Perception and reality can be two very different entities. One person’s desire to do good can be another’s insult. The evening slot at a wedding is one such example. Is it fair to invite people for the evening only, to turn up after the proceedings have taken place? I say not.
Your wedding day is just that, a day to celebrate your marriage to the person you love more than anything else. It is a day in which to bring your nearest and dearest along to wish you well and celebrate your love, it’s not an excuse to throw a party.
Better to be not be invited at all
To turn up hours later after everyone has seen the service, eaten their food and taken their pictures is pointless. Why would you put yourself through it? Walking past everyone to stand with all the others who have been relegated to the B list, smile and act as though you should be grateful for the gesture. Either invite people for the whole day or don’t invite them at all.
There are arguments to be put forward for those that the happy couple have just met but these are mute. If a work colleague is not good enough for a full day invite, then they are not your friend, you simply feel obliged to invite them. The colleague(s) will also, most likely not make an appearance for fear of awkwardness and so why would you put them through that?
It’s like being chosen last for the school football team. You feel small and unwanted, knowing that you have to try, despite knowing that you aren’t really wanted. So why do people do it? I have no idea why and in fact, in France, they do not believe in evening guests.
“In fact, when I mentioned the mere possibility to my French parents, they visibly recoiled, protesting that it was too much of a snub” (apparently evening guests aren’t a thing in France, who knew?!).
You and Your Wedding, Evening Guests — rude and unnecessary or a way to include everyone?
The shattering of perception
The reason for this entry is two-fold, firstly I am planning to marry my fiancée next year and secondly, I discovered that a friend has invited me to the evening slot of the wedding.
I have known the friend in question for more than twenty years and to be simply sent an evening invite is a shattering of perception. They are free to invite who they want (obviously) and so that is not the issue here, it is not a plea for an invite, it is a discussion point.
My perception of our friendship was that it was good but to be sent an evening only invite is to break that and create a new reality. This new reality is that he sees us as acquaintances, which hurts, to say the least. It’s not the evening invite per se but it’s the knowledge that I thought we were friends.
I now have the choice of turning up and walking past everyone I know or making alternative plans. Neither sounds like a great choice.
I have no real conclusion to the situation at present. I’m not going to speak to him about it, I know that as it is their wedding and it would be unfair to bring up. I hope that they have an amazing day and that their lives will be filled with happiness, but I cannot shake the feeling that my perception was off. I felt as though we were friends, not the best of friends, but friends still.
If we turn up at the evening reception, then it will be the second and last of my life. Evening receptions should be illegal as they are an insult. If you want a party, then throw a party and invite people accordingly, but if you are getting married, then invite people to your marriage.
There are very few things in life that are absolutes but my opinion on this. Evening guests are unfair. You either like them enough to bring them along for the day or you were never that close. If this was a Black Mirror episode then you would have scenes of humans with friendship ratings on their heads. This would be useful as then you wouldn’t spend years with misaligned perceptions.
For our wedding next year, we have no evening guests, all those who are invited have been so because we care about them. If there was any justice in the world then the simple option for an evening ceremony would be eliminated. They are unfair.
You would not let your child attend the second part of a birthday party and so why do you think its fair to invite people to your wedding after the event? It’s something that I feel passionate about and to make the trip down to the venue, to spend money on transport, to then be turned away feels wrong. It feels like going to a music concert and arriving after all the headline acts have played.