Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Do I Have to Invite My Fiance’s New Brother-in-Law to Our Wedding?”

wedding invitation

I am a bride about to be married in August. My fiancé comes from a big family where is he number six out of seven kids. While his family is VERY close, he has one sister who is not with them. She lives farther away from the rest and doesn’t communicate with four of the siblings. Over the past two years, she has distanced herself greatly; she claims she will come in for events but always cancels last minute. We are worried about her mental well-being because of some other reasons (for another day). A year and a half ago she secretly got married to a man she met online. We only found out after seeing a picture on Facebook and doing a little investigative work through court documents.

She has never come clean about her marriage to this day. My future in-laws have met him on two occasions. Here’s the predicament: We are issuing wedding invitations in two short months. We DO NOT want to invite her new husband for these reasons:

1. She has made no attempt to introduce us to him or tell us about them.

2. My parents are paying for the wedding (quite expensive wedding).

3. She had a wedding none of us was invited to (but his family was).

His parents feel we absolutely need to include him, saying “he’s a nice guy.” We feel our wedding day should not be a meet-and-greet for the rest of the family nor is it an appropriate time for her to announce this life milestone to others on our day.

What are your thoughts? — My Wedding is Not a Meet-and-Greet

My thoughts are you sound like a typical bridezilla, losing the forest for the trees (or is that losing perspective through the tulle? Take your pick). You say nothing about any reservation you might have about inviting your fiancé’s sister (nor should you), so I’m assuming that is a given. But how can you invite a sibling and not extend an invite to her spouse, even if you haven’t met him? That’s WAY ruder than any sin or transgression you’ve mentioned on her part. And, look, you’re ridiculous if you think your wedding isn’t going to be a meet-n-greet. ALL weddings that involve extended family members (or large families and/or longtime friends that are spread out) are meet-n-greets. People who haven’t seen each other in years and are traveling from different parts of the country (or globe) introduce partners and kids to each other. I mean, you’re still going to be the center of attention, but, yeah, there will be introductions at the reception and, gasp, some conversations that don’t completely revolve around you. And that’s going to happen regardless of whether your fiancé’s sister shows up with her new husband or not, so you might as well extend an invitation to him (and, if you simply can’t bear to write his name because your fiancé’s sister hasn’t personally told you guys about him, then include a “plus 1” on the invitation and leave it at that).

Your three reasons for not wanting to invite the new husband don’t make a lot of sense either:

1. Your apparently mentally unstable sister-in-law-to-be may not have told you about her husband, but you clearly know about him. Your parents-in-law-to-be have met him twice. I’m sure she’s aware word has gotten out and, whatever her reason is for not personally sharing the news with you, it isn’t because she wanted to keep it a secret.

2. What’s your point about your parents paying for your expensive wedding? That they’re so strapped for cash after footing the big bill that they can’t afford one more plate at the reception? I doubt that is it. Are they insisting that everyone who is invited be someone you have personally met? Have they said no to plus ones, even plus ones who are legally related to you? If so, that’s weird.

3. Do you need to be invited to the wedding of every guest you invite to your wedding? Even so, if you’re planning to invite your fiancé’s sister, regardless of whether she had a wedding you weren’t invited to, it doesn’t make sense that you wouldn’t invite her husband if your reasoning is that you weren’t invited to their wedding. It just doesn’t. Either invite both or don’t invite either (but invite both).

I have no idea why she didn’t invite her own family to her wedding, but since it was ALL of you — all 6 siblings and their families and her parents, etc. — then it obviously wasn’t some personal vendetta against your fiancé (or you). There’s obviously something going on with her/her relationship with her family that your not inviting her husband to your wedding isn’t going to help. And furthermore, what do you think you fiancé’s parents will think about you excluding him — their son-on-law, this man they’ve met and said is a “nice guy?” This man who is married to their daughter, whom I’m sure they love very much and are concerned for and want a better relationship with? Hint: It’s not going to endear you to them very much.

