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“I’m Pissed that My Boyfriend is Going to a Wedding Without Me”

I have been with my boyfriend for two years (and lived together for one). Friends of ours are engaged, and are to be married in June. These friends and I are very familiar with each other; we all attend the same social events and get along (at least I thought we did!). I’ve spoken with both of them about the upcoming wedding and shared in their excitement. I was even verbally told to save the date. So, when the wedding invitations came, it was addressed solely to my boyfriend (for both the ceremony and reception). Later, they expressed verbally to him that he was the only one invited and that I was not invited to either the ceremony or the reception — their reasoning being that they couldn’t afford it.

I fully understand weddings can be expensive and stressful. If they are planning a small family affair, I completely support that. But all our friends are going — ALL — except for me (and it’s not even a small group). And my boyfriend and I live together — he even pet calls me “wife.” Invite snub aside, my real issue is with my boyfriend — he plans on attending the wedding without me. To try and make me feel better, he says that two other girlfriends are not invited. I believe that in a situation like this you should support your partner and if he or she is not invited, you should respectfully decline.

SO here are my questions: Socially, how do I respond to the engaged couple after the wedding? I will most certainly see them at every social gathering. Stories of the wedding will definitely be topics of conversation for a while afterwards, and although I am happy that they have that experience, it hurts that I was deliberately left out and have to hear all about it afterwards. I don’t want to be catty, but when I am hurt it’s hard not to be angry. Secondly, how do I deal with my boyfriend not supporting us? — Left out of the Wedding


Last month, I answered a letter from a bride-to-be on the flip-side of your equation; she wrote in wondering if she and her fiancé had to invite plus-ones, as doing so would mean they wouldn’t be able to fit all their guests in their first choice venue. Readers may remember that I clearly suggested the couple find a different venue that could accommodate plus-ones — especially spouses, and other long-term and live-in significant others — because I happen to think it’s not only tacky not to invite those particular plus-ones, it’s also likely to cause friction for the couples that aren’t inclusively invited, just as it now has between you and your boyfriend. But that doesn’t mean you’re right in being angry with your boyfriend.

Yes, it’s hurtful that your friends don’t view you as close enough to invite to their wedding. It’s hurtful that the other friends in your group have all been invited and you haven’t. But your boyfriend isn’t responsible for that hurt and he’s been placed in an awkward position of either upsetting you by attending the wedding even though you weren’t invited, or hurting his close friends, thoughtless as they may appear, by missing one of the most important events of their lives. And while you may think your boyfriend should be 100% loyal to you in every situation, isn’t there any part of you that can accept that the lesser of the two evils he’s currently faced with is upsetting you in the short-term over this issue that is, quite frankly, not that big of a deal?

I suspect, after all, that what you’re really upset about is your relationship not getting the respect you think it deserves, and that’s understandable. But I suspect your friends, in an effort to cut costs, implemented a rule about plus-ones that they must all be married. This would explain why two other “girlfriends” were not invited, as your boyfriend pointed out. By making this rule, there is no gray area about inviting dates or significant others that have only been in the picture a few months. So, try not to think of this as a personal affront or some statement about the legitimacy or seriousness of your relationship, but rather a personal choice made by people who value their own needs and desires over those of their friends (and when it comes to a wedding, that’s often the case! You can’t please everyone, after all, so better to aim for pleasing yourself, right?).

Let’s put things in perspective: in the end, the bride and groom will get married and you’ll still have a wonderful relationship with your boyfriend to enjoy. Yeah, you’ll miss out on a wedding that may or may not be any fun and you might have to hear a few stories about it afterward, but who cares? Really, unless a wedding is fucking phenomenally fun — and this one probably won’t be if so many people will be without dates — the only people who really think about them and “tell stories” about them after they’re over are the bride and groom. It’s not like this is going to be the party of the century that you’ll be hearing about for years. So, you know, just get over it. Plan something else on the wedding day you’re sure to enjoy. Take the high road, and be gracious to the newly married couple when you see them. Before the wedding, wish them well, and afterward, congratulate them. Don’t give them any reason to be glad they didn’t invite you. No good can come of it and it will only serve to make you look bad, not them.

It’s one damn day. It has no bearing on your happiness or the success of your relationship … unless you let it. Life creates enough drama for us on its own. Why stir things up when there’s no reason to?

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar Callifax May 25, 2011, 7:10 am

Couldn’t have put it better myself, Wendy!

I find it interesting because I think I’m going to be on the flip side of this soon. Friends of mine are getting married, and have casually mentioned that my boyfriend (of 2 years and live-in) may not be invited for space reasons. I told them, politely, that it would really bother me, but we will see when the invite comes in. But, if he’s not included, I know we will have to follow Wendy’s advice – take the high-road, be gracious, accept that weddings are hard to plan and it’s difficult to include everyone, and realize that at the end of the day, it’s not such a big deal anyhow.

Lana Lanchik May 25, 2011, 7:32 am

“Later, they expressed verbally to him that he was the only one invited and that I was not invited to either the ceremony or the reception — their reasoning being that they couldn’t afford it.”

I find it a bit suspicious that the couple haven’t told the LW directly that she’s not invited. Is it possible that the boyfriend would have other reasons for wanting to go to the wedding alone, so he’s lying to his girlfriend by telling her that she’s been left off the guest list? If the LW’s previous interactions with the engaged couple were so positive, why would they suddenly decide to disinvite her when she’s done nothing to merit her invitation being revoked? Just a thought. Something seems a bit off to me.

avatar Fairhaired Child May 25, 2011, 7:41 am

Some people pick the date way before they pick the venue and then as they are sending out all the invites they are like “crap.. who did we tell to save the date.. there’s no way we can afford this many people!” My friend is getting married in 2012 and she’s already pulling out hairs of how to discuss with people who can come and who may get cut (she’s been engaged forever and known the date forever but not the venue.. so almost all her friends etc have known the date for a while now).

