Tag Archives: Weddings

“Répondez s’il vous plait”…What?

I am involved in planning two social events in the next two weeks and our “invitees” are making me crazy. Why won’t people let us know whether they are going to come to our party or not? This is a basic element of etiquette that seems to have gotten lost over the last decade or two. It is very annoying. RSVP. “Répondez s’il vous plait” What is so difficult about this?

I am planning a work related, casual dinner for a week and a half from now. The invitation list includes university administrators, state legislators, county commissioners and business leaders – in other words, people who should know how to behave in public. The invitations went out two weeks ago with a reply card and a stamped return envelope. All they have to do is print their name, check the appropriate box, and drop it in the mail.  We sent 124 invitations and asked for responses by today. Only about a third of the invitees have troubled themselves to respond.

Mrs. Poolman and I are hosting a couple’s bridal shower for the son of one of our good friends and his fiancé. We told the family we could handle 40 people at our house. They gave us a list of 67 invitees with the assurance that many would not be able to come. My daughter ordered the invitations and had “regrets only” rather than a full RSVP. (When I saw that, I knew we were looking at trouble.) Nonetheless, of the 67 people invited, we have had only six regrets. The party is tomorrow evening. We strongly suspect we will have around 40 people, but we need to be prepared (food and drink) for 61. Maybe that isn’t a break-down in the social system. Maybe all 61 who have not “regretted” will be there. That may overwhelm the infrastructure, especially since rain is predicted which may negate our use of the outside space.

I don’t know why I get worked up over this. I should be used to it by now. I realize not everyone has ever taken the time to read an Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt or Miss Manners etiquette book. (Of course, I think it should be required reading, but that’s just me.) Past experience has shown us that you will have people who say they are coming, but don’t show up, and those who don’t respond and still show up. Sometimes those balance out, but not always.

For my daughter’s wedding several years ago, we invited a couple. They RSVP’d in the affirmative for themselves and also wrote-in the names of their two adult children who were not invited on the response card. We didn’t make an issue out of it. Then, in the end, none of them came.

While planning a work-related event a couple of years ago, a local business leader called to say he could not make it because his wife, son and daughter-in-law would had already invited him out to dinner for his birthday that night. Then he called back and asked if he could just bring the whole family. Reluctantly, we agreed that would be OK. On the night of the event, he didn’t come…but the rest of the family did. Huh?

I really just need to get over it.

Getting the family organized, or…

I sent an email to my brother and sisters (3) today to start the process of getting organized for a family wedding in September.

My nephew (brother’s son) is getting married in the small town of Lewes, Delaware. No one in our family lives close to there so it will be a “destination wedding” for all of us. The problem is there are really no affordable hotels or motels in or around Lewes. The alternative is to rent one or more houses for the weekend and, fortunately, there are a number of those available. The trick is to get everyone organized to answer key questions like:

Who is going to be there?

Who wants in on any group rental arrangements?

How many beds do we need?

And so on. I’ve checked into a couple of possible rentals and am ready to lay down a deposit, but I don’t want to bump up against any of the others plans or anticipations.

Usually, my siblings are a fairly business-like group, so hopefully this won’t be a difficult process. Otherwise, we may have to go out and get a professional “catherd” (That’s like a shepherd, except for cats.). I checked the Yellow Pages. I don’t see any advertised.

A wedding weekend

We are back at home after a long weekend of wedding festivities. Sorry the gap in postings. I really didn’t have the time.

The subjects of the wedding were my niece (Mrs. Poolman’s younger sister’s daughter) and her betrothed. Mrs. Poolman headed out to Jacksonville early Thursday morning and I followed after work that evening. We were co-hosting the rehearsal dinner at the home of Mrs. Poolman’s other sister, at her very nice home in the Sawgrass gated community in Ponte Vedra Beach. Also, I was the “official” wedding photographer. The whole thing kept us very busy.

I went to the rehearsal Friday afternoon to check out the venue. I have been to the church many times, as it was Mrs. Poolman’s parents’ church. We were married there ourselves. However, I wanted to check out the location from a photography standpoint, and also to get the guidelines (dos and don’ts) for shooting the ceremony.

One thing that did strike me is the way that accepted attire has changed. I wore a suit to my rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. At most other wedding rehearsals and dinners I have attended, most of the male members of the wedding party  wore nice pants and shirt, maybe even a jacket . At this rehearsal, the guys mostly looked like they were dressed for yard work.  Oh well. I guess I am a “stick-in-the mud” fuddy duddy.

Groomsmen dress

I reserved three rooms at a Candlewood Suites hotel for our family gang. I had not stayed in a Candlewood before, and I have to say we were very pleased. The chain is part of the Holiday Inn family so I used some of my points for two of the rooms. Apparently this family of hotels is primarily an extended stay facility. It lacked some of the services common to a regular hotel. No restaurant. No pool. No daily maid service. However, the rooms were very large and were equipped with a mini-kitchen. There was even a big, leather recliner. Candlewood 1

Candlewood 2They also included free high-speed internet. (Why is it I can get free internet at a low priced hotel, but have to pay a $15 premium at someplace like the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, where we paid $189/night?) The best part is the weekend rate for the room I put on my credit card was $42/night. Including all the various taxes, I checked out for two nights at less than $100. Can’t beat that.

Saturday was the wedding and the reception. All went well, although I worked my tail off. Between the rehearsal festivities and the main event, I took more than 900 shots. By the end of the evening, I was dead tired, at least from the waist down, and my feet were killing me.

There was one pretty funny story on the rehearsal day. The groom had not heard from one of his groomsmen, so he called him Friday morning. Apparently the conversation went something like this.

Groom — “Hey man. We need to go and pick up the tuxedos.”

Groomsman — “What do you mean?”

Groom — You know. Pick up the tuxedos for my wedding.”

Groomsman — “Why, the wedding isn’t until next week.”

Groom — “No dude. It is tomorrow and the rehearsal is this afternoon!”

Groomsman — “Oh s___!”

The problem? The groomsman lives in New Orleans, more than 500 miles away. Gotta give the guy credit, he did a super fast packing job and got in his car. He made it in time for the rehearsal dinner. I’m thinking the state patrols in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle were not real attentive.

We drove back to town on Sunday, and I spent Labor Day laboring – doing all the usual weekend outdoor chores I wasn’t able to do while I was off celebrating eternal love.   Tomorrow is a furlough day. (State of Georgia’s efforts to cut the budget.) Everyone at our place is taking it well. I think everyone thinks it is much better to take a few days off without pay, then be laid off and see a whole lot of days without pay.