You don’t have to be best friends with this guy. You don’t have to have a relationship with him at all. But invite him to your damn wedding. It will hardly be any skin off your nose at all (hell, with their track record, they may not even show up), but the gesture will go a long way in maintaining a good relationship with your in-laws and embracing their side of the family. And the truth is, weddings are never just about the bride or the couple getting married. They’re about family. They’re about marrying into all the complicated mess and joy of your partner’s people and accepting them as your own. So, as much as it’s “your special day,” it’s also their special day. It’s a day they’re welcoming a new family member — someone whom, I’m sure they hope, will love and care for their child, but will also love and accept them.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

58 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Julia March 2, 2015, 9:14 am

    WWS. It’s ONE additional person at what you already describe as a very expensive wedding. And you have no reason to dislike the husband. If you want to be bitter at someone, I guess, make it your future SIL. But seriously, you are getting off on the wrong foot with your soon-to-be-husband’s family. Try to have more sympathy for someone who you think has issues with her mental well-being. And also, get over yourself.

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  • avatar

    Essie March 2, 2015, 9:23 am

    Yes, you have to invite him. Like it or not, he’s part of your family.
    .
    And excluding your new sister-in-law’s husband to spite her because she didn’t invite you to her wedding is just plain childish.
    .
    As for her not introducing him to you or telling you about them…..you say that she may be mentally ill. Have you not considered that that my be why she has difficulty navigating social situations?
    .
    Why not err on the side of kindness and compassion?
    .
    Refusing to invite this guy is going to put your fiance in a very awkward position with his family. It will make you look small, petty, selfish, and yes, childish, to his family. And I’m sorry, but the ‘my parents are paying’ excuse is just nonsense. If your parents are that cash-strapped, I’m sure that between you and your fiance, you can come up with the money to cover your brother-in-law’s meal.

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  • avatar

    shg23 March 2, 2015, 9:27 am

    WWS. In other words: yes.

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope March 2, 2015, 9:30 am

    Bottom line– he’s your sister-in-law’s husband. Of course you have to invite him. It doesn’t matter if you know about him, like him, think he’ll show, have an opinion about internet dating,can’t afford to pay for his plate… He’s your brother-in-law.

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  • niki

    niki March 2, 2015, 9:32 am

    It is unspeakably rude to not invite the spouse of another invited guest. They are a social unit. He is not a “plus 1”, he is her husband and should be invited by name. Be rest-assured that you will be so busy greeting your many guests that this guy will be but a blip on your radar the day of the wedding. But perhaps you could be the bigger person and try and get to know the sister and her husband.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh March 2, 2015, 9:44 am

    WWS. Any time you get family or friends together that haven’t seen each other or potentially ever met you’ve created a meet and greet. As well as a chance to update each other on their lives. If the sister didn’t invite everyone to her wedding I highly doubt she’s going to use your event to make a big deal about her marriage. She’s had the chance and chose not to. And I mean if you want permission to not invite her, then don’t. But, you’re definitely going to be starting your relationship with your in-laws off on the wrong foot. And you can bet that what you didn’t want to happen, have your wedding day be about the sister and her husband, will probably happen.

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    • juliecatharine

      juliecatharine March 2, 2015, 9:47 am

      Oh lordy so so true. Excellent points.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph March 2, 2015, 10:03 am

      Oh such a great point! Can totally see more people talking about the snubbing of the BIL than about the existence of him.

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  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine March 2, 2015, 9:45 am

    WWS-you’re engaged to a man with six siblings and you’re this concerned about one of their spouses? Just let it go and focus on your own happiness. It’s your wedding–even if a guest goes into labor on the dance floor you’re still going to a) be married–remember that part?? and b) have plenty of attention on you. I’m hoping this is one of those times when someone is super overwhelmed and they become irrationally focused on one stupid detail. If so, focus on the main point of the day (joining your life with someone else) and realize the rest just isn’t that important. If not, stop being a fucking bridezilla and get over yourself.

