There are so many unspoken rules and so much etiquette surrounding weddings and the events leading up to them. Some rules are pretty well known, like not wearing a white dress if you’re a guest or sending a gift even if you can’t make it, but there are other areas that are rather gray.
No-shows, for example: When the bride and groom have painstakingly made sure that there’s a place at a table, a meal and enough space and drinks for each guest, it’s rude for the guest to simply not show up without any warning.
That rudeness is magnified severalfold when the wedding is a destination wedding — but it still happens. And that fact spurred newlywed Doug Simmons to find catharsis by crafting a tongue-in-cheek document that has caused quite a stir.
Doug and Dedra got married on Aug. 18 in a long-awaited destination wedding in Negril, Jamaica. They had 109 guests RSVP for the event, and they had to shell out for all of them a month ahead of the wedding.
Obviously, they checked multiple times to ensure that their guests were still able to attend, and everything seemed good.
“We asked four times from November to August if they would be in attendance, and every time they said yes,” Doug told Today’s TMRW. “If at any time they were unable to attend, we would have truly understood, but to no call no show was a bit disappointing.”
And yet, on the day of the wedding, four guests and their plus-ones no-showed without a peep. No call, no message, no excuse. Just empty seats and full plates.
“We were all on WhatsApp and neither one of us got a text or call from any of them letting us know they wouldn’t be able to make it,” Doug continued. “When we got home from Jamaica, there was still no call or text.”
So he decided to channel that frustration into something productive: An invoice billing no-shows for their dinners.
“This invoice is being sent to you because you confirmed seat(s) at the wedding reception during the Final Headcount,” the “Notes” section at the bottom of the document states. “The amount above is the cost of your individual seats.
“Because you didn’t call or give us proper notice that you wouldn’t be in attendance, this amount is what you owe us for paying for your seat(s) in advance. You can pay via Zelle or PayPal.”
With each dinner coming in at $120, it’s no wonder Doug was a little fired up over the situation. The cost didn’t put him or his bride in any sort of financial trouble, but who likes to spend $960 on people who don’t even have the courtesy to let you know they can’t make it?
Doug, whose Facebook handle is Septimbur Petty, shared the invoice online and it has since gone viral with over 6,700 shares.
“DON’T BE OFFENDED WHEN I SEND THIS #INVOICE TO YOU,” his post states. “IT’S GONNA LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS. I’LL BE SENDING IT VIA EMAIL AND CERTIFIED MAIL… JUST IN CASE YOU SAY YOU AIN’T GET THE EMAIL.”
Doug agreed that his invoice is a bit petty, but he also said that if the guests had simply notified him they wouldn’t have been able to make it, he would have understood.
He was also sure to let people know that the invoice was “meant as a joke” and wasn’t actually sent to anyone. But it was posted, publicly, so those would-be guests would get the message, even if they weren’t stuck with the bill.
“I had no intention of sending it to anyone and didn’t send it to anyone,” he said. “I knew just posting it alone would get them in their feelings, which it did.
“Putting together a wedding isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t matter if you’re poor or rich, no one wants their money wasted. It’s about integrity and having morals.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.