Wedding Etiquette Forum

Aunt's BF is a drunk

So I get it, you should invite signigicant others. What if you have strong feelings against that SO? This individual does not live with her, is in his 50's and can be counted on to show up at any party. He has a history of causing damage to peoples' property while drinking, on more than one occasion. Again, it is not the typical couple... just someone she calls her bf for the last several years that she parties with. Who am I to judge someone elses relationship you might ask ? Well I happen to be someone who is personally dropping tons of money on a wedding and as such is trying to justify why I chose not to invite someone who could send it all up in flames (quite literally based on his history). Especially see a conflict with self control and our open bar...  So I didnt tell her why- I just didnt give her a plus one. And when she added one onto her RSVP anyways, I told her nicely that I could not accomodate her guest. She is not bright enough to really put 2 and 2 together to realize that anyone in their right mind would not want this guy at their wedding, so she doesn't understand why she doesn't get a guest. If she pushes me any further on the issue, I intend to tell her the real reason. While under no circumstances will I change my mind about inviting him, I wonder if any of you can relate and how many of you think I am an awful host. There has to be some grey area, am I right?

Re: Aunt's BF is a drunk

  • The rule of etiquette is that SOs must be invited unless they have threatened violence or physically assaulted you or someone at your wedding. You mention he has started things on fire before, I'm not sure if that falls in this category or not. I'm guessing that you're going to get a lot of responses saying not.



  • So I get it, you should invite signigicant others. What if you have strong feelings against that SO? This individual does not live with her, is in his 50's and can be counted on to show up at any party. He has a history of causing damage to peoples' property while drinking, on more than one occasion. Again, it is not the typical couple... just someone she calls her bf for the last several years that she parties with. Who am I to judge someone elses relationship you might ask ? Well I happen to be someone who is personally dropping tons of money on a wedding and as such is trying to justify why I chose not to invite someone who could send it all up in flames (quite literally based on his history). Especially see a conflict with self control and our open bar...  So I didnt tell her why- I just didnt give her a plus one. And when she added one onto her RSVP anyways, I told her nicely that I could not accomodate her guest. She is not bright enough to really put 2 and 2 together to realize that anyone in their right mind would not want this guy at their wedding, so she doesn't understand why she doesn't get a guest. If she pushes me any further on the issue, I intend to tell her the real reason. While under no circumstances will I change my mind about inviting him, I wonder if any of you can relate and how many of you think I am an awful host. There has to be some grey area, am I right?
    I can't determine from your post really if this guys is a drunk and you're being dramatic or if he really is a safety concern, but either way you've already not invited him and not given her a guest, so I'm not sure what you're trying to get for responses. 

    From an etiquette standpoint, he should be invited since he is her boyfriend. That rule changes when you fear for the safety of your guests. Do you have better examples of his behavior?
    melbelleup

  • So I get it, you should invite signigicant others. What if you have strong feelings against that SO? This individual does not live with her, is in his 50's and can be counted on to show up at any party. He has a history of causing damage to peoples' property while drinking, on more than one occasion. Again, it is not the typical couple... just someone she calls her bf for the last several years that she parties with. Who am I to judge someone elses relationship you might ask ? Well I happen to be someone who is personally dropping tons of money on a wedding and as such is trying to justify why I chose not to invite someone who could send it all up in flames (quite literally based on his history). Especially see a conflict with self control and our open bar...  So I didnt tell her why- I just didnt give her a plus one. And when she added one onto her RSVP anyways, I told her nicely that I could not accomodate her guest. She is not bright enough to really put 2 and 2 together to realize that anyone in their right mind would not want this guy at their wedding, so she doesn't understand why she doesn't get a guest. If she pushes me any further on the issue, I intend to tell her the real reason. While under no circumstances will I change my mind about inviting him, I wonder if any of you can relate and how many of you think I am an awful host. There has to be some grey area, am I right?
    I can't determine from your post really if this guys is a drunk and you're being dramatic or if he really is a safety concern, but either way you've already not invited him and not given her a guest, so I'm not sure what you're trying to get for responses. 

