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Etiquette

No plus one?!

I've seen a lot of these from the bride's perspective, but not a lot from the guests'.

I was recently invited to a wedding of a long time family friend (26 years - we have known each other since birth). My parents just received the invitation which is addressed to our family. Just the 4 of us, with our names clearly spelled out. I would like the record to reflect that I do not live at home so this in itself is a tad insulting. (Really, they couldn't have bothered to ask me for my address for my own invitation?)

My boyfriend and I have been together 1.5 years and this friend has met my boyfriend. I understand people often don't invite +1 for cost reasons, but that doesn't seem to be a concern for this couple as they are having the wedding at a very fancy venue, or because the guest doesn't have a significant other, but that's not the case either since I clearly have one.

Is it ever appropriate to ask the couple if I can bring a plus one? The only people I will know at the wedding are the groom and my family....

Re: No plus one?!

  • It sounds like they purposely tried to avoid inviting your BF by including you on your parent's invitation. You should have been invited separately (as an adult!) and BF should have been included.  They were rude.   I'd just call and ask if they meant to include BF too and if they say now....well, that's your call. 
  • In Response to Re:No plus one?!:
    I've seen a lot of these from the bride's perspective, but not a lot from the guests'.I was recently invited to a wedding of a long time family friend 26 years we have known each other since birth.nbsp;My parents just received the invitation which is addressed to our family. Just the 4 of us, with our names clearly spelled out. I would like the record to reflect that I do not live at home so this in itself is a tad insulting. Really, they couldn't have bothered to ask me for my address for my own invitation?My boyfriend and I have been together 1.5 years and this friend has met my boyfriend. I understand people often don't invite 1 for cost reasons, but that doesn't seem to be a concern for this couple as they are having the wedding at a very fancy venue, or because the guest doesn't have a significant other, but that's not the case either since I clearly have one.Is it ever appropriate to ask the couple if I can bring a plus one? The only people I will know at the wedding are the groom and my family.... Posted by meliss222
    I would decline. They are in the wrong not to invite your so but you will put the couple on the spot and it will be awkward for both. You will either get a begrudging yes, or an awkward no.
  • So here's the thing...

    Yes, you two are a social unit and should have been invited together and yes, that is rude the way they did it.

    BUT

    I also think its rude to call and ask for him to be included...am I incorrect?
  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited July 2012
    I think it's fine for you to call and present it as though it was an oversight, which puts the ball in their court. Like, "I received your invitation and I noticed my boyfriend's name isn't on the invitation. I just wanted to double check that he was included." (I'm bad at phrasing, so I'm sure the other girls here will have something better to say.)

    They can either say, "Oh of course, we meant to include him, how silly of us!" Or they can let you know that it was done on purpose.
    Basically, if you give them an easy way of including him, they might agree to let him come.

    My mom and I did something similar and it worked.

    ETA: My aunt truly didnt' know I was dating someone, though. So it wasn't like we were being sneaky. I reread my post and that's the way it looked like to me and that's not the way I meant it lol. In this case, these people know you have a boyfriend, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt that maybe it really was an accident.
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  • "Hi there, cousin Sally! We just got your invitation in the mail and I wanted to check if my boyfriend, Jimmy is invited as well!"

    "Uh, no!"

    "Oh, I see.  Well, unfortunately I won't be able to make it, but hope it is wonderfull!"


    OR

    "Oh of course he is!"

    "Great!  I just wanted to make sure, thank you!  Can't wait to see you there!"

  • edited July 2012
    It's WAY more rude to split a social unit (and it's very, very possible that it could have been an oversight!) than it is to call and double check.  I see where you're coming from, but if I learned that I invited someone who I thought was single (or I forgot had a SO) I would have been horrified and wanted to correct my error immediately.  

