulations, but don't waste your time.

by Anonymousreply 1707/02/2013

"Establishing such a rule makes it cut and dried."

Indeed. With sensible people declining to attend.

Inviting people to arrive somewhere alone is incredibly rude, and delimiting it by 'engagement and marriage' is stigmatizing to people who aren't married, and it's even discriminatory, ie in a state where it's prohibited by law for gays to marry.

Under what circumstances would you ever accept an invitation to a social occasion that basically says "Come alone"?? Shady. I don't think I ever would.

Skip. it.

by Anonymousreply 1807/02/2013

Yes, r16. Really.

I suppose some people don't mind being the Uncle Tom sitting there (alone! because they're not welcome to bring a date!) watching straight people celebrating rights that are being denied to them, but I find it offensive and would skip it. To each their own.

by Anonymousreply 1907/02/2013

[quote]Yes, [R14], but a single blood relative should always get a "and guest" invitation. It's simply good manners and respect toward family.

Absolutely, untrue. Please do not make up rules of etiquette to suit your prejudices.

by Anonymousreply 2007/02/2013

Why in the world would you go? Do you even want to? You don't like him. Why bother.

by Anonymousreply 2107/02/2013

Ah, ok R20, inviting a single blood relative "and guest" is neither good manners nor respectful.

Ok. Have it your way, as you always must.

by Anonymousreply 2207/02/2013

Send your regrets. Send a small token gift from the registry.

Tell anyone who asks that you had a prior commitment that couldn't be changed. Never deviate from this story, even when pressed - and you will be.

While self-righteous indignation and drama may be your goal, it's your cousin's wedding and he can do what he wants, invite whom he wants, and hold it where he wants - up to and including slighting any family member he wants.

You are entitled to nothing. Most likely as a common courtesy, as a first cousin, you were invited - not because you are close to this cousin or mattered in any way to his happiness or well-being.

You seem to be under the misguided idea that your obligation invitation entitled you to more. You were an obligation invitation only and the narcissistic idea that the extension of that courtesy was insufficient and entitled you to more - that it's the cousin being rude by not allowing you to bring a guest is ludicrous.

You presumably know many of the people at the wedding, being - you know - related to many of them. You may not like them, but it's not like you'd be sitting there without knowing anyone.

Their wedding is not for your personal entertainment, but to celebrate their wedding with them. If you cannot celebrate with them, then don't go.


by Anonymousreply 2307/02/2013

[quote]Ah, ok [R20], inviting a single blood relative "and guest" is neither good manners nor respectful.

R22 believes all birds are penguins.

by Anonymousreply 2407/02/2013

I'm single straight female and get this all the time.

After being seated regularly at a children's/widow's table rather than a more interesting, peer/family/friends table, I now send regrets.

I have been told I'm being seated at that kind of table because I will help the older guests feel more comfortable. I'm not sure what the assignments are for the married couples.

Although admittedly, I hate weddings so the regrets are easy and quick.

by Anonymousreply 2507/02/2013

r23 highlights all the most egregious things about contemporary wedding culture. OP was invited in an incredibly rude way (to come alone) and because he's having second thoughts about going he's automatically colored as being "self-righteous" "dramatic" "narcissistic" and "entitled to nothing." (People are always entitled to decent treatment btw). Op never said he wanted to make a scene, he said he was having (very sensible) doubts about going.

But of course, in contemporary white trash culture, it's the bride's big day and she's extending the incredible, generous courtesy of inviting people who should be grateful to attend, even alone...


by Anonymousreply 2607/02/2013

Surely you must know that you were part of a larger obligatory invite. If it's not someone you would pick up the phone to catch up with, why on earth would you want to attend the weeding?

by Anonymousreply 2707/02/2013

R26, you clearly are an idiot with no sense of history or the slightest understanding of etiquette.

The notion that the Wedding was the brides big day is well over 100 years old. It is not a recent development, white trash or otherwise.

The OP was not included in an incredibly rude way. He was invited in a way that has been standard practice for decades if not also over 100 years.