    From an etiquette standpoint, he should be invited since he is her boyfriend. That rule changes when you fear for the safety of your guests. Do you have better examples of his behavior?
    I agree with her. Right now from what you said, he should be invited IF they are dating currently (when the invites were mailed out) IF they weren't dating then she doesn't get a plus one. The end. Unless you can give a better example of his behavior, from this stand point IF he is actually her boyfriend, then I think he should be invited.
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You are being very rude to your aunt.  This guy isn't her "plus one" he is her BF, as much as you don't like it.  Call up your aunt and apologize.  Invite her BF.  Ahead of time, tell you venue about this guy, what table he is sitting at, etc.  Let them know that they can feel free to kick him out at the moment he starts to get out of control.

    Even if they were living together, it sounds like you wouldn't even invite this guy then.  So I don't know why you tried to use the excuse that they aren't living together as to why you shouldn't invite him.  By the tone of your post, you know what you are doing is wrong and against etiquette.
  • vt&dtvt&dt member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    OP, does your venue have any security-type staff on hand?  

    It's difficult to say what I'd do in your shoes since we don't know the details of his previous destructive behavior - but I'm wondering if an option may be to warn the bartender of this guy, tell the bar staff to make sure he isn't over served, and have your DOC or contact at the reception site also aware and ready to have him escorted out if things become a problem.

    If that's an option, you could invite your aunt's BF, but tell her that if things get anywhere remotely close to destructive or out-of-hand, he will be asked to leave/escorted away.  Then if he can't be an appropriate guest at your reception, he's gone, and it's his fault instead of yours.
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm not sure why you even bothered to post this. You've already made the decision and are sticking to it. And it seems like you know what the responses here are going to be. 

    For what it's worth, I think 100% you are in the wrong and you are being very rude to your aunt. My uncle just got engaged to a girl that is 22 years younger than him. I can't stand her. The first time I met her, she drank wine like it was water and got shitfaced in front of my entire family. But she's still invited to my wedding. It's extremely rude to invite a guest without their significant other. 
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2014
    To avoid this you should have just not invited your aunt. It's a harsh move, but based on what you have said there are no solid grounds to not invite her boyfriend.

    If he has gotten drunk and hit or assaulted a family member you don't have to invite him. If he got drunk and threatened to burn the house down and started a fire, then you don't have to invite him. If he got drunk and knocked over a candle, then you should invite him if you invited your aunt.

    You should invite him and hire a security guard if the venue does not have one. It sounds like she is likely to bring him regardless of what you say.
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  • I had a situation with one of the GM SO, she is mentally instable. Seems nice but can flip a switch in a minute. We think it's due to brain surgery she a few years ago. Anyways, we had concerns about her getting violant and possibly stealing our gifts/cards. So we had a talk with the reception venue and told them about our concerns and came up with a plan on how to deal with her should she act up. They put all gifts in back shortly after the reception started and we used their card box which is built into one of their tables & is locked. Only the staff can open the box. We even had the rest of the Bridal Party on stand by in case something happened before the reception because this individual was also on the limo bus with us. Not inviting her wasn't an option as she was the SO of a GM. OK to our defense, we could have said no because she was living out in California when the the invites were issued and she didn't move to our area until a month before the wedding. But we accomodated them and just planned for the worse.

    In your case I would talk to your venue to come up with a plan on how to deal with any guests that may get out of hand and tell them about this guy so they can be on extra alert. When planning seating, try to put him as far away from the bar as possible. Lastly, talk to your bartenders and give them a heads up about this individual that they can get violent when drunk so if he asks for mixed drinks to water them down. If he gets out of control he'll be escorted either by the staff or other guests. If it gets to that point you just tell your Aunt, please take him home, we don't want to have to call the cops but we will.

  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    It sounds like you're not inviting him because you don't like him. Pp'S have given you great advice for how to deal with unruly guests.

    I agree your Aunt might bring him anyway. If you decide to still not invite him, you should still set up a contingency plan.
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  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    You said he can be counted on to show up at any party. What if aunt brings him anyway?
  • Passing over the etiquette breach, what's your contingency plan? It seems unlikely that your refusal to accommodate her SO is going to deter her from bringing him, so what's your plan of action for if/when he shows up?
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Not liking someone's significant other doesn't mean you don't have to invite them. Your aunt has a significant other and needs to be invited with her significant other by name.

    You can talk with your venue about contingency plans if her significant other's drink and behavior gets out of hand.
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  • well seems like you dont want to invite him but since your inviting your aunt and hes her bf then he should get an invite like another op said let the venue know whats going on ...

    most bartenders at weddings will cut you off. let them know his drink limit

    if he gets wild have the venue kick him out without causing a scene 
  • You have two scenarios to stay within the bounds of etiquette and not look like an asshole.

