“My Boyfriend Was Not Invited to the Wedding!”

My boyfriend of 2.5 years was excluded from my best friend’s daughter’s wedding. My BFF & I have been BFFs for over 41 years; I’ve known the bride since birth and have been as close as an auntie could be without the biological gene. This is an out-of-town affair — out-of-country, actually since it’s in Canada — requiring approximately $1,500 in travel expense to me. Until I received the invite addressed only to me, I would have crawled there if I had to. The bride is precious to me, and, though I have met the groom only once, he seems a super guy; they are a wonderful couple.

The mother of the bride, my best friend, does not care for my boyfriend, or any man per se; she is tasting the bitterness of her recent divorce. I know that the exclusion comes from my BFF and not from the bride.

I would like to attend with my boyfriend and we would make an extended vacation, or at least give him the option of a gracious decline and I attend solo. I don’t mind going alone at all, but to have him excluded feels so wrong. Shall I talk to the BFF or the bride for a possible “over-sight” (I’m being generous)? Your input is greatly appreciated. — Waiting to book a flight in SoCal

Since you’ve been best friends with the bride’s mother for 41 years, you might, as I would if I were you, make a casual mention about the exclusion of your boyfriend the next time you talk to her. It could be along the lines of, “I got “Jane’s invitation in the mail and I’m so excited to attend her wedding. I think “Hank” will come to Canada with me and we’ll make a long weekend of it. I’m sure the budget is tight and Jane and John want to keep the guest list down, but I wanted to double-check with you that they indeed only meant to invite me and not Hank, too.” Then, you must accept whatever answer she gives you if you hope to remain friends with her and close with her daughter, too. The truth is, you don’t know for sure why your boyfriend wasn’t invited; you’re only speculating. And my hunch is that YOU are the one who is most hurt by the exclusion and not your boyfriend.

In any event, neither you nor your boyfriend should take this personally. While it’s unfortunate that the bride and groom didn’t extend an invitation to your boyfriend of 2 1/2 years, it’s possible that there were many people who didn’t make the cut and you and your boyfriend aren’t being singled out like you suspect. And if your BFF is indeed still licking the wounds of her recent divorce and her bitterness is responsible for the exclusion of your boyfriend, try to show some compassion to someone who is clearly hurting.

This wedding is one day — one day in your life, one day in the life of your relationships, and one day in what has been a 41-year friendship. Don’t let one day — and one hurtful slight — create more drama than it’s worth. Your boyfriend can still accompany you to Canada and you can still enjoy a long weekend there together. Surely he can busy himself with something while you’re at the wedding, and you’ll know enough people there to have a good time without him. For the good of your friendship and your relationship with this woman who has been like a niece to you, try to bury your resentment at least until your BFF is in a better place emotionally.


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  1. I think it’s a little presumptuous to assume that the lack of invite for your boyfriend must be because your friend hates men right now. Perhaps there just wasn’t room, or they had a married couples only rule or something? Maybe they lack funds to invite people they don’t know well personally? In any case, taking it personally is a waste of life.

    There’s nothing preventing you from making a little mini vacation of it, with your boyfriend even. Bring him along, do fun vacation-y things, and he can occupy himself with something else while you’re at the actual wedding. I never understood people that freak out when their SO isn’t invited to a wedding with them. To me that means they either 1) are taking it as a personal attack on their relationship (which is rarely founded IMO) and/or 2) they can’t have fun for one night without their SO.

    Come on people. What do you think single people do, decline all wedding invitations because OMG they won’t know anyone?! Some of my most fun memories are of going to weddings solo. Weddings are fun. Free drinking, fun music, sexy outfits, celebration of love…. fun! Can we please stop fussing over and ruining the things that are supposed to be the most fun in life? Don’t we have enough actual negative things to worry about?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      WHMCS. Your SO not being invited to a wedding is rarely a personal attack.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        It is kinda rude though. They’ve been together 2.5 years. It would’ve been the nice thing to do and a show of respect to the LW and the LW’s relationship. But I suppose only married couples really count as couples.

        Also, I think its weird when people are all ‘but I was using your wedding as an excuse for my vacation and now your wedding is messing it all up.’

        Nice advice from Wendy.

      2. it would be nice- im sure if everyone had the money, ability, whatever you need to, they would invite anyone and everyone they have ever known, and then a bunch of those people’s friends too… but, like it happens all the time, there are restrictions on this kind of stuff. money and space being the big and obvious ones, but also personal relationships- it seems that the actual bride and groom of this wedding have never met the LW’s boyfriend.

        so, yes, it would be very nice to invite everyone and all their boyfriends and their parents and their kids and their cousins… but if it doesnt happen, thats ok. its not a personal attack.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        By inviting one serious, long term boyfriend, I did mean her parents too, all their kids, cousins and her milk man.

        Things can be rude without being a personal attack. That’s ok too.

      4. I don’t see how not inviting someone you’ve maybe never even met to a potentially expensive, potentially intimate (small) party you are throwing is rude. I don’t understand why everyone must be attached to their SO’s at all times, even married people, though I do understand why some draw the line at married couples since a wedding is a celebration of marriage itself.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        If the rule is you always have to invite a spouse, then that rule should be extended to long term couples.

        I agree though that I don’t get the need for attachment to your spouse/SO at all times. But for the sake of the arguments here, if everyone thinks all spouses must be invited or its rude, then the same should be afforded to long term SOs.

      6. So you make no differentiation between couples who are married and couples who aren’t? That’s odd to me.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        A little, sure. But if my girlfriend was with her boyfriend for years, then I would treat them the same as a married couple.

      8. Hi. It’s not legal for me to get married. I’ve been with my partner for 3 years. I plan to be with her for a lot longer than that (say, ya know, the rest of our lives). Yeah, I’d like to think our “relationship” is a bit more valid than, you know, Britney Spears’ numerous marriages. But I guess it’s way less valid than that to you.

      9. You’re right, down with the gays.

        (Or, see my other comments on this very thread regarding how homosexual couples who make a lifelong commitment but cannot legally married are in an entirely different situation than couples who are free to marry but actively choose not to because they don’t want to.)

      10. How is the bride supposed to keep track of “Long Term Couples”?? I’m sorry, but it’s not my job to know how long you’ve been dating your boyfriend that I’ve never met.

      11. Avatar photo theattack says:

        This is why I just think that couples should try to plan their weddings so that everyone can have a plus-one. I know that’s not everyone’s priority, but it really eliminates drama. We scaled other things back and didn’t invite everyone we wanted to so that the people we did invite could be comfortable and have their SOs there.

      12. If I get married I would love it if I could just give everyone a plus one, the more the merrier, so long as I don’t go broke! But I think there’s a difference between feeling like that and getting *offended* that your boyfriend can’t hang out with you for one evening. People that actually get mad abut stuff like this are looking for reasons to be unhappy.

      13. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I do think it’s extreme to get angry about it, but I’m not sure that the LW is angry. I think she’s just trying to navigate the situation and figure out if she should ask for the plus-one or not.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        I think your last line is very true. I’ve been in this LWs spot and have just gone to the wedding alone and enjoyed myself without harboring ill feelings. I personally would respect my friend’s long term relationship enough to invite their bfs, but I’m not offended if I don’t get the same in return. People think differently obviously.

      15. As a couple getting married, you get to choose who you want to invite to your wedding. Why is this such a difficult concept for people?
        You might do it one way, I might do it another, and that’s ok.
        In this case, the couple chose who they wanted to invite. The LW can either attend, or not attend. It’s not up to her to make any decisions other than that.

      16. im with HMC- ill invite everyone if time/space/budget allows… but if for whatever reason im not able to invite everyone, the people getting cut are people like the LW’s boyfriend. people i dont know. people who have no personal stake in being at the wedding, and people who i dont have a personal stake in having at my wedding.

      17. lets_be_honest says:

        bethany, I think you summed it up perfectly.

      18. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Yes theattack! I think even single people should get plus ones.

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        Didn’t you know which of your invites were in a long term relationship? I mean, you knew them enough that you wanted them at your wedding, so I would assume you would know if they had a gf/bf of a few years.

      20. For me personally, Yes, I knew. But I wouldn’t expect someone else to know, especially in this situation, where it sounds like the LW and bride were closer when the bride was growing up.

      21. I think everyone knows who they are inviting who is in a long term relationship, and if they don’t it is very easy to find out. This letter writer has to deal with the fact that the bride and groom had a set of rules that her boyfriend didn’t fit into, or that they just didn’t want him there, either way, she needs to let it go, and just go to the wedding, and take her vacation with him as well.

      22. temperance says:

        My cousin invited my then-fiance (now husband) to her wedding, but didn’t *know* that my younger sister was in a long-term relationship and living with the dude. We have a really large family, so I can see it happening … but I make an effort to keep in touch with that side of the family, and she doesn’t.

      23. kerrycontrary says:

        In my mind inviting spouses and inviting long term couples is different. Because they aren’t married. You can argue until you are blue in the face that long-term couples should be treated the same as married couples, except they aren’t married. They aren’t legally attached. How do you define long term? I would consider someone together for 10 years but not married as a unit. But someone together 2.5 is not a unit in my mind. I’ve been with my boyfriend 3.5 years and I would not be offended if he didn’t get a plus one to a wedding. And we don’t know the LW. Maybe she’s had a long string of boyfriends.

      24. lets_be_honest says:

        Ok, so what if it were a gay couple that was together for 2 1/2 years, but couldn’t marry. Would you not invite both?

      25. Gay couples are not legally allowed to marry in many states so they are in a separate category. If they’ve made a life commitment to each other I would count them as married as far as invitations go.

      26. kerrycontrary says:

        I addressed it below. They would need to be in a long-term committed relationship and probably have a commitment ceremony. I have a family member who is gay and there is a difference between a partner of 2.5 years and a “life partner” who live together, share legal property, and have had a commitment ceremony. I would consider this a spouse. In my mind 2.5 years is not THAT long to be together. I know couples who are together that long and it does not equal marriage in my mind. Or couples who are together for 3 years and then break up, and there break up is nothing like a divorce. So LTR is not equal to marriage in my mind, it just isn’t

      27. kerrycontrary says:

        Oh and for the record, I’m giving everyone plus 1s at my wedding so this wouldn’t be an issue for me. I’m just explaining why the bride might do it.