OP's whining is no different than the parents that get their knickers in a knot because their children were not invited. Parent's have no reason to expect their children to be invited. Single people, unless engaged, have no reason to expect a "plus one". Yes, even heterosexual people have no right to expect a plus one. In fact, several etiquette books will say that if you have to write "plus one" rather than the persons name, the invitation should be to the one person.

by Anonymousreply 2807/02/2013

bring weed to the weeding

by Anonymousreply 2907/02/2013

Thank you R26. You are the voice of reason. I agree with you.

by Anonymousreply 3007/02/2013

If you go, you are a masochist, and need to look into that

by Anonymousreply 3107/02/2013

[quote] why on earth would you want to attend the wedding?

Because if I don't go, I will hear for the rest of my life from my Uncle that I ruined any chance of a relationship with his son. It will all be my fault. He's very manipulative. Also the groom's sister and I are closer, although I doubt she'd ever explicitly say anything about me not going.

I don't know. Lots of really great points here. Families suck.

by Anonymousreply 3207/02/2013

Send your regrets, saying that you have a prior engagement that cannot be broken. It's okay, they won't miss you, and they don't really want guests who want to be somewhere else so badly they're grinding their teeth in frustration.

Spend that weekend in Puerte Vallarta, with a gorgeous beach boy or two.

by Anonymousreply 3307/02/2013

r26 - I find it ironic that we agree on several points, but wholly disagree with your conclusions.

I concur that contemporary wedding culture is disgusting that the idea of the bride's big day is absurd. I also agree that all people are entitled to courtesy.

I also concede, after re-reading OP's post, that he is merely asking for thoughts and I interpreted his question as another dramatic queen-in-waiting to make a scene.

Where we differ is whether it's discourteous to invite someone without a +1, whether OP is entitled to more consideration. It's very open to interpretation whether OP was "invited in an incredibly rude way." I concluded that the initial courtesy was in getting an invitation at all and relegated the +1 complaint into the category of receiving a token gift, but complaining that it wasn't expensive enough.

Additionally, I never stated that OP should be grateful for having received an invitation at all. I merely pointed out that his invitation was probably an obligation invitation - he was invited purely because he IS a first cousin. Also, the point of the wedding is to celebrate with the couple, not entertain the guests.

by Anonymousreply 3407/02/2013

If families (namely yours) SUCK, then DON'T GO. Stop caring what they think

by Anonymousreply 3507/02/2013

[quote]standard practice for decades if not also over 100 years.

It is not standard practice among decent people to insist that others come to social occasions alone.

And although the idea that a wedding is a big day for the bride is certainly not new, the idea that 'the big day' entitles a bride to treat others with incredible rudeness--the idea that the guests should be grateful to the bride for the invitation, not the bride grateful to the guests for their attendance--is a recent, and indeed very trashy, development.

by Anonymousreply 3607/02/2013

[quote] Because if I don't go, I will hear for the rest of my life from my Uncle that I ruined any chance of a relationship with his son.

No. You might hear it for the rest of *his* life, but who cares?

by Anonymousreply 3707/02/2013

OP, ask yourself how much you care about this uncle and his son. Do you wish to have a relationship with them enough that you can put up with a day of being invalidated (not allowed to bring your faggy date, have to sit with the kids / old people)?

Or do they not matter so much? If you don't care about a relationship with the uncle / son, then you really shouldn't go. Why do it to yourself?

I had a similar thing. My dad was dying last year. He was a deadbeat dad who was never there for me. Never paid child support. Only contacted me once in a great while. And suddenly as he's dying of leukemia, there was all this familial pressure (from his side of the family who also ignored me my entire life) to spend $1000 to cross the country and visit him. I was perturbed. Finally realized that if they are upset with me, it's okay. I don't need them in my life, nor their approval. They don't have sway over me unless I allow them to. And if they judge me for not coming to my father's side after he neglected me, then... fuck 'em. I don't say that to them of course, but I also didn't visit him before he died.

by Anonymousreply 3807/02/2013

R32 / OP …. People are manipulative only when you allow them to manipulate you. Grow a pair.

by Anonymousreply 3907/02/2013

Don't send them a gift basket.

by Anonymousreply 4007/02/2013

Stop worrying about what other people - related or not - will say, think, feel. If you don't want to go, don't go.