    A.)  He truly is violent, and didn't just knock over a candle, but actively tried to light shit on fire.  In that case, you shouldn't have invited your aunt, but since the damage is done, tell her why he can't come.  She won't like it, and there will be fallout, but the safety of your guests is more important than her precious feelers.

    B.) You're being overly dramatic, he knocked over a candle, and the real issue is that you don't like him.  In that case, suck it up buttercup.  You'll see him all of one second on the day, and you can always ask friends or family to watch him for the night.  I had to do this with my crazy asshole FIL.  It worked wonderfully.



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  • mrs4everhartmrs4everhart member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2014
    I'm in the camp that truly isn't concerned what the etiquette books say on who you have to invite and who you don't. Or much else for that matter. I follow the golden rule and treat others how I'd like to be treated when entertaining. You have stated you're not changing your mind on inviting this man, so I assume you've given full consideration to the detriment this is going to do to your relationship with your aunt? If you can live with that, then carry on. She has every right to be pissed off at the exclusion of her SO at a family event. She is liable to not attend. She is most likely going to broach the subject with her sibling (one of your parents) and that is going to force them to either have to defend your actions, or at the very least, explain to her that they have zero say in the guest list, but it's probably not going to be a pleasant exchange however it goes down. Again, assuming you've considered all these scenarios and still don't feel like it's in your best interest to invite this man, don't. I'm just not sure why you're concerned if there's a "grey area."

    Edited to add: we're inviting the one person my FI hates most in this world. His stepdad. But he wants his Mom there, they're (sadly) a package deal so he's going to suck it up and deal with his presence. We don't plan on spending the afternoon (or much of the trip, it's a DW) chatting the guy up. We have contingency plans in place in case he acts like an over tired toddler, or worse. And it's Mexico, so there's plenty of tequila on hand. We are proof it's possible to invite someone you can't stand and still plan to have a wonderful time. 
  • MobKaz said:
    I'm in the camp that truly isn't concerned what the etiquette books say on who you have to invite and who you don't. Or much else for that matter. I follow the golden rule and treat others how I'd like to be treated when entertaining. You have stated you're not changing your mind on inviting this man, so I assume you've given full consideration to the detriment this is going to do to your relationship with your aunt? If you can live with that, then carry on. She has every right to be pissed off at the exclusion of her SO at a family event. She is liable to not attend. She is most likely going to broach the subject with her sibling (one of your parents) and that is going to force them to either have to defend your actions, or at the very least, explain to her that they have zero say in the guest list, but it's probably not going to be a pleasant exchange however it goes down. Again, assuming you've considered all these scenarios and still don't feel like it's in your best interest to invite this man, don't. I'm just not sure why you're concerned if there's a "grey area."

    Edited to add: we're inviting the one person my FI hates most in this world. His stepdad. But he wants his Mom there, they're (sadly) a package deal so he's going to suck it up and deal with his presence. We don't plan on spending the afternoon (or much of the trip, it's a DW) chatting the guy up. We have contingency plans in place in case he acts like an over tired toddler, or worse. And it's Mexico, so there's plenty of tequila on hand. We are proof it's possible to invite someone you can't stand and still plan to have a wonderful time. 
    Did I miss the section in the Golden Rule that says you should lie to all the guests you entertain?
    I don't know what you've missed, or what you've gotten. But I've made it crystal clear that my intended wedding plans wouldn't insult, upset or offend me if they were carried out by a friend or family member who invited me to their wedding. I've never gone to a wedding to see the legal outcome. In fact, I cannot recall watching anyone sign their wedding license, nor would that interest me unless I was a signing witness, and in which case that's purely procedural and not much a thrill in my book. Very, very few people saw me sign mine at my first wedding, and no one asked to see it for validation afterward. I did however host my guests properly, as I will again in September, and that's all that matters to me. And, as I advised the OP, I've weighed all possible outcomes of my plans and can live with my decisions. If she can do the same, I say carry on. 
  • BlergbotBlergbot An enchanted land member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    Can you hire security or put your DOC (if you have one) on notice so they can manage the situation for you? Are you willing to risk never being spoken to by your aunt again?
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