The latest trend: The 'you're not invited' wedding e-mail
The soon-to-be-betrothed are feeling the need to inform those who are not invited by electronic means. Are they slightly loopy?
I have always found the marriage thing fascinating.
Though I've never managed it myself, I have been best man five times. This has brought me up close to the deep-seated neuroses surrounding the happy day.
What should the happy couple wear? What color should the flowers be? Should there be a vegetarian option? And, of course, most vital, who should be invited?
I had always imagined that those not invited would accept the slight with good grace or permanent spite.
I had also imagined that those who didn't quite make the cut would at least be offered a small whisper from bride and groom as to the (spurious) reasons why they didn't quite appear on the list.
Yet now NBC's Today.com informs me that I am misinformed.
For it is supposedly now de rigueur that you send the disappointed an official e-mail to tell them that they are officially not invited.
To the untrained eye, this has all the sensitivity of a buttock pinch in a sauna.
Yet those who plan weddings declare that soon-to-be-married couples tend to bear enormous guilt about those whom they cannot invite due to lack of space, lack of wedding budget or lack of actual friendship.
So sometimes they opt for a personal e-mail explaining the situation, using tissue upon tissue of gross mendacity.
Sometimes, however, they get their wedding planner to do their virtual dirty work.
Tatiana Byron, founder of wedding planning service The Wedding Salon, told Today: "Some of their friends complain and criticize the couple, thinking the planner won't tell the client."
There is, indeed, no limit to people's absolute mindlessness.
In some cases, it seems, the couple has a reasonable excuse for the virtual kiss-off. Perhaps they are holding their wedding in some obscure locale, such as Mustique or a musty bar in Dar-es-Salaam.
But there is still the occasional, quite galling nincompoopery.
Apparently, some brides and grooms send out e-mails to explain that certain people are on the wait-list.
"We like you. But we don't like you all that much. And certainly not as much as you thought."
I know that social mores can be painful and cumbersome.
I know that trying to please everyone is the demise of many marriages, just as it is the demise of many brands.
But the mere idea of sending someone an e-mail to tell them they're not that important is just a little, well, Millennial?
Oh, yes. That would explain a lot.