DEAR MISS MANNERS: A dear friend of mine recently became engaged after 12 years of dating. This is a second wedding for both parties, and both are well over 50 years old and established.
The groom has been unemployed for years, and the bride-to-be makes close to six figures. Regardless of their financial situation, neither could afford to have a large wedding, so they started planning a small, intimate event.
Flash-forward a few weeks. Suddenly, 70 invitations go out in the mail, people are being asked to provide tables, tablecloths, food, labor, decorations, flowers from their gardens, music, photography, transportation for her mother ... you get the picture. The last straw was when a call came to “man a table at the wedding to replenish supplies and keep the punch bowl full.”
Miss Manners, the guests of this wedding love and adore the bride and wish her nothing but the best, but how do we tell her that enough is enough?
In addition to throwing her a shower, assisting in throwing the wedding, and providing the setup and cleanup, she is expecting gifts. I love this woman, but am sick of feeling used and abused.
I’m tired of feeling guilty for saying no, and don’t want to offend her, but I’m at a loss and feeling very resentful.
GENTLE READER: Your friend is running an event-planning operation -- with no pay for her workers. As she is a good friend, Miss Manners suggests that you take her aside and tell her that her guests will be more at ease enjoying less-expensive fare than being asked to provide it. And then point her in the direction of the nearest dollar store and task-assistance app.