      28. So there needs to be an official ceremony? We’ve exchanged rings, we’ve lived together for 2.5 years, we’ve been together for over 3 years, we share a lease, we share a bank account…but until we invite everyone to some big event, it’s not “official” in your eyes? Thanks for that, judgy-mcjudgerson. We’d love to get married, but guess what, we can’t. Talk about homophobia!

      29. kerrycontrary says:

        are you serious? You don’t even know me and you call me homophobic from some post on the internet? In my mind, you would be considered married, you’ve exchanged rings, you share a lease. Boom done. If I get married I would invite someone in a relationship similar to yours, gay or not gay or somewhere in between. Whatever. I know plenty of people who have commitment ceremonies that happen between the two of them and an officient, not some big event where they invite everyone.

      30. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Seriously, Mandy. Get off the fucking cross already… You’re making us look like fucking idiots. Seriously.

      31. Living together can be a helpful line, that doesn’t feel like it excludes any group.

      32. but if you let one person have their boyfriend come, you get into the “give a mouse a cookie” territory- and then you are having to invite cousins and milk men, you know?

        i can see how it gets hard. i remember planning birthday parties in high school and how the guest list gets out of hand (we had big joint parties). i can understand why brides talk all the time about the “no ring, no invite” rule, or whatever it is. i can understand why couples dont want people at their wedding that they dont know. and thats another part of it- weddings are changing and their meanings are changing and they arent really the “big social events” anymore where your father has to invite all his coworkers and business associates…

      33. lets_be_honest says:

        I can see how it gets hard. Sure. There would be a little snowball effect, but if you (presumably) know the people you are inviting to your wedding, you would know if they are in a long term relationship or a fairly new one. How many people could it possibly add if you decided to invite long term SOs? I really don’t think it would be that many. But yea, I do like the idea of a smaller, intimate wedding with mostly only people you know very well. But there will always be half of a couple that you are close with and not the other half. I’m not close with my friend’s husband at all. Should I not invite him if I want a small ceremony of only people I love? Of course not.

        I just think the no ring, no invite rule is dumb.

      34. “can see how it gets hard. Sure. There would be a little snowball effect”

        That’s what she said!

      35. lets_be_honest says:


    2. Yeah I see where you are coming from but if I were the mother of the bride I would send an email to my BFF or call her and tell her why only she is invited. It’s kind of weird that she said nothing at all if the reason is really just because of space/budget. That being said I agree with Wendy about letting it go even if it is about being bitter.

  2. kerrycontrary says:

    So it’s a destination wedding? It’s not unusual to keep the guest list small. Unless you know for certain that everyone else’s boyfriend was invited I would nip your flair for dramatic speculation in the bud. Maybe the bride only included people’s spouses and didn’t give anyone plus ones. She doesn’t know that your boyfriend is going to be around for forever. Maybe she doesn’t want to look back on her wedding pics and wonder “who’s that?”. I would just go to the wedding and get over the “slight” which really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of your life. By my calculation you are at least in your 50s. You should have some perspective by this point in your life.

  3. Sunshine Brite says:

    Hm, I know a lot of people say that the further people come, the more they deserve a plus one… but mother’s friend’s boyfriend? I’m just not feeling it this morning. I think the boyfriend should go along and do something of his choice solo while she attends and then the two of them can still have the extended vacation she envisioned.

    1. Sunshine Brite says:

      Whoa, just saw that you’re still considering him being able to graciously decline. I think you just want the plus one for a status symbol. I could see where you wanted him along, but to just want the option to say yes or no is petty.

      1. i agree- ” I’ve known the bride since birth and have been as close as an auntie could be without the biological gene” and “My BFF & I have been BFFs for over 41 years” and “The bride is precious to me”- she thinks she DESERVES a plus one because of her obviously super high ranking spot in the brides life…

    2. Yeah, I’m very pro plus-ones, but this seems like a stretch. Mother of the bride’s friend’s boyfriend? Even if she is essentially an auntie to the bride, I can understand how her boyfriend could’ve wound up on the “trim the fat” list.

      Still, no harm is asking (the way Wendy suggested) & then leaving it be. If the boyfriend wants to accompany her & then chill around town during the wedding, that’s up to him. They could still have a vacation if it’s really wanted (although, I have to say, if my boyfriend was attending a wedding in Canada that I wasn’t invited to…I’d probably just stay home & do my own thing, rather than trying to make it mini-vacay)

      1. Exactly- if they’re so close, why has the “auntie” only met the groom-to-be once? My husband and I had a rule at our wedding: EVERYONE had to know the first and last name of both the bride and the groom. They didn’t even have to have met us (husband has some FAR away relatives); they just had to be invested in our lives enough to know who we were.

  4. Maybe this is a case where invites were limited and all boyfriends/girlfriends were left off? For instance, the bride’s friend from high school was invited without a plus one either.

    If there was a hard and fast rule, I don’t think you should be offended. I know if I ever get married, I will take a “what applies to one applies to all” approach. People might feel hurt, but they can’t be mad for not being the exception to the rule.

    Anyway, if that’s not the case, Wendy’s advice was perfect.

    I’m assuming your boyfriend is an adult too, so I would bring him on the vacation. I’m sure he can find something to do for a few hours. Do you know how fun it is to go and sit at a bar in a new city? You end up talking to all sorts of people and it’s fun. Or, if he’s not the bar type, I’m sure there are other activities. Sitting and reading in a park? Goint to a musuem. Taking a bike ride. Idk.

  5. Your BF wasn’t invited. End of story. It’s not your friend getting married, it’s her daughter. When I got married my parents had very little input into the guest list, even though they paid for the wedding. I had a small wedding, and I didn’t want anyone there who I didn’t know. Not even that, but I didn’t want anyone there that I didn’t know well. I didn’t want to look back at my pictures in 30 years and think “who WAS that person?!”

    You don’t mention if the bride knows your BF. You say you’ve only met the groom once. My guess is that you think you’re closer to the bride than you really are at this point.

    If you want to make a vacation out of the wedding, go ahead and do so, but leave your boyfriend at the hotel that day. Have him drop you off and pick you up, and then let him have the day to relax and do whatever he wants.

  6. Agreed with the others that maybe it’s about keeping things small. Hard to know until you see who’s invited. I wonder too if the BFF was hoping to have her friend included in all the wedding activities and part of the extended bridal party, in a manner of speaking. Because the BFF is divorced and will likely be seeing her ex and all the wedding events, she may especially need her friend there by her side as a support beam. By coming solo, LW has the opportunity to play that role without competition for her attention.

    Of course I am totally speculating. It just occurs to me the BFF might have been hoping her friend who be by her side throughout, and by coming solo, LW is in a better position to do that. Would have been better to ask than to force that situation but it could be the motivation.

    1. oh good call about having her best friend at the wedding solo with her. i think that is a very, very good theory. and really, coming from this LW’s position- i might be really excited for going alone, just for that reason. sometimes it sucks to drag your SO along to something where he knows no one…

      1. That would be a great reason, but in that case one would hope that the MOB/BFF would say something to that effect to the LW… especially if there was a recent divorce a wedding could be REALLY CHALLENGING while still trying to be happy for your child.

  7. LW, I think you are taking this WAY too personally. Chances are they had to cut the guest list and said only engaged or married couples get plus ones. Sometimes you draw a hard line because the guest list gets so out of control. How can your boyfriend get invited and not xyz’s boyfriend. You need to stop filling in the blanks with your own distructive ideas.

  8. If you would be happy with the opportunity to graciously decline and attend without your boyfriend then I’m not sure what you are complaining about really. You would be fine attending by yourself – so just do that. Go alone. Either for the evening or for the weekend. I would skip the mention to your friend since there is no way that ends without some sort of awkwardness. What do you hope to accomplish? The opportunity to decline on his behalf?
    If the couple doesn’t really know your boyfriend and they know you will know people at the wedding to hang out with then not inviting your boyfriend isn’t some sort of indictment of your relationship. Not everything is about you …or your best friend’s divorce. I would think it fairly reasonable, if across the board plus ones aren’t the rule of the day, that you would be invited solo given your history with the family.

  9. I also have to wonder, if you’ve only met the groom once, has the bride ever even met your boyfriend? Does she even know you have a boyfriend? I assume that the bulk of your closeness with the bride came when she was a child, rather than in the years preceding this wedding. Obviously, you’re like family to her and her mother, but if she’s trying to keep a guest list reasonable, I can see her mother’s friend’s boyfriend being knocked off pretty early on. Surely you’ve known a lot of people who’ve gotten married who’ve had a variety of sizes of weddings with different strategies of deciding who to invite, and can realize that the wedding isn’t really about you, right? And you seem to implying that your boyfriend can’t come to Canada if he’s not invited to the wedding. It’d be what, like two hours out of your day? He can occupy himself for that amount of time.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Not that it matters, but I feel like most weddings end up taking the whole day. I’ve never been in and out of one in a couple hours.

      1. I didn’t mean that weddings only last for two hours, but if her concern was that she’d be ditching her boyfriend, I think you could attend the ceremony and the first part of the reception (first dances, cake, dinner, etc.) in a few hours. I always stay the whole evening, but usually the ceremony has always been like 15 minutes and all the big stuff in the reception is crammed in at the beginning.

  10. If it’s really true that you know that “the exclusion comes from your BFF” then there’s not much of a point in asking whether it was an accident. I mean, you’re already implying it wasn’t an accident by the way you phrased this, especially the bit about the BFF not caring for your bf. Just make a decision on whether you’re ready to attend the wedding alone.

  11. boredatwork says:

    OK, while I get all the arguments about why she doesnt get a plus one for her boyfriend, small wedding, don’t know the bf well, don’t want randos in pictures. Can we take a minute and change the word “boyfriend” to “husband” and see if we all agree that he shouldnt have been invited then? Its quite funny how changeing that word can change peoples attitudes. Also, while I understand that it ultimatly comes down to the couple getting to choose I think that this article ” http://www.slate.com/content/slate/blogs/browbeat/2010/06/24/in_defense_of_1.html?obref=obnetwork#add-comment ” takes a good stance on defending the + one for anyone who wants a look at the other side. Also, I can’t help but revert into my grandmother/mother here, I think its bad manners to invite one half of a couple to a wedding, and at 2.5 years together they are an established couple.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I wonder what would happen to a couple that spent 10+ years together but never married. Would people only invite the 1 person they are closer to? I agree with you when it comes to amount of time together. If they only were dating a few months, I totally get why he wouldn’t be invited. A year plus of a real relationship? Invite the couple.

