April 26, 2010

Modern Manners Monday: What Would YOU Do?

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Another one from the TBS Mail Bag:

Dear TBS:

I was recently married. We invited our next door neighbors to our wedding; they RSVPed that they'd come. They did not show.  We continue to pass each other uncomfortably in the commons area of our building. Quite frankly, we are hurt that they did not a) show up, b) send regrets or c) send a gift. 

How do we get over this hurdle?

Bonus question: If you've RSVPed to a wedding but do not show up, must you still send a gift?

What would YOU do?


  1. I would get new friends. The world is full of people. Find some with manners. Living next door to these people will make it a little tricky so just start wearing your iPod earphones all the time (even when it's not on) so you'll be able to easily ignore them. After a while you'll both fade from each others' spheres.

  2. Yeah, this is rude. When people RSVP that they are coming to a wedding and then do not show, they end up wasting your money. A lot of times a wedding meal can be $75 per plate or more. Aside from that they should have at least sent a card or made a personal visit to explain their absence. If they do not care enough to explain why they decided not to show then they do not deserve to be your friend.

  3. Yes, it was rude of your friends not to attend after RVSPing in the affirmative. However, take the high road and be the bigger person. Treat them as though nothing has happened and, I'll bet you, that eventually they'll explain why they were not at your wedding.

    Bonus question: I do not believe an invitation *requires* a gift. The decision to send a gift depends on the depth of your connection with the honorees. No one should feel obligated to send a gift for any occasion. Sometimes a card will suffice for acknowledgement.

  4. Tiffany In HoustonApril 26, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    At this point your neighbors are either clueless and gauche or incredibly embarassed. I would try to remain friendly and engage them. If they don't return your friendliness in kind, then you have your answer. They were never your friends to begin with. I am currently planning a wedding, so please know I feel your pain.

  5. Personally, if it were me, I would first work at getting over the thoughts that's coming to my mind about being hurt. Why allow yourself to fuel those negative hurtful emotions. Because without a discussion, one never knows what occurred as to why they didn't attend. It's obvious something happened. Also, why continually pass each other in avoidance of the subject. That's ridiculous, in my opinion. What I would do immediately is look for the opportunity to see the female neighbor alone or if you have her telephone number, call her. Just briefly tell her what a wonderful time everyone had and how they were truly missed. That's it and all. If she's comfortable to discuss what happened, she will do so. If not...moving on!

    Bonus question: If I had RSVP'd and did not attend, I would definitely provide a gift from their registry. If the registry gift list has been fulfilled, I would prepare something special for them. Like take them out to dinner at a very nice restaurant, or a play and dinner.

  6. If it were me it wouldn't make me no nevermind. I would just know that they have no manners and probably not invite them to anything ever again.

    If I rsvp'd and didn't attend, first of all it would have to be a life or death situation for me to to attempt to notify someone about why I couldn't attend. And I think you should definitely send a gift.

  7. Until I received some type of acknowledgment from them, they would not make my future guest lists. Avoidance will not make me forget, but an acknowledgment and apology will...

  8. I think that if it really bothers you then you should go and speak to her. Play it off as if you are making sure that everything was ok with her and her family. You never know, something really could have came up and she doesn't know how to tell you. You are going to have to see her so you need to just clear the air before it turns into more of a problem.

    Regarding the gift- Don't get caught up on that. She has a year after your wedding to give you a gift anyways.


  9. Approach her with sincere concern to find out if everything is ok - something must have happened to make them miss the wedding. If you are satisfied with the response, get over it. If not, it is an indication you should be neighbors and not friends.

    As for the bonus question, I was taught that if you get invited, you should send a gift. Perhaps there is no "obligation," but if you are close enough to the couple to get invited to the wedding, presumably you are happy for them and want to give them a gift.

    I am not sure where the 1 year rule came from (either for giving a gift or for writing a thank you note).