But otherwise, yeah I can see how that can be a little suspect.

avatar PFG-SCR May 25, 2011, 7:56 am

“I find it a bit suspicious that the couple haven’t told the LW directly that she’s not invited.”

I’m sure they feel a bit awkward that they originally told her that she’s invited, but now she’s n ot. I didn’t get the impression that this was “off” in any way, especially since the invitation was addressed only to him. Personally, I don’t see a couple planning a wedding being too concerned about trying to work out an alibi for a friend of theirs so he can screw around on his girlfriend at their wedding.

avatar Rachel May 25, 2011, 12:48 pm

She lives with her boyfriend, so I’m sure she’s seen the invitation and the fact that it explicitly does not include a +1

avatar kali May 25, 2011, 1:42 pm

She did NOT say she’d seen an invitation so we can’t assume anything. I found that a bit odd.

On the other hand, my daughter’s getting married in a couple of months and things are getting crazy. A friend of the groom’s brother wasn’t invited (they all grew up together) and his mother called the groom’s mom to ask why and wasn’t it just an oversight. Seriously?! I could live with that but then MoG told her son who told my daughter and neither of them is happy. The budget isn’t unlimited, in spite of what we might wish.

I told my daughter that weddings bring out the worst in everyone and to just chill out, so what she can, consider her wishes and those of her groom and know that the rest of us will love them and wish them well whatever happens.

Loved your advice, Wendy! Keep up the great work.

avatar redessa May 25, 2011, 1:51 pm

“So, when the wedding invitations came, it was addressed solely to my boyfriend…”

Considering they live together I think it’s safe to assume she saw the invitation. At the very least, she saw the envelope when it showed up in her mailbox.

avatar kali May 25, 2011, 1:57 pm

Gee, sorry I missed that. /sarcasm font

avatar HM May 25, 2011, 7:08 pm

Sometimes people can dish it but just can’t take it.

avatar Britannia May 25, 2011, 3:43 pm

It sounded slightly off to me too, but I didn’t jump to the idea that he might be cheating on her… if anything, it sounds to me like the couple doesn’t actually like the LW (as a friend).

avatar Fairhaired Child May 25, 2011, 7:39 am

very nicely put Wendy! While it may hurt her now that she’s being left out, usually I’m glad not to go to a wedding because (depending on the ceremony) it can be terribly long! Granted it kinda sucks not to go to the reception, but hey, its their day, about them, and they just want the support of everyone (those who can come and who can’t) on the new step in their lives. The day isn’t about who is invited and who wasn’t or who had to sit by who, and if the crazy aunt who talks to herself was allowed to come or whatever – its about love, and the love they feel for each other.

Good luck, it may hurt now, but you have plenty more social events to make more memories with these people that can be more fun and INVOLVE you in the actual event instead of just having you sit in some stuffy church wondering if someone down the row remembered deodorant or not. And as Wendy said, don’t hold it against your boyfriend, but if you want talk to him (calmly) and state why you feel disappointed, but don’t try to guilt him into staying behind. Likely he’ll go to the ceremony then maybe go to the reception for a bit but not the whole time because he’ll end up missing you and wishing you were there, AND maybe he’ll even realize that he envisions your own wedding one day and this will make him miss you even more and want to be super romantic when he returns ;)

avatar PFG-SCR May 25, 2011, 7:46 am

“And while you may think your boyfriend should be 100% loyal to you in every situation, isn’t there any part of you that can accept that the lesser of the two evils he’s currently faced with is upsetting you in the short-term over this issue that is, quite frankly, not that big of a deal?”

Exactly – her boyfriend didn’t cause this issue, but he’s now “stuck between a rock and a hard place”. Instead of making it more difficult on him by demanding that he not go without her, she should handle this maturely by encouraging him to go and wishing the couple the best the next time she sees them.

I can understand her being hurt and upset that she didn’t get an invite, but from everything she’s written, the non-married significant others are the ones excluded. Instead of sitting at home sulking about it when he goes to the wedding, she should contact those other girlfriends (since they’re all part of the same social circle, it seems) and plan a girls’ night out.

avatar Calliopedork May 25, 2011, 2:00 pm

Great idea

avatar Spark May 25, 2011, 8:46 pm

I actually think that the lesser of the two evils is skipping the wedding. Going will clearly hurt his serious girlfriend profoundly, and it will be very memorable for her. On the other hand, his friends will be so busy on the wedding day–and rightfully so–that I doubt they will interact with him much, or remember his presence much at all.

bittergaymark bittergaymark May 25, 2011, 8:58 pm

If this is the sort of thing that hurts her profoundly, she must be a real joy to be around…

avatar A May 25, 2011, 8:01 am

Should be interesting though when some day “left out” and her BF decide to get married and the question of whether or not to invite this couple arises. I would love to be a fly on the wall during that little debate! :-)

avatar LTC039 May 25, 2011, 8:30 am

Clearly these people aren’t that good of friends if they not only did not invite you, but didn’t have the face to tell you directly, instead sending word with your boyfriend.
Don’t be upset with your boyfriend, as annoying as it may be that he still wants to attend even though you weren’t invited, it’s not his fault. I agree with Wendy that you’re probably more upset that your relationship isn’t taken seriously in these people’s eyes, but the good news is, your relationship has **nothing** to do with these people. You & your boyfriend are the only ones that have anything to do with your relationship.
I’m curious to know whether these people were originally friends of your boyfriend’s & you became friends with them over the course of your relationship, or all of you were already friends to begin with.
Regardless, I think its extremely tacky what they did. You LIVE with your boyfriend, its not like you’ve only been together for 2 months… So if you need to direct your anger, direct your anger towards them, not your boyfriend.