      1. It’s just such a crazy thing, we had a friend who was upset with us that we didn’t give him a plus one for our wedding, because he had a girlfriend we never met or heard of, because they weren’t even going out long enough for him to bring her to meet any of our friends, and we only invited people who were in relationships for an extended period of time. Can’t remember what we used, but it really wasn’t that long that somebody had to be dating. So he was complaning to everyone but us, and left my bachelor party, and our wedding very early, because he was mad.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Dramatic friend!

      3. Yeah, and even if we knew about her, I don’t think there 1 month relationship would have made the cut anyways. His roommate actually emailed me, because he didn’t get a plus one either (he was/is single), and they both wanted a plus one, and I had to tell him that we were only giving plus ones to people who have been in a relationship for a year, or something like that. He was fine with it, at least. But it is stupid shit like this, that you have to deal with when planning a wedding, and somebody is always going to get butthurt about your decisions.

      4. …which is then what makes people want to elope, but then they get all kinds of shit for that too.

        so basically everyone is butthurt all the time if a wedding is in any way involved with any situation.

      5. Yep. Wedding week is making me not want to get married ever.

      6. HEY BGM – Lookee here… men acting crazy and dramatic about stupid shit and +1s!!!

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        It was the new girlfriend’s fault probably. Its always the woman’s fault MMcG.

      8. Hahaha, unfortunately my friend loves love, and goes straight from first dates to hot and heavy let’s not leave each other’s side ever! and usually this catches up to the girl after she gets over his crazy good looks, and ridiculous body (he is a pro body builder, and a personal trainer) they make him cry when they just break up with him out of the blue. It is all very hilarious. He has gone out with some of the most down to earth, and beautiful when I have ever seen too, that all get along with his friends, but they just can’t take his crazy, jealous, attachment issues!

      9. Bittergaymark says:

        Wowee. And seemingly the third in a thousand days of DearWendy…

      10. Also on the other side of the spectrum, when my best friend got married, they invited with a solo invitation this girl we have all been friends with for 15 + years now, but haven’t hung out with for a while, because she kind of went off the deep end after she broke up with our best friend. So she called them up and asked if she could bring her new boyfriend, and my friend gave in, and said yes, and then surprise surprise, she showed up to the wedding with her new boyfriend who was her ex-boyfriends roommate! So that was fun! I hope you could follow that.

    2. The difference between “husband” and “boyfriend” is not merely a semantic one. No matter how long you’ve been together or how “established” you are, marriage exists as a way of demonstrating your commitment to each other, and that’s how a lot of people still see it. If you don’t want to make that commitment that’s fine, but society isn’t going to take your relationship as seriously and you should be prepared for that reality. My boyfriend not being invited to a wedding with me is so far down on my list of things to worry about, if it’s even on my list at all.

      1. GatorGirl says:

        But there are a myriad of reasons why a person might not be married yet. Seriously there are about 7 million. It’s not polite to judge other’s relationship commitment based on a ring or peice of paper. Sure people do it, but it’s not nice.

      2. Sure there are a myriad of reasons couples might not be married yet, so it’s my responsibility as a bride to know those and sort through them all to invite the ones that seem the most serious to me? Or, since it’s not polite to judge other people’s relationships, you would just invite anyone who’s seeing anybody else? Everyone who’s even been on 2 dates together gets a plus one?

        I don’t think it’s impolite to differentiate between married people and people who are just dating. That’s why people get married, because it’s a different level of commitment. Acknowledging that, at a celebration of marriage itself, is not rude.

      3. GatorGirl says:

        Casual dating, sure don’t invite them with plus one’s. But what about the couple that’s been together for 4 years but hasn’t married yet? I mean would you not invited them together? Becuase they “aren’t married and have a different level of commitment”?

      4. So you’re asking people to do exactly what you said was wrong, judging other people’s relationships. Sometimes people are really serious after one year, sometimes they are casual after three, and often times you are close to someone but have never happened to meet their significant other or aren’t sure how serious they are. Sorting through that sounds exhausting and involves far more judging of relationships than making a clear line at married or unmarried.

        Personally, I would invite as many plus ones as possible because people like bringing dates and I want everyone to be as happy as possible. But there’s a huge difference between that attitude and getting offended if my boyfriend isn’t invited to a wedding, taking it personally or as an affront to my relationship, or having no clue as to why they would invite married couples but not my boyfriend.

      5. GatorGirl says:

        It’s not that hard. Presumably you know everyone you’re inviting to your wedding, right? You also probably know if they consider themselves in a relationship. If they do, you invite said partner. If they don’t, then you invite the solo guest. I just did this. I had to ask ONE cousin if she was dating someone, out of the 227 people invited. Not that much effort or stress.

      6. Skyblossom says:

        Often, if people aren’t engaged or married at the four year mark it’s because there isn’t the level of commitment for marriage. At that point it often means that at least one of them doesn’t want marriage, which is fine. But, why should you have to treat a nonmarriage as if it is a marriage. If the couple chooses to not be married that is the choice they’ve made for their own personal reasons. We can respect their right to choose whether to marry or not marry and they can respect the right of other people to view them as a less solid couple than a married couple.

      7. kerrycontrary says:

        Eh I would argue against this depending on age. Like if a couple is together since they are 18 and they don’t get engaged at 22 it doesn’t mean that there isn’t the level of commitment, it just means that they are 22. Maybe they want to get their first jobs before they get engaged. Or go to grad school. Or travel. Like my boyfriend and I got together at 21, we’re 25 going on 26 now, not engaged. But we had to long-distance for almost 3 years it wouldn’t make sense to get engaged when we had never lived in the same location. Yeh we’ll get engaged soon, but I don’t think you can say the blanket statement of “if you aren’t engaged by X years you aren’t serious about each other”

      8. Yikes.

      9. GatorGirl says:

        “Often, if people aren’t engaged or married at the four year mark it’s because there isn’t the level of commitment for marriage.”

        Really? No. You’re wrong. We got engaged at the 4.5 year mark. We “waited” that long because he was working on his Phd and we where long distance. Not because we weren’t commited. That’s a VERY rude thing to say. In my opinion of course.

      10. kerrycontrary says:

        Yeh…I agree. There’s just so many reasons people hold off on getting engaged. Like you, our reasons included grad school and long-distance. Some people are together 8-10 years before they get married and their marriages work out just fine. I think that this is a really antiquated way of thinking.

      11. Yeah, I agree with you as well on that point (“on that point” being a qualifier only because I’d like to agree with just that, without entering the other debate of whether long-term couples should always be invited together or whatever)

        My boyfriend & I have been together for over 3 years (almost 3 and 1/2 now, I guess) & I doubt we’ll be married or even engaged by four years. We are just not ready financially, nor are we at a place in life where I’d feel comfortable committing in THAT way. Which is not to say we are not committed to idea of marriage in the future.

        Or, hell. I’ll use my brother as an example. He was with the same woman for over 12 years, lived together for maybe 7, before they got married last year. it takes time, sometimes.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        So you’re pre-engaged is what you’re saying 🙂

      13. Not true in my case… and I’m not young. I think that’s such an oversimplification.

      14. Already. So, my uncle and his SO have been together for over 14 years. Have two kids, mortgage, cars, picket fence, etc… Deaths, ill relatives, multiple marriages, births, baptisms, birthday parties, vacations, etc. (shall I keep going?) all without a marriage certificate or an engagement ring. What’s that called?

      15. Common law! I think a common law spouse is a spouse. A boyfriend is a boyfriend though. Is your life as entwined as a spouse? Mortgage? Kids? Joint finances? Living together? If not, that’s a boyfriend. And not the same.

      16. Quebec.

      17. Eagle Eye says:

        Heh, its this something worth getting me all bent out of shape about? Because, uh, we just hit the four year mark and we’re definitely not getting engaged now or for the next year or so. Honestly, I have no burning desire to have a wedding because I can’t have a wedding without inviting all of the family and all of the friends and that just seems super stressful. Also, we’re gearing up for an 8mos LDR – and a handful of graduations. A wedding will happen when there is the time/ money and sanity to do so. Now is not that moment.

      18. kerrycontrary says:

        Exactly. Marriage exists for a reason. If you aren’t married you aren’t going to be treated as a married couple. If you want society to treat you as married, then get married. I think the only exception is people who can’t legally wed, and in that case I guess I would consider them married if they were long-term live in partners and/or had a commitment ceremony.

      19. “If you want society to treat you as married, then get married.”

        Just quoting this for awesomeness.

      20. lets_be_honest says:

        So if your friend was living with her boyfriend for years, and they owned a house together, but never married, you would not invite him? I guess that’s just weird in my mind.

      21. kerrycontrary says:

        I would. When I get married I’m just going to include everyone’s SO and give anyone over 18 a plus one. I’m just say I could see why someone wouldn’t. But we don’t know if the LW owns a house with this guy or has other commitments. All I know is they’ve been together for 2.5 years. I was with my college boyfriend for 2 years. I haven’t spoken to him in like 3. I could see why my friends wouldn’t need him in their wedding pictures 30 years later.

      22. I realize the argument you’re responding to is that it may be a hard line drawn between married and not married, but your example also sounds weird because it’s the bride’s friend. This boyfriend would likely be someone that the bride had spent time with or at least heard a lot about over the years.

        Like when I go to visit my college friend. I may not be friends with her boyfriend outside of their relationship, but after visiting them for years, I say I’m visiting “Mary and Bob,” not just “Mary.” So, even if decided not to invite anyone who wasn’t married, I’d probably invite him because I see him just as much as I see her. Whereas the boyfriend I may not have ever met of someone I probably rarely see who is friends with my mom wouldn’t really be in the same boat.

        (That said, I’d personally have invited the dude if I knew he existed, but I don’t think it’s black-and-white.)

      23. lets_be_honest says:

        It is a hard line to draw that if you have to draw one, it depends on a lot of factors. Its funny seeing how differently all of you feel though.

      24. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        If it was my friend and they were in a long term relationship then I assume I would have become friends with the partner and I would invite both because they would both be my friends. If I didn’t know them well enough that they had become a friend then maybe I wouldn’t invite them, it would depend on whether there was room on the guest list. Whether they bought a house together is irrelevant.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        I felt that the house owning thing just would show a higher level of commitment than a regular bf/gf relationship, so I thought it would make a difference.

        I have tons of friends though who are in long term relationships where I’m not close with their SO at all, but I’d still invite that SO even if I didn’t like them much or know them much.

