Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Missing Wedding Invitations

Every week, Danny M. Lavery and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: the missing wedding invitations.

Nicole Cliffe: RUDENESS

Daniel Lavery: I would probably ultimately come down on your boyfriend’s side here, because what’s done is done, the weddings are over, you can (I think) safely assume these couples seemed tense because they felt guilty for blithely inviting people verbally and then sitting down, drawing up a budget, and blanching

they clearly still like you and want to hang out, it’s not a sign they don’t want you around

it’s thoughtless but at least in terms of your relationship with the couples whose weddings are already over, it’s not like they’re likely to do the same thing again next year

so I’d probably say leave it alone with them but give yourself permission to say something if someone invites you verbally in the future and then four months go by with no invitation?

Nicole Cliffe: The last one I would let it go. The first one I would have said something.

(Not now.)

Daniel Lavery: right

Nicole Cliffe: And I agree that in future you need to follow up promptly before making arrangements.

Daniel Lavery: not that you were like, chumps for buying tickets after hearing an invitation

Nicole Cliffe: TOTALLY. That was super rude.

Daniel Lavery: just that in the future you can make sure to have the invitation in hand before you buy tickets

SUPER rude!

Nicole Cliffe: Like … a DESTINATION WEDDING.

Daniel Lavery: honestly, with that friend, I would maybe even say something now!

you bought TICKETS on the strength of that invitation! they seriously inconvenienced you

Nicole Cliffe: If I had a time machine, when I saw the invite on someone else’s fridge and had been verbally invited, I would email and say “tickets in hand! I haven’t gotten the paper invite, anything on it we should know for registry info, etc?”

Just stone cold make them say no.

Daniel Lavery: right

Nicole Cliffe: That’s NONSENSE.

Daniel Lavery: and like, there’s a CHANCE it was a mistake?

Nicole Cliffe: Right!!

Daniel Lavery: we did hear from 2-3 people who we had sent invites to that they never arrived

and we would never have known if they didn’t say anything

Nicole Cliffe: and they probably felt awkward asking! but if you were verbally invited, they need to freaking honor it

Daniel Lavery: or at the least tell you why things have changed


yes. but honestly if you have bought tickets they have to invite you.

or say “I’m SO sorry, things changed, can I please help reimburse you some of your sunk costs?”

but like … it’s so wild to me that you didn’t say something when you saw the paper invite on the fridge, having bought tickets

by the latter situation, obviously you were like “okay people just say things they do not mean” and getting over that is fine

But I am a pretty passive person and I would absolutely have asked if my invite got lost in Scenario 1

and would mention I’m excited and HAVE BOUGHT TICKETS TO THE AMALFI COAST or wherever

Daniel Lavery: yes

Nicole Cliffe: I think there would be so much more awkwardness not saying something.

Daniel Lavery: yeah that was a real missed opportunity

Nicole Cliffe: Just continuing to hang out, having quietly eaten the cost, irritated.

But the past is the past!

Let us now warn the people: if you get a verbal invite, follow up.

I would feel like GARBAGE if I were the bride and this person’s invite got lost/forgotten

And would want to apologize even now, but I think it’s too late by far to bring it up.

Daniel Lavery: I think if they’re people you see often and plan on staying close with in the future

you could consider saying something about how you wished they’d let you know when things changed and they could no longer invite you

Nicole Cliffe: It’s not out of the question.

Daniel Lavery: but I also know that would be an uncomfortable conversation and there’s not much they could do about it now

Nicole Cliffe: If you are simmering

Daniel Lavery: but sometimes it just helps to hear “I’m really sorry” even if they can’t do more than that

Nicole Cliffe: or just feel weird whenever you hang out

Daniel Lavery: let this be a reminder to everyone who is getting married

use written save-the-dates!

Nicole Cliffe: don’t do it on the first anniversary of the wedding they did not invite you to


Daniel Lavery: and write down everyone who gets a save-the-date!

even if you want to save paper and do it electronically

Nicole Cliffe: absolutely

Daniel Lavery: keep a written record!

Nicole Cliffe: EXCEL THAT

I gotta go put Loretta to bed!

Daniel Lavery: this is why the mesopotamians invented cuneiform to remember how much grain they had from year to year!

ok bye!