    ETA: People can--AND DO---forget to include SOs from time to time without realizing that they've excluded an SO. It's worth it to ask.  At the very least it might clue an otherwise clueless couple into common decency for the future.
  • I just would decline.  I wouldn't want to go to somebody's wedding who didn't invite my bf.  If you had just started dating him, I would say it could be an oversight, but this doesn't sound like it's the case.  I'd also be a tad annoyed that they didn't send you a separate invite to your address.  Even if you were living at home, they should have sent you a separate invite.

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  • We got a response card back in the mail today from a family that my family has been friends with for over a decade. I did not know that the (17 or 18 year old) daughter has a serious boyfriend. They just included him on the response card. I'm not going to call and say, "hey, he can't come".  Maybe just add him and see what they say. I know that is just as rude as them not including him but I'm not really sure what you should do in the situation.

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  • In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    We got a response card back in the mail today from a family that my family has been friends with for over a decade. I did not know that the (17 or 18 year old) daughter has a serious boyfriend. They just included him on the response card. I'm not going to call and say, "hey, he can't come".  Maybe just add him and see what they say. I know that is just as rude as them not including him but I'm not really sure what you should do in the situation.
    Posted by SVPW
    I definitely think it's ruder to just randomly add a person in than to call and ask if it was an oversight. I mean, you left him out, but if they had called and told you about it, this all could have been straightened out.
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  • In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    In Response to Re: No plus one?! : I definitely think it's ruder to just randomly add a person in than to call and ask if it was an oversight. I mean, you left him out, but if they had called and told you about it, this all could have been straightened out.
    Posted by Simply Fated
    You are right however since they have been very good friends of my family for years it's really not a big deal. The only reason I did not know about the bf is because they moved to another state over a year ago. She started dating him after that. We haven't kept in touch but her parents are in contact with my parents. 
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  • Simply FatedSimply Fated
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited July 2012
    In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    In Response to Re: No plus one?! : You are right however since they have been very good friends of my family for years it's really not a big deal. The only reason I did not know about the bf is because they moved to another state over a year ago. She started dating him after that. We haven't kept in touch but her parents are in contact with my parents. 
    Posted by SVPW
    Oh I definitely agree that in your situation it isn't a big deal or that it should ever be made into a big deal. If anyone can't handle these things with some class, then they probably shouldn't be throwing or attending weddings lol.


    @myusername... I knew someone would come up with better phrasing than I did lol.
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  • I agree.  Call and politely ask.  It is amazingly easy to mess something up on an invitation, even with the best of intentions.  We got our address list from the SIL (she handles that stuff since my fiance;s mom passed) and one of our guests got his father's invitation and his father got his.  We apologized and he said it has been happening this way for years.  We had NO idea that the addresses were wrong, so who knows all the things that could have happened with this invitation.
    Anniversary
  • I think the OP should just not even go, since technically she didn't even get an invitation, her parents did. Even though her name was on it, she did not actually receive it since she doesn't live with her parents. If the bride/groom asks why she's not coming, she could say, 

    "Oh! BF and I didn't get an invitation to your wedding." 

    "But we mailed it to you parent's house" 

    "Oh, well BF and I don't live with my parents, so we didn't actually receive the invitation, therefore, we couldn't even rsvp."

    . . . something like that would at least be a "hint" for the bride/groom to realize their mistake without directly pointing it out.

  • In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    I think the OP should just not even go, since technically she didn't even get an invitation, her parents did. Even though her name was on it, she did not actually receive it since she doesn't live with her parents. If the bride/groom asks why she's not coming, she could say,  "Oh! BF and I didn't get an invitation to your wedding."  "But we mailed it to you parent's house"  "Oh, well BF and I don't live with my parents, so we didn't actually receive the invitation, therefore, we couldn't even rsvp." . . . something like that would at least be a "hint" for the bride/groom to realize their mistake without directly pointing it out.
    Posted by 2012FutureMrsB

    I don't see how responding to the situation like this would help.
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  • In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    In Response to Re: No plus one?! : I don't see how responding to the situation like this would help.
    Posted by SVPW
    Agree, especially if she wants to go to the wedding. I mean, if OP talks to the bride, then there is a chance to clear the issue up and then she can decide if she wants to go or not.
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  • bongebonge
    100 Comments
    member
    I didn't have many situations like this but i never gave one of his single cousins an +1, he added a +1 & was dating an ex by time wedding came around, so of course we allowed for exceptions. I had other people write them in then never show, those ones bothered me a bit. We had a few no shows who never called what so ever so we were ok for a few more extras anyways. 

