DEAR MISS MANNERS: When two dear friends of mine were married, I did not receive an invitation. I assumed (correctly) that they were having a small, intimate wedding. I was in no way offended; quite the contrary, I was very happy for them.
After their ceremony, they posted photos on Facebook to share their good tidings. It was clear that the wedding party was very small, the only others present besides the couple being their pastor; the judge, who is also a friend of theirs; the wedding singer, also an old friend; and three relatives who were the adult children of each of them, and one offspring’s spouse.
I was therefore appalled that on one of the photos, not one but two people had remarked, “Gee, I didn’t get an invitation.”
Really? The couple gracefully apologized to these rude individuals and explained kindly the makeup of the wedding party and their reasons, even though they did not have to.
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I could not imagine that anyone would have the gall to complain, or to make any comment whatsoever on being invited or not to a wedding! And on Facebook, broadcasting one’s rudeness to all: how tacky.
Am I being overly sensitive to this? Could the individuals have been joking? I don’t know them, so perhaps they were just trying to be funny.
GENTLE READER: If everyone would just cease broadcasting their business full stop, Miss Manners would have a lot more time to enjoy her tea with actual friends instead of hearing about the rest of the world’s virtual ones.
While it was gracious of you not to be offended, there is a rule against discussing parties with people who are or were not invited.
If the wedding couple had merely supplemented their announcement with a wedding portrait, those comments would be unwarranted (and unfunny). They are still rude even if written in reaction to festive pictures of the occasion, but the couple in some part brought it on themselves.
Thanks to one and all
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My future mother-in-law sends thoughtful gifts to my boyfriend and me for most occasions: birthdays, holidays, even Valentine’s Day. The cards accompanying these gifts are always signed (by her) with both her and her husband’s names.
I know that her husband is oblivious to these tokens and doesn’t do gifts. In my thank-you notes, I have always addressed both of them, even though I know that he didn’t contribute or care at all. Should I continue addressing both parties?
GENTLE READER: Surely you do not want to challenge your future in-laws about who is paying for what and expressing which sentiments.
While Miss Manners has long maintained that two people cannot write a letter (your mother-in-law could have written, “Herbert joins me in wishing you a Happy Arbor Day”), the reverse is not also true: you can address one to multiple people. So thanking both of your future in-laws is not only generous and good protocol; it is also correct.
Judith Martin writes the Miss Manners column with help from her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, and her daughter, Jacobina Martin. Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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