Wedding Etiquette Forum

Etiquette regarding always inviting SO's.

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Re: Etiquette regarding always inviting SO's.

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Oh, good. Another "no ring, no bring" supporter among us.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    ashley8918pinkshorts27
  • Zhabeego said:
    Unless they are married, engaged or living together, etiquette does not require you to invite him. The bigger problem is how your friend will react to her boyfriend not being invited and if you are prepared to accept the fallout. You might be able to claim its a space/budget issue but if you are inviting the SO's of other friends, it will be obvious this isn't true. You could decide on a blanket rule that ONLY married, engaged and live-in couples are invited together.
    Where are you getting your information from?


    OP, I still stand by my advice that you should take a few moments to get to know him. Invite him and your friend out to lunch or dinner or what ever and try to see for yourself how well he treats her and what he's interested in.
    Bottom line, if you don't invite him, your friend might get very angry or hurt. It could tarnish your relationship with her. That's something to consider.
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    ladyamanuet
  • They are "engaged".

    He was originally sentenced to 40 years for a robbery of a convenience store that ended in the murder of the clerk.  He served 20 years of that sentence (he was still a minor, gang related, at the time of conviction).

    He currently works for a construction company (condition of parole).  But, he still appears to be very much in love with the "thug life".  Associates with a lot of people he isn't supposed to associate with, has an unusual amount of "extra money" considering where he works, etc.  From all appearances, he appears to treat my friend quite well.... which is the only reason why I'm even considering inviting him. 
    You mean they are engaged?  There is no "engaged", two people are engaged if they have agreed to marry, regardless of if there is a ring involved, and if they have not then they aren't.

    Either way I think he needs to be invited, and you might want to spend some time getting to know him to understand what your second mother sees, and possibly in therapy if that is difficult for you.
    pinkshorts27
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    When people use "engaged" in quotes (Billy and Sally are "engaged" instead of Billy and Sally are engaged), that's a huge signal that the person speaking doesn't approve of the relationship. Which, I suppose, the OP has made pretty clear already, so it's not surprising, but yeah, come on, either they're engaged or not.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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    pinkshorts27
  • I dunno. Some people might say that FH and I are "engaged".  Neither of us has officially asked the other "will you marry me" and we don't present ourselves as engaged, but we frequently discuss our wedding, have started saving for it, and have started preliminary planning (basically just getting an idea of what we want/where we want it so we know how much to save). So while I do not consider myself engaged, I could see someone using the "engaged" in quotes thing about me - since we basically are but we haven't officially stated "we have asked each other and we are getting married!"

    But I can also see it being used in a situation where someone doesn't approve of said relationship...
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  • According to etiquette, you should invite this guy.

    But in this particular instance, I personally would not judge you for a breach of etiquette.
    RebeccaB88
  • Zhabeego said:
    Unless they are married, engaged or living together, etiquette does not require you to invite him. Sorry ladies - but that IS the correct etiquette. Its not judging the seriousness of a relationship - its going by what the couple has declared for themselves. Married, engaged and live-in couples are social units. Other couples are not. Its merely a way of drawing a consistent line specifically so you're not judging anyone's relationship.
  • Dude, @zhabeego, you are new. So shut up and lurk. Lurk lurk lurk. And actually LEARN etiquette before posting.  If you'd lurked, you'd see how many times the Miss Manners thing about how that is NOT true has been posted.  ANYONE WHO PRESENTS THEMSELVES PUBLICLY AS IN A RELATIONSHIP MUST BE INVITED WITH THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. 

    You can be rude and NOT invite your friend's boyfriend of 8 months just because they don't live together and haven't got that bling. But be prepared to lose the friend.  How dare you ask someone to celebrate your relationship while simultaneously shitting on her's? That's just crappy
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    [Deleted User]JCbride2015
  • If you didn't know he had been in jail and currently on parole i have to wonder if your feelings would be different. Because if you omit that fact, the way you described his current lifestyle makes you sound like queen judgeypants. He didn't even commit the murder he was convicted of, and most likely he fell victim to gangs as a child. This in no way excuses his crimes but geez, give the guy a break. Your friend seems to really love this man and if they do get married you're going to have to see/hear/be around him much more than you will at your wedding. At least get to truly know this guy before writing him off as a thug.

