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Dear Miss Manners: Some months ago, we invited my colleague X to our wedding. I have never been very close with X, but several others at my job are, so X got an invite. That was our first mistake.
Since that time, X had an altercation on the job that resulted in termination. Being very vocal and dramatic, X is now taking legal action. No one at work, least of all myself, supported X’s position. Now, several guests have expressed discomfort at attending my wedding if X will be present, and they are considering backing out.
It seems I have three options to avoid drama — at least at the wedding. 1. Uninvite X, though I see no way that etiquette provides for this; 2. Send X a polite missive allowing a graceful exit, with perhaps a veiled warning about topics to be avoided should X still decide to attend; and 3. Place X at a table distant from anyone from the workplace and hope for the best. Thoughts?
Option 3. And Miss Manners suggests the children’s table, where X’s drama and potential altercations will be met in kind.
Dear Miss Manners: We were invited to a party personally over the phone, then we were told not to come by the same person (again over the phone).
Is this ever okay? No, nothing nefarious happened between these phone calls.
Did something nefarious happen to the hosts? This would be the only polite reason for canceling on you: if they were unable to hold the party at all.
A second explanation might be a change in their requirements for admittance. New coronavirus variants or safety recommendations might cause them to disinvite guests who do not meet the criteria.
Either way, it should be clearly, politely and equitably communicated.
Do not, Miss Manners warns, confuse this with the rule about guests not needing an excuse for declining invitations in advance. Hosts are certainly required to give one for rescinding after the fact — and a good one, at that.
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.