DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a same-gender spouse. Several years ago, we had a commitment ceremony. It was attended by our extended families and friends. Both of my sisters took part in the ceremony.
Unfortunately, our marriage is not recognized by our home state, but I thought that our relationship, at least, was recognized by our families.
The daughter of one of my sisters will soon be getting married. This week I received a “save the date” card from my niece. The envelope was addressed to me only, and the enclosed RSVP card was in my name only.
John and I have no intention of attending a family wedding from which he seems to have been rather pointedly excluded. I would like to make my position clear, but wish to avoid rudeness and unnecessary family drama. In order to accomplish these goals, I would like to send a letter to my niece.
The letter I have in mind would be something like: “Dear –, I recently received your save-the-date card. Although John’s name was overlooked, we are both delighted with the news of your upcoming wedding. Regrettably, it appears as though we will be unable to attend; however, we wish you as much joy in your ceremony as we had, and as much happiness as we continue to have.”
What are your thoughts? Would such a letter be appropriate?
GENTLE READER: How can a letter not be appropriate when it wishes the recipient happiness, gives her a prompt answer, and, in saying that your husband was “overlooked,” provides your niece with a grateful out?
Miss Manners will even write the proper response for her: “My dear Uncle, I am mortified that John’s name was omitted – please ask him to accept my apologies. I can only imagine that I must have used the family directory from before we knew him. Of course I want my uncle-by-marriage at the wedding. I will continue to hope that when the time comes, you and he will have been able to alter your plans in order to attend.
“Meanwhile, I send you both my love.”