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 10:11 am

I’m guessing that she met these friends through her boyfriend, and I don’t really think that they have an obligation to tell her face to face that she isn’t invited. I would also say that they probably didn’t just call up the boyfriend out of the blue to tell him that she wasn’t invited, the LW probably sent her BF to ask what was going on, or they heard from other people that is girlfriend was upset, and they had to tell him there situation. I find that a lot of people don’t know wedding etiquette, and a lot of times people still bring dates to weddings even though they are the only ones on the invite, and that ends up costing a lot more money for the bride and groom. So when the LW’s BF brought this up to his friends they wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding.
As for the LW I don’t think she needs to feel awkward or angry around the newly married couple, because it seems like they gave a perfectly good explanation as to why she (and other girlfriend’s) weren’t invited, and the LW needs to respect that weddings cost a lot of money, and can be emotionally draining at the same time. Yes it does suck for the LW to feel left out, but she wasn’t the only one, and it really isn’t that big of a deal.

avatar LTC039 May 25, 2011, 10:21 am

She didn’t specify as to how good of friends they really are; when she met them, etc… That’s why I brought up the question.
The tacky part is they told her to save the date & spoke about the wedding with her on several occasions. I understand weddings are stressful, costly, etc… but it is extremely rude what these people did. The LW & her boyfriend live together, & have been dating for 2+ years…I think regardless of whether or not they met through her bf, she should’ve been invited.
But what’s done is done. I get that in some other situations, her resentment towards the couple may not exactly be meritted, but IMHO, in this case it does. I don’t think she should be mad at her boyfriend, at all & yes, she needs to put on a good face for this time. BUT, I think after the wedding, if she has any interest in continuing a friendship with these people, she should def. have a talk with at least the bride, & let her know she was hurt by their decision, AFTER the wedding of course.
I agree with her 100% on why she’s upset, I disagree on being mad at her boyfriend.

avatar Calliopedork May 25, 2011, 2:05 pm

I dont know why you are getting thumbed down, I agree and think it would be fine for her to speak with the couple after the wedding. Just because you are getting married doesnt give you the right to rudely belittle someone else’s relationship, especially if you expect them to celebrate your’s

avatar LTC039 May 25, 2011, 6:08 pm

Yeah…I’m a firm believer in talking things out, especially if you’re feeling resentful.

avatar Emsz May 25, 2011, 10:23 am

If they can tell her to her face to ‘save the date’, they can tell her to her face that she’s uninvited.

(I was going to do something the couple might have said in quotation marks, but it didn’t really work, as anything I came up with sounded incredibly rude to me)

avatar LTC039 May 25, 2011, 10:39 am

That’s exactly what I meant! I can just imagine what you were going to come up with…lol

avatar Heather Feather May 25, 2011, 10:48 am

I agree. If they had mentioned the wedding before, they can mention it now. I think it would have been appropriate to directly speak to some of the uninvited guests (not all possibly) that you often see, and let them know the circumstances.

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 10:49 am

It is also possible that they told her boyfriend to save the date as the girlfriend was around, and she took it to meen both of them.

bittergaymark bittergaymark May 25, 2011, 9:00 pm

Yeah, this is an obvious fact that nobody but you seemed to figure out.

avatar mf May 25, 2011, 11:47 am

Agreed. It’s awfully cowardly of the couple to dis-invite her via her boyfriend. (I know she was never officially invited, but if they told her to save the date, she should have been–and certainly was–expecting an invite!)

avatar The_Yellow_Dart May 25, 2011, 8:31 am

Wendy’s advice is really good. And I’m in a similar position! One of my colleague-friends is getting married, and of our work/social group, only two of four of us were invited (I wasn’t!). Initially, I was a bit disappointed and hurt that I wasn’t invited, but I realized two things: 1) weddings are often really expensive, and very few people have the finances to invite every one of their friends and family, and 2) the wedding is about the bride and the groom – not me! It’s much healthier to redirect disappointment into feelings of happiness for the bride and groom! As for me, I’m still friends with the bride-to-be – I even came to her wedding shower! (And on the plus side, I get to save all that money I would have spent going to her wedding!)

avatar The_Yellow_Dart May 25, 2011, 9:04 am

Yikes! Why all the sad thumbs?

avatar Foreveryoung May 25, 2011, 9:11 am

I didn’t thumb you down but i’m assuming they might come from the fact that you were invited to the wedding shower and not the actual wedding. If that doesn’t scream greedy I don’t know what does.

avatar The_Yellow_Dart May 25, 2011, 9:14 am

Ooh – I should clarify – it was a surprise shower! So the bride-to-be technically didn’t invite me (although it might not make it any better that the groom-to-be did…)

avatar Teresa May 25, 2011, 1:38 pm

Could be the purple thumb fairy again…..

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 25, 2011, 8:46 am

I’m actually going to take my comment in a different route: I really understand how you’re hurt that 1) you weren’t invited and 2) your boyfriend is *still* going to the wedding. If my bf were in the same place, and I was supposedly good friends with both the bride and groom, I would expect him to decline as well. I also want to give you kudos/props for not going off on the boyfriend for something that clearly isn’t his fault.

What I do think you need to do is talk to your boyfriend about how you’re feeling. I have a funny feeling that something like this, if not openly discussed now, could spark a flame later on down the line. Emphasize that you don’t expect him to change his decision (unless you want him to…), but that you really want to let him know how you feel about this. You never know, maybe he feels conflicted about the whole situation too. Afterwards, try to make the best of this situation by going out with friends, getting stuff done, or, planning a romantic surprise for the bf when he returns home from the wedding!

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 10:11 am

I’m going to disagree. It’s not cool to make the boyfriend feel even worse about a lose/lose situation he can’t change.