I have not attended many weddings because the invitation omitted my partner, either directly or by not including "& guest". I feel that if they do not respect my relationship screw them.

I have even skipped wakes & funerals to avoid these same types. You are under no obligation to attend any event of any kind.

Send regrets and if you want to assuage your guilt, a small gift.

by Anonymousreply 4107/02/2013

[quote] they don't really want guests who want to be somewhere else so badly they're grinding their teeth in frustration.

Sure they do. As long as you bring a lovely, expensive present. Preferably cash. Your dental issues are not their problem.

by Anonymousreply 4207/02/2013

OP, I've been to at least two dozen weddings for family and friends over the past decade, and learned quite a few things along the way:

1. R20 is full of shit (and obviously doesn't know much about modern wedding planning). Particularly in this day and age of comparative austerity, the only guests who *must* be included as plus-ones are spouses and/or long-term partners of the bride and/or groom. Only *immediate* family -- meaning parents and siblings, not cousins -- get an exception if so desired. (Incidentally, many single guests - particularly women - don't WANT a plus-one invitation, because if they're single they'll be expected to drag a male friend along, and then spend all night dodging questions/comments like "when are you getting married, dear"? and "that biological clock of yours is ticking away!")

2. OP, this wedding is not about you. Period. Furthermore, unlike many of the queens on this thread, you shouldn't simply jump to conclusions as to why your invite didn't include a plus-one. Most likely it has nothing to do with your orientation and everything to do with the fact that you and the cousin getting married not only aren't close, but also actively dislike one another.

3. I agree, however, with the earlier comments about a black-tie wedding, in Orlando, in August. (I am assuming you received the invite a standard six weeks ahead of time.) Weather-wise that sounds like fucking torture, and I'd turn down the invite on that basis alone. Even more so, I'd avoid it because this type of over-the-top wedding spectacle can only be the product of a bona fide Bridezilla and her absurd notion of a "fairy-tale wedding," or, worse, an idea from her mother. Out of all the weddings I've attended, I've NEVER encountered anyone with the audacity to demand that their guests don true black-tie for a summer wedding in a hot/humid climate, even at several held by the trust-funded families of last names you'd recognize (e.g. Carnegie). Most men don't even own a tux, so they'll have to go out and rent one on top of all the other wedding expenses, and a lot of the women will have to go get something formal, too.

4. Not only is a future bride or groom under no obligation to offer a single person a plus-one, a one-of-10 cousin also has no obligation to attend the wedding, particularly if it involves a significant amount of travel. I've only been to *one* of my seven first cousins' weddings, in fact, and that was only because she lived less than two hours away. Frankly, you sound like more than a bit of a MARY! with these types of histrionics: "if I don't go, I will hear for the rest of my life from my Uncle that I ruined any chance of a relationship with his son. It will all be my fault." Bitch, PLEASE! Once again, IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU, and your uncle is FUCKING RETARDED if he thinks your attendance at the wedding will have any scintilla of an effect on your cousin's future marriage.

Do the sensible thing: send your regrets, and send the couple one of the cheaper items on their registry as a gift.

by Anonymousreply 4307/02/2013

R43, you must be a gem at those Carnegie shindigs.

Even Florida has air conditioning. In fact, Florida has more air conditioning than most places - even outdoors.

by Anonymousreply 4407/02/2013

R26 is right. OP is not alone, he'll be in a room with a whole bunch of relatives. He's not Barry from accounts who knows no one. The cousin is being very polite by inviting him despite the fact that they're not close and their parents are feuding. If OP doesn't want to go, he can just say he's RSVPed to another wedding, send a gift and a card saying he'll be sorry to miss it. Voila, problem solved.

by Anonymousreply 4507/02/2013

You weren't invited with a guest because you're not married, engaged, partnered or seriously dating someone. Don't be insulted and don't project some slight. This is how it is done.

