You say Bob walked in once “halfway through the service.” Okay. That would be really dramatic . . . if anyone reacted to it. If you all just ignored him and carried on with the service, then it would be good for little more than a few “Wha?” moments in the pews. And some stories later
Adapted from an online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: We’ve asked our wedding party to do the standard pre-wedding activities, namely to attend the rehearsal. However, after I sent around the actual schedule, “Bob” replied that he can’t make it for rehearsal day and will just come into town for the wedding.
Normally I’d be okay with this, but . . . Bob has a bit of a history with weddings. When serving as a groomsman for another friend, he was late and literally walked up to the altar halfway through the service. Another time, he RSVP’d to the rehearsal dinner, but then didn’t show up until the end.
So, on one hand, fiance and I are grateful Bob is giving us advance notice, but we also view him as somewhat of a wild card and are not sure we can trust him. Fiance (rightfully!) wants no Bob drama on the wedding day and has suggested downgrading him to an usher or some other symbolic role that has no critical responsibilities. I’m not exactly sure how to politely rescind a groomsman invitation. Help?
— What About Bob?
(Nick Galifianakis/The Washington Post) What About Bob?: If you really want “no Bob drama,” then don’t do anything. Demotions invite drama, no? All those pronouncements and assumptions and feelings.
You say Bob walked in once “halfway through the service.” Okay. That would be really dramatic . . . if anyone reacted to it. If you all just ignored him and carried on with the service, then it would be good for little more than a few “Wha?” moments in the pews. And some stories later.
The rehearsal dinner no-show is even easier. You have the dinner. Bob misses it. You don’t wonder where Bob is because this is what Bob does.
This is possible because a groomsman has no critical responsibilities. (Not unless you assign them, which you won’t, because duh.) You will be just as married whether he shows up, doesn’t show up, shows up mid-vows.
You obviously care enough about Bob to include him. So, assume Bob will be Bob, and cross it off your fret list.
Re: Bob: I’m sorry, you can’t ask the couple to take on a wild card on a day with so many other logistics, just because that’s how he “is.” This is the right opportunity to say, “We really need groomsmen to rehearse, so no hard feelings if you can’t serve, but we’d love to have you participate as an usher.” Bob may even hate being a groomsman and wonder why people keep asking him to do it.
— Anti-Wild Card
Anti-Wild Card: 1. But they don’t really “need” him to rehearse, unless it’s a flash mob;
2. If Bob can’t speak for himself, then it’s not others’ responsibility to speak for him.
The foundation of my answer is that any one groomsman’s (or bridesmaid’s) presence or absence, logistically, Just Doesn’t Matter, and I’ll surrender that opinion when you pry it out of my dead, tendinitis-curled hands.
Re: Bob: Give Bob a break. I have a friend who hasn’t talked to me since her wedding because I couldn’t “come into town” (i.e., take vacation at a new job) for her rehearsal dinner. Please let your friends be your friends whether they can make all the “standard pre-wedding activities.”
— Standard According to Whom?
Standard According to Whom?: #FreeBob
Write to Carolyn Hax at [email protected] . Get her column delivered to your inbox each morning at wapo.st/haxpost .