Invitation Separation: What to do About Inviting a Guest Who Could Cause a Problem

Q: I am the maid of honor at my little sister’s wedding – a very low-key, low budget affair. Our Mom & Dad are paying for “some” of her wedding and have added people to her list that are family friends. While I understand, this is customary, they also want to invite a peer who is not friends with anyone and – actually – is disliked by some in the wedding party. Is it correct that anyone that my parents invite should be ok with the bride and groom?

A: The basic guideline is that invitations are divided into thirds – one-third for the bride’s parents, one-third for the groom’s parents, and one-third for the bride and groom. If one “group” doesn’t need all its invitations, they get divided between the other two groups.  It is presumed that those invited are people who are meaningful in the lives of those on whose list they appear. If there is a conflict, however, there is nothing wrong with, as in this case, your sister talking to your parents about the perceived problem with the person on their list who is troublesome to others. Hopefully, clear communication can help them reach accord. Particularly if this person presents a problem for your sister, your parents should take her concerns seriously.

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Monumental Mortification: How to Handle Accidentally Passing Gas

Q: I know it sounds silly, but sometimes when I’m laughing, I accidentally pass gas. I’m so embarrassed, but I’m not sure how to handle the situation!

A: Simply apologize and move on. This is something that can happen to anyone and should not be a cause for further merriment or discussion, as much as it can seem embarrassing and requiring comment. Just say “Oops, sorry . . .. and continue the conversation. The less you make of it the less other will, as well.

Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

Partial Presence: Is it Rude to Attend Only Part of a Wedding?

Q: We have been invited to a black tie wedding that is several hours away. The church is at least an hour’s drive from the reception and is scheduled to begin four hours after the wedding service. We were planning on staying at a hotel near the reception location, but conflicts with our children’s activities the following day requires that we return immediately after the reception. Would it be considered rude if we did not attend the wedding service and went directly to the reception?’

A: A wedding is all about the ceremony, not the reception. However, when brides and grooms plan a wedding with such a long gap between the ceremony and reception it is expected that there will be guests who can’t spare the time to attend both. Therefore, it is not rude. It is unfortunate, but there is plenty of precedent and quite simply, it happens that this expanse of time makes it difficult if not impossible for all guests to attend both. You have to work out your attendance according to the pressing demands of your own lives