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 25, 2011, 11:08 am

I’m not saying make him feel worse (Definitely against that game, myself), I’m saying let him know how you feel. It seems like she didn’t even put an option out there to get all that potential resentment off of her chest.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 11:17 am

Letting him know how you feel is basically akin to emotional blackmail. “You can go, but just realize how much you’re hurting me” kicks over a hornet’s nest of problems just for the sake of airing resentment. It would absolutely make him feel worse and unecessarily complicate what is already a complicated situation. Why go there?

avatar Sarah May 25, 2011, 12:09 pm

I would think he would feel WAY worse if I was resenting the situation and refused to comment on it. My boyfriend hates the taste in the air of unspoken trouble. And you know, the boyfriend could possibly, you know, validate her feelings and tell her that even though her feelings come first, he doesn’t want to make a lifelong mistake that could cost them all of their friendships. He could communicate with her, god forbid.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 12:33 pm

Based on the letter (second paragraph), I assumed that they already had this talk and that he still decided to go. As in “to try and make me feel better” implies that recognized that she was feeling badly about this.

avatar Sarah May 25, 2011, 12:44 pm

You forgot the second part of that sentence, “he says that two other girlfriends are not invited”. Not the same thing as validating her feelings, is it? The fact that he knows that her feelings are hurt and doesn’t go to lengths to let her know she’s a priority and instead gives her some explanation that “she’s not the ONLY one” is on him. I wish men would understand how far just listening and respecting a woman’s feelings would get them.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 1:03 pm

I think that in his dudemind, that was supposed to make her feel better. Not saying that it was the perfect approach. He did try to validate her feelings… he just isn’t very good at it. Effort points, though.

avatar Sarah May 25, 2011, 1:11 pm

His dudemind could learn a thing or two.

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 25, 2011, 1:48 pm

Effort points yes, but the LW also needs to put in some effort too. She needs to point blank get it off of her chest and not just slyly refer to it.

I’m just speaking from a hypothetical standpoint. Maybe she’s someone that never builds resentment over anything. So this conversation just became moot.

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 25, 2011, 12:22 pm

Well, I also wouldn’t choose those words either, but I can see where you’re going with this. That said, I think we both agree that LW is going to have some resentment. Wouldn’t you rather get that mess out of the way now rather than having it simmering for years and boiling over years later because of something even smaller?

avatar Calliopedork May 25, 2011, 2:09 pm

Disagree, telling him how she feels about it isnt a guilt trip

avatar MsMisery May 25, 2011, 8:48 am

Another thing to remember- weddings can often make the participants (especially the bride) insane. We can all see how tacky this is, even if we can also see the cost-cutting side of it, but she may be completely in bride-zilla mode. I’m not excusing the behavior, just giving a possible explanation.

avatar SGMcG May 25, 2011, 8:50 am

I’m just curious LW if you or your boyfriend were invited to the other social occasions leading up to the wedding – the engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelor/bachelorette party? Although these events are not mandated in the wedding timeline, sometimes wedding guests are included in these events to get to know the members of the wedding party and significant family members. If you weren’t invited to those events, then it stands to reason that you won’t be invited to the wedding.

If you WERE invited to any of those events and STILL didn’t get an invite to the wedding, well, yeah, that’s a really sucky situation. Yet it’s not your boyfriend’s fault. Sometimes an engaged couple will have to make the tough decisions regarding who to invite, and sometimes they don’t get a full choice in the matter (especially if someone else is footing the bill). If there are other girlfriends in your situation who were not invited as well, ask your boyfriend if you can contact them so you can all do something else while the others in your mutual circle of friends are at the wedding. Rather than focus on the reasons of the engaged couple why you were cut and others were not, wish them well. As your boyfriend leaves the door to attend the wedding, wish him a good time. If you take such a good attitude now, maybe karma will reward you when you plan your wedding so that you have the luxury of inviting everyone you want.

avatar Guy Friday May 25, 2011, 9:54 am

I find your first paragraph (and the first line of the second paragraph) really interesting. I was always under the impression that a lot of couples — and this is something I was thinking of doing with mine — might use those social gatherings prior to the wedding as a way to include people who they may not have been able to afford to have at the wedding (or who couldn’t make it). When one of my friends got married a couple of years ago, she DELIBERATELY kept a list of people she had to cut from the invite list to save costs, and then had a big party at her parents house (kind of a pre-wedding engagement party kind of deal) and tried to invite all of those people for that. It was very low key — just a BBQ, really — and she told them not to worry about bringing presents or anything, just to show up. In that way, she got to celebrate in some way with everyone who wanted to, even though she couldn’t afford to invite everyone to the actual wedding.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 10:15 am

The only way this makes sense is if the wedding is a destination wedding or something across the country where you expect a bunch of people to respectfully decline. It’s a pretty big breach of etiquette otherwise… I’m a dude and even I know that.

avatar LTC039 May 25, 2011, 10:26 am

That’s really nice of your friend, especially that she specifically added not to bring gifts. But I believe it is tacky to invite people, who aren’t invited to your actual wedding, to pre-wedding activities.
My mom was recently invited to a co-worker of her’s bridal shower, but she’s not invited to the wedding. I think the stigma with that concept is, “come to the events that require you to bring gifts, but I can’t foot the bill for you to the actual ceremony/reception.”
That’s why I like what your friend did, but unfortunately not everyone is that thoughtful…

avatar Kate May 25, 2011, 11:24 am

It’s very tacky. And presumptuous!

avatar ele4phant May 25, 2011, 11:17 am

I can see how one might think that, however the long standing wedding etiquette is that if you invite someone to a pre-wedding function (especially one where there are gifts given like a shower), then you are supposed to invite them to the wedding as well.

It sounds like your friend made it very clear what the BBQ was about. I suppose if you were open about inviting people to something like that because you loved them but couldn’t accommodate them at the actual wedding, it might pass the sniff test. However, you’d have to be really upfront, or face seeming tacky as most people will fall back on the already established equiette and get upset when they realize they’re not invited to the wedding..

avatar Amber May 25, 2011, 11:04 am

I agree if you’re a close friend and not invited to say a shower or bachelorette party it’s a pretty good clue you’re not going to the wedding. If they really are good friends though, you would think the bride could at least say something to the people she had to leave off. I realize it’s an awkard situation but with my wedding I did call people I had to leave off the list due to budget constraints and explained it to them. I think people appreciate at least being acknowledged.

avatar Kaylee June 1, 2011, 12:51 pm

I don’t see why LW would have to ask her boyfriend if she “can” speak to those girls. If she interacts with them socially and likes spending time with them, she certainly doesn’t need his permission. Quite frankly, weddings are generally kind of boring and LW will probably have a much better time doing her own thing.

