Thursday, April 2, 2009


My four sisters and I, (the Frau being one) are planning a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents. Actually, my Dad has planned most of it because it is being held in Arizona and we are all in other states ( the Frau being in Germany.) 
It will be a Dinner Dance from 5-10pm.

So, the invites have gone out and we have begun to receive the RSVP's. We've asked that people RSVP by April 4th.  Almost all of the one hundred and thirty people are coming from the West.
Oh, and on a separate sheet we gave info regarding hotels, directions, and dress.
We also stated that this was an adults only event, otherwise the guest list could climb to one hundred and seventy-five and we didn't think it would be a true dinner dance. Let's put it this way, if we wanted a family get-together we would have had a big B-B-Q, during the day! 

Anyway, here is what has happened so far,
 Some of our cousins were "surprised" that children were not invited. This is surprising to me as whenever we visit Seattle not only are we NEVER invited to their homes, but their Mother and Father have never had us to their home, any of us.

My parent's neighbors said they were coming...along with two guests. 

A friend of my mother said she and her husband were coming...and MAY bring another guest, but wasn't  sure yet. 

We had one aunt questioning why certain people weren't invited and we had another asking if we were coordinating "the gift!"

Oh, and only half the people have bothered to respond to the invitation and Thursday is April 4th.

I know it is more casual and kick back out West, especially in Utah. At the Frau's wedding she had a sit down dinner wedding, ( which we always have out East) and she had to explain it to her guests because many people are use to big Mormon style receptions where you come when you want and have punch and a piece of cake. Still, she remembers people she didn't invite showing up because they heard she was getting married!

We are more formal in the East and etiquette is important. We wouldn't think of inviting guests to a formal affair we weren't hosting. And, we check the envelope of an invitation to see who it is addressed to, if it isn't to "the family of" we know that children are not included. 
We would never think of calling and suggesting people that should be invited...after the invites have been sent.

We would also realize that a Dinner Dance is expensive and that the five daughters are paying for it and want the best possible party for their parents without any hassle!
How's that for a rant!

I usually don't get too hung up on etiquette and don't consider myself rigid, but I have hosted many family events and parties in NJ and have never had this happen. Is this a West coast thing or a "Senior Citizen" faux pas? 


Frau said...

I hear what you are saying and I agree I think it is just bad manners because not all West coast people are like that. Could be a old people faux paus too. What is the solution to the non RSVP? Any ideas on how to handle that.

Pink Martini said...

I hear you! Manners are manner wherever the region. For our wedding we said no kids. One cousin would not come because if "I didn't want his daughter, I didn't want him". Another cousin, after getting the word, called up and asked me if her daughter could be the flower girl. I said no. She still brought her to the reception. My bro. is now going through this with his kid's wedding invites. At $100 a head, he has got to be selective. When there is a formal invitation list someone is bound to feel left out unless it's burgers on the grill. I feel your pain. Really, I do.

t.t. millers said...

WOW! Are people really that rude to say they are bringing friends along to an "invitation" party!! OMG! I was floored!! Never, Never, Never would I even consider such a thing! My response would be to call that person and tell her how much per person she should send you for those "extra" friends she wants to bring along!!!!

Ina J Offret said...

Oh wow Preppy this is TRULY an East-West situation. As a former Jersey girl now living in the Pacific NW and married to a lapsed Mormon (I am Catholic) I can totally relate to the clash you are experiencing!!!

Formality means NOTHING out this way. ADULTS ONLY mean NOT MUCH!! Guests WILL CALL and actually ARGUE with you about why their 3 and 4 years olds are excluded!! I know this from Amy and Craig's upcoming wedding.... it is a big pain in the ass when dealing with the kid-free issue.

Out here it is rather casual, I have discovered. The BBQ might have been a good plan, but stick to your guns!!!

We have lots to talk about when we get together in NJ PS I sent you an e mail....

Ronda said...

Wow, maybe the West coast is a little more laid back, but manners are manners. I'm from Kansas City, and my mom now lives in Arizona, and she raised all 4 of us with the up-most of manners! She was a real stickler. I appreciate that now, and hopefully, my kids do too.
What a mess. What are you going to do about the RSVP'S? I think I would start calling tonight.
I just don't know what to say about the people bringing their "own" guests! How close are you to them? Are they talkable?
Good luck, and I feel your pain too!

Mrs. K said...

what the hell is up with that? that infuriates me to the point that I'm thankful I don't have to throw parties for anyone but my daughter. I think however your sis is right- it may be an old people faux pas.

Reenie said...

It definitely is a bit of an old person faux pas too, in addition to an East West thing...we had a similar issue at Christmas time when we threw my grandpa a birthday party. And that was just a brunch at our house, but we had to say that people couldn't bring guests because the initial guest list (50 people, give or take) balooned to one hundred before anyone could blink.

preppyplayer said...

Frau- i think Karen and I will make some phonecalls on Sat.

Pink-Wow, you've been through this!

Tami-I agree, I think it's rude too.

Ina- oh yes. We will have tons to talk about! Got your email, will call next week.

Ronda, unfortunately we don't really know some of these people, although our cousins are being a pain too!

Mrs. You may be right.

Reenie- That's because your Grandpa is so popular!!!

OHN said...

Hell, we went through this 27 years ago when we got married. We plainly put "ADULT RECEPTION" and didn't address the envelopes to FAMILY of or whatever...The ones that bothered to RSVP (about 30%) were great. THen there were the ones that said "you should have known we would be here" as we were scambling to rearrange seating because, heaven only knows, people didn't want to sit where their placecards were...etc. etc.

I feel your pain.

Susan said...

Holy Cow...send them all the link to your blog...let them know how you REALLY feel... that will put them all in their place!

Somer Love said...

Phew good thing I RSVP'd :)

I can't wait!!!! See ya soon!

Oh and not RSVPing is a Utah thing for sure UGH!!! SO RUDE!

preppyplayer said...

Somer- don't worry... the mcneill/loves are off the hook!

Joyce said...

Oh I feel your pain. 18 yrs + when we got married the same thing happen. I even had G's aunt call me to say her one daughter was sad she wasn't in the wedding asking me if I could put her in (I already had her other daughter standing up). Here I thought I was being fair picking one person from each family. LOL...
No matter how many guest show up or don't the most important people will be there, that is your parents and their children and families.
This is a wonderful celebration. Try not to let those few rain on your parade. If you get anymore of those calls I would simply start clicking on the phone and say "I'm sorry I can't hear you, I think we have phone trouble I'll call you after the party".

I look forward to hearing more about the celebration. xoxo

Paula Fowler said...

Wow-this is bad! RUDE! I'm not so sure about the senior citizen thing. My parents are still sticklers when it comes to etiquette(mom is 86 and dad 90). Interesting about the regional thing. Best part is Ina said "ass"!
Good luck!

preppyplayer said...

OHN- I guess this has gone on forever...

Susan- Not that brave!

Joyce- all good points!

preppyplayer said...

Paula- TOO FUNNY!!! I didn't realize INa's little p in the a reference, love it!