      26. @lbh… I think that’s why I preferred to think of it as established household as opposed to married or not. There are people who are still just dating after years, and others that get married in 2 months… no way to know for sure but if a couple (who you have met and spent time with on numerous occasions when possible – if they are your friend you should know someone so important in their lives) live together, spend holidays together, etc. then they are an established household and should be invited together. And if you aren’t sure then err on the side of not together.

        I had a friend that was supposedly dating someone for months (maybe a year – it was all very secretive and ridiculous) and I was not going to invite with her long term BF to my wedding because I had never met him. Plenty of opportunities but she had never taken the time to introduce me to him so he was not going to get an invite… then they moved in together. Problem solved… I actually told her something to the effect of “that’s awesome because now Bob can be invited to the wedding” 🙂

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh I like that! Established Household instead of married or not. But I’m sure couples who don’t live together but have been together 5 years will find fault in that.

      28. kerrycontrary says:

        I would hahaha. We’ve been together 3.5 don’t live together. Like I said though, I’m not offended if my boyfriend is invited to a wedding and I’m not included but someone’s fiance/wife was. I understand the logic. It’s not a personal slight, it’s just a freaking event.

      29. Eagle Eye says:

        Actually, I like established households, because (and hear me out) people like my boyfriend and I, who live together are in no rush to get married, it’ll happen when there is the time/ money/ sanity to do so. If you’re not living together perhaps you’ll get married sooner? Maybe? Idk

      30. People will always find fault with something. After my wedding PTSD I suggest anyone else getting hitched piss everyone off by only inviting people who look good in green and have a last name ending in h-p.

        screw etiquette I saw go ARBITRARY for wedding week!!

  12. GatorGirl says:

    Is the daughter or mother hosting (meaning paying)? If you’re going to ask, you need to ask the person paying the bill. I think it’s pretty rude that your BF wasn’t invited. You’re a social unit- you should be treated as such regardless of your BFF or her daughters feelings about your BF. (And I think the “engaged and married” couples only thing is a load of poop. A ring does not validate a relationship, a commitment between two people does.)

    I would ask if it was on oversight, if it was not I would decline and go on your own vacation.

    1. Avatar photo theattack says:

      Love your point about a ring not validating a relationship. I think it’s fine to skip over a boyfriend of four months if necessary, but 2.5 years means you’re probably in a committed LTR.

      But I disagree with you that you should ask the person paying the bill. I think it’s always the bride. The bride might need to confer with someone else paying the bill, but you NEVER go over the bride’s head! She’s probably the one that has combed through the guest list meticulously, and she probably has a better understanding of the situation anyway.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Agreed. But bottom line is he wasn’t invited. If you were the LW, would you ask or would you just go with what’s already been done and make your decision from there? I’d only ask for the sake of pointing out that it was rude.

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I would ask and have done so before. I posted a forum thread in the fall about this same issue actually, and everyone told me I should definitely ask for the plus-one. I asked, he came, and everyone was happy.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Wow! Isn’t that super anti-etiquette rules?

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        It’s also super anti-etiquette rules to not invite someone’s fiancé, so whatever. I think if you’re close enough to the person and if you’re traveling a distance you should definitely ask. I would say to just get over it if the wedding was in town, but this LW is flying to Canada for the wedding.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, fair enough. Although I don’t really get the difference of location/distance.

      6. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Well for us it was that we had to spend several hours driving there and several hours back. It was a big overnight camp-out event. We wanted to switch off drivers, use his hybrid car, and keep each other awake. Plus in the middle of planning our own wedding we didn’t have a lot of free time, so we didn’t want to spend the entire weekend apart when we could be using the time together in the car. It’s different going somewhere alone for a few hours versus a few days. I can definitely understand the LW not wanting to go alone for that big of a trip.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        But that’s your problem, not the bride’s. Like, if you can’t travel alone then don’t go to a wedding that requires you to travel alone.

        Ftr, I don’t blame you for asking or anything.

      8. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Exactly. If she had said no I wouldn’t have made a big stink about it. I just wouldn’t have gone. There’s no harm in asking between close friends though, because I suspected she would rather me come with a guest than not come at all.

      9. In etiquette world, there’s a big difference between forgetting to invite somebody’s fiance and forgetting to invite somebody’s boyfriend. One is technically a social unit and the other isn’t. (This is not taking into account long-term couples, who are arguably social units as well. But as you can see by this post, that’s something that’s still hotly debated.)

      10. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I know that’s technically the rule, but I don’t believe it’s right by any means. The day before we got engaged we were just as committed as the day after. Three months before we got engaged he was ring shopping and putting down payments on a ring. It would have been a mistake for someone to assume we weren’t committed.

      11. GatorGirl says:

        I completely agree. We where planning on getting married, and taking the life steps towards getting married, long before a formal engagement.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        To be fair, a lot of people probably plan of getting married and take “steps” toward that, but never actually marry. I agree that commitment is there, but there is a different level of it.

      13. But how does anyone else know that? Like there are outward signs of commitment, and internal to the couple signs right? How would anyone but him know there was ring shopping and payments going on? So it’s a mistake, yes, but not one with mal intent.

        I’m in the KerryContrary camp of everyone gets a date. I felt comfortable that anyone I invited would bring a date who was cool so I wasn’t worried. I’d rather have a less formal event and be able to accomodate more than to leave people to an all day event (I’ve never seen an in and out in a couple hours wedding!) that is about coupledom sitting there twiddling their thumbs forced to make small talk with others and feeling awkward.

      14. GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, it could go either way. At this point I’m tired of people asking me crap so I’d rather my mom field some questions. She knows what I want. But each situation is different.

        And honestly I would ask if I was in the LW shoes. My fiance and I dated for almost 5 years before we got engaged. I would have been seriously offended if either of us where invited to a wedding with out the other because there wasn’t a ring. And I would ask just to point out how incredibly rude I find it.

        Oh, so my soon to be SIL, she was invited to a family wedding with out her BF of a year. Between when the invites where sent and the wedding they got engaged. Guess who felt like a butthead for not inviting the boyfriend?

    2. “A ring does not validate a relationship, a commitment between two people does”

      A wedding invite doesn’t validate a relationship either, so don’t take a lack of one so personally and count your blessings.

      1. GatorGirl says:

        I don’t get your snarky “count your blessings”? Becuase I’m able to have a wedding, like the big party? Or in that I’m allowed legally to marry?

      2. It isn’t snarky, and I’m not saying you as in YOU. It’s genuinely hard for me to understand a well-balanced, happy person actually getting angry over something like this.

      3. Liquid Luck says:

        There’s a HUGE difference between getting angry about something like this and feeling slighted by it. I’d be offended if I was invited to celebrate another couple’s relationship while they were blatantly saying that mine wasn’t valid enough for them, but I wouldn’t be angry. And just because I’d skip a wedding over this doesn’t mean I’d end a friendship or hold a grudge. Telling someone that they’re unbalanced because they would feel hurt that the most important relationship in their life isn’t being recognized by other important people to them is ridiculous.

      4. how in the world does not getting a two person invite to a wedding equal this…. “Telling someone that they’re unbalanced because they would feel hurt that the most important relationship in their life isn’t being recognized by other important people to them is ridiculous.” -??

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        She was replying to hmc’s comment, not talking about the invite. hmc said well balanced people wouldn’t get angry about it. Read it again. I liked it.

      6. no, i still dont get it… because she is saying that not both being invited means her friends are not “recognizing the most important relationship in (her) life”.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        No, no, I read it as her saying people are allowed to feel bad/hurt about something without it meaning they are unbalanced. I agree. People can get their feelings hurt over silly things, but that doesn’t mean they are unbalanced. Its just sensitivity. We’ve all been over sensitive over something before. We’re not all unbalance individuals.

    3. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      How about the ability to pay for the reception? Maybe that should be as relevant as anything.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I don’t think anyone thinks that makes a difference when they are the ones without a plus one. They think its only 1 more person.

    4. The “footing the bill” thing is a very big part of this. LW, what if the bride and groom are paying themselves? Your BFF might not have alot of say in the final guest list.

  13. Sue Jones says:

    Go to Canada with your boyfriend, let him do something on his own the day of the wedding, go to the wedding and then take the rest of the time together. I go to a fair number of professional conferences and sometimes my husband and I make a long weekend of it. I get to sit inside a conference room listening to lectures while he gets to hike, swim, play golf, etc…. and we get to write most of it off…and he has more fun than I do. Perhaps your BFF does not want to be reminded of happy couples since she just had a crappy divorce, and this is mostly about your friendship with her and your BF, even at 2.5 years, is perhaps too new in her eyes since after 41 years together, 2.5 years is a blip on the screen. So be a friend, suck it up and have a great time after the wedding with your BF.

  14. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

    Here are my thoughts. People that demand a plus one are kind of annoying – I’ve gone to weddings solo while married (GASP!) and had a blast. On the other side of the coin weddings have so much overhead that adding an additional person is definitely not going to be what breaks the bank. Most costs are huge and upfront and don’t depend on the amount of people there. So in the grand scheme of things I think everyone should get a plus one.

    In summary. You’re both annoying. So you might as well be bff’s forever in mutual annoyance.

    1. Tudor Princess says:

      I’m planning my wedding now, and I’m finding a lot of places DO depend on the amount of people. Our guest list is hovering around 50 and most of the places we’ve looked at have had separate rooms for different size groups. If our guest list were to go over 50 we would need a bigger room, and bigger rooms cost more. Plus, if catering is included, sometimes there are minimums. They’ll serve up to 50 for a certain amount, but you must pay as if 50 people are coming. Any more, and you move up to the next minimum. It adds up for alcohol, too.

      All of that crazy crap is why were searched for two months for a place that didn’t have any of those restrictions. It was harder than I thought it would be. So, I understand why the bride may have kept the guest list small.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Well it’s up to you where you want to trim costs. I personally would trim them from the dress, invitations, decorations, etc before I trimmed actual human beings. But to each their own.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        HAHAHAHA. Trimming human beings.

      3. True, but there’s only so much you can trim out of a dress and decorations in order to make up for the cost of a venue, and if you’re concerned with money, you probably have already kept costs down in those areas anyway.

  15. omg. people’s choices are rarely, if ever, comments/judgements on your life. dont take everything anyone does so personally. its a weird concept, but everything that people do in the world is not about you and the decisions are not made with *just you* in mind.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I agree with you, but you seem to think that just because something was done without “you” in mind, “you” are not allowed to be hurt by it. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

      1. well, when this happens, you just take a few deep breaths, say to yourself “this doesnt mean my best friend of 41 years doesnt love me, and it doesnt mean i dont love her daughter. i understand the various issues and constraints that lead to my boyfriend not being invited. i am not going to make this a big deal and take this personally. i am going to go to the wedding and have a great time with my best friend.” and then you do that and go on with your life.

