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To politely decline wedding invite

(207 Posts)
ArialAnna Wed 12-Apr-17 10:29:28

A few months ago a friend asked me if I was free for 'x' date for his wedding. I was surprised and touched as we're not super close friends - I see him now and then as part of a group but haven't meet up ever one on one. I said we were free and would love to go, provided we could get babysitting sorted for our then 5 month old. Next time I saw him I said we could def come as MIL would babysit.

Invite came the other day and it's for the evening reception only from 7pm. AIBU to politely decline? I admit I'm rather against this practice anyway - surely if you invite people to your wedding you want them to see you actually get married?! Evening only means they miss all the special bits - bride coming down the isle, vows, speeches, etc. I understanding inviting people to the evening reception only if they are local, as then they are effectively just popping in for a drink and to wish the bride and groom well. But we live a good 2.5 hours away (albeit it's 50 mins from my in laws).

My MIL is already babysitting for us for another wedding (DH's friend) that month and I don't want to take advantage. And I know it sounds selfish but frankly I'd rather save a precious evening's babysitting for another time for a night out for just the two of us, rather than show up late to a do where everyone is drunk already. AIBU to politely decline? What should I say?

Unpropergrammer Wed 12-Apr-17 10:31:16

You admit that you aren't that close. Evening ceremony only invites are very common. If for practical reasons you can't go then decline.

ThePigletatwork Wed 12-Apr-17 10:31:45

I think that you should decline.
It's basically just a piss-up with somebody that you don't know that well that you've been invited to.
I'd give it a miss, and like you say, have the night's babysitting 'in the bank'.

pipsqueak25 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:32:54

i would think i was making up numbers but ten i'm cynical grin, i would decline and just say sorry but i'm not available after all, dc also go down with unexpected stomach bugs etc nearer the time.

user1471517900 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:32:54

Everyone is drunk by 7pm at weddings you go to?! They may have had a few wines with dinner but I've never found anyone drunk before the evening part begins.

If you don't want to go then fine, he's not been unreasonable to invite to evening only (you've said you're not close) and you're not unreasonable to not use up a babysitter if you don't want to.

GeekLove Wed 12-Apr-17 10:33:23

YANBU. I'm not that fond of two-tier invites but even when they are done they really should be only for nearby people.

Bluntness100 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:37:25

If I wasn't that close I would have assumed an evening only invite and would have been the opposite, surprised if it was full day. It's quite normal for not close to be evening only and many other guests will probably be the same. I doubt people will be drunk at 7pm.

I think you've already confirmed your going so a bit awkward to change your mind you'd need to think of a good excuse. They have probably already catered for you in the numbers for an evening buffet. Were you planning to stay over anyway?

Littlecaf Wed 12-Apr-17 10:43:19

Oh go, enjoy yourself!

Can't everyone just be nice to each other?! It's a nice thing to be invited! I wouldn't be offended at all. It's how weddings work nowadays.

user1471517900 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:44:36

If you've got babysitter for the day why not use that with your husband anyway and go out for a meal/drinks before wedding evening?

IrregularCommentary Wed 12-Apr-17 10:45:33

People are so uptight about wedding invites.

You can't be both surprised to be invited at all and then surprised that it's not a full day invite.

Chloe84 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:47:41

YANBU. He misled by verbally inviting to his 'wedding' rather than evening do.

I must admit, my first thought was he is angling for a gift.

inlectorecumbit Wed 12-Apr-17 10:50:41

Could you say that babysitting arrangements have fallen through?? That MIL is now unavailable?

Chloe84 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:50:43

They have probably already catered for you in the numbers for an evening buffet.

Really? Usually the buffet is some sliders and nibbles. I don't think that obliges OP to make a 250 mile trip and use up a babysitting favour for it.

