Save the Date but No Invitation?
July 26, 2015 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Received a Save the Date for a wedding for a couple we'd like to be less close with, but didn't receive a real invite. What to do?

So, there's this super awkward couple that my gentleman and I (I'm female, not that it matters, but clarity!) are both acquainted with through a Meetup group I used to run. We used to be closer, but we've started distancing ourselves, because the closer we got, the more we saw that we didn't really care to be around. For example, the she-half of the couple (Greta?) is extraordinarily passive aggressive... Greta's catchphrase when addressing the he-half (Irving?) is, "IRVING!!! CAN YOU WASH THE DISHES *PLEEEEASE*????" Of course, in the snottiest tone she can muster. Irving, of course, is no prize himself... he's a secret asshole, presenting as super-chill and totally laid back but having a sneaky side to him that is hella lazy and dismissive of anyone who may hold a different opinion.

So we moved them from Always Friends to Sometimes Friends, and made our excuses so that my gentleman could stop running a tabletop game that included them as participants (Greta had a bit of a habit of actively pouting (at age 30!) whenever things in the game didn't go the way she wanted for her character, and Irving would always make excuses about ending the game early whenever she'd get in a funk, which started happening with exponential frequency). Following the end of the game, Greta blew up at me directly when I announced my exit from the Meetup group, demanding ownership and making a huge production about why we didn't talk anymore. I snapped back at her that I didn't appreciate her making something that was painful for me (the possible dissolution of my Meetup group) into a referendum on our friendship, and if she wanted to talk to me about the fact that we weren't very close anymore, she could have chosen literally any other time.

We haven't spoken much since then, and Greta hasn't brought up our last real conversation at all. We've seen one another at other events and while everyone's been polite, we haven't had much contact. They recently sent us a Save The Date for their wedding, but when it came time for the bridal shower invites, I was snubbed (I had another event that day anyway, and I actively dislike bridal showers in general, so that was no hair off my backside). Now our mutual friends have received their wedding invites, and my gentleman and I have not.

On the one hand, my gentleman and I are not that into weddings. On the other hand, I think it's rude as hell to send out a Save The Date and not follow up with an invitation. Part of me wants to contact Greta and Irving and let them know that they're continuing to behave unacceptably, and if they miss us as much as they've made reference to towards our mutual friends, this is not the way to mend fences. Part of me is glad I don't have to buy them a Himalayan Pink Salt Block and Shaver for their wedding. Part of me, though, knows that the mail is not the most reliable vehicle for sending messages and maybe it got lost, and I don't want to be half of that Awful Couple that didn't even RSVP to a wedding invite (and thus lose the Moral High Ground). Also, there's that leeeetle part of me that wants to see if maybe we can be friends-ish again, maybe they'll both chill out after they've gotten married (which seemed to be a huge Point of Contention in their relationship previously), maybe this could be a way to get to the conversation I'd love to have about our fight?

My question is thus... we've been plopped into an Awkward Spot by having to pick a discreet follow-up versus a discreet Total Fadeout. How to best mitigate it? Which to pick?
posted by mornie_alantie to Human Relations (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Why do you even care? "Some people I don't like and don't want to be friends with didn't invite me to their wedding!"

I mean... yay! Problem solved! Feel free to never think about these people ever again!
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:18 PM on July 26, 2015 [136 favorites]


There's a lot going on here, but let's answer the actual question: You're right, it is rude as hell to send a Save The Date and not an invitation. It is something that a lot of people still do on purpose (using the Save the Date as a weird wedding announcement).

It is monumentally, exponentially, a million times worse to "contact Greta and Irving and let them know that they're continuing to behave unacceptably, and if they miss us as much as they've made reference to towards our mutual friends, this is not the way to mend fences". You didn't receive an invitation - don't respond to it. If they reach out at some point about your missing RSVP then - and only then - say something like "oh my goodness we never got an invitation! It must have gotten lost in the mail!" Barring that - take no action. Move on. Don't spend so much mental energy on these people.
posted by brainmouse at 2:19 PM on July 26, 2015 [48 favorites]


Just let it go, and keep your distance. Be cordial if you run into them, but don't go out of your way or anything.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 2:20 PM on July 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Leave it be. If you want to attend, it may be fair to drop a nice note and tell them how happy excited you are for them to get married and noted that you got a save the date but realized that you haven't gotten an actual invitation, and maybe this was an accident (but you'd still really like to attend!).