      2. Bittergaymark says:

        Seriously. Far too many seemingly go through their lived just looking to be attacked. Many, it seems, simply thrive upon being hurt. I don’t get it… I just don’t…

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I hope this is what the LW does.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Also, just try to find the nicest reason why this might’ve happened. Give people the benefit of the doubt. You’ll be hurt less. I loved Jess’ thought on this-that the bride’s mom wants to be at her friend’s side the whole time.

  16. There’s really no such thing as an “over sight” when it comes to the guest list of your wedding. Many drafts and glasses of wine are spent on that fucker.

    The way I see it – and it is just my view in planning my wedding – is that we want to celebrate at our wedding with people we know and care about, or who have been monumental in our life at some point. The plus one, for us, was an easy decision. Serious significant others we have actually met and known for a while and are “friends” with, and of course, spouses. The only exception we made was with a few “isolated” guests (people we remained close with, but was not a part of a group of friends). Two such friend RSVP’d their “guest” with “new boyfriend” hinting at a possibility of bringing someone if they met them between now and the wedding (our RSVP deadline was weirdly early, since we had a lot of friends coming in from overseas). I thought that was a bit strange, but in looking back on the guest list they didn’t have a ton of friends at the wedding, so we wanted to make sure they had a good time and had someone to keep company.

    Given that you have been best friends with the mother of the bride for 40+ years, I’m guessing you are going to know a lot of people and family at the wedding. Maybe they are limiting their guest list to close and intimate friends/family, and don’t want someone outside of that realm at their wedding by mere association? I know your boyfriend is important to you, but is he important to your best friend and her daughter? If the answer is “no,” you need to respect how and with whom they want to celebrate their wedding.

    1. “There’s really no such thing as an ‘over sight’ when it comes to the guest list of your wedding. Many drafts and glasses of wine are spent on that fucker.”

      You’re probably right–although I will say, I was left off an invite my husband received to a wedding. The wedding was scheduled for two weeks AFTER our own wedding.

  17. Bittergaymark says:

    A boyfriend of 2.5 years does NOT equal a spouse. Nor does his exclusion mean your friend hates men. The world would run MUCH smoother if more women didn’t deliberately take each and every event in their lives as a personal attack… “Oversight?” Please… Honestly? If I were getting married — the newish boyfriend of my mom’s best friend is one of the first people I’d cut…

    1. GatorGirl says:

      So 2.5 years counts as “newish” in your opinion?

      1. ele4phant says:

        A rarely agree with bgm in how he evaluates relationships, but I agree 2.5 years is kinda newish. Not that that means it isn’t serious, but think about it. This woman is probably in her 50-60s, so in the scheme of her total life, that’s not a lot of time.

        Again, it would be nice if he had been invited, it would be nice if all invitees got a plus one, but for whatever reason the guest list had to be restricted, and lumping in a relationship of 2.5 years as “newer” makes sense to me.

      2. I wouldn’t consider that “newish”. I know people that have been married for a year who have known each other for less than two years.

      3. GatorGirl says:

        Really? I know quite a few people who where married or engaged by 2.5 years, also a lot of people move in together after a year or two. Newish in my opinion is under a year. Once you hit a year “new” goes away, IMO.

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Yeah, we got engaged at 2 years and married at 3. My grandparents got married at 1 year. There’s no correct timeline for a relationship.

      5. Bittergaymark says:

        An unmarried two and a half year relationship is newish enough to me to NOT make my plus one list. Especially if this boyfriend is somebody I barely know… And the whole “I want a plus one so he can decline is so fucking dumb and moronic I can’t even put it into words…

    2. Actually, I have been with my BF for just under 3 years, we have lived together for 1.5 years, and in my province are legally considered to be common law spouses…

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Wow, really? That’s kinda scary to me. Forced common law after only living together for 1.5 years? That’s pretty quick.

      2. tell me about it! It’s like marriage by default.

  18. painted_lady says:

    Whoever made the point that the BFF invited the LW as moral support is probably totally right about that. Again, you can ask if not inviting him was an oversight or intentional, but I would be very, very careful about how you word it and give absolutely every opportunity that you can to your BFF for an out.

    There is something I wanted to touch on that isn’t really your question but related to it. If your BFF has said something along the lines of “I hate all men right now and want nothing to do with them,” then please disregard. But if not, I hate that mentality that anyone who isn’t crazy about your SO and isn’t happily coupled-up is jealous. Maybe she just doesn’t like him. Maybe he’s done something to her that she hasn’t told you for the sake of salvaging your friendship. Maybe she thinks he’s going to hurt you. Or maybe she doesn’t like how your relationship changed when you started dating him. Maybe she’s really vulnerable right now and isn’t comfortable being around your boyfriend because she can’t share with you like she can when he isn’t around and she really needs that right now. I’m sure it does happen, that people go through a rough break-up and then decide that they hate an entire gender, but I have been through my fair share of break-ups, and while I may not have been ready to date, I never confused my recent ex with another man, and I never assumed another man who had nothing to do with the break-up was responsible for my heartbreak. I think it says more about you and your emphasis on the importance of relationships than it does her that your interpretation of his lack of invite is that your BFF hates all men right now.

    Whatever reasoning your BFF or her daughter had for excluding your boyfriend from the wedding, if it was intentional, you gotta accept that. We – and you – can go on and on all day about how rude it was, how you guys should be treated as a unit even if you aren’t married, that your friend doesn’t like your boyfriend and how wrong that is, blah blah…but whatever the reasoning, if the decision stands, you have two choices. You can go, maybe bring your boyfriend and make a weekend of it outside of the wedding, or you can not go. If it’s more important to you to go in support of your best friend and her daughter, go. If it’s more important to take a stand for the sake of your relationship, then don’t go.

    1. painted_lady says:

      You know, I also had the thought: I love my mom’s best friend. Like, she’s completely awesome and funny and has known me since I was 10. But she lives really far away, and it sounds like the daughter does as well. My mom goes and sees her as often as she can, but I miss major details of her personal life over the years. Like my mom told me once that L was leaving her husband. And so a few months after that, I made mention of L being single again, and my mom was like, oh no, she’s stil with him. Then I made reference to that husband again a few months later, and my mom told me she had left him finally. And then later I found out after the fact that they’d gotten back together. And obviously L doesn’t owe me an update every single time, and I’m sure there are other things my mom has told me that I’ve forgotten. I know she gets Botox, and I know she drives a Mercedes convertible, but I’m trying to think and can’t recall which company she’s the corporate president of a division that I really couldn’t tell you the name of. And I don’t know her husband’s name and I’ve never met him…

      Anyway, my point is, depending on the way your relationship with this girl works, LW, she may not have known – or remembered – that there was even a boyfriend to invite. Maybe she sent the invites without a thought to that. My cousin who just got married didn’t invite my boyfriend of 2.5 years because even though they’ve met and had conversations, it was awhile ago and he didn’t know if we were still together and didn’t want to ask in case it was awkward. There’s a lot of things this could be, and yes, I agree everyone should have the option of a plus-one, but not everyone thinks that way and so I seriously doubt this was an intentional slight beyond just, don’t know him/the relationship that well, no invite.

  19. Liquid Luck says:

    I wouldn’t go to a wedding (especially one that would interfere with our mutual vacation plans) if my long-term partner wasn’t invited. Sorry, but where I come from that’s considered just plain rude. Once you invite guests to your wedding, it is no longer all about what you want. Anytime you host an event (and wedding are not so special that they’re exempt from normal etiquette rules), the comfort and convenience of your guests is the most important issue, period. Anyone who considers themselves to be in a relationship should be invited with their SO. It doesn’t matter if the bride and groom haven’t met the person or just “don’t want randos in the pictures” (seriously, wtf?), because presumably you’re only inviting people you care about to your wedding, and anyone who’s important enough to someone you love should be important to you. Not inviting someone’s SO to a wedding can only be backed up by selfish reasoning, and that’s never ok.

    And for the record, I’m perfectly capable of (and happy to) go to events, even weddings, without my partner if he can’t or doesn’t want to go. But that choice should be ours to make, not a friend or relatives.

  20. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    I really don’t see the big deal here. You’ve been invited to a party and your boyfriend was not invited. So you go sans boyfriend if you can make it, voila! <— I saved the day!

    Btw, why do weddings get everyone so worked up? I will never get it. Ever. Never ever. Really, they turn everyone into sensitive, paranoid, irrational, bossy, judgmental, tightly-wound nut jobs.

    1. there should be a service people (brides) can sign up for and if they start acting like idiots, someone will come to their house and let them know.

      i have no idea how that would work, i just think it would be an overall positive thing.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I would gladly volunteer myself to come to people’s houses to tell them how dumb they are!

      2. hello dream job!! lol

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Seriously. I mean what’s the deal? Everyone has an opinion on what you can and cannot do and blah blah blah. Why can’t everyone just let people do what they want – even if that is a wedding with no plus ones, 3,000 miles away on a beach, where guests are asked to bring a potlock, and stand the whole time….. I mean, you can either go or you can decline. Big deal.

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Isn’t that kind of conflicting with what you just agreed with Katie on? haha

      5. well it could go both ways though. so like, you could sign up for this service as a guest. so when you start acting crazy about the wedding 3,000 miles away with no plus one by your side where you stand with your crock pot the whole time, they will tell you to stop acting like an idiot and either go or dont.

      6. I believe there was a scene in the movie Airplane that could work as a model for this service… sit the bride/groom/MOB down in a chair, have people line up and take turns trying to slap some sense into them 😉

    2. Totally. I vowed not to participate in this wedding week thing for that very reason. You can see how that’s worked out for me, and its only Tuesday. Wendy knows what she’s doing.

      1. haha, she totally does!

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Yes she’s a genius actually!

    3. Seriously, I don’t get it either. Everyone wants to make it about THEM. Like the bride and groom are sitting around and thinking about all the ways they can offend people. “Hey, if we do a cash bar, Uncle Bob will be furious! And if we don’t invite Aunt Mildred’s BF, she’ll never speak to us again! Perfect!”

