Etiquette: Usher is confused about text-only invitation to shows

Q. What is the etiquette on attending an event without a formal invitation? Recently, my husband and I learned of a couple’s shower for his cousin. We know formal invitations were sent to a guest list because his brothers received them.

We did not say anything to the bride or groom about not receiving an invitation. The groom told my husband about the shower through a text message and said we should come. My husband is an usher in the wedding but hasn’t been included in the wedding festivities to this point.

I feel awkward attending an event without receiving a formal invitation regardless of receiving a later text invitation from the groom.

What is the official etiquette on this situation?

A. I understand why you feel uncomfortable about attending this couple’s shower without receiving a more formal invitation. Unless there are space or budget restraints, all members of the wedding party, including ushers, are normally included in the pre-wedding festivities. It is a possibility the invitation could have been lost in the mail. Or, perhaps in the excitement of writing the invitations, the couple could have missed your names. You have a couple of options to consider:

1. Go to the shower based on the text invitation from the groom and consider the fact that you did not receive an actual written or more formal invitation as an unintentional oversight.

2. Your husband could contact the groom again and relay his feelings of being uncomfortable about attending the shower without receiving a more formal invitation.

3. Simply not attend the shower

4. Your husband could call one of his brothers to find out who is hosting the shower. Contact that individual, relay the text invitation and matter-of-factly explain that a formal invitation was not received. Ask for confirmation as to whether ushers are included. If ushers are not included, politely respond with a “thank you,” and do not attend.

The bride, groom and bridesmaids usually spend months arranging a wedding. There are a lot of details to consider and decisions to be made. It can be a very happy time for everyone, but it can also be somewhat stressful. Although the fact you did not receive a more formal invitation is certainly not insignificant, and your feelings may be hurt, rather than cause a possible emotional or drama event, I recommend you choose options 1, 2 or 4 and share in the excitement and fun of the bridal shower.