You might be tempted to send an invoice to people who don’t show up at your wedding, but following through with that idea is a really, really bad idea.
Not showing up to a wedding you’ve said you’ll attend is bad form, but billing wedding guests for missed meals is probably not the best way to handle no-shows. That’s the sticky situation that recently unfolded for Jessica Baker of Andover, Minnesota. The stay-at-home mother and her husband had planned to attend a cousin’s wedding but had to skip when their child care fell through at the last minute, according to CNN affiliate WCCO.The invitation specifically said “no children,” so the couple stayed home. A few weeks later, an invoice from the newlyweds arrived for the wedding meal they missed.
“I was pretty shocked to see that I was being charged $75 for herb-crusted walleye and a service and tax charge,” Baker told WCCO.
The invoice suggests that Baker did not let the bride and groom know that she and her husband couldn’t make it at the last minute. A typed note on the bill reads, “Reimbursement and explanation for no show, card, call or text would be appreciated.” Baker posted her frustration with the bill on Facebook, and an avalanche of comments and media requests soon followed.
Sending a bill to no-shows is a definite faux pas, according to Daniel Post Senning, co-host of the “Awesome Etiquette” podcast and great-great-grandson of manners expert Emily Post. But making your grievances public through “social scolding” only makes things worse.
“Airing grievances and responding to one wrong with another is really how problems get amplified,” Senning said.
Handling disagreements by communicating directly usually yields the best results.
“With a genuine and sincere apology, you probably could have nipped this in the bud after the first mistake,” he said.
First of all, the fact that this is news in America is why I love living in America. We don’t have car bombs and suicide bombers and mudslides, but we do have Facebook and vindictive brides.
Secondly, I’m confused. What is this woman’s relationship with the bride and groom? Are they friends, or was she one of the last people to make the cut that the groom insisted on inviting? Because if she was one of the people on the cusp of not being invited, then I get it. You’re pissed because you could’ve invited someone else. But if you’re actually friends with this person, don’t you realize that sending them an invoice is essentially burning a bridge that can never, ever be rebuilt again?
Thirdly, this is just a poor business decision on the part of the newlyweds. Because even though she didn’t show up, she was probably still gonna send a gift. That’s the whole point of a wedding. The bride and groom get railroaded by the photographer, DJ, venue, and anyone else associated with the wedding production, and in return the guests reimburse you by writing a check and putting it in a card. The bride and groom had already paid for this person, and they were probably going to be reimbursed with a “gift” of cash-money in a week or two. But now they get shit.
Fourthly, who the hell are these “etiquette experts?” Telling people how to not offend each other in social situations isn’t a job. Etiquette isn’t a science, it’s an art. Different people have different rules when it comes to etiquette, so it can’t be taught. This particular etiquette idiot thinks the person who got the bill shouldn’t have aired it publicly? Fuck that. Two wrongs always make a right. It’s simple math. The bride and groom started a war by doing the unthinkable and sending a mom and dad a bill, and obviously they had to fire back. I’m glad she put this on Facebook because I feel like it’s something everyone should be talking about.
With that said the bride and groom obviously have to fire back now. Their only recourse is to find pictures of everyone who stiffed them and post them on Facebook. Public shaming for a public shaming.
This one’s got me fired up. Look at assholes, shit happens sometimes. First of all, the whole “no kids allowed” at a wedding thing is bullshit to begin with. Like you’re that fucking special because you’re electing to waste all this money on one day, so NO KIDS are even allowed to be there. Get over yourself. Kids make weddings a million times better. They do funny dances, they look cute with their little suits and dresses, and they’re amused by stupid shit that no one else thinks is funny. This is isn’t the Goddamn Academy Awards. You’re just another bride and groom in a long series of failed marriages. You are not special and neither is your big day.
With that said, I get the frustration. Everyone has a couple no shows at a wedding. But that’s just the cost of doing business. Sure you WANT to say something to them, but you can’t. It’s just how life works as an adult.
And guess what? You were being billed $76 for those two stuffed chickens whether or not they shoved it down their gullets. It doesn’t actually cost that much money, plus the venue makes extra ones anyway. If you wanna bill someone for being assholes, bill the criminals who run the wedding-industrial complex. But either way, if you ARE going to pull a stunt like this and send an invoice to a no-show, at least have the dignity to send them their $76 meal too.
The bottom line is the no-shows saved you money at the open bar by not coming. You should send them a thank you card for not adding two overpriced, watered down drinks to your newly found marital debt.