      1. When we got married, I had 3 people tell me that they thought they were the reason we did an only partially open bar. We paid for wine and beer plus the first 3 bottles of a couple of kinds of alcohol, but cocktails were on your own. The people who said something assumed it’s because we thought if we provided an open bar that they’d be out of control drunk (which is probably true). Really we did it because we don’t drink, but wanted others to be able able to and didn’t feel like sinking a ridiculous amount of money into alcohol. We considered having only what we paid for available, but in the end decided people who wanted more options would be fine paying for it. I know it’s considered bad etiquette, but we also broke all kinds of “etiquette” rules. And we offered a plus one to everyone coming since it barely affected the bottom line at all.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Sounds like your wedding didn’t really count then. 😉

      3. Darn, I was hoping that wouldn’t happen. We also bunny-hopped in to the reception, had a “teddy bear toss” for the kids (like the garter toss and bouquet toss but with bears), had semi-assigned seating, but didn’t especially care where people sat, a kids area with toys and crayons and coloring pages, and let our bridal party sit with their dates instead of at one big head table. We budgeted for a wedding that had 75 more people than what we intended to have. Budgeted for 200, planned to have 125, ended up with about 140 (about 35 of them were under the age of 12).

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        OMG the teddy bear toss sounds like the cutest idea ever. That was a great idea for the kids!

      5. and really the sad part is that what really happens is that the bride/groom and whoever is paying, like parents or whatever, go through the lists and painstakingly cut people. im sure its like “oh no- we CANT cut them! its aunt mildred’s BF!” but then someone else is like “well, we have to cut 13 people, or else we cant afford the wedding/cant hold it at that venue/whatever” and they go back and forth feeling guilty and justifying both sides and having all these sad thoughts about being horrible people for doing it, and then the guests actually DO think they are horrible people for doing it.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Good point. I know if I had to cut people, I’d feel really guilty about it. So to then have someone actually tell me they were insulted by it would make it much worse.

      7. Exactly. Cutting people from the guest list is the HARDEST thing. You want everybody (all your friends and family) to know that they’re important enough to warrant an invitation but that doesn’t mean you can afford to invite them all. It’s sad that people are so quick to take offense when the vast majority of engaged couples (at least the ones I’ve known) really just want to make everyone happy.

      8. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        yeah it totally sucks

      9. Yeah, we’re going on and on here about how awful the bride and groom must be, and how rude they are, and how they shouldn’t think about themselves and only the guests, which I assume is a reaction to the emergence of bridezillas over the years. But most couples are not that judgmental or malicious. Planning a wedding is hard work. I’ve watched my friends agonize over the guest list and seating arrangements and how their out-of-town relatives were getting there and where they were staying, and it looked awful. I’d like to cut these couples some slack and not assume the worst of them.

    4. Because everyone has a different opinoin about them, and they all think what they say is the law, and what must happen, when in reality people can do whatever the hell they want, they just have to deal with the aftermath.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        My opinion is no one should have opinions about weddings, haha.

      2. You smell lovely today!

  21. ele4phant says:

    Yeah it’s kinda rude he wasn’t invited.

    But…in the scheme of things what does it matter? You love the daughter of your BFF and want to support her right? Your relationship with her mother is a strong one, right? So just go. While it would be nice to have you boyfriend there, it sound like he’s met them once so does he really care if he gets to go?

    And finally, you know the nature of your relationship with him an what it means to you. Who cares what outside parties think about the seriousness of your relationship. Of you require others to validate you relationship, you’ve got problems that go well beyond a small social slight.

  22. I think it’s really tacky not to extend a +1 to wedding guests. That said, I think LW is reading way to much into the “why” and “meaning” behind it.

    Were this my wedding, I’d want to keep it small, and if I had to think about whether or not someone’s +1 deserved an invite, I’d probably invite neither half of the couple. But, that’s just me.

    1. Actually, I was sort of thinking that the LW might have been hanging on the guest list by a thread, depending on how close she actually is to the bride (vs. the mom) at this point and how small the wedding is.

  23. Considering how progressively-minded I view this community as being, I am really surprised by so many of these posts that are just dripping with judgment and superiority about non-married couples and their level of commitment.

    1. It’s wedding week!

      (That works as an explanation, right? I feel like there’s always some thirdhand bridezilla ish going on here whenever there’s a heated wedding-related discussion. As in, we all become bridezillas even though we are, like, removed at least 5 times from the actual situation being debated)

    2. Differentiating between married people and non-married people and implying that one status is superior aren’t the same thing. But marriage is, by definition, a serious commitment, so using it as a benchmark to gauge a couple’s level of commitment is pretty logical to me.

      It isn’t better or worse to be more or less committed to someone, it’s just a different stage of relationship. Married people have made explicitly made a commitment to be a family forever. It doesn’t always last, but the commitment and effort is there and marriages on average certainly last longer than unmarried relationships.

      I kind of see this issue as part of a bigger issue and that is couples who want all of the perks of a lifelong commitment but don’t’ actually want to do the committing, which is the hard part. If you want to live together, be together forever, and be recognized as a family, then why aren’t you married? If you aren’t ready that’s totally fine, but why should people recognize your commitment level as the same as a married couple’s when you’re demonstrably not as committed? That doesn’t make sense.

      I think context matters too. I grew up really involved with a non-Western culture that highly values marriage, and the more traditional their wedding, the less likely non-married plus ones are invited. In fact, relationships period aren’t really recognized until you are at least engaged. It’s their culture and there’s an understanding that it’s not a personal judgment on your relationship so people don’t take it personally. Taking it personally seems really Western to me, like, please bride and groom, validate my relationship please! It’s one evening, it’s a formal event, it’s fun, but it’s expensive for them.

      All that said, I’d love to invite plus ones if I get married. The more the better, fun fun! But we live in a world where a lot of cultures including a lot of Westerners still differentiate a lot between married and non married people, and if that’s where you want to draw the line for your own wedding for whatever reason, I think it’s a legitimate line.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess I feel like if you applied this logic 50 years ago, it would’ve made a lot more sense than it does today. There are so many couples who choose not to marry (or can’t) for so many reasons, yet are 100% committed to spending their lives together.

        I agree that you’re either married or you’re not, and its annoying when people say things like pre-engaged or practically married, but I do think there is a pretty high commitment level between some unmarried couples that is very close to a marriage. I’m seeing a lot more of this in the past say 10 years. A lot of couples just never want to marry.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I also think a lot of these married folk who say you’re either married or not come off as very judge-y. Like, my relationship is way more important and better than yours simply because we signed a piece of paper. Or at least that’s how the unmarried but committed folk take it.

      3. I have a straight friend who considers her partnership to be a lifelong commitment but they won’t get married for political reasons – they’ll do it when same-sex marriage is allowed. They live together and have a kid together.

        But I don’t see why the “validity” of a couple’s relationship matters anyway. Just let people have plus ones. If you find yourself unable to accommodate that many guests, then maybe cut your guest list in some other way (other than arbitrarily deciding whose relationship is adequately committed) or cut down on expenses somewhere else (like venue, caterer, gown, invites, etc.).

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess the “validity” thing comes into play when there is an issue just like this–a wedding question of plus ones. If you choose not to invite your couple friend because they don’t fit into the hard and fast rule of plus ones only for “real” married couples, then I think it does speak to your opinion of your friend couple’s relationship validity.

        Cut down on the cost of the gown?! What are you crazy?!? What’s more important, making your friends happy or looking hot in a $15,000 gown?

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:

        THANK YOU!!!!!

        I don’t even see the point of talking about married vs. engaged vs. dating 3+ years vs. dating < 3 years or whatever. Just avoid the hassle and only invite as many people as you can afford to have plus-ones. If that means you need to have a dessert reception instead of a full meal or a state park wedding instead of a reception hall, it's probably worth it.

      6. Liquid Luck says:

        This is exactly what bothers me when people say they “can’t afford” to invite everyone with a plus one. Yeah, you can, you will just have to have a less fancy party. You can buy a sheet cake that feeds a hundred people for like $30, and make some punch for less than that, so money clearly isn’t the issue. The fact is, a lot of people using that excuse want the fancy party and don’t want to cut corners in order to properly host their guests. That’s when it crosses the line into being selfish, and despite what current wedding culture promotes, wedding receptions stop being about just what the bride and groom want the second they decide to invite other people.

      7. lets_be_honest says:


      8. I agree. I think even single folks should get +1s and if I ever have a wedding, that’s what I’d do. If I really find myself thinking, “I don’t want to pay for Friend’s date because of X, Y, or Z,” that’d be my cue to not invite Friend altogether (or scale back elsewhere). I’d only want people I (or my fictitious huband-to-be) know well/care about there, and I’d sooner invite neither half of a couple than pick and choose whose relationship is “worth” a +1 and whose isn’t. It’s fine if a guest attends alone if that’s what he or she chooses, but I think at weddings, where ya celebrate love, everyone should be in a position to celebrate with a date, boyfriend, husband, whatever.

      9. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        That’s such a cop out — as Dan Savage would put it. Sorry, it just is.

      10. I don’t really understand why people would get defensive about something that is in their power to change. If they say they are lifelong committed and a boyfriend/girlfriend label is insufficient, they can change that label if they want to.

        I don’t really care how people choose to navigate their personal relationships. But I do care if they act victimized over their SO not being invited to a wedding. They’re not inviting married people because they’re better, they’re inviting them because they’re a committed family unit.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        If they are actively choosing not to marry ever, then there is nothing they have power in changing. If a couple like that is not invited to a wedding together, simply because they don’t believe in marriage, it would in my opinion be very rude and speak to your judgement on the validity of their relationship. Of course, that couple can choose not to care what you think, but that’s easier said then done.

      12. I feel really weird on this (and yes I know I’m way late to the party what ev ah! ;-)) because on one hand I live somewhere most long term committed couples do not and will not marry, for a lot of historical and cultural reasons (see and understand when people say the Church ran things here, the Church WAS the govt. I had a long time to wrap my head around that, being an immigrant from the US and all, that yes, clear until the 1960s, the RCC was the government for all intents and purposes here).

        Non-marriage was not something either I, nor Mr AM, felt comfortable about. Me for reasons similar to HmC “if you want to be married, get freaking married already!”, Mr AM because he knew he wanted a “traditional” set up where he would be primary bread winner and his wife would be home with the kids, and he wanted to protect her financially in case god forbid things did go end over asshole. Because I happen to live in the only province in Canada where there is not only no recognition of common law, it’s specifically NOT recognized. As in it’s stated clearly, in legalese “oh hey btw if you’re not married, you’re NOT MARRIED.” Which means if he and I just shack up for 15 years have a couple kids I manage his home life and we split, I get exactly nothing other than what I came in with and child support. He thinks that sucks, so he wanted to get married.