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  • avatar

    Cleopatra Jones March 2, 2015, 9:51 am

    WWS.
    BUT I’m surprised that no one addressed this in the OP’s letter:
    A year and a half ago she secretly got married to a man she met online. We only found out after seeing a picture on Facebook and doing a little investigative work through court documents.
    .
    WHY would you do that? Your S-I-L is an A.D.U.L.T!!!! Who she marries, dates, sleeps with or has coffee with is absolutely none of your business. Look you don’t have to like her husband but you do have respect her choice of partners AND her personal boundaries.
    .
    As someone who comes from a big family, I have set some distance between my siblings and myself because my older siblings haven’t yet realized that I am an adult even though, I have a child in college). They still think they should weigh in on the choices that affect my life so I understand your S-I-L’s position. TBH, coming from such a large family meant that I was always someone’s little sister so I had to move away to just find myself and figure out who I was and what I wanted to be.
    .
    All of that to say, extend the invitation to your S-I-L’s spouse and don’t overstep your boundaries by involving yourself in another person’s personal business.

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    • othy

      othy March 2, 2015, 10:10 am

      I totally agree going through court documents is a huge invasion of her privacy! My brother eloped several years ago. He told me and our little brother. He didn’t tell my parents. My folks had a strong suspicion that they did elope, but aside from asking them point blank once (which they avoided answering the question), my parents never pried. They never asked me, and they definitely didn’t go through court documents. My brother and his wife later had a ‘ceremony’ where they invited friends and family, and my parents have never pushed the issue. Because if my brother wanted to tell them, he would. And they know it’s none of their business.

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    • Portia

      Portia March 2, 2015, 10:18 am

      Right on the mark, who searches for someone else’s court documents when it has nothing to do with them??? Oh boy…

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    • FireStar

      FireStar March 2, 2015, 10:23 am

      Really? It’s public record. If they told me they went through her emails or hacked into her phone I’d agree but public record is just that. If I had a mentally ill child or loved one that had distanced themselves from me I would avail myself of every legal avenue I had to ensure that they were safe and not acting in a self-destructive manner. That doesn’t mean I call her up and berate her for marrying and not telling me but it is important information to have. He is now her next of kin and everyone should know that, at the very least.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom March 2, 2015, 10:31 am

        I agree. It’s a public record. We all have them, they are just a fact of life. They may as well know who her legal next of kin is. If they tried to confront her with what they found that would be an invasion of privacy. If they berated her for not inviting them they would be crossing a line. Looking at public information is no big deal.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy March 2, 2015, 11:43 am

        I absolutely agree. If I had a mentally ill sibling who was seriously involved with someone she met online, I’d also do some online researching of public records to find out if there was any documented reason we might need to be concerned for her safety/ well-being.

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      • avatar

        Cleopatra Jones March 2, 2015, 1:12 pm

        True, it is public record but why spend the energy and time trying to find out if she was married? I assume if she wanted to tell them she would have but she didn’t so move on. They could have spent that energy getting to know him better.
        .
        I personally disagree that she was doing it to protect her S-I-L. To me, it feels patronizing and judge-y. This whole thing doesn’t feel any different than looking up how much my next door neighbor paid for their brand new car. Yes, the information is public knowledge but why would I need to know it? And what am I going to do with it?
        .
        Are we legitimately saying the mentally ill do not have any rights to privacy? Seriously? I truly understand the concern of having a mentally ill relative but how can they determine that he is shady if they haven’t actually met him? Why should a legal defense be the first reaction to the sister getting married? I know people without mental illness who make shitty relationship decisions and I don’t feel like that’s a good reason to poke through their business.
        .
        To me, the LW and fiance crossed a boundary because I am a HUGE fan of staying out of other people’s personal business unless they ask for my opinion.

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      • avatar

        TheGirlinME March 2, 2015, 4:46 pm

        Well stated. I agree with you.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph March 2, 2015, 9:53 am

    Yeah, I definitely see the bridezilla coming out. It sounds like you don’t want the sister to steal your thunder, as if showing up with a husband that everyone already sort of knows about is going to take away your spotlight. As Wendy says, all weddings are a meet and greet. Has your whole entire family met his whole entire family? Have you seen every one of your relatives and friends who are invited within the last year? I’m guessing no, on both counts, so you’re going to have plenty of people meeting people for the first time, or first time in a very long time. What’s one more never-met-before husband in the mix.

