Monday, June 30, 2014

I Don't Want to Tend Bar at a Friend's Wedding!

Dear Jocelyn,
My boyfriend and I have been together for a year, and a few months ago, we went on a double date with an engaged couple, whom he is very good friends with. Other than that double date, we went on a weekend float trip together. All of us had a really good time. I enjoyed both of them very much. They are set to get married in three months. I knew that because they were on a tight budget, that I probably wouldn't be my boyfriend's "plus one", which is totally fine, however, I received a Facebook message (two other girls I know, but am not friends with) asking if I could bartend at their reception! I feel like this is very tacky, but I want his friends to like me and I'm afraid that by not participating, it will make look like the bad guy. Their special day is on a Friday night (I'm in the restaurant industry) so I would have to lose out on money just to act as their hired help. Am I being selfish?
-Not The Help

Dear Help,
There is a very good rule of etiquette stating that if a person is not invited to a wedding, it is bad manners to invite them to a bridal shower/bachelor party/etc. It seems as if your circumstance can fall under the umbrella of this rule. It is kind of you to not be slighted by not being invited, but it seems rather rude of the couple to not invite you, but rather ask you to tend bar at the reception. Either this is a lame attempt at including you in their wedding, or perhaps they do not wish to put the effort into researching good bartenders and thought you would be willing to do it.

It is unclear from your letter whether they are going to pay you for this (you stated you would be losing money - whether from lack of wages, or because they simply wouldn't pay as much, I'm not sure). If they did not offer to pay you at least the going rate, then their request is extremely presumptuous. If they did, they might simply be suffering a lack of awareness of social etiquette.

Either way, the best thing to do is simply decline the offer and wish them a happy ceremony. You might consider sending them references to other bartenders in the area. And to answer your original question, you are not being selfish. Be confident in your right to refuse this tacky request.
-Jocelyn

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