If you don't have a desire to attend, then using this as an opportunity to chalk up a point on "I'm taking offense and holding this against her" board or to lecture her about her inability to mend fences is inappropriate and childish. Don't be rude and use your couple's wedding day as a way to tell her why she's a bad person. She may be a bad person, but that doesn't mean you need to pull yourself down that way.

If you decide you want to try to mend a friendship later on, send a modest gift for her wedding with a nice message. Don't say a word about the invitation unless they bring it up. Then if later on after they've gotten married and you decide you want to mend fences, feel free to do so.
posted by Karaage at 2:21 PM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Simply forget they exist. Greta? Irving? Never heard of them.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 2:33 PM on July 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Fred Clark once observed (probably not originally) that something was "a solution neatly divided into two problems". AFAICT, you (a) kinda don't like these acquaintances, and (b) have not seen an invitation to their wedding. Take it as a blessing. Is it weird to send a Save the Date and no invite? Yes. If they sent an invite and it got lost in the mail, will they be annoyed by not receiving it back? Maybe (they probably won't notice and will write you off). Are either of these things _your_ problem? Not really.
posted by jackbishop at 2:36 PM on July 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think that you should work under the assumption that your invitation absolutely really did get lost in the mail. Maybe that's not true, but as you said it's hella rude not to follow up with an invite after an STD. But, it's even more rude to point out another person's rudeness. So, for the sake of face saving -- let's go with the fiction: the invite is lost in the mail.

So, if you don't want to go to the wedding, I would do nothing, and if/when the couple contacts you to get an RSVP (which they will, because your invite was lost, right?) say: "Oh, we never got that invite! sorry to say that we need to [go visit my aunt Victoria that weekend], we wish you both all the best!" Don't send a gift or a card. If they never contact you, leave it at that.

If you DO want to go to the wedding, I would wait until 2 weeks after your other friends got their invites, or 3ish* weeks before the wedding (whichever is later), and then contact whichever half of the couple is more likely to be in charge here (I'm betting Greta) and say: "Holy smokes, I just looked at my calendar and I noticed that we are still saving the date for your special day, have you sent out formal invites yet?" Do not mention that you know that other people have their invites. This will put the ball into the couple's court to: own up to the fact that you have been disinvited, OR apologize profusely for the "lost" invitation and assure you that you are indeed invited and welcome.

Based on what you've written, I think there are valid reasons to either go to the wedding or not, and I'll leave that up to you.

*if this is something that you'd need to book a hotel or make other arrangements for, then maybe 4+ weeks is better just so you don't end up screwed by trying to do things last minute.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:37 PM on July 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


Just a quick definition for you: actually using her words to ask her fiancé to wash the dishes (regardless of what tone she used), not passive aggressive. Constructing some weird plot to contact her to get a wedding invitation for a wedding you don't want to go to for people you don't want to be friends with so that you can continue to hold some imaginary moral high ground about how you're better than these people? Passive aggressive as HELL.

Be the lack of drama you wish to see in the world.
posted by MsMolly at 2:56 PM on July 26, 2015 [135 favorites]


Sounds like they sent you a gift.

- If they never sent you an invitation, you don't have to go to their wedding (win) and it shows that they're petty so you also get moral high ground (win)

- If they sent you an invitation and value your friendship, they will reach out and ask if you received the invitation - you can tell them the truth - you didn't and thought it meant they'd changed their minds... then it's up to you whether you want to make it a "but we'd love to come!" moment and save the friendship (win, if that's what you want), or "so sorry!" and let the slow fade continue (win), or "so sorry!" and they blow up at you and the friendship is over for good (win)

- If they sent you an invitation but don't value your friendship, they won't follow up. They'll resent you for not RSVPing, use that resentment to kill the friendship on their end, and you're out. Keep your call screening on and toss any emails unread, and you're out (win).

It's not your job to smooth this over if you don't actually want it smoothed over. That doesn't make you the bad guy.
posted by Mchelly at 2:56 PM on July 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, there's that leeeetle part of me that wants to see if maybe we can be friends-ish again, maybe they'll both chill out after they've gotten married (which seemed to be a huge Point of Contention in their relationship previously), maybe this could be a way to get to the conversation I'd love to have about our fight?

I'm surprised to hear you say this at the end of all your frustration with them, which is so palpable it almost sounds like you're picking on them. No, don't use the invitation (that you did not get) as a pretext for airing your feelings about your fight. You can do that, of course, if you want to reinstate the friendship, but treat it as a separate issue. Do you want to reinstate the friendship? If so, I can see why you're hurt you didn't get the invite. If not, you have nothing to complain about.