    Also, story time.. when my bff got married, her cousin took the opportunity of the rehearsal dinner to announce to the extended family that she was pregnant (she was only like 2 months so not showing at all, also she was not married or seriously dating anyone so it’s not like people were expecting it and asking about it). You know what happened? A couple relatives tittered about it for about 5 seconds, and then… people moved on. I promise, the wedding was not ruined.

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  • Pamplemousse Rose

    Pamplemousse Rose March 2, 2015, 10:16 am

    Has your new secret BIL done any of the following things:
    – revoked asking you to be godmother of your niece?
    – told your gay brother he can visit her family but no partner of his ever can?
    – emailed your mother to let her know that when your brother said they enjoyed a visit she actually did not and could not leave the impression that she did in fact enjoy it?
    – sent you an email specifically saying if she came to your wedding she may not be able to control her animosity towards another unnamed family member?
    – told your other brother that she heard rumors he is such a dirty human being (whatever that means) that she would never offer a hand to save his life?
    – told your other SIL that she’s a nasty person? (it is generally universally agreed that this SIL is awesome)
    Look my SIL has done all of these things and I STILL invited her to my wedding (to be fair, only the first 4 had happened before my wedding, the other two after). Has the BIL done anything comparable? You really need to invite them both. As a couple, not a “+1” Adding a plus one to his sister’s invitation is almost more insulting (we couldn’t be bothered to ask his name). I tracked down the names of plus ones even more distant than a brother in law because I wanted guests to feel invited, not like an add-on. The cost excuse is laughable. Seriously – if your parents won’t pay for his plate – pay for it yourself.

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  • avatar

    Q March 2, 2015, 10:24 am

    Was there an explicit no plus-one rule put into place? If not, this is especially ridiculous. I’m getting ready to go as a plus-one to a wedding with my boyfriend this month. He knows the couple, I don’t. Am I out of line for attending?

    Am I going to steal her thunder? Heaven forbid another guest is introduced to me while the bride is distracted with 200 other things.

    I try to always see things from the LW’s point of view, but seriously. Calm down and enjoy the celebration of a new life with the person you love!

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  • avatar

    captainswife March 2, 2015, 10:34 am

    Stellar idea: It’s now March. Your wedding is in August. Why not invite them for dinner-a visit-whatever so you can meet the fellow? You say they are the farthest off, but don’t give more details. Obviously, if they are thousands of miles away, it’s untenable. However, if they’re closer, why not try to meet him before the wedding, since it’s such a big deal to you?

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  • FireStar

    FireStar March 2, 2015, 10:36 am

    I’m going to chalk this up to lack of sleep or something. Yes. You have to invite your family members to your wedding, barring some sort of legitimate reason like he is an abusive drunkard who will only cause a scene or is going to drive his pick-up truck through the reception doors and knock over the cake. So far his only sin seems to be marrying your SIL and acceding to what I imagine was her request to keep their wedding smaller than you would have wished. Invite him. Smile brightly. Thank him for coming and tell him it is nice to finally meet him. The look to the left of him at the next person in the reception line and smile brightly at them too. Truly that is as much interaction you are likely to have with him on your wedding day. I have every faith in you that you can manage it.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray March 2, 2015, 10:51 am

    After reading just the headline, my gut answer was YES, though I suspected there could be some good reasons why you’d want to exclude an in-law. Then I read your letter and my answer is still YES – for all the reasons Wendy cited.

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  • Portia

    Portia March 2, 2015, 10:55 am

    So if the LW knows they are married, the LW has to invite them both, because you have to invite spouses. They’re family! However, it sounds like the SIL is still hiding that they got married. So, what if the family hadn’t found out through an investigator that they were married – would they still have to invite the guy? Because technically at that point, for all they know he’s a significant other of a few years and not a spouse. I’m really curious what you all think…
    .
    Doesn’t change this situation: they know they’re married, they have to invite the spouse.

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    • Portia

      Portia March 2, 2015, 11:02 am

      Like, what if between now and my wedding my cousin and his girlfriend secretly got married? Do I now have to invite her, even though it’s not public knowledge? Am I guilty of a faux pas even if I don’t know it?