On one hand, I understand the bride and groom. My sister just got married last month and she and her fiancee had an “unless they live together or are in a long term, serious relationship” policy, because it was expensive and they didn’t want some of their guests showing up with dates just for the sake of having a date.

That being said, I’ve also been in the LW’s position and I understand the resentment toward the boyfriend (even if it’s not logical or fair, you can’t help feeling hurt when someone who says he loves you does something that basically says someone else’s feelings – the couple – are more important than yours).

avatar Ash May 25, 2011, 8:57 am

I feel bad for these people who are getting married and finding it difficult on where to hold the wedding and who they can afford to invite. It sounds like they initially wanted to invite you but had to cut-out some people they verbally told about the upcoming wedding. One thing to try and keep in mind is this: the wedding is not about you. It is about the bride and groom. (Thus why I disagreed with Wendy’s advice to the bride-to-be on the previous letter.) Even if your boyfriend goes and you do not I would suggest planning something fun for that day to keep you busy and preoccupied. Then later when your boyfriend is done with the wedding do something fun with him as well. Make the best out of the day and congratulate the couple when you see them next. Holding a grudge against two people you claim to be friends with over their own wedding isn’t fair. Nor is it fair to hold one against your boyfriend since he was invited. Send a mutual gift with him along with your best wishes! They will surely appreciate the gesture.

avatar Calliopedork May 25, 2011, 2:18 pm

If weddings were really only about the bride and groom celebrating love, theyd be held at the couple’s house with just parents and immediate family. It was tacky and getting married does not excuse rudeness

avatar Bostonian Thinker May 25, 2011, 8:58 am

I really would encourage anyone having a wedding to invite a “plus one” with any person, married, partnered or single, who is not close friends with at least several people. I would hate to go to any wedding and not know a single person. Personally, I often don’t like weddings. I like the ceremony, but the receptions are hard for me unless I know a few people. I don’t like dressing formally. I always go and try to enjoy myself because I care abot the couple. I love parties in general, but not formal ones. My partner of seven years, who I am married to, was invited to a wedding and I told her I lgo if she wanted me to, but because I don’t know either the couple or anyone else, I would not really enjoy it. I was more than happy to NOT go. When it my my turn to get married, I invited only families, couples or guest-plus-one, and it was a small wedding, too.

avatar fallonthecity May 25, 2011, 9:05 am

I think this is a difficult issue for everyone planning a wedding on a budget. In my opinion, where the couple went wrong is actually telling the LW to save the date, she’ll be getting an invite… because when they decided they couldn’t afford to have her there, it was almost like she was being uninvited. My best friend made this mistake, and hugely… she told every one of our friends to save the date, and then decided she couldn’t invite most of them. Someone had actually moved his flight back home just so that he could attend, and now he’s not invited. Anyway, I think it’s worth saying that if you’re planning a wedding be really careful about this stuff because you’ll end up with a lot of hurt feelings if you’re not.

To the LW, they were being kind of tacky, but all you can really do is make some other plans for that day that will be a lot more fun than attending a wedding. Send them a nice card, even (but don’t feel obligated to buy a huge gift)! Your boyfriend will probably have a really boring time without you, if it makes you feel any better.

avatar emjay May 25, 2011, 2:42 pm

I think when the wedding news is first being told, that the bride and groom are so happy, and believe they can accomendate everyone, then when they get down to the real planning, that’s when they have the “oh shit! What are we suppose to tell the people we told were gonna get an invite? Now we don’t have enough money!” Look on their face. It happens a lot, not because it is intentional (in most cases), it is because you don’t realize how expensive it is going to be until you start to really plan it. My fiance and I had to postpone our wedding, and we don’t even know when it will be at this point. Not because we don’t want to, but we don’t have the $$ for it, and since it is a once in a lifetime event, we want to afford what we want not settle. So this is another problem that hits people. Maybe they just know your BF better than they know you, and they had to choose. His going to the wedding is representing the love both of you share for the bride and groom, even though they couldn’t afford to invite you. And if he is a decent guy, I’m sure he will send your best wishes on to them.

avatar fallonthecity May 25, 2011, 4:46 pm

I definitely understand that right after the engagement everyone is excited, but if you’re making your wedding a social event, you kinda have to think ahead to these sorts of scenarios in order to at least try to be considerate of your guests. I know some people will get their feelings hurt because the sky is blue, but really — telling someone to keep X weekend open and you’d love to have them there, then saying later they didn’t make the cut is pretty tacky, regardless of reason. I don’t know if I’d call it rude, but it’s definitely insensitive. It probably wasn’t even a personal slight, but if they were going to draw a line for the guest list, they really shouldn’t have been verbally inviting people willy nilly to begin with. Why not, “I’m so excited, I’m engaged!” instead of, “I’m so excited, please mark down X weekend on your calendar!”?

avatar kerrycontrary May 25, 2011, 9:18 am

Fantastic advice Wendy! Just what I was thinking. If I was the LW I would be hurt as well and I agree that the couple SHOULD HAVE invited you. In the end though, they didn’t and it is their wedding that they are paying for so you can’t be mad at your boyfriend for supporting his friends at this wedding. You will get past this and it really won’t be a big deal in the long-run. I know that the whole situation hurts your feelings, but try to be mature and take the high road. In a sort-of-similar-situation, I wasn’t invited to my long-term boyfriend’s sister’s baby shower (I know that sounds like a mouth full). It really hurt my feelings because I feel like we are a part of each other’s families, but I couldn’t throw a fit over it. I just told my boyfriend that it hurt my feelings and if there’s an event like this in the future I would like to be considered. End of story.

avatar silver_dragon_girl May 25, 2011, 9:28 am

Oh good grief. You’re mad at your boyfriend to going to a wedding you weren’t invited to?Come on. I understand you’re disappointed and hurt you weren’t invited, but do you really want him to stay home “on principle?” How would YOU feel if everyone did that at your wedding? “Well, LW didn’t invite my boyfriend/cousin/sister-in-law/BFF so I’m not going either. Hmmph.”