  10. It's definitely rude and tacky to say you'll be there and then not show - with no explanation at all. As someone else mentioned, it wastes your money since wedding meals are often absurdly expensive (not that that's the only consideration).

    As for the gift - it's absolutely never necessary to give a gift, whether you attend or not. It's tacky to expect gifts. Yes, most invited guests will bring a gift, but it should never be expected. They are your *guests*, an invitation requests their presence, not their presents.

  11. Congratulations and best wishes on your recent wedding. As most of us know planning a wedding, or any other event, requires a response from invited guests to help plan for so many budgeted elements, including food.

    Sadly, in this day and time not everyone is taught these small, but very important, courtesies. We live in a time of 'whatever, it's not working for me,' with little regard for inconveniencing others. Then there are people who have not a clue. Just be glad that you had a lovely ceremony and were surrounded by loved ones. But if you were mainly concerned for the gift, let it go. Folks are still in a recession. Think only on the good things.

  12. How close is your friendship? What effect did their absence have on your wedding celebration? You never know what's going on with people and holding a grudge solves nothing. The next time I saw them, I'd let them know they were missed and offer to share the wedding photos with them.

  13. Hmmm,I would be even more hurt if they just didn't say anything all together. But after a few passes where I see they aren't going to speak on it, I might begin the conversation with something like "Oh, sorry you couldn't make the wedding,we noticed your absence", and they gauge how I treat any of (if any)their future invites from the response. Because a wedding RSVP means a plate was paid for!!

    Bonus:If I was invited and accepted the invitation I would DEFINITELY send a gift.

  14. Did they get the date wrong? I think I would just have to move.
    Oh how horrible. Rachel at Heart of Light posted on wedding guest etiquette.
    How rude - but there must be some reason why?

  15. To get over this hurdle...forgive! It's not to discount your disappointment of not receiving an explanation from your neighbors. Because it's understandable that you both wanted them to share in the celebration of your union, yet someone definitely needs to communicate and discontinue passing each other and not saying a word about the matter. Why not be the first to initiate this discourse since obviously they will not? If it's only stating that we didn't see you there, did something happen? How you both resolve the matter with in yourselves about your relationship with them going forward is dependent upon the answer you receive. You already know 'now' that communication is not #1 on their priority list when it comes to your household, so why not continue to greet them pleasantly when passing each other in the common area of your building and fellowship with other people.

  16. I'd simply ask them were we really going to tip over this for the rest of the time we were neighbors or were we going to get it out and over with?

    It's not about the gift to me...it's about the RSVP. A couple goes over their wedding guest list several times considering cost and if you made the list...someone else didn't and I STILL have to pay. Simple.

    As far as the bonus question? Only an emergency would hinder my attending a wedding I sent in an RSVP saying I would attend. I would have reached out as soon as possible to let them know the emergency and a LOVELY gift would accompany a card expressing my immense regrets.

    My mother would whup my behind and she's deceased. Yup...she'd come BACK from beyond to deal with me. LOL!

  17. It depends on why you invited them... Were you really "friends" or did you invite them out of kindness or to be courteous. Sounds to me that it was an invitation that could have been better used on "loved ones". They in-turn felt a sense of obligation to accept and then realized that you all weren't really "that close." Then as someone said earlier - probably felt embarrassed. Let it ride, be as cordial as you always have been and save future invites for special people in your life. It's too late now, but you could have said "missed you at our wedding" to take the pressure off.

  18. Are they simply neighbors or close friends? This is the question. It seems they are only neighbors and might have been just RSVPing just to be RSVPing and didn't have any real intentions on attending in the first place. Let it go. You have bigger fish to fry than to worry about someone that RSVPed to your wedding, they no-showed, and didn't give you a gift??? Speak to them and move on.

  19. I think you just get past it by saying "gosh we missed you at the wedding". Let them explain or not explain. Let them give a gift or not. What they did wasn't polite or kind, but it's sad to lose friends or alienate good neighbors over what may have been a misunderstanding or a bad day. Maybe they even forgot, if you're not that close.


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