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh March 2, 2015, 11:04 am

      If the parents knew he existed, which it sounds like they knew she had a significant other, it would be nice to invite him. But, I mean either way it sounds like this isn’t even about whether they’re married or not. I wonder too if the whole family is worried about her or just the LW and her husband and why they’re worried. It just seems weird. And like she’s creating so much drama where there doesn’t need to be any!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray March 2, 2015, 11:04 am

      Are spouses invited (just not significant others) in your scenario? If so, I say yes, because I think it’s tacky not to invite someone’s significant other simply because they haven’t become married in the eyes of the law.

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      • Portia

        Portia March 2, 2015, 11:13 am

        I get that for a situation where they were calling each other spouse and just hadn’t made it legal. But if they got married and told no one? And you’re not inviting significant others that have been together for like comparable amounts of time or external relationship stage?

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh March 2, 2015, 11:21 am

        I think you’re probably going to tick people off (even if they don’t say anything) doing it that way anyway (not judging, but based on letters here at least people do tend to get ticked). I probably wouldn’t worry about people who had gotten secretly married being offended because they hadn’t told anyone.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 2, 2015, 11:40 am

        Well, I mean people who are in serious relationships but haven’t made it “official” for various reasons – maybe they don’t want to get married. It seems judgmental to not invite someone’s significant other when you’re inviting spouses because you’ve made a decision that they must not be serious enough because they didn’t tie the know; almost like you’re not valuing their relationship as much because they don’t have the same values as you as far as wanting to tie the knot goes or not. So, for that reason, I think if you’re inviting spouses, you should invite people’s significant others that you know.

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      • avatar

        MissDre March 2, 2015, 12:09 pm

        And now you’re going to start the debate about what is considered a serious relationship. 6 months together? One year? Living together? lol

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 2, 2015, 12:42 pm

        In response to that, I incorporate by reference what niki said below. (So lawyerly, I know!) If they hold themselves out as a couple, then that’s enough to me.

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      • avatar

        Steph_ March 2, 2015, 12:47 pm

        I think with the plus one my rule of thumb will be, anyone living together – they both will get an invite. After that it’ll depend on my closeness with that person. My distant cousin that lives in TN and has and a slough or relationships won’t get a plus one unless they’re living together at that point.
        .
        I think it depends on the person you are inviting and they’re plus one. I’m going to a wedding at the end of the March, I’m good friends with the bride-to-be and I didn’t get a plus one for my boyfriend of 7 months at the time . It was just me. My feelings weren’t hurt by any means.
        .
        I don’t think everyone invited that’s in a relationship should get a plus one. I think it will vary by each person you or your soon to be spouse is inviting.

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      • avatar

        Steph_ March 2, 2015, 12:48 pm

        there*

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      • Portia

        Portia March 2, 2015, 1:32 pm

        My rule of thumb is similar, although we came up with some rubrics. Has at least one of us met them or spent a good amount of time with them? Is the invitee coming from out of town and would know no one outside of our immediate family? Would they not have someone to share a hotel room with? For instance, I know some of my cousins have shorter-term significant others that they’re not living with, so I decided only spouses of cousins were invited. Basically, I didn’t want to get into a seriousness debate with anyone. We’re being as inclusive as possible with SO’s (we appreciated when me and Bassanio were invited in the past), but it’s also a very small wedding, to the point that some important family friends won’t be invited for space.

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      • avatar

        Steph_ March 2, 2015, 4:08 pm

        I agree with that. I am no way near being married and I’m sure when the time comes I’ll have some sort of rubric like you do, but I do know that if anyone is living with an SO they will be invited as well.

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      • Portia

        Portia March 2, 2015, 4:57 pm

        And really things change too with time. If we’d gotten married 5 years ago, we would have had at least 10 less family members to invite, different friends, fewer significant others of the family friends we invited… The list goes on.

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      • niki

        niki March 2, 2015, 12:10 pm

        This. When I was planning my wedding I didn’t think it was my place to judge the seriousness of someone’s relationship. If they hold themselves out as a couple, then they should both be invited.