        Interestingly when it went to the Supreme Court here as to whether it was legal to do the law this way (see … for context, when they say 1 million QCers be shackin’ up… there’s only 8 million people total in the province, and obviously a fairly significant amount are either children or elderly… so that’s no small amount!) I was totally for “fuck that you wanna be married GET MARRIED” and my husband was all “oh hell no they should get the same rights.” Basically my argument was “if.. then…” and his was “if you want a wife and want benefits as such, like her being primary care provider, sacrificing a career for you, then fuck you, you’re getting married and don’t get to bail out just because of lack of paper.” (Apologies for the obviously sexist and heteronormative linguistics, but we were speaking from our personal reference!).

        Yet… there is no way I’d consider my ILs, who have been together 12 years, engaged (no really, she has a ring and all) for 10, to be less committed than me and Mr AM. No way. At all. They have a home, a business, share everything… or my BFF, who is having a baby next month with her guy of 8 years. She was really insistent on wanting to be married before having a baby, but he was obstinant and difficult, so here they are “shackin up” like most folks here. I would never, ever consider them less committed.

        But yeah, for me on a personal me level? You bet there’s a difference between being married and long term. House or no. But I don’t extend that to others!

      13. As to those who can’t marry, again, that’s a separate issue. As to those who won’t, then that’s their business and totally fine of course. But wouldn’t they then understand that society then won’t view them as married?

        I assume if someone getting married had a large number of friends in 10 year relationships that were more like life partnerships and just never wanted to marry, they would probably invite them. Personally I don’t see a lot of that.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        But my point is just because you aren’t married, doesn’t mean you are less of a couple and should not be treated as a couple.

      15. If you see no difference between the level of commitment of a marriage and that of a typical boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, then I don’t know what else to tell you. If by less of a couple you mean less committed, then yes, if you are married you are less of a couple.

      16. *aren’t

      17. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m really only talking about long term couples who intend to spend their lives together but choose to not marry. You don’t seem to be grasping my comments, but just jumping on one little part without understanding what my point is.

      18. lets_be_honest says:

        meaning, I’m not talking about a “typical” bf/gf. Thought that was clear.

      19. It wasn’t clear to me that that was your whole point. Regardless I did address it:

        “As to those who can’t marry, again, that’s a separate issue. As to those who won’t, then that’s their business and totally fine of course. But wouldn’t they then understand that society then won’t view them as married? “

      20. lets_be_honest says:

        No one is asking that they be viewed as married when they aren’t. These couples are just looking to be acknowledged as a couple. Not every couple think the most important thing about their relationship is a sheet of paper.

        I don’t know why you keep assuming couple can only mean married.

      21. I’m saying if a couple getting married wants to draw their invitation line at married couples only, that’s their prerogative and it wouldn’t offend me. I don’t think a wedding invitation or lack thereof has to be a statement on whether you are a couple, and I wouldn’t take it that way. In fact, even if I were married, if my husband didn’t know the couple and he wasn’t invited, I probably wouldn’t care.

        I don’t know why you think that I’m assuming a couple has to be married to be a couple. Being invited to a wedding together and being a couple are not the same thing. And you can keep calling marriage a piece of paper if you want to, but it means a great deal more than that to many people, including a high level of commitment.

      22. lets_be_honest says:

        If it bothers you that I refer to it as a piece of paper and don’t include that there is a presumed level of commitment attached to that, then you should understand why some couples would be bothered by you declaring they aren’t that committed simply because they don’t share in your belief of marriage.

        This would not bother me either, for the record. I’ve been in the LW’s place and have not cared. This is just for the sake of discussion/debate.

      23. Lbh, do you recognize that marriage is a serious commitment for many people, or do you disregard the institution in general? I think we just have starkly different values regarding the seriousness of a marriage commitment.

        It doesn’t bother me that you refer to it as a piece of paper, or if you never get married or whatever. But denying that it’s a lot more than that to many people is just ignorant.

      24. lets_be_honest says:

        Juuuust like denying a Life Partnership’s validity and commitment is ignorant.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        I respect marriages and the seriousness of them, sure. But I also respect people’s choices to never marry but be in a committed, life long partnership and would never treat those couples differently then I would treat a married couple. Its one in the same to me. Add in the fact that half of these marriages end in divorce, it only furthers my equal respect for both types of commitments.

      26. I’m 100% with lets_be_honest here. Why does having a piece of paper change someone’s level of commitment? Since 50% of marriages end in divorce, it’s obviously only a valid commitment half the time, anyway. And, hello, Las Vegas. Do we REALLY think Britney Spears’ marriage was more valid than someone who’s been together with their spouse for decades, but either 1) can’t marry (due to whatever – impending divorce, being gay/poly, having difficulty dividing assets, other political reasons) or 2) doesn’t WANT to marry (again, political reasons, waiting to achieve enough financial independence, etc). There are SO MANY good reasons to NOT get married, but NONE of them invalidate a committed, loving relationship. And, yes, it’s incredibly judgmental to assume they do, gay or straight.

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        That’s the thing Mandy. Its just judgmental to comment on someone else’s level of commitment. There are no two ways about it.

        If you choose to spend your wedding money on things other than your guests feeling welcomed, then that’s your choice and draw the line if you have to at married couples only. Some people will think its obnoxious and judgmental, as this thread seems to show.

      28. I agree 100% with everything LBH said.

      29. I’ve heard these arguments against marriage before and I remain unconvinced. 50% of marriages end in divorce, thus the commitment isn’t serious in general? What percentage of unmarried relationships do you think end? A lot more then 50%.

        As has been said many times on this thread by several people, homosexual relationships are different because they legally *can’t* get married. So that is inherently a separate category from people who can and choose not to.

        Anyway, I feel like I’m just repeating my opinion over and over on this thread so I think I’ll leave it there.

      30. i agree that 50 years ago in america this logic would be right, but nowadays its just doesnt work anymore. it just doesnt- that cant be argued, thats the way our world is going. marriage is no longer the crowning achievement of people (woman’s) lives, and its not the focus or the end goal or whatever for A LOT of people. other still stress it, they still look at it this way, but just as religion is falling by the wayside, so is marriage as a pre-requisite of a successful life.

    3. lets_be_honest says:

      It is going quite overboard today with that, isn’t it?

      1. I’m just speechless at some of the remarks here today. They reek of judgement and some posters I normally agree with are just really coming across as pretty asshole-ish.

      2. GatorGirl says:

        I hope I don’t sound like an asshole to anyone 🙁

      3. Eagle Eye says:

        I think that you’ve been quiet reasonable! Actually, I strangely almost always agree with HmC, so, I’m surprised about how my gut is feeling today!

        I guess after 4 years together (and not engaged nor planning on becoming engaged anytime soon because weddings are headaches and elopement is NOT an option) I appreciate how my relationship with my bf has been received by our friends and family, that we are now a unit. Its nice to not have to go through with the whole wedding thing to have that. I should be more grateful to all them, come to think of it!

      4. I guess to me this is sad how out of control the wedding concept has become. A wedding should NOT be a BFD. Nice dresses, cake and punch in the church reception hall, maybe a big bar type bash later for the young folks. Instead, people think they need to spend tens of thousands. My cousins had beautiful weddings… with pulled pork sandwiches in a buffet receiving line on styrofoam plates. No one died, everyone got to bring a date, some folks showed up in polo shirts, everyone was happy. And MARRIED.

      5. Not to me GG.

  24. LW, it’s not your BFF getting married, it’s her daughter. Unless she actually calls you “Auntie,” she probably just thinks of you as her mother’s friend, which slides you down the priority list below all of the extended family and the couple’s friends. At most of the weddings I’ve been to, the parents’ friends attending could be counted on one hand, because family was more important. It could even be the case that the only reason YOU are invited is that your friend interceded on your behalf.
    This is not to mean that your BFF doesn’t respect your relationship and cherish your friendship. All it means is that your connection to the couple as a whole is more tenuous than many of the other guests (again, you are not a sister/aunt/grandmother/bride’s best friend), and that your boyfriend’s connection to the couple is almost certainly negligible.

  25. sophronisba says:

    Does he even WANT to go to this wedding? A chance to be bored whilst buttoned up in a suit before eating mediocre food in honor of girlfriend’s BFF’s daughter, all to the tune of $1000? Pass!

  26. This is why I love Greek weddings. Guests always bring an envelope with money as a gift for the bride and groom, essentially “paying” for their seat and meal. So I think the issue of having to trim the guest list is non-existent, since you’re not really spending any extra money. (I’ve never planned a wedding personally, so of course, I could be wrong.) I’ve been to soooo many weddings of people I’ve never met, children of my mom’s friends or co-workers, inviting the whole family along.

    Mind you, I always hated going to such events, mainly because it sucks going to a wedding for someone you don’t know or care for. I’m happy now that I have friends my age who are getting married–I’m actually attending weddings I want to attend.

    One suggestion. I don’t know if this is considered poor form, but how about ask if your boyfriend can come along after all the festivities are over? He skips the ceremony, skips dinner and dessert, but shows up for dancing afterwards? He won’t be an added expense to the bride and groom, and he can still join you a bit for the celebration. Just my two cents. 🙂

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      wait for it…

    2. GatorGirl says:

      Tiered receptions are definitely considered rude.

      1. Aw, are they? A friend of mine had a lovely wedding last year, and a few of us (myself included) were invited only to the service, and she had a small reception at her home for only family and very close friends. I personally wasn’t slighted, and neither were a couple of other friends. (Of course, I don’t know about other people.) I was just happy to be part of her big day. Granted, my suggestion is the other way around, but I definitely don’t find the option rude. Especially since, come dance time, some guests may have already left, and everyone else’s too drunk or in their own world having fun to care. But, duh, inform the bride and groom beforehand and don’t have him show up uninvited / unexpectedly.

      2. GatorGirl says:

        They are, in terms of American etiquette. Unless the ceremony is truly private- meaning just the couple and parents and siblings- and then there is a larger reception. Of course each country, and every culture with in the US, has their own “sub” etiquette rules. For example “dollar dances” are common/not rude in some circles (Polish I beleive) but in terms of general etiquette they are rude. But yes, tiered receptions go against the “rules” of etiquette.

