DEAR MISS MANNERS: Two of my dear friends are getting married in several months. We are part of a fairly large group of friends, all of whom travel extensively to celebrate holidays and events together, including an annual reunion in the summer. I am planning a bachelorette party for the bride, and a male friend is planning the groom's.
Not everyone in this large group of friends has been invited to the wedding, which is understandable. But, of course, even those who are not so close to the couple wish them well and would like to help them celebrate. (Please note that these are not the ribald sort of bachelor and bachelorette parties -- each party is a weekend vacation with a couple of activities and a focal celebratory dinner. It is not a truly hosted gathering, as people will pay their own ways, with the exception of the focal dinners. And, of course, a few of us have already pitched in to cover the bride's and groom's expenses.)
Would it make people feel awkward, or otherwise be rude or tacky, to "invite" those friends who are not invited to the wedding? They would, of course, be welcome -- this is not an issue of trying to deter party-crashers.
GENTLE READER: Wait, wait, wait -- you dashed right by a point on which Miss Manners has stumbled:
Why, exactly, is it understandable that only some, but not all, of a group of friends who are close enough to celebrate holidays together and to hold an annual reunion, are invited to this wedding?
If it were a small, family wedding, it would be understandable that only the couple's one or two friends might be included. But Miss Manners suspects that you are expecting her -- and those friends -- to understand that the bride and bridegroom prefer to spend their wedding budget on more expensive arrangements for part of their circle of friends than less elaborate ones for them all.
And you would be taking the brunt for their administering this snub, and compounding it by asking the left-out to sponsoring the celebration they are deemed fit to attend.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How does one word an e-mail to tell a person, politely, of course, never again to forward jokes, chain letters or urban legends? I have tried several approaches, but to date all recipients have taken some degree of offense.
GENTLE READER: "Thanks for your e-mails. Please mark any personal messages -- I wouldn't want to miss them, but I've been skipping the mass mailings for lack of time. "