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady March 2, 2015, 3:03 pm

        Yes! If they say they’re a couple, then I think that they should be invited as a couple, especially family. I mean, I’ve always thought that the main purpose of a wedding was for both sides of the family to unite.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 2, 2015, 11:07 am

    Welcome to New Bride 101. Lesson 1: You must acknowledge every member of your new husband’s family. Why? Because they’re your family now, too. Think about this: If your husband’s family is that big, there will be plenty of people who haven’t met you yet. This will be their first impression of you. What would you like that impression to be? That you’re cool and awesome and they’re so glad he found you? Or, that you’re childish and petty and he could have done better? The reasons you give are completely nonsensical, especially the one about your parents paying. If the wedding is so expensive that one more plate would break them, maybe you should scale back the cost of the wedding. Just sayin’.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray March 2, 2015, 11:18 am

    I keep seeing a pattern of “bridezillas” where someone else is paying the tab for the wedding. I don’t have a problem with parents who want to do that, but I think with a bigger budget, it must be easier to get carried away and feel entitled with details like this. He is your family whether or not you like it, and your reasons for not inviting him are petty and don’t make sense.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 March 2, 2015, 11:57 am

    LW, if your parents are having a hard time paying for the wedding then you need to be a more considerate daughter and pick something they can afford.

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  • Mr. Cellophane

    Mr. Cellophane March 2, 2015, 12:18 pm

    Yes, but only if he has teeth.

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  • avatar

    Taylor March 2, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Love this –> “And the truth is, weddings are never just about the bride or the couple getting married. They’re about family. They’re about marrying into all the complicated mess and joy of your partner’s people and accepting them as your own.”

    Although, if you don’t want to deal with people, you can elope and have a fabulous time, just the two of you! (That was one of my favorite letters and updates).

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergay March 2, 2015, 1:48 pm

    LW: Hey DW, may I please be a total bitch for no reason? Please. Please! PLEASE!!

    DW (and EVERYBODY ELSE): Um… No.

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  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover March 2, 2015, 1:49 pm

    Why do some people think the whole day has to be about them, and them only? LW, what do you do at weddings? Think about weddings you’ve been to, and what you have spent your time doing at them. Did you spend the whole time gazing upon the bride and thinking of nothing but her? No? Then why on earth would you think your guests would do that at yours?
    .
    In my experience, the guests spend very little of the wedding interacting with the couple. They spend most of the time interacting with each other, and catching up. So what if your SIL uses your wedding to introduce her husband to people? What do you care? I used a family wedding to introduce my son to a bunch of my extended family members, it’s extremely common. No one is going to insist that your SIL go up to the front with her husband and give a big speech about their marriage which overshadows yours. So just settle down and do the right thing and invite them already.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra March 2, 2015, 2:49 pm

    Ok, this creepily sounds like me — getting engaged in December, getting married in August. Anyway…I have a few people on my guest list who if I were 100% paying for it I wouldn’t invite. Some extended relatives, friends my parents know but I don’t, etc. Mine is also a big wedding…and also expensive! But honestly, this ONE guy isn’t going to make or break you. You’re thinking probably an extra $40 or $50 for his meal and that’s it. And yeah, at your wedding there WILL be people meeting each other for the first time. Maybe this is your future SIL’s excuse to come back to the family and start fixing her relationship with them. Yeah this could cause some drama, but I seriously doubt you will even NOTICE him during your day.
    .
    For the record, one of my bridesmaids is married to a guy I HATE and who is actually a horrible person (towards her unfortunately), but I’m still inviting him because of etiquette/obligation. It’s much more important that my friend is there and if I exclude her husband I GUARANTEE I would damage my friendship with her. So NOT worth it.

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    • Mr. Cellophane

      Mr. Cellophane March 2, 2015, 2:56 pm

      Lyra, I was so hoping this wasn’t you. As I read, I realized that there is absolutely no way that you could be this…umm…shallow? Bridezillaish? Rude? Childish?

