Author Topic: Doing away with the wedding breakfast  (Read 2783 times)

Aleko

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #60 on: September 14, 2019, 11:17:25 am »
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. . . my partner and I were invited to a friend's wedding. After dinner, the MC asked for all the "single people" to come up to the front of the room. My partner and I did not consider ourselves single, so we stayed put. Then the MC started calling out the "single people" by name, and he specifically named my partner and I (among others).

So we went up to the front, where the MC announced that all the "single people" would be playing a game, which involved randomly pairing up (male-female) and popping balloons... without using our hands! The first team to burst their balloon (using only their bodies) would win.

My partner immediately turned on his heel and sat down. I stayed, and was randomly paired with the groom's teenage cousin (I was 30 years old). So all the "single people" started playing this game, while all the married folks sat there watching, and grinning at us. Mercifully another team managed to pop their balloon quite quickly, and it was over. The MC asked for a "round of applause for all the single people!".

If this was a professional MC that the bridal couple had hired, or even if it was a friend or relation asked to fill this role, it's possible that when he asked for a list of the single guests they had no idea he was going to subject them to this kind of embarrassing 'game'.  Even so, like you I'm surprised they would have classed you and you partner as single. Maybe it was someone else, say the bride's mother, who was asked? I can see a person of a previous generation taking a much narrower view of who is or is not entitled to be considered a 'couple'; also, she might not necessarily know the living arrangements of her daughter's friends, and just go by the fact that you weren't Mr and Mrs.

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To add insult to injury, when I returned to my table, I'd discovered that the waitstaff had come around offering shots of premium spirits for everyone who was sitting down... which meant in practice, all the "single people" missed out on the shots. (I have no idea whether this was intentional timing or not).

I would certainly assume, unless I had positive evidence to the contrary, that the wait staff weren't in any way coordinating their serving with the MC's high jinks: that they were under instructions to serve a round of spirits after dinner had been finished and cleared, and so that's what they did.

Hmmm

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2019, 01:10:31 pm »

I think for a lot of people the issue is expecting to be treated the same as married people when people have made the decision NOT to marry for whatever reason. I don't think anyone needs to validate or defend their choices to anyone else. I think they just need to own it.

It's kinda like people who say, "A degree is just a piece of paper. I know way more than this guy with a PhD and I never went to college." It could very well be true that the high school graduate is smarter than the PhD, or knows more about a particular subject. But the high school graduate is NOT a PhD. Pointing that fact out is not saying the high school graduate isn't smart. It is saying she is not a PhD.

For the most part, I don't see the need to justify my decision not to get married, especially to people that I don't really know. I've never had anyone not invite my other half to something because we aren't married. The people we know have always treated us as a social unit. I do feel badly for those in the disabled community who would love to get married to their other half, but can't because they need their benefits. If I had known that the government would take away my other half's disability benefits because we moved in together, I don't know if we would have moved in together. I think it's something that needs to change, but that's a government issue and not an etiquette issue!

But some days it does feel like people do need to defend their decision not to get married.  I'm seeing a lot of that attitude here: don't expect to be treated the same as a married couple if you choose not to get married. I've seen other people post (not necessarily here) that they would consider someone in a relationship single because they had not married their other half, even if they've been in a committed relationship for years. I'm only pointing out that some people are unable to get married (or even move in with their spouse) because of financial issues that are no fault of theirs.  Unless I've been misreading everything, in which case I apologize.

Regarding the green: I don't think that people who choose, for whatever reason, not to get married should be treated poorly or as though their relationships are not genuine. But I think even in your own examples people have chosen NOT to be married precisely because they DON'T want to be treated as a married couple. The entire reason to choose to NOT be married is to avoid being treated as a married couple. Being married simply is NOT the same as NOT being married.

Regarding the red, I personally would not consider a person "single" in the sense of "this person does not have a significant other," but I also would not consider them to be "married" if they are not. For government purposes I think a person would be considered "single," because there is no option of "well, I've been with my boyfriend for 10 years and we are committed to each other but we are choosing not to marry." Valid choices, but in fact a choice to NOT marry.

Unless I am somehow personally invested in the relationship, I don't really care what someone chooses. I just am accurate when describing it.

Regarding the purple, I personally don't feel I need to justify my choices to anyone other than people those choices affect (if then). So long as I am comfortable with my choices, I wouldn't feel the need to justify them to people whose opinion I don't value. So I guess if you feel the need to explain your choices (general you) to people that is totally fine, but I don't think there is a generally expected need for you (general) to do so. Just live and let live.

For the most part, I don't see the need to justify my decision not to get married, especially to people that I don't really know. I've never had anyone not invite my other half to something because we aren't married. The people we know have always treated us as a social unit. I do feel badly for those in the disabled community who would love to get married to their other half, but can't because they need their benefits. If I had known that the government would take away my other half's disability benefits because we moved in together, I don't know if we would have done that. I think it's something that needs to change, but that's a government issue and not an etiquette issue!

I'm just catching up with this thread and in reading, I saw the focus more on the legality issues and perceptions of married versus choosing to  not marry. I have a sister who is in her mid 50's but after a stroke is wheelchair bound and has lost the use of her right side. She has been on disability for about a year and a half now. If she and her DH divorced, her disability payments would be much higher. However, neither she or her DH made that decision, though financially it would be better for both of them. Instead they are making due with the one income. So while I do think it unfair that disability payments are tied to partner's incomes, some will choose to lose out financially for the sake of having the legal institution of marriage and the other benefits that come with that. 

