During a conversation with a new business acquaintance I was invited to an August wedding in a sincere but casual manner. She said she would love to have me but had run out of invitations. I looked at my calendar and gladly accepted. My plan is to call her regarding the time and place and whether or not to be there for the ceremony. I plan to bring a lovely gift, have a good time and leave at an appropriate time. It feels like I am doing the right thing, but somehow it all feels just a bit awkward. What do you think?
As a general rule, Etiquetteer does not like wedding invitations extended on such short acquaintance. And Etiquetteer firmly believes that if you are over the age of consent, you deserve your own printed wedding invitation and should not be shunted off to a wedding website or a photocopy. Etiquetteer is willing to give this Sincere But Casual Bride the benefit of the doubt, crediting her with being sincerely (but casually) delighted with your new business relationship rather than insincerely (but casually) trolling for more wedding gifts. Without reflecting on you at all, Etiquetteer cannot condone her lack of Perfect Propriety in this artless invitation. It bodes ill for your own reception at the nuptial festivities.
Sometimes Literature offers a Perfectly Proper Precedent for such predicaments. Happily Oscar Wilde gave Algernon an ideal Design for Living in his play The Importance of Being Earnest, the custom of Bunburying. Bunbury, you may recall, was his fictional friend who lived in the country. He frequently required Algernon to be with him during illness, always whenever Algernon received invitations he wanted to decline.
Now you need your own Bunbury to avoid attending this wedding. Etiquetteer thinks yours should be a friend you have known for many years who is organizing a surprise birthday party that you cannot miss and which just happens to be scheduled on the same day. With sufficient advance notice, your Sincere But Casual Bride will understand. Having already accepted the wedding invitation, however, Etiquetteer thinks you still ought to send a gift.