I’m sorry, I understand your frustration, I really do, but being mad at your bf about this is kind of immature, in my opinion.

The more wedding advice letters I read here, the more determined I am to elope.

avatar silver_dragon_girl May 25, 2011, 9:31 am

And for the record, I agree that this is very rude/tacky, but I think that MOA applies to this situation.

avatar Guy Friday May 25, 2011, 9:47 am

I assume you mean MOA applies to the feelings, and not to the boyfriend in this occasion, right? :)

avatar silver_dragon_girl May 25, 2011, 9:58 am

Lol, yes, definitely.

avatar SpaceySteph May 25, 2011, 11:50 am

Agree with you. This is asking the boyfriend to cause drama for the sake of drama. Protests are good for the civil rights movement, unfair labor practices, and puppy killers, not for a friend’s wedding.

Pick your battles, this isn’t one of them.

avatar silver_dragon_girl May 25, 2011, 3:24 pm

Exactly.

avatar kali May 25, 2011, 1:49 pm

I eloped – I highly recommend it!

avatar WatersEdge May 25, 2011, 3:13 pm

I wanted to elope SO BADLY. I hated wedding planning. I didn’t even want a wedding. My husband and our mothers wanted a wedding, so I consented. And then planned the whole thing alone, of course. I can’t say I regret it because they really did enjoy it and I didn’t have much choice, but I don’t look back at my engagement or wedding day with much fondness. The wedding itself was fun, but it wasn’t so incredible as to make up for the money spent and months planning an event I didn’t want to attend.

There’s a book called “Let’s Elope!” that I read and I really recommend. It’s about all the different ways to elope, the laws in different countries, etiquette around eloping, and so on.

avatar WatersEdge May 25, 2011, 3:15 pm

Oh, also: We are renewing our vows on our one-year anniversary in my dream elopement spot.

avatar TheGirl May 25, 2011, 4:31 pm

I had the same problem! Our folks wanted the wedding. His mother actually told him that if she wasn’t at his wedding, she’d know he didn’t love her. …and that was the end of our elopement plans!

katie Katie May 25, 2011, 9:38 am

i just dont understand people like this bride! i would change my date and venue 100 times if it meant everyone i knew and loved would be there. how hard is it to have 3 extra people there? i just dont get it lol.

avatar sarolabelle May 25, 2011, 9:51 am

I don’t understand this bride either. It doesn’t take but maybe $3 to send a ceremony only invitation. Especially if the ceremony is in a church. People from the street can crash a wedding if they want to.

avatar Heather Feather May 25, 2011, 10:52 am

I honestly don’t know if getting an invite to the ceremony but not the reception would have been better or not. How awks it could have been to attend the ceremony, and then not be invited to the reception.
I would just rather not be invited at all. But that’s just me.

I suggested below that LW & the other 3 uninvited girlfriends (if she knows them), make plans that evening and maybe even work it to meet up with their boyfs after the ceremony.

avatar LTC039 May 25, 2011, 11:25 am

If she talks to her boyfriend & he feels like it, maybe he could leave the reception early? He’ll be at the ceremony & the important part of the reception, but then graciously leave. I would feel good if my boyfriend did that, if I was in the LW’s case. Because that way, he can make both parties feel important. Hopefully she would be up for that kind of a compromise.

Budj Budjer May 25, 2011, 9:57 am

I was just thinking the same thing…although I’ll never be a bride without a sex change.

LW take the high road and use this as an experience to remember when you get married. I think most people would have handled this situation differently. I would hands down change a venue if it meant I could include more people that I wanted to have at my wedding…I’ve always been a “the more the merrier” kind of person. The people make the memories….

And yea…take it easy on your boy friend he is trying to make the best of a crappy situation.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 10:28 am

Eh. The whole ‘I would just change my venue’ argument is a LOT easier said than done. Around me, wedding venues are typically booked more than twelve months in advance and about 50% of your deposit money is held with six months to go, so that could get infeasible in a hurry. If family members start throwing hissy fits, semi-close friends and unmarried +1’s are usually the first to go.

***This is not a referendum on how much you morally believe weddings should cost. That’s a separate argument and usually a very heated one.

Budj Budjer May 25, 2011, 10:35 am

You make a really valid point. I guess I’ll rephrase and say…what little input I’m allowed to have in my wedding planning will go towards making sure the venue is that which numbers will not be a problem. Haha.

katie Katie May 25, 2011, 10:46 am

i totally get that too, but i know that I would rather go without other things to make sure that all the people who i want there are there. Budjer said it perfectly… the people make the memories. my number one concern will be whether everyone can come, and any cool decorations or awesome food i can get after that will just be extra. i would totally give up material things to be able to pick a larger venue so that everyone can come.

i guess that is just my opinion though, and obviously not that of the LW’s sort of friend and bride to be

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 10:57 am

Having that said, have you ever had a family member RSVP +8? Because I have!

Actually, you only need to work in the wedding business for about one year to have a lifetime of horror stories. I once bartended a dry wedding where 230 people showed up for 175 seats. Think about that…

avatar BoomChakaLaka May 25, 2011, 11:10 am

+8? That’s out of control.

On a tangentially related issue: What is the limit though? I mean, if you have a Duggard situation going on, +19 is how it most likely will be. Or are people just not even inviting them.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 11:25 am

No no no. As in we invited my aunt and a +1 and she felt the need to distribute copies of the invitation to eight distant family members I met once when I was nine. Apparently, +1 in her world means “Bring whoever the fuck you want”.