    I do not understand how some people fill their venue to the brim so that there is no room for exceptions. Op i would take mun1's suggestion
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  • cofkelcofkel
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    This just happened to me. I am 29, my fiance is 32 and I have lived out of my parents house for ten years, and with my fiance for the last 3. My older brother is also 32, his gf is 27 and he has lived out of the house for the last eight. The daughter of a family friend sent an invitation to "The XXXXX Family". My parents responded with just them, and then the girl facebooked me to ask if my brother and I were coming to the wedding as only my parents responded. Uhhh I don't think any of us assumed we were part of the "XXXX family" as we are now our own family units. It was super bizarre and honestly I was offended. This girl knows I am engaged, yes let me see, I will be coming to your wedding (on the west coast) and I live in CT, without my fiance. SHould I bunk in my parents hotel room too? Treat adults like adults people!!
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  • Agree with the PPs that a simple, polite phone call could clear this all up.  Also, maybe take in to consideration who was in charge of the guest list and invitations.  My FI appears to be totally clueless on who is and isn't dating/together.  Thankfully, his Mom helped me go over the guest list and caught some crucial mistakes (FI's Aunt and Uncle in OK are in the process of a divorce, FMIL's best friend is getting married this Fall, etc).  Mistakes/oversights are unavoidable, but usually not intentional!  I agree that most guest lists have some wiggle room and I would be totally fine (maybe a little embarrassed) if someone called and mentioned I had left their boyfriend off the invitation.
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  • Call and ask. Actually, think about whether having your parents or a sibling call would be less awkward. We left off a cousin's boyfriend, which was unintentional but totally our fault. Her dad called to ask about him. We told him that the boyfriend was invited, of course, but talking to the uncle instead of the cousin would have spared everyone some awkwardness if we hadn't been able to include the boyfriend.

    Anyway, just something to think about. If it's less weird for you to call the groom yourself, that's my vote.
  • In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    We got a response card back in the mail today from a family that my family has been friends with for over a decade. I did not know that the (17 or 18 year old) daughter has a serious boyfriend. They just included him on the response card. I'm not going to call and say, "hey, he can't come".  Maybe just add him and see what they say. I know that is just as rude as them not including him but I'm not really sure what you should do in the situation.
    Posted by SVPW
    Oh gosh please don't do this.  My biggest pet peeve in the planning process was people adding people to the RSVPs without that person being invited (the two times it happened was the small daughter of a couple when we justinvited the couple and then my 16 year old cousin's boyfriend of only a few weeks).  I know that the bride is in the wrong in OP's situation, but still don't add without checking first.  I like Muni's dialogue.
  • In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    This just happened to me. I am 29, my fiance is 32 and I have lived out of my parents house for ten years, and with my fiance for the last 3. My older brother is also 32, his gf is 27 and he has lived out of the house for the last eight. The daughter of a family friend sent an invitation to "The XXXXX Family". My parents responded with just them, and then the girl facebooked me to ask if my brother and I were coming to the wedding as only my parents responded. Uhhh I don't think any of us assumed we were part of the "XXXX family" as we are now our own family units. It was super bizarre and honestly I was offended. This girl knows I am engaged, yes let me see, I will be coming to your wedding (on the west coast) and I live in CT, without my fiance. SHould I bunk in my parents hotel room too? Treat adults like adults people!!
    Posted by cofkel
    One time, my parents got an evite that they assumed we got, too, but when they went to RSVP, they were supposed to indicate how many of 7 people were attending--7 would include me, my H, and my (adult) siblings.  They couldn't send an evite separately to me?  (Yes, they have everyone's email addresses.)

