Miss Manners: Logistics after a postponed wedding

July 11 at 12:00 AM

Dear Miss Manners: Please help! We sent out 220 wedding invitations; got back 175 yeses; then the wedding venue in San Francisco shut down in March with eight days’ notice! We desperately tried to find an alternate venue without success, and ended up canceling and calling all guests to tell them it was canceled.

Fortunately, most out-of-town wedding guests were able to get airfare/hotels refunded. (No refunds for the wedding venue, caterers, etc., but we could reschedule with little additional cost.)

IF and WHEN things open, how should we handle the rescheduling? Specifically, reinvite all guests? Reinvite only those who RSVPed yes?

If we reinvite only those guests who responded yes, what should we do about those who sent gifts even though they didn’t plan to attend? And what form should any reinvitations take? Bride and groom hope to marry in a ceremony for immediate family as soon as the quarantine is lifted, but have a belated reception.

If the wedding is held with only immediate family present, Miss Manners suggests sending an announcement afterward, which can also serve as a pledge for a future celebration, to which all the guests should be reinvited:

Dr. Lily Jean Appletree


Mr. Conrad Mark Simpkins

announce their marriage

on Thursday, June 25

Superior Court

Reception to follow when possible

The letters of thanks for the presents already received should make it clear that nothing more is warranted: “Conrad and I were so dismayed that we weren’t able to have the ceremony with everybody there. We do hope that we will see you at the reception when it is rescheduled. In the meantime, thank you for the handsome antique pie slicer. We have been testing out many and various different pies to see which one it slices best. I say cherry.”

Dear Miss Manners: My dear mother’s death is sadly approaching, and it will be up to me to write her death notice.

I know that “she was preceded in death by her husband, (insert Dad’s name)” is the first thing to add after the date she passed. Then comes the trouble spot for me: “She is survived by …” Do I include daughters/sons-in-law? How about nieces/nephews-in-law? Both my brother and sister are married, but I am not. There are no big rifts in our family right now, so I don’t want to cause one.

What would be the correct wording? “She is survived by her son, Abelard, and his wife, Heloise”? “She is survived by her son, Abelard, and daughter-in-law, Heloise”? Please note that Heloise is easily offended, which is certainly not what I want when this sad time arrives.

The proper wording is to list pertinent family members in relation to the deceased. In this case, it would be, “She is survived by her son, Abelard, and daughter-in-law, Heloise.” Unfortunately, Miss Manners is afraid that if Heloise is prone to being offended, she will probably find cause no matter how you phrase it.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

2020, by Judith Martin