However, socially, I think any long term couple who present themselves socially as a committed couple should be treated that way no matter if they are living together, living separately or married. I will also state that I know people who are "legally" married who do not present themselves as a social unit and they do not want or expect to be treated as a social unit. (In both cases, they co-own businesses and decided it was just too complicated to divorce. One even has a long term partner he has lived with for 5 years. We treat him and her as the social unit.)
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Twik

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #62 on: January 02, 2020, 10:54:58 am »
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. . . my partner and I were invited to a friend's wedding. After dinner, the MC asked for all the "single people" to come up to the front of the room. My partner and I did not consider ourselves single, so we stayed put. Then the MC started calling out the "single people" by name, and he specifically named my partner and I (among others).

So we went up to the front, where the MC announced that all the "single people" would be playing a game, which involved randomly pairing up (male-female) and popping balloons... without using our hands! The first team to burst their balloon (using only their bodies) would win.

My partner immediately turned on his heel and sat down. I stayed, and was randomly paired with the groom's teenage cousin (I was 30 years old). So all the "single people" started playing this game, while all the married folks sat there watching, and grinning at us. Mercifully another team managed to pop their balloon quite quickly, and it was over. The MC asked for a "round of applause for all the single people!".

If this was a professional MC that the bridal couple had hired, or even if it was a friend or relation asked to fill this role, it's possible that when he asked for a list of the single guests they had no idea he was going to subject them to this kind of embarrassing 'game'.  Even so, like you I'm surprised they would have classed you and you partner as single. Maybe it was someone else, say the bride's mother, who was asked? I can see a person of a previous generation taking a much narrower view of who is or is not entitled to be considered a 'couple'; also, she might not necessarily know the living arrangements of her daughter's friends, and just go by the fact that you weren't Mr and Mrs.

Quote
To add insult to injury, when I returned to my table, I'd discovered that the waitstaff had come around offering shots of premium spirits for everyone who was sitting down... which meant in practice, all the "single people" missed out on the shots. (I have no idea whether this was intentional timing or not).

I would certainly assume, unless I had positive evidence to the contrary, that the wait staff weren't in any way coordinating their serving with the MC's high jinks: that they were under instructions to serve a round of spirits after dinner had been finished and cleared, and so that's what they did.

I should point out that married or not, no one is obligated to take part in activities like this. The partner who sat down was well within his rights and was in no way rude. Hectoring people to take part in these games is the rudeness.
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gramma dishes

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #63 on: January 02, 2020, 11:43:06 am »


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To add insult to injury, when I returned to my table, I'd discovered that the waitstaff had come around offering shots of premium spirits for everyone who was sitting down... which meant in practice, all the "single people" missed out on the shots. (I have no idea whether this was intentional timing or not).

I would certainly assume, unless I had positive evidence to the contrary, that the wait staff weren't in any way coordinating their serving with the MC's high jinks: that they were under instructions to serve a round of spirits after dinner had been finished and cleared, and so that's what they did.

Actually it sounds like that's exactly what did happen.  I suspect the staff was indeed requested to serve the couples remaining at the table while the single people were balloon game engaged. 

Aleko

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2020, 02:24:52 am »
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I suspect the staff was indeed requested to serve the couples remaining at the table while the single people were balloon game engaged.

You're assuming then that this whole episode was devised with hostile intent toward all the couple's single friends and relations? Because while plenty of people who enjoy this kind of game are thoughtless and insensitive enough to assume that everybody else does and will be happy to play it to order, pretty much nobody who serves "premium spirits" assumes that people will be happy to be deprived of it while everyone else is getting.   

I have a hard time envisaging a bridal couple saying to each other, 'After dinner, let's make all the single guests play a silly embarrassing game while everyone else sits laughing at them, and we'll have the MC call them up by name so none of them can get out of it. And we'll have the 10-year-old scotch served while they're doing it, so when they get back to their table they'll find they've missed out. That will be fun, tee-hee!''

gramma dishes

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2020, 08:07:52 am »
In a word, yes.

There may have been no A list and B list for the wedding itself, but yes I have indeed seen individuals and groups of guests treated quite differently at/during receptions.

Came back to edit a bit:   I don't mean to imply that the hosts were being intentionally cruel, just that they were so busy trying to keep everyone entertained while the one group (singles) were on the floor and presumably getting all the attention, that they just 'forgot' to consider that they were treating the two groups quite differently.   I don't think the intention was to be mean. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 08:11:30 am by gramma dishes »
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Twik

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2020, 09:03:56 am »
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I suspect the staff was indeed requested to serve the couples remaining at the table while the single people were balloon game engaged.

You're assuming then that this whole episode was devised with hostile intent toward all the couple's single friends and relations? Because while plenty of people who enjoy this kind of game are thoughtless and insensitive enough to assume that everybody else does and will be happy to play it to order, pretty much nobody who serves "premium spirits" assumes that people will be happy to be deprived of it while everyone else is getting.   

I have a hard time envisaging a bridal couple saying to each other, 'After dinner, let's make all the single guests play a silly embarrassing game while everyone else sits laughing at them, and we'll have the MC call them up by name so none of them can get out of it. And we'll have the 10-year-old scotch served while they're doing it, so when they get back to their table they'll find they've missed out. That will be fun, tee-hee!''

I can see them saying "That will be cheaper, tee-hee." Not necessarily out of malice, but because someone has suggested it as a way of cutting costs.

TootsNYC

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Re: Doing away with the wedding breakfast
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2020, 09:29:15 am »
I think it's more likely that they'd say, "the singles will be doing the games on the floor, so what can we do to entertain the people still at the tables? I know! shots of a fancy drink"

And then they've treated the groups differently.
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