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    • Portia

      Portia March 2, 2015, 3:47 pm

      Haha, yeah I was also hoping it wasn’t you! But I was like 99% sure it wasn’t. We’re on the other side of that coin: ours is small and we’re paying for it. In fact, if everyone we’re inviting shows up or if people start adding guests who aren’t invited, we may need to pay an additional grand or two more for additional space, in addition to the $X a head for catering, but as long as at least 10% of people can’t come (ideally more like 20%), we’re OK. But yeah, no parents’ friends, no kinda OK friends, no plus one’s, no parents’ cousins. Strictly the necessary family and most important in our lives. It’s small by design and we’ve finally gotten our moms on board with most of it (though technically not necessary, because we’re paying).

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy March 3, 2015, 7:19 am

    From the LW:

    “Thanks for your feedback, although reading it I feel I should have mentioned these things first. A rushed e-mail with a lack of detail warranted the response I got, I suppose. Although I understand you’ll likely keep your point of view, I just wanted to say:

    1. My fiancé is the one dead set against his sister AND the husband – I said absolutely not to the sister, she has to attend, but question the husband.

    2. They have already “broken up” multiple times over the past year, so their relationship isn’t quite stable. Part of this is secondary to some serious accusations she’s made regarding him and her 2 children from a previous marriage.

    3. The instability part comes in part to her actions and accusations about his parents, siblings, etc. over the years.

    4. I only included the portion about my parents paying because I meant to say they are doing most of the planning and paying, and they support our decision to have whoever want there.

    5. The meet and greet portion – we decided from day 1, our wedding would be an intimate affair with people who we have both met before. We feel it’s not a celebration just for us, but for those who have been instrumental in our lives and relationships. That’s why I was saying I feel with all the other opportunities she’s had to introduce him to us, why that day? We just are unsure of the outcome between other siblings , fiancee and him and their interaction that day. We have made an effort to all gather so we can meet him and she never comes through.

    6. My FILS have met him and say he’s a nice guy, however, their relationship with the sister are VERY rocky. She recently came home from Florida and left the house because of an argument – they haven’t spoken since. It tears his parents apart. From my fiancee’s perspective, he is sick of her shenanigans and doesn’t feel she should be “rewarded” as he says.

    7. Some of the comments ask why we looked up the marriage – to be honest, she lied that she DIDNT get married, after we saw pictures. With two children involved, the siblings agreed to do some digging. My fiancee was the one who broke it to his parents, who were extremely hurt. For the sake of their grandchildren, they decided to not say anything to her.

    IT truly is a predicament. I understand your feedback stating to accept him and that this day isn’t about me. I get that, I really do. I understand ettiquette and the polite thing to do. What would one more person hurt? However, my gut can’t shake the feeling that having him come up from Florida to meet this already hurt, angered family on this occasion will not play out well.”

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    • Lyra

      Lyra March 3, 2015, 8:02 am

      LW, I think if it truly is that bad, it’s highly unlikely that she will even attend. Still, it’s a way to offer an olive branch so she does feel included. Even if she and her fiance/husband/whoever declines your invite, you have done all you can to make her feel included.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh March 3, 2015, 9:25 am

      I really think you’re going to find that #5 just won’t happen. Unless you have a tiny wedding it will partially be a meet and greet. Or at least a greet and update. No way around that. She isn’t choosing to introduce him to you that day. You’re making it seem like she is. Unless she asked he be invited you’re making it out to be that.

      Honestly inviting this person on your husband’s side should be up to him. And if he doesn’t want them there then he can break it to his parents. But, not inviting him will probably cause just as much of an issue as not. Which even if you invite him who says he will come? At least then your in-laws will be happy that he was welcomed. She is still their daughter, and it must be awful for them to watch the siblings not getting along and one of them not being included in such a special day. No matter how much strife she has caused.

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  • norabb

    norabb March 3, 2015, 8:33 am

    I didn’t scroll down enough to see if someone already said this, but, couldn’t this be a good opportunity for the “lost girl” to reconnect with her family? Maybe this is the stepping off point for future interactions and increased communication! By welcoming her and her husband, you’re including someone maybe doesn’t feel like she’s worth being included in your (somewhat irrational, judgmental) eyes. Have a heart.

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    • norabb

      norabb March 3, 2015, 8:35 am

      okay, I take back the irrational, judgmental part because I read some of your response. But I hope everything works out for you, everything always does

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