Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest List

Gals like me, meaning well into their twenties, often do not have a plethora of single friends, but I never considered that to be a negative thing. Often weddings of those who married straight out of high school are tedious because there are, like, fifty girls who are contractually obligated to shriek shrilly and hog the dance floor even if they have two left feet. Ow! That was my toe!  

But sometimes an "older" bride will feel this loss keenly, and try every which way to boost their numbers. 

It may be scandalous, but I really don't keep up with any classmates from high school. None were my close friends, and even before I relocated I never came across them much. But I have noticed a trend, that despite how the years and distance have separated us, they always manage to flush me out with an wedding invitation. 

It's very possible I never exchanged a word with them ever but after this non-relationship I will still receive a request to attend their chassanah

One girl was much craftier. She and I talked a lot in school, but we never graduated to full-on "besties." After years of silence she pops out of the blue, emailing me regarding a difference of opinion left as a comment on a website; we launched into a fierce debate. She meekly waved the white flag after a few missives, then switched to cheerful chit-chat; after a month or so, she says she's engaged, then my mailing address is asked for. 

Since I did chew her ear off a lot in school, I felt obligated to attend. I actually had a fun time, even though it felt odd to be wildly dancing at an event where the hostess and I haven't spoken in over five years. I never heard from her again afterward.  

Could she have . . . ? No! Did she strike up an email dialogue when she began to date seriously to ensure another "friend" guest? Hm! That took strategic planning! 

One invitation came from a gal I saw maybe once since ELEMENTARY school, and even then we never talked. I didn't even know what her voice sounded like.

Why would a happy bride want an entourage of strangers on her wedding day? 

Is it so terrible if the dance floor has only those who are close to you, kallahs? Five women to boogy with is enough, believe me. And it's even more memorable to share your joy with the ones of the day-to-day, rather than ancient history. 

Dance with your relatives! Dance with your one close friend! Dance with that lady from shul that likes you! Hold your head high on your wedding day, even if there isn't any shtick!

I can afford to be smug since I do have a large extended family with many female relatives. But if one has a cheerleader section of three, that is more than enough.


tesyaa said...

You make some great points. Face it, some people are somewhat insecure and feel that they need to "show" that they have a lot of friends. But have you considered minimums? The big halls, especially those in Monsey but also in Williamsburg and elsewhere, have minimums of anywhere from 400-800 people. You're paying for that many people anyway, so (the thinking goes) you might as well fill 'er up.

(Not me... nothing gives me anxiety like the idea of greeting 600 people I hardly know. But I can tell from the invitations I receive which people are using halls which have minimums. A neighbor down the block I say hi to a couple of times a year? Invitation to her second daughter's wedding? Oh, it's at Ateres Charna, no wonder).

Rachelli Dreyfuss said...

I had a friend who I had a fallout with in high school... we spoke sporadically since but never really got the friendship back... she knew I did design and asked me to do her monogram.. I didn't expect an invite but was really happy when I got one. I don't know if its the same thing buy maybe in some way people know they are taking. a huge step in life a.d they feel more comfortable if they have friends/familiar people to see them off...

Mr. Cohen said...

If you want to merit more friends, then improving your Shmirat HaLashon is always a great idea.

Maya Resnikoff said...

There's also the further out-of-town weddings, where people invite more friends, even less significant friends, because they know a larger percentage of the people they invite won't be able to make it (due to amount of time at work they'd have to miss, cost of flights, places to stay, etc, etc). Sometimes when we're invited to a wedding, we have to try to weigh whether they're inviting us because a. they really like us and want us with them at their wedding, b. they like us, and are afraid they won't have many friends there to support them, or c. they're inviting the rest of our mutual friends and don't want us to feel left out. And of course, you can't just ask which it is...

Anonymous said...

You are missing another big factor: etiquette. When we were planning our wedding, there were a good portion of people under the 'sort of friends but we haven't spoken in six years' who we invited not so much to fill up the room (we didn't care) as to play it safe and make sure they wouldn't be hurt if later they found out there was a wedding and they had not been thought of.

as it happens, i was in a similar boat with you re: my high school class and decided not to invite them. it has come back to haunt me a few times..

Princess Lea said...

Tesyaa: Ah, the sneaky minimums. I forgot about those.

OK, I can understand if someone has to pay already they might as well invited everyone. But what about the poor "everyone"? They get an invite from someone they barely know and feel obligated to attend, and to give a check. Going to weddings takes time (leaving work early), effort (climbing into evening wear), and money (gas+tolls, gift).

It's not really fair to ask others to inconvenience themselves because one has to fill up a room.

I hope that minimum business goes the way of the dodo.

RD: In your case, you were actually friends and she wanted to bury the hatchet before she moves on. It was a very nice gesture, I do agree.

The funny thing was, the people at this classmates' wedding may have looked somewhat familiar, but they had changed so much personality-wise that I felt rather disoriented.

Mr. C: I did not say I wanted more friends. That was completely missing the point of the post.

MR: The only choice is to slap on some lipstick and go! :D

Anon: It's funny: People get offended if they don't get an invitation, and if they get an invitation they are all "Why did she invite me? I barely know her! Ugh, now I have to go!"

So it's a lose-lose.

Anonymous said...

I think there has to be a magic number, somewhere between three/five, and fifty. Maybe twenty or thirty? I had way, way, way, too many people at my wedding. Grrr. On the other hand, I was at a wedding where there were exactly fifteen girls, and it was kind of hard to keep up the excitement. If you get tired, and so do five others, there are only a few people left. Not much fun, either.

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous: I couldn't invite my high school class (long story), but I'm pretty sure that I feel worse about it than they do. At the end of the day, if one of my classmates has to ask if she was invited to my wedding, it must not have been so awful for the rest of them, either. Sort of like, life moves on, they love me anyways, etc.

However, one thing I did notice was that I was invited to practically all of the weddings before mine (excepting one, I think), and none after mine. But, that might also be a case of life moves on, and I'm in Israel.

Princess Lea said...

LD: Sometimes the poor kallah has two left feet and is happy for an excuse to get off the dance floor.

Also, married friends are less fun by a wedding because they have to leave early, and chances are they are no longer in a financial position to gift. :D