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Fury as bride splits potential wedding guests up into groups

Australians have slammed a bride-to-be for ranking her wedding guests in order of who she would most like to attend and telling the ‘least preferred’ group to ‘keep an eye on the website’ in case seats become vacant.

The controversy began when a woman posted a photo of an invitation titled ‘Important Notice’ in a bridal group on Facebook.

Addressed to friends and family, the note began by asking recipients to understand that the wedding venue can only accommodate a ‘limited number of guests’. 

While it’s not known when the note was written, it’s likely to have been sometime since March when the pandemic forced the federal government to implement social distancing policies and strict limits on numbers attending public gatherings.

The number of people who can attend a wedding is 150 in New South Wales, 100 in Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory and 20 in Victoria, excluding Melbourne and the adjacent Mitchell Shire where a second lockdown has been in place since July 9.

Gatherings are limited to one person per two square metres in Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

The note continued that while the couple would ‘love’ to celebrate with their entire invite list, they had been ‘forced’ to split guests into three groups based on order of preference to ensure they comply with capacity restrictions.

Group A were asked to ‘RSVP as soon as possible’, indicating they are the bride and groom’s top priority.

‘We appreciate your promptness as we will be able to extend any vacant seats to additional guests,’ the message reads.

Groups B and C were told to ‘keep a close watch’ on the wedding website to see if seats become available, putting them on an unusual kind of waiting list.

The note ended with a request that guests ‘hire a babysitter for the night’ so they can leave children at home and forego bringing a plus-one if they had been planning to.

The final line tells the reader which group they are in, A, B or C.

Do guests have a right to be upset with the couple?

Do guests have a right to be upset with the couple?

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People were outraged at the message, with many branding it ‘tacky’ and ‘painfully self-entitled’.

‘There are ways to do this. This isn’t it. But it’s one way to make sure you will not have anyone from Group B and C at the wedding,’ one woman said.

A second said: ‘I want to see the face of the person who thinks they’re in group A and then reads ‘YOU ARE IN GROUP C’ at the bottom.’

A third said it reminded her of flying standby, where a passenger – usually airline staff or their immediate family – gets a seat on a flight on the day without prior reservation.

‘So groups B and C are basically being told they’re on the wait list? Imagine thinking your wedding was this important people are just desperate to get in,’ said another. 

‘I hate going to weddings already and if I was told I was some last minute filler invite I would be happy to decline.’ 

Others said the wording of the note made it glaringly obvious that the couple did not care if people from groups and B and C attended but had felt obliged to include them. 

One woman suggested how the couple could have explained the issue of the restrictions in a less offensive manner.

‘This was SO simple. Send out group A invites and ask for RSVP within two weeks because you have other friends you’d love to have if group A are already booked,’ she said.

‘Then, when no answer or reply indicating unable to attend, use the free spots to invite people from group B, and tell them you need quick RSVP for same reason. 

‘Work down the list until you get as many Yes responses as you can accommodate.’

Out of 751 comments, just one woman agreed with the bride saying: ‘In COVID times, I would understand this entirely.’

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