RyanStartedTheFire Wed 12-Apr-17 10:52:09

T*hey have probably already catered for you in the numbers for an evening buffet.*
Nope, caterers confirm a month pre wedding for this exact reason. They wouldn't confirm until rsvps had been received.

catkind Wed 12-Apr-17 10:53:19

Would depend on the relationship with MIL for me. If it was my MIL and baby was likely to be cooperative, it's a good excuse to go and visit for a day, then pop out for the evening - I'd go for it. And MIL would be more than delighted to get to look after baby for the evening smile

But if you don't want to maybe something simple like
"So sorry, babysitting has fallen through so we won't be able to come."
It's nice they like you enough to want you there, but they won't be offended if you aren't. Just reply quickly so they can invite someone else.

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Apr-17 10:53:32

A five hour round trip for what is basically an evening at the pub? No thanks.

pipsqueak25 Wed 12-Apr-17 12:31:37

it's unusual that op has a mil that 'limits' baby sitting, many posters on here complain that mils are always wanting the gc to themselves smile

Cherrysoup Wed 12-Apr-17 12:37:19

Decline. Evening invites arent worth attending, IMO.

ThePigletatwork Wed 12-Apr-17 12:41:10

A five hour round trip for what is basically an evening at the pub? No thanks


cheekymonk Wed 12-Apr-17 12:44:06

I was good friends with a guy at work and we did nights out/dinners at each other's houses etc. They said they couldn't imagine getting married without us there. I had my 2nd child and the dynamic changed. We were invited to evening only that was a couple of hours away. We were so skint at the time and in the end I had to decline because of this. He told me that I had missed a great night and our friendship didn't recover. We now don't have any contact. They didn't intend on having children and travelled etc. I think We just became too much hard work and so it all fizzled out. I was confused by the whole thing hmm

Botanicbaby Wed 12-Apr-17 12:44:42

YANBU to politely decline, it's up to you...plans can change.


YABU to decline as you wanted to be invited to full day of wedding when you hardly know them and felt surprised to even be asked.

I think it's quite common for acquaintances rather than good friends to be invited to evening reception (party celebration) rather than full day like close friends & family. Thinking of costs.

Scribblegirl Wed 12-Apr-17 12:46:37

I really don't get the evening invite hate. We're planning ours and there are friends that I can't afford to spend £100 per head on but I would love them to be there as a part of the day if they can join us. We are having an evening do (and spending money on more food for the evening guests) not because we are trying to 'make up numbers' but because we both have big families and this means that without an evening do we'd not be able to include some of our pals at all.

That said, we highly expect that the evening guests who live more than 45 mins away won't be able to make it. That doesn't mean we don't invite them - we'd love them to come and want them to feel wanted - but we'd totally understand if they couldn't manage it. I always invite my non-London friends to my birthday parties. I know they're not going to come to London especially for it - one lives in Indonesia at the moment but she doesn't stop being part of my friendship group just because she lives far away, and if she did happen to be back in London at that point seeing family etc. I'd be gutted to not have let her know.

RayofFuckingSunshine Wed 12-Apr-17 12:47:01

'So sorry, something has come up that night so I won't be able to make it after all. I hope you have a wonderful day, congratulations again!' Job done.

gamerwidow Wed 12-Apr-17 12:48:32

I'm in the minority because I'd much rather go to the evening only do then have to sit through an interminable ceremony then hang around for hours waiting for pictures to be done before being forced to make small talk over dinner with people I barely know. Disco and a buffet is much more up my street.

hamandmustard Wed 12-Apr-17 12:51:15

I almost always decline evening dos. If it is someone that I am close to then I would be invited to the wedding, if not then unless it was on the doorstep I wouldn't go.

The ceremony is the part of the wedding that I enjoy/value the most and if not invite dot that I don't see the point of the rest. (I know that legally you can go to any ceremony even if not invited)

No need to give a reason. Just decline.

I really don't get the evening invite hate. because you don't value someone enough to have them there at the important bit- the ceremony. the rest as someone said above is just like any night at the pub.

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