      3. ele4phant says:

        Eh to say there is one universal “American” etiquette is a bit ridiculous. I don’t know any one in my social circle would bat an eye at this. Sure it’s what Emily post might say is right or wrong, and while that might be a good guide if you have no idea what to do, she doesn’t speak for the entire country’s expectations when it comes to weddings (or etiquette in general). A guide is just that, a guide, not the definitive last word or law of the land.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Right…which is what I said, some circles/regions have slightly different etiquette. But there are fairly standard ways to act that are overarching.

      5. I don’t know, I could see myself only wanting very close friends and family at the ceremony, but being fine with having everyone’s SO’s/family friends/ other people I don’t know well, etc, at the reception.

      6. Hmm, I went to a wedding in England where there was a wedding dinner right after the ceremony with only, say, 40 people, and then a bigger reception after that. Some people (like me) went to all 3, some went to the ceremony and then came back for the reception. I’m sure there were some that could only make it to either the ceremony or the reception. I could be wrong but I thought it was pretty common to do things that way there.

      7. I’d rather be considered a rude person than have more people at my ceremony than I am comfortable with. I’m just a very private person about this stuff I guess.

      8. GatorGirl says:

        English etiquette is pretty different than American, or any other country for that matter.

      9. Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Americans are the uptight ones.

      10. GatorGirl says:

        Well, I’m not familiar with other countries etiquette, but I am sure there are some “weird” things that are common, that most American’s would consider rude or uptight.

      11. 14 minutes!

      12. lets_be_honest says:


      13. They’re actually considered pretty normal where my boyfriend is from — inviting everyone to the ceremony, family and closer friends to the dinner, then inviting all the ceremony attendees to the “dance” portion. So, not rude everywhere.

  27. Oh God, is there a backlash coming… ? :S

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I thought there would be after you said the cash gift pays for your plate. Guess I was wrong 🙂

      1. Heh. It’s definitely a Greek thing. The monetary gifts aren’t recommended–no mention anywhere on the invite–but it’s pretty much implied. It’s a gift, but it helps the couple towards paying off the wedding. I really don’t know any other way–it’s how weddings have been going on in my world since I was a child! If you’re a friend, $80 per person is sufficient. If you’re family (first cousins) you stuff the envelope a bit more. 😉

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I think Chinese weddings are the same. They even have a special red envelope to give the cash in.

      3. Yes, Chinese tradition definitely showers the new couple with cash. Slightly jealous! lol Also, Chinese tradition dictates that they always give cash gifts in a red envelope, no matter the occasion. I nanny for a couple where the mother is Chinese, and all my birthday/holiday gifts are cash in a red envelope. Checks are seen as highly impersonal.

  28. I was thinking if the friend is bitter (and her ex is going to be there) maybe she just wanted her BFF for moral support all weekend, without a significant other stealing her away. Granted, if this was the case, she should have just spoken to the LW directly. But that might be another angle for the LW not to bring the bf… BFF might need her to run interference and keep focused on the bride.

  29. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

    Here are my other thoughts for the day. Marriage is different than dating. Go read my forum about how I would like to just never talk to ethan ever again and move on and that is per se impossible. If people care more about which venue they have than their guests comfort that says a lot about them. The more the merrier. I think even single people should get a plus one. Also this week might kill me.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      🙁 I hope you are hanging in there!

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Wouldn’t it be funny if I shat all over wedding week with all of my depressing anti-love talk. (Don’t worry Wendy I’ll try not too)

      2. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Oh and I’m fine. Weirdly fine. But life goes on.

      3. When going through a break up (I’m assuming that’s what you’re referring to), you can shit wherever you want, girl.

  30. I don’t know, if I was the LW I would be happy that I received an invitation! What’s the point in harboring bad feelings about your friend and her daughter over this wedding? It seems way too petty and kind of cruel of you to think that your boyfriend of 2.5 years wasn’t invited because your BFF of 41 YEARS hates all men right now due to her bitter divorce. This is such an oversimplification and so very, very lame LW. Petty and lame. Go to the wedding to support your BFF and her daughter, or not. Please don’t go if you cannot genuinely show support and love for the couple at their wedding. That would be petty and lame.

    1. Yeah that divorce accusation really bummed me out. Not very friendshippy on the part of the LW.

  31. Ahhh, the never-ending plus one debate. TheKnot and other obnoxious wedding websites love this debate. I by no means had lots of money to throw my wedding, but people in any level of commitment got a plus 1. I had to cut people from the guest list, but I didn’t start with plus ones. To me, I just think it’s rude. I had a cousin of my husband’s call and ask if his girlfriend of 5 months could come, who I never met and wasn’t even aware of, and I said yes and made it work.

    I think someone (LBH?) earlier in the comments that it is judgmental to judge someone’s level of commitment and I totally agree. I think cutoffs (living together vs not, 1 year vs 10 months), is silly.

    Also, do people really give that much thought to “randoms” in their wedding pictures? I mean, do people sleep with and constantly stare at the 1000+ wedding pictures they get? I had plenty of randoms in my wedding pictures, but they didn’t make it into the album on on my wall. Sorry, just ranting today. I hate this debate.

    OP- I don’t know- I’d call and ask about your boyfriend, if it bothers you that much and if he’s actually going to come. The worst you get is a no.

    1. Yeah, I don’t get the “no randos in my wedding pictures, please!” thing either. Isn’t it kind of fun to look back & be like, “Ha, ha, who even IS that person??”

      1. GatorGirl says:

        I could see if it was the formal posed family pictures, but a rando in the crowd dancing? Who cares?

    2. Yes, people do care.
      I had a small wedding (50ish people), and every single person who was there meant a lot to my husband or I. I can look at every single photo and see someone that we love. To me, that was really special.

      I actually looked through my wedding pictures yesterday, and it was awesome to see all those people. People who know us and love and support us, and not “Suzy” who just came for free drinks.

  32. WeddingWoes says:

    So here’s a question… I’m having a destination wedding, expecting to invite about 55 people, and thinking 40 will show up, max. The issue is not money, or even space, but a desire to keep the wedding very small and intimate. Fiancee wanted to elope or have immediate family only, so a very small wedding was the compromise that worked for us. Part of the reason we’re even up at 55 is that many of the invitees have serious relationships that necessitate the +1. We basically went from 35 people we wanted there to 55 due to husbands, wives, etc.

    As a result, if someone isn’t in a “serious” relationship, no +1… Luckily, there aren’t many (any?) people at this point where “serious” is hard to gauge – almost all of our friends are either living together, engaged, married, or very single. Most of the single folks are friends with the larger group of friends, so not giving them a +1 doesn’t impact their knowing a bunch of people at the wedding. But giving them all a +1 would add another 10 or so people to a 40 person wedding – 25%. I’d much rather have actual friends there than allow people to bring a date for the sake of just bringing a date.

    From what I’m reading above, this would be considered thoughtless / rude / etc., because since I can “afford” to have them, I should… but does my / my fiancee’s desire for a small, intimate wedding not trump the desire of guests to bring a date so they dont feel single?

    1. Avatar photo theattack says:

      If they actually are single, then it’s not rude. It’s definitely more acceptable to not give +1s to single people than to coupled people. With destination weddings, people are more likely to want to bring someone along with them though. And I’ll just say that of the single people we gave +1s to, none of them brought a date with them. Almost all of the couples had both people but a few didn’t.

    2. GatorGirl says:

      If a guest is truly single, they do not need a plus one. If the guest considers themself to be in a relationship, then it’s not a “plus one” it’s inviting your guest and their partner.

      It is not thoughtless or rude to invited truly single guests solo. It is thoughtless and rude to invite one half of a couple.

    3. If they’re really single, and are friends with other people going, I wouldn’t +1 them.

      I only had 1 person like this at my wedding, and I didn’t +1 her. I knew that even if I did, she wouldn’t have brought anyone anyway, because her whole family was invited, and I knew she’d rather hang out with her niece and nephew.

      1. WeddingWoes says:

        Thanks for the clarification – glad I’m not committing a faux pas… I’ve gotten the question from a couple people that, “well, I’m not seeing anyone NOW, but I’m hoping to be then, so you should invite me with a +1 anyway.” I sort of stammered that we’d cross that bridge if we came to it. Any suggestions from the DW Wedding Contingent of better responses in the future?

      2. kerrycontrary says:

        I would just say that you are keeping the wedding small and intimate and you can’t add anyone to the guest list at this point. You don’t need to explain further. If they press for it (which is rude) say you already have a contract signed with a maximum headcount or something.

      3. Avatar photo theattack says:

        To be honest, just smile and change the subject. That’s pretty much what I did when people assumed they were coming when they weren’t invited. They’ll figure it out later and it saves both of you the embarrassment. In your situation, you get the final say in the guest list, and you don’t really need to explain it to anyone. When you try to explain it, you’re just engaging in a discussion about something that isn’t open for discussion.

  33. I think it’d be a whole different story if your best friend had excluded your boyfriend. But it wasn’t her, it was her daughter. You are more removed from her daughter and your boyfriend is exponentially more removed from her. Sometimes there can be tension from parents wanting to invite everyone they’ve ever met (especially if they’re footing the bill) and then the couple who is actually getting married will end up being surrounded by people they don’t know. If I had to guess, I’m thinking the daughter wanting to reserve limited space for the people she and her future husband are close to is why your boyfriend wasn’t included on the invite. I highly, highly doubt it’s a result of divorce bitterness from your best friend. That’s kind of sad that you’d think that way about a close friend.

  34. Wow. So my take-away from this letter is…

    Brides/grooms: Just give everyone a +1.

    Guests: If you don’t get a +1, don’t bitch about it or take it personally.

    Everyone else: Yes, being married is different than dating. Whether that distinction is a valid way to determine which couples are “committed enough” to attend your wedding? That’s up for debate, apparently.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      this is genius.

  35. My take on the married v nonmarried yet committed relationship debate above.

    I got nothin left. Can’t believe it’s only Tuesday;)

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I’m only inviting Goldie.

  36. Yeah, I hate weddings.

  37. My daughter got married. One of the people she invited was her cousin’s boyfriend, who is disliked by everyone in the family. The guest list was very tight, and because she invited him, I couldn’t invite my cousin’s child. I was really pissed — someone no one liked would be at the wedding rather than a blood relative whom everyone did like. But, after I vented, I took a deep breath and started focusing on all of the other things that needed to be done for the wedding.

    I’ve chronicled some of my wedding experiences on my blog at: birdonthewire.org/

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