Rude wedding guests coming underdressed and leaving early

My wedding took place last weekend. It was a formal affair for about 80 people. I was horrified to have an old high school friend that I had not seen in years (who had RSVP’d asking to bring an extra friend) come up to me during the cocktail hour and say she had to leave prior to dinner. I was so flustered that I did not have time to try to convince her to stay (all I could think of was “oh my God, how am I going to adjust my seating arrangements for a banquet style dinner with 10 minutes notice?”). Additionally, she and her guest showed up to the event underdressed (casual street clothing). I felt very embarrassed for her. She had RSVP’d months before for the entire event.

Even though it was blatantly obvious that a fancy dinner was part of the wedding, she muttered an excuse about having to go to another dinner and having to get up very early the next morning, even though she lived only 30 minutes away.

Needless to say, I am offended. I did receive a gift from this person, for which I have already thanked her. However, I also sent her an e-mail saying that I was very disappointed. I continued on to say that for the sake of courtesy towards the couple hosting the wedding, in the future it would be advisable to let people know about changes in plans in advance. Have a done wrong to state this to my old friend? I wouldn’t have written this had the offending guest been older.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

If you haven’t seen this friend in years she probably should not even been invited to the wedding. This might have been part of the problem – your freind might have felt some sort of obligation. But, the only issue I can really see you being upset about is your friend asking to bring along an uninvited guest. Everything else you mention is her issue, not yours. Yes, it was rude to come dressed inapropriately and rude to leave before dinner is served but should not really have been an issue for you other than being sorry that your friend couldn’t stay to enjoy the wedding.

Pointing out when someone has been rude is – well – rude.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I completely agree. It appears to me that this person didn’t feel comfortable. Many struggle with attire choices. Obviously they didn’t choose well and decided to leave.

It wasn’t polite to chastise this person. Friends should be more important than wondering how to adjust seating arrangements.

What if this person was ill?