  • I'd call them and say something like this "Hey, I just wanted to clarify your wedding invitation.  I was a little confused because I was included on my parents invite even though I haven't lived with them for X years, but I also noticed that my BF of 1.5 years wasn't on there, is he invited?"

    If they say "Of course", then you are good to go.  If they say "I'm sorry, but no", then it's up to you how to proceed.  Personally, if they said no, then I'd respond with "Huh, well that's a little insulting actually.  I feel like I'd be disrespecting my BF by attending without him, so, I'm sorry, but I won't be able to make it.  If we get married, I'll remember to invite you without your H since SOs seem to be of so little importance to you.":  (okay, maybe I wouldn't say that last part). 
    Anniversary
  • Thanks everyone for the awesome advice! 

    @jemmini6 - the last part of your post made me laugh. This is EXACTLY what I would like to say to them. 

    I'm debating between calling the groom directly (because I'm an adult and I should) or taking the easy and potentially less awkward way of asking my mom to call his mom to find out.

    Either way, the phone call is going to happen tonight and I will post an update tomorrow to let you gals know how it turns out.

  • Honesty if it were me. I would have my parents attach something in the RSVP with my address saying, so and so and her boyfriend don't live with us. If you'd like to send them an invitation, here is her address. OR I'd wait for the call that she never received your RSVP and just state you and bf never got one sent to your house. That'll make it clear that you "assumed" the invitation would be for the two of you.
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  • aragx6aragx6
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    In Response to Re: No plus one?!:
    Thanks everyone for the awesome advice!  @ jemmini6  - the last part of your post made me laugh. This is EXACTLY what I would like to say to them.  I'm debating between calling the groom directly (because I'm an adult and I should) or taking the easy and potentially less awkward way of asking my mom to call his mom to find out. Either way, the phone call is going to happen tonight and I will post an update tomorrow to let you gals know how it turns out.
    Posted by meliss222
    Thank you! I always wonder how ish like this turns out.

    Oh and I really do think you should do it yourself even if it's kinda hard.
    Lizzie
  • So, I called my mom to ask whether she thought I should call and she said given the nature of the relationship, it would be better if she called his mom. So she did, and the answer is that they are not inviting any significant others due to capacity limitations. I would like to take this opportunity to mention that the venue can hold 400 people, so I have no idea who they invited to this wedding. I don't think I even know 400 people! So, no he is not invited and it wouldn't be fair to everyone else if they just let me bring a date. To add insult to the situation, last night the groom's mom emailed out their registry information, which I received to my own personal email address. Apparently I'm not worth a separate invitation, but I am worth a separate gift!
  • How insulting.  I honestly don't think that I would attend at all.  And I would probably only send a card (perhaps a small physical gift).  That was beyond rude of them to exclude not only your SO, but who knows how many others... and of course the registry announcement is a whole other problem!

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  • In Response to No plus one?!:
    I've seen a lot of these from the bride's perspective, but not a lot from the guests'. I was recently invited to a wedding of a long time family friend (26 years - we have known each other since birth). My parents just received the invitation which is addressed to our family. Just the 4 of us, with our names clearly spelled out. I would like the record to reflect that I do not live at home so this in itself is a tad insulting. (Really, they couldn't have bothered to ask me for my address for my own invitation?) My boyfriend and I have been together 1.5 years and this friend has met my boyfriend. I understand people often don't invite +1 for cost reasons, but that doesn't seem to be a concern for this couple as they are having the wedding at a very fancy venue, or because the guest doesn't have a significant other, but that's not the case either since I clearly have one. Is it ever appropriate to ask the couple if I can bring a plus one? The only people I will know at the wedding are the groom and my family....
    Posted by meliss222
    One of my two best friends in college did this to me.  I had been dating my FI for 3 years and was living with him.  She knew he existed, but only invited me.  FI said that he wasn't going to go even if I did call her and ask, so I simply checked the "Will not attend" box and was done with it.
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