See, folks! It's not ALL about politics!
Anyway... let's all PRETEND that a real upcoming event is... er... simply fodder for a philosophical discussion...
So... you married folks have gone through it. Heck... some of you married folks have experienced your kids' weddings... even your grandkids' weddings! Everyone knows what a pain in the ass - and what an emotional minefield - planning a wedding is.
I'm a wedding guy! I SHINE at weddings! Folks... let's be honest... I should be a professional wedding guest!
Other folks... the invitation arrives and all they can do is bitch and moan; they don't wanna go... it's time and money and inconvenience; they'd rather just send a "regrets" check; better yet... they'd rather not have been invited in the first place!
In any case, for the couple (and/or the parents) who plan the wedding...
...they have to deal with a very special kind of emotional hell; it's called THE INVITATION LIST!
Is money no object? For some people that is indeed the case! For most of us, however, we start with a budget and then must work within that budget. For those of us with many friends, business associates, and of course HUGE Irish families.... that process can be especially harrowing. In a word.. it SUCKS!
So... let's say there's a certain someone getting married in just a few weeks... August 16, 2014 to be precise.
A budget was decided up. The guest limit - 200. In actuality, I do believe 216 men, women, and children were invited.
Now you know how these things go, folks; expectations are that 20%... perhaps 25%... of the responses will be "no's." That said, you can't count on it. Airlines overbook. Hotels overbook. Weddings... not so much!
Who to invite? Obviously the most important people in the bride and groom's life get invited! Same with the best friends and key business associates of the parents of the bride and groom. From there... FAMILY! Lots and lots of family! Grandparents, great-uncles, great aunts, uncles, aunts, cousins...
Now we're to the crux of the matter.
The young bride (let's call her "Kim") has zillions of cousins (counting down the generations) and quite frankly, she wouldn't know most of them if she were stuck in an elevator with them for an hour! (Nor would they know here.) Indeed, Kim's mom and dad (let's call them "Mary" and "Bill") are "the younger generation." (Mary comes from a HUGE family.) Once upon a time we were the "young adults" invited to the weddings of the children of uncles, aunts, and elder cousins whose children are roughly Kim's peers in age - spread across a fairly broad range, however.
Bottom line... dropping the comedy... Mary and I feel terrible that not everyone we would have liked to invite was invited.
Conlan clan... Greg and Catherine's "kids"... APOLOGIES!
Kelly clan... offspring of Pat and Lila... Katherine and John... APOLOGIES!
The Philly crew... Peter's "kids".. APOLOGIES!
Other relatives who read this (and you know who you are)... APOLOGIES!
And now... before I close... let me once again - as I've done many times over the decades you've all known me - throw something out that only I would throw out:
It looks like we have around 150 confirmed guests coming. The room(s) holds 200. Is there anyone out there who would like to attend?
I KNOW... I KNOW... etiquette! This is not "proper etiquette!" But really... who the heck cares?
Two weeks notice? Am I kidding...?!?! Nope!
Listen... relatives by marriage whom I rarely see but always enjoy your company when we're together... this is me being me. I felt guilty when the invitations went out without going to everyone I'd have invited in the first place if money were no object... (Hey! Just being honest! It WAS a money thing!)
We HAD to assume we'd get all "yes" replies even though we knew we wouldn't. Inviting everyone initially wasn't an option. But... now that we know we have a cushion... space for at least another 40 adults... why let "proper etiquette" stand in the way of what I consider to be "doing the right thing" - namely, throwing out the option of attending Kim's wedding if you can make it and want to.
Mary needs to give Anthony's the final count 10 days before the wedding - by August 6th that means. Anyone interested... contact us before then... the sooner the better actually!
Those of you who think I'm nuts... well... you have a right to your opinion!
Those of you who think that at the very least I've come up with an interesting twist on modern American wedding etiquette... compliments, slaps on the back, and high fives are always welcome!