Thankfully, said distant family members balked at the cost when they realized that my wife and I weren’t providing home lodging for all 100ish of our out-of-town guests (and called us rude for referring them to a hotel) and only one came. The problem solved itself, but we would have to start making cuts on our friends since the venue was pushing its fire code limit.

avatar Julzie May 25, 2011, 11:48 am

I had my brother and his wife show up at the wedding with their 5 extra children. The children WERE invited but my brother had rsvp’d that only he and his wife were going, they specifically only ordered 2 meals. I was lucky that a few people dealt with the issue in a jiffy squeezing in extra chairs, moving people around that it more or less went unnoticed. Though I was always slightly annoyed that we didn’t even get a card from anyone in that massive crew :P

avatar SpaceySteph May 25, 2011, 1:57 pm

How does one bartend at a dry wedding?

avatar WatersEdge May 25, 2011, 3:23 pm

Shirley temples for everyone!

avatar Emsz May 25, 2011, 3:48 pm

Pop/Soda needs to be served as well. Here that’s usually also done via the bar, so that would make sense to me :)

avatar WatersEdge May 25, 2011, 3:21 pm

It’s easier said than done, but not by much. Sensible people write out their guest list and then pick a venue that can accommodate that number.

katie Katie May 25, 2011, 10:08 am

also- im a chef, and i worked for the last year at one of the most popular wedding venues ( a country club ) where I live. and i can tell you, EVERYONE prepares for you to have extra people then you say are coming. there are extra tables set, and more to be brought out, there is extra food prepared… and I can tell you that a wedding that had 3 extra come on the day would be a very easy wedding! lol we had one where they brought 25 extra people, who then all still wanted their choice of entree. it was a nightmare.

maybe this is why i think its so strange lol

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 10:37 am

The venue might prepare for more people than were invited, but the bride and groom actually prepare to have less than are invited. Most people usually expect about 10% of there wedding guest to not show up, and that is usually the figure that they are quoted when looking at wedding venues.

katie Katie May 25, 2011, 10:48 am

thats interesting- I didn’t know that

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 10:43 am

Well there is 3 extra people in just the LW’s circle of friends that could be invited. If her BF is friends more with the groom, then the brides side could have 3 or 4 people aswell not invited that they feel should be, and then you have the family members that feel slighted because they weren’t invited or cousin Jim’s girlfriend wasn’t invited. So the list can just go on and on, and you really have to cut it off at some point. I gaurantee you though that you wouldn’t change youre wedding venue 100 times, because that would cost you 100 deposits, and whatever else you paid, plus the deposits of all of your vendors that you would have to possibly change because they might be booked for the other dates. Planning a wedding is not simple at all, and people don’t realize this until they go through it.

katie Katie May 25, 2011, 10:51 am

that is very true that the list could then go on forever.. i get that. i dunno i guess just me personally, my number one priority will be that everyone is invited and included. I would rather have an empty room with no decorations with everyone there then a beautiful setting, knowing that i have left people out.

and i guess what i meant by change a venue 100 times is that i would like a venue, but then if it doesnt accommodate everyone, then i’d go looking for another, looking through a ton of them until i found one that fit everyone. yea there is no way i would pay a deposit unless i knew it was a for sure thing

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 11:05 am

I get what you are saying, and believe me as somebody who right now is in the middle of planning a wedding the small stuff like who to invite can get really emotionally draining, because you would love to invite everyone you know, but the list just gets to big, and the cost start to sky rocket. It is definitely better to get the list of your guest as close to accurate as possible before you go looking for a wedding venue, because it makes the search for the right place a lot easier. We have found a lot of places on line that we loved, but only accommodated like 50-100 people so we didn’t even bother going to check those places out. Now we are only checking out places that can accomodate our full list without any regrets, and the option of adding a couple of people if necessary. A 15 person swing can be the difference in being able to afford open bar all night or for just the cocktail hour.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 11:27 am

Making a guest list isn’t small stuff. It’s one of the hardest parts of the process.

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 11:52 am

Agree, and at the end of it you have to go with what’s best for you.

bagge72 bagge72 May 25, 2011, 11:06 am

Another thing I found out is that the wedding venues will only hold your date for about a week before they need a 25% deposit so you have to make some quick decisions haha.

avatar spaceboy761 May 25, 2011, 11:28 am

If you refuse to pay a deposit, any reputable venue will tell you to GFY.

katie Katie May 26, 2011, 2:43 am

i dont get all the thumbs down for wanting people at my wedding and not material things…

avatar trillian May 25, 2011, 11:18 am

A lot of people consider “ceremony only” invitations to be much ruder than not inviting a couple of people when you reach your limit. Then you are specifically and deliberately excluding people from the fun of the reception, any refreshments, and drinks. This logic can go from “what’s three extra people” to “what’s thirty extra people” in a heartbeat, and everybody thinks they should be the exception.

Many couples might have an emotional attachment to a specific venue (like a longtime family church), and not want to have to change it. Or their families, who are often paying and get a large say in the matter, might have given them a set number of people or amount of money to work within.

The fact of the matter is, wedding planning is a huge, long series of difficult compromises. The guest list, actually, is one of the more flexible areas they can work with. While yes, it was rude and a bit thoughtless to issue a verbal save-the-date before they knew if they could invite her, they are probably doing this for the first time, and couldn’t be expected to know in the flush of engagement excitement what limitations they would be working with. It’s really cruel to hassle an already overworked and overstressed bride and groom over something like this. And it’s also very uncool to hassle the poor boyfriend, who didn’t have any say in the matter and is in an even more uncomfortable situation than the LW.

LW, send a nice card and go out for dinner with the other girlfriends. Someday, when you’re getting married, you’ll probably appreciate similar consideration from the inevitable few friends who might not get an invite.

avatar Britannia May 25, 2011, 3:50 pm

A lot of people consider “ceremony only” invitations to be much ruder than not inviting a couple of people when you reach your limit

I agree with you, though I am of the “Plus ones are a luxury, not a necessity” camp. I will not be inviting people to only the ceremony when it comes time to get married… the ceremony is all about the couple, and the reception is about entertaining everyone who gave their time to the couple to respect and bless their newly minted union.