I do think it's unusual to receive a save-the-date but not an invite...unless your friendship ended between when the save-the-date list was finalized and the invite list was finalized. Which sounds like what happened.
posted by kapers at 2:59 PM on July 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


It sounds like they sent you a save the date and then updated their invite list. You had actively unfriended them. It's less hella rude seeming if you consider they may view you as having clicked the unfriend button. Please let it go.
posted by Kalmya at 3:00 PM on July 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I get the feeling that you aren't at all interested in being friends again, and want to either have the last word in the beef between you and Greta, or hold on to this slight as definitive proof that these guys suck. They might suck, but the only thing you can really do is keep drifting away. Don't dwell on how they should have sent you an invitation so you could have the pleasure of declining. Just quietly move on and enjoy your drama-free friendships.

Being the better person is not the same as pointing out how the other guy's worse.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:02 PM on July 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Don't make their wedding about you and your previous disagreement. That would be selfish. It sounds like you really really want to duke it out with them, andthis invite situation is pushing all sorts of buttons, but all that is required of you is...nothing.

Being married doesn't make people less unpleasant, btw. There is no relationship to save, here. Move on, write it off, fill your days with better friends.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:02 PM on July 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would bet that your invitation is in the mail somewhere, but unless they come looking for an RSVP, count the USPS as having done you a good deed and don't worry about these people.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:02 PM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


It sounds like you only want to be in contact with these people to get your point across about how rude they are. Which is a totally human impulse, but that way lies drama. And it seems like Greta is going to ramp it up on her side too, if you start any of you own, so I wouldn't expect to come out of this smelling of roses, if I were you.

If you want to be friends, then you need to let the slight go. They don't sound like the sort of people who would take A Conversation very well, so confronting them will likely make matters worse.

If you don't want to be friends, then just don't contact them at all and let sleeping dogs lie.
posted by Solomon at 3:08 PM on July 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


Be the lack of drama you wish to see in the world.

You sound like you despise these people. If you do not despise these people then you sound like someone who is really into the "OMG" aspect of the ambiguity of this situation. Like maybe they suck and then you were right all along? Or maybe they're trying to extend an olive branch and you should be more chill about the whole thing? And right now you're in a bit of a Schroedinger's Snark pique about the whole thing?

I guess I figure if you want to patch the friendship, now is the time. However you seem to also know that now is also not the time to make things all about you. So if you decide you want to, really want to, go to the wedding, send G. a nice note asking about it and move forward that way. And if you decide that you don't want to go to the wedding, ignore all this and leave the ball in their court for future patch up.

Put another way: the only thing that makes this an awkward spot for you guys is your own conflicted feelings about this couple and (what seems to me to be) some sort of desire for some re-adjustment in your relationship with them. However it seems like you're not really sure what you want that readjustment to be. I will stress again, you seem to think they are awful and maybe that's just a bit of anxiety/confusion/awkwardness talking, but this internet person's advice is that you're better off being friends with people who you feel friendlier towards.
posted by jessamyn at 3:12 PM on July 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Yeah, you're not invited. Have a celebratory drink and then be like Elsa and LET IT GO.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:15 PM on July 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


I actually think this is really simple, and you're overthinking it. You didn't get a wedding invitation from them. This means that there's no wedding invitation to respond to. The save the date is irrelevant after the invitations go out.

And ultimately, there's no harm from failing to respond even if they did intend to invite you. When you don't RSVP "yes," they'll mark you down as a "no" and move on. There's also no benefit to following up to be like "hey, we got a save the date but no invitation, are we invited or what?" You don't want to be invited, which that conversation would imply, so don't have it.

Just continue your fade.

If you want to call their attention to the fact that they were rude, don't. It's not going to go well, you won't achieve anything you want to achieve, and you're going to be the rude, poorly behaving party in that scenario.

Now, look, if you want to be friends again, this all changes. But it's 100% on you to decide if you want to see if your friendship can be saved. It sounds like you don't like them much, though, and I can't believe you honestly want to be friends; if you did, this question would have been written entirely differently. It sounds like you want them to want to be friends so you can turn them down (or turn them down again) or dictate terms or something, but that you don't want to be friends. So, again, this is really simple: you do nothing, unless you actually receive an invitation or they follow up with you to request your RSVP. If either of those events occurs, you tell them you're sorry but you can't make it and you wish them well.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:15 PM on July 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wow, that was fast! Thanks, guys!

