Dear CC:

The daughter of good friends (or so we thought) is getting married. We know both the daughter and the young man she's marrying as well, and the young man
looks up to my husband as a role model, we've been told.

Having said that, we weren't invited to the wedding, nor to a shower that
seems to have been attended by everyone in our particular circle — except
us.

The wedding is this Saturday, and I am feeling very emotional about this. Is
there ever a good way to inquire as to why you weren't invited, or do we
just suck it up?

Thanks,
Crying in Chicago

Dear Crying:

I know being left out of a wedding you wanted to attend is painful, but remember that weddings are pretty political events—often the wedding couple are the people with the least influence in the whole shebang. Especially if they're young and their parents are footing the bill.

In this pinched economy, there may have been considerations regarding the price per plate at the wedding reception, and the happy couple may have been embarrassed to invite you to a shower (where a present is usually expected) when they couldn't extend an invitation to the wedding.  (Mom dictates that Great Aunt Lilly and her best friend have to be included, so someone else has to be left out, etc.)  

It's hard feeling excluded whether you're in the first grade or a grownup, but we often don't know the reason the invitation didn't arrive in the mail—and we may never know it.  I don't think you can ask why you weren't invited to your friends' children's wedding without sounding gauche or hopelessly needy, but you may discover the answer in time, through mutual friends.  (Maybe it WAS a money issue;  maybe it wasn't money, but space—the chosen reception venue only held X number of people. Maybe you think they're better friends than they consider themselves to be….)

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At this point, it's unlikely that you'll receive a last-minute invitation. (And if you did, would you want to accept?)

Instead, why don't you and your husband do something fun and romantic, just the two of you?  (Last-minute fares someplace you want to go gives you a quick vacation and a reason for your absence!)  If people ask why they didn't see you at the wedding, you can smile and say "we'd made plans long ago to slip away for a romantic evening/weekend/whatever, and we promised each other nothing would get in the way.  We toasted the happy couple from our balcony on Saturday night."

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You might find you enjoyed the weekend together more than you would have the wedding.

Yours,

CC

Karen Grigsby Bates is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Tmes (Doubleday).

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is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).