If you were and you weren't invited with a guest then you would have a reason to be insulted.

by Anonymousreply 4607/02/2013

R44, *obviously* Florida has air-conditioning everywhere. That's besides the point. If it's a decent-size wedding, you can build up a considerable sweat just walking in from the parking lot if you have to park some distance away.

by Anonymousreply 4707/02/2013

I'm sure the guests would either have a driver to drop them off at the door or the venue would have valet.

by Anonymousreply 4807/02/2013

I think the idea that you should be able to bring a date to a wedding even when you are not in a relationship is silly. Receptions are expensive, and the bride and groom often have to make difficult choices about whom to invite and risk damaging their own friendships/family ties by excluding people. Why should they have to give up a spot to someone who is a stranger to them and basically a stranger to you?

by Anonymousreply 4907/02/2013

R43 I'm trying to make sense of your point 1: are you talking about some kind of polygamous marriage ? "Spouses and or long term partners of the bride and or groom" ?

If the bride and groom already have spouses, I don't think they should be marrying each other.

by Anonymousreply 5007/02/2013

"I think the idea that you should be able to bring a date to a wedding even when you are not in a relationship is silly. Receptions are expensive, and the bride and groom often have to make difficult choices about whom to invite and risk damaging their own friendships/family ties by excluding people. Why should they have to give up a spot to someone who is a stranger to them and basically a stranger to you?"

As far as I'm concerned, r49 nails it.

by Anonymousreply 5107/02/2013

Don't go. Duh.

by Anonymousreply 5207/02/2013

OP, Etiquette rules are that many are invited that aren't really expected to attend. Send your regrets and say that you don't have the time off from work.

by Anonymousreply 5307/02/2013

You're not close to the groom, families don't get on, and you're anticipating a lifetime of shade from this menacing uncle.

If he's 'manipulative' then it won't stop if you now dance to his tune. It's a very good time, I'd say, to draw a line. Send regrets, congratulations, and a middling, not lower end, gift. Enjoy the relief. I've been there, with no regrets.

by Anonymousreply 5407/02/2013

I'm little confused. You are invited to a black-tie wedding of a cousin you haven't seen in 6-7 years - on top of that your parents are no longer close to the groom's parents?

It sounds to me like you are on the "we have to invite him even though he probably won't come." list.

by Anonymousreply 5507/02/2013

What R55 said. This is SO not a wedding you need to go to.

by Anonymousreply 5607/02/2013

When I was single, I was never accorded an "and guest" invitation. I was considered an add-on to my parents. I have a huge extended family and this was the rule. Weddings are expensive. Half the guests are bride and half are groom. You can't invite everyone, so you invite who you want there and who should be there. "Who should be there = an aunt or uncle you haven't seen for a few years, but you've been invited to all his or her children's weddings and your parent absolutely insists. So, ok. I invite my mother's brother or my father's sister and I invite a single cousin without a guest.

Family comes first. I'm not inviting Cousin Mary's latest drunken, meth head bf -- whom I've never met before but who just might ruin my reception -- at the expense of another relative. My single cousins can sit with their parents, their siblings or their cousins.

If they are too insulted to come without a guest -- good. RSVP so I can invite a friend who otherwise wouldn't have made the list. Toodle-oo, and no -- do not send a gift if you're not coming.

by Anonymousreply 5707/02/2013

Remind me again why we wanted gay marriage. Weddings are fucking nightmares. Haven't been to one in 25 years and have missed nothing.

by Anonymousreply 5807/02/2013

We don't even do black tie weddings in the Hamptons. Especially in summer. It's too ridic.

This sounds made-up.

by Anonymousreply 5907/02/2013

Go, but without a date. Wear something inappropriate, e.g., pastel colored tuxedo, circa 1972.

Make repeated loud asides during both the ceremony and the reception about how you weren't allowed to bring your partner.

Get extremely drunk and cry. Vomit on the dance floor.

by Anonymousreply 6007/02/2013

R58, weddings done right are a joy, particularly if it's one in a group of mutual friends getting married and you're guaranteed to have a ball at the reception. Sorry you're such a sour-puss and, apparently, friendless.

OP, for the record, I've only taken a plus-one to two weddings when I was single (even in instances where the invite included an optional plus-one): my brother's, where I was the best man, and my father's remarriage. In the first case I took my best friend of 20 years, whom everyone in my family already knew; in the former case I took an ex with whom I remain good friends.

by Anonymousreply 6107/02/2013

AMEN R58 and LOL R60.

by Anonymousreply 6207/02/2013
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