So... yeah, you all are absolutely right. I have a lot of emotions about the evolution of this friendship, because even though I'm angry and frustrated at them about the way things have gone, I still do miss the good parts, back when they were pleasant and fun and we could really connect. However, I don't have any hope of it turning around. And, not gonna lie, I totally had a nerd rage "ARGH BARGH YOU VIOLATED THE RULES SEE SEE HERE'S PAGE 215 OF THE GAMEMASTER GUIDE LOOK LOOK THIS IS A RULE AND YOU BROKE IT" moment.

sparklemotion: The wedding is local to all of us per the STD, so there's no need for travel or accommodation. We would have been really screwed if we'd already arranged for something and then this happened, but we are out absolutely nothing. Besides the Himalayan Salt Block, that is, but that's still returnable if I decide not to send it along.

To everyone else: I am absolutely going to let this go, because as showbiz_liz so simply and elegantly put, "some people I don't like and don't want to be friends with didn't invite me to their wedding." I can change this date in my calendar to "The Day The Lovely Denizens of Ask Metafilter Convinced Me to Try And Become A Better Person."

Edited to add: I'm happy to hear more opinions, naturally, and since the Blessed Event is in four weeks, I'll update if necessary, so I won't mark this question resolved just yet.
posted by mornie_alantie at 3:25 PM on July 26, 2015 [26 favorites]


(and thus lose the Moral High Ground). Also, there's that leeeetle part of me that wants to see if maybe we can be friends-ish again, maybe they'll both chill out after they've gotten married (which seemed to be a huge Point of Contention in their relationship previously), maybe this could be a way to get to the conversation I'd love to have about our fight?

In all honesty, if you consciously or subconsciously show the attitude you display in your prose about them in your dealings with them, they may well think of you as the high drama secret asshole in the friendship. If you want to rekindle a relationship with them, stop worrying about the Moral High Ground and reach out, though I'd suggest that if the wedding is close, waiting until afterwards would be far better.
posted by Candleman at 3:30 PM on July 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Am I missing something here? I feel like you want to stir up more drama rather than act on your expressed desire to fade them out. Because this would be a fantastic time to Just Move On. You don't like these people, you don't get on with them, and now you don't have to go to their wedding. Yay?
posted by kariebookish at 3:37 PM on July 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Further to that: are you familiar with the Geek Social Fallacies? It may be unfair or inaccurate, but I have a sense that one or more of them might apply (speaking as a pretty nerdy fella myself, fwiw)
posted by Sebmojo at 5:16 PM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's possible that you're on the B List for invitations -- people who are invited only after A List guests decline. (Opinions on the propriety of A/B Lists are rampant, but this is A Thing That Happens.) So it's possible you'll still receive an invitation; feel free to decline it if this happens.
posted by shiny blue object at 5:47 PM on July 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


When you don't RSVP "yes," they'll mark you down as a "no" and move on.

Oh God I'm planning a wedding and waiting on RSVPs now and no, this is not true. It's not a BBQ where people just want a sense of size. There might be a B list; it might be a difference in decoration or layout. For Christs sake, always RSVP for a wedding.
posted by dame at 8:24 PM on July 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I posted 'don't save the date' before this one and it got deleted but it's a serious suggestion which has been echoed by several other posters. If you don't really like these people, don't go to their wedding.

Further to that: are you familiar with the Geek Social Fallacies? It may be unfair or inaccurate, but I have a sense that one or more of them might apply (speaking as a pretty nerdy fella myself, fwiw)
posted by Sebmojo at 8:32 PM on July 26, 2015


The simplest solution that covers all eventualities including missed post is something like the following.

Call them up and say hey we got this save the date and sorry we haven't been able to respond until now, but we have another appointment and can't make it..we got you this present. Where can we send it? Have a great day!
posted by Mistress at 2:36 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


My take is you were once on their invite list, but they later decided to take you off. Bullet dodged, IMHO. If notions of avoiding the perception of rudeness matter to you, here's an idea for nipping any future type of "but you didn't RSVP!" accusations/drama by Greta & Irving right in the bud-- you could go the super old school etiquette route and mail a response on your own stationery, worded like this:

"Ms. Mornie-Atlantie and Mr. HerPartner regret that they are unable to accept the kind invitation of [hosts/or Ms. Greta LastName and Mr. Irving LastName] for Saturday, August 22nd." Done.
posted by hush at 9:58 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


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