My grandmother always says that the reception is the first time that the bride gets to show off her hostessing skills, and to set the mood for the parties she hosts in the future as a married woman. The wedding/reception guest list ratio is not the time to start slighting people.

avatar justpeachy May 25, 2011, 3:34 pm

Go to any wedding website or read any wedding book and the first and most important piece of advice they’ll give you about staying on budget is to cut down the guest list. Maybe this couple didn’t go about things the proper way (I’m really doubt SHE got a verbal save the date, it was just the boyfriend), but they needed to cut cost and guests add up quickly. Here’s just from my wedding where cutting down the guest list (before notifying anyone):
– Save the date cards ($1.40 each)
– Invitations ($3.50 each)
– Venue seating and dinner ($45 a head, and trust me, that’s pretty cheap)
– Table settings ($60 a table for a table of 6)
– Bar drinks (I didn’t have an open bar, so I don’t know, but google told me $16 a head minimum).
– Wedding favors ($2.50 a head)

By cutting 6 people, I saved $470.40. It adds up quickly and you really shouldn’t give the budget such a hard time.

avatar Quakergirl May 25, 2011, 9:52 am

This letter reminds me of the woman who wrote in upset that her boyfriend refused to cancel on his friend’s party to go clubbing with her friend. Just like that letter, LW here is setting the stakes in this situation waaaay out of proportion to the actual details. She’s making it sound like her boyfriend is choosing the friends over her– that he’s betraying her– by going to the wedding. All he’s doing is choosing to go to the wedding of his very close friends. It isn’t about you or your relationship with him.

Look, I totally get where you’re coming from. It really hurts when you feel like your relationship with your boyfriend is being snubbed (trust me, been there). And I get that it hurts that people you thought were friends didn’t invite you to their wedding. But your boyfriend is in no way responsible for either of those situations, and nothing he can do can remedy them. Him not going to the wedding won’t wind back the clock and fix the situation so that you two are invited together. It probably will create some additional drama, though, between him and the friends, and, ultimately, between you and the friends when they realize why he skipped their wedding. So he’s choosing to go. Don’t make the situation worse by picking a fight with him over something over which he has no control and that– in reality– is just not that big of a deal.

avatar Heather Feather May 25, 2011, 9:54 am

I feel for you, LW! I’m sure this is uncomfortable in many ways for you, your boyf, and the wedding couple.

Try as hard as you can to look at this from a different perspective and be happy for the couple, engage in wedding talk afterwards as much as possible, and don’t appear to be pissed. Wendy is right in saying that it is one day. This couple may have had a hard time deciding who could come, but I do think they should have told you straight up, instead of letting you see the invite.

And your boyfriend has an obligation to his friends to go to the wedding. Maybe you can make a plan with the other 3 uninvited girls (if you know them) to have dinner and drinks that night and possibly meet the wedding guests out after the reception.

Budj Budjer May 25, 2011, 9:58 am

Good suggestion. thumbs up

avatar TheGirl May 25, 2011, 10:53 am

That sounds like a great idea and WAY more fun than going to a wedding. Go to the spa for some pampering, get dressed up and go dancing somewhere. Ask your bf to text you from the after party (there’s always an after party) and meet up with them if you’re feeling magnanimous.

avatar TECH May 25, 2011, 10:09 am

You should just take the high road. Let your boyfriend go to the wedding to support his friends. It’s not his fault you weren’t invited. Be the bigger person and let him go. It’s not a matter of him not supporting you. It’s just that weddings are very expensive and you can’t always invite everyone. Don’t put him in that position of choosing them over you. It’s not fair, and frankly, you’re not the most important person in this equation.

avatar Adler May 25, 2011, 10:24 am

Not going to lie – I’ve been in the same position as the LW before and it does make things awkward in the aftermath.
When my cousin got married a few years ago, they had a fairly large wedding (prod. 200ish guests) My parents were invited, but I wasn’t. They said they were trying to cut costs, but at the same time how much could cutting out one cousin actually save?
I would have understood if I was a little kid and they weren’t having kids at the wedding but to not invite one of his only cousins especially after having me attend showers, etc… was kind of insulting. After the wedding it took them over a year to send thank you’s to those who did attend the wedding, and as a result its strained the relationship between my family, his parents and him and his wife and new baby.
That being said the LW shouldn’t punish her bf for his friends crappy choice. She should get the other uninvited gf’s and plan a fun day/night out. You’ll probably have more fun not listening to bad speeches…

avatar Kate May 25, 2011, 11:36 am

Wow…I guess in some families it would not be odd to not invite a cousin, but in mine it would be very odd. I would have been insulted too.

avatar SpaceySteph May 25, 2011, 2:12 pm

I agree, but then I only have 2 cousins and they’re close to my age.
If each of your parents had alot of siblings who each had alot of children, you can get into the 30-40 cousins scenario (like my boyfriend) and over such a large age range that you don’t even have a relationship with them. My boyfriend’s oldest cousin is 46 (my boyfriend is 26- and to put more perspective on it, my parents are 49) so that person might feel more like an acquaintance or a friend’s parent than a buddy.
Not saying thats what happened to Adler, just that I can see a situation where inviting every cousin might not be so weird to a family.

avatar Kate May 25, 2011, 7:06 pm

My mother is one of 8 and my father one of 4. I have 17 cousins, some of whom now have kids, so I agree it can very quickly add up. But in our family, regardless of number, it would be a snub if they ALL weren’t invited.

avatar Adler May 25, 2011, 11:14 pm

As far as I know I’m the only cousin on this side of the family. I’m an only child and so is my mom (it’s her side of the fam) and I’ve never met any other cousins apart from the one who got married and his sister.