    This kind of stuff really bothers me because it hits far too close to home. I fit the stereotypical "goody goody" and blend in fairly well with the middle to upper class. I graduated high school with high honors. I'm married to a police officer, we have 2 beautiful boys, own our home, our cars, can provide well for our kids. Add the white picket fence and I'm good to go. But all of that goes out the window when people find out I was a heroin addict and am currently on methadone (almost done!). So many assume I'm still some disease ridden addict, that I'm dangerous/a lowlife, or that I'm still actively using because I'm in methadone mantainence treatment. Do you know how hard I worked to get myself out of that hell hole? How difficult it is not to be able to share the fact that I'm 7 years sober with my closest friends? God forbid they ditch me or don't trust me around their kids (who are super close with our kids). God forbid they only see my past and not my present. I fear those who judge like you've judged this man. Please just give him a chance. Don't judge until you actually know him and not his resume/record.

    To be honest, this sounds more like a personal issue than an issue with him. You've experienced something terrible, and I am so sorry for that. I think you're projecting your feelings (unfairly) onto him, though it's not that shocking. Please get some counseling for yourself, that ship most definitely has not sailed. Best of luck to you!

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

    [Deleted User]rajahmdKaurisJellyBean52513
  • I may be new here but I am not new to manners and etiquette. Not every relationship has an equal social standing. A casual dating relationship does not have the same social standing as a married, engaged or live-in couple. A casual date does *NOT* equal being a social unit and it is okay not to invite them together. That's not shitting on someone's relationship. If they want to be recognized as a social unit nothing is stopping them from taking the steps to become one. If they choose not to do that - for whatever reason - then that's their choice. Of course its nice to invite everyone with their boyfriend/girlfriend and if one can do it, they should. But in cases where the guest list has to be cut, its okay to invite individuals as individuals. That's nothing to be insulted over.
  • cleveraliascleveralias member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    He DID commit the murder. He was the actual trigger man. And while yes, I understand that it was over 20 years ago, he has only been out for about 6 months. She started "dating" him while he was still in prison (her last spouse was also an inmate, and never got out before she finally divorced). I use the engaged in quotes because it is not "official" but they have been talking marriage. If he had been out of prison for a few years as opposed to a few months, I'd probably feel better about it. I disagree with your assertion Zha-- I'm of the school that if they are publicly in a relationship, they get an invite. This particular case is only a bit more tricky for me given the extenuating circumstances. I'm likely going to invite them both-- I just don't see a way around that. But I have met the fellow and I am not fond of him. I hang out with a LOT of people who have a "past"... but I see something in him that I do not like-- and I can't quite put my finger on it.
  • Don't get me wrong - I'm all for inviting couples together but if one has to limit the guest list - cutting out the boyfriends/girlfriends of people you want to invite IS permissible by etiquette. If your issue is you simply don't like this guy you'll probably have to suck it up for the sake of the friendship. If however, you feel like you would be exposing yourself or your guests to any possible harm, then don't invite him. A few years ago my brother hosted a party at his house. A distant relative decided to bring these other people. It was pretty obvious these other people had a drug habit and casual conversation revealed they were unemployed, unstable and just kind of weird and creepy. NO ONE was comfortable with them there and my SIL was extremely uncomfortable having them in the house. We were all a little worried they would steal something or worse, come back later and rob them blind. If you are on that level of gut-reaction to this guy - don't invite him.
  • ladyamanuetladyamanuet member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited June 2014
    Zhabeego said:
    Don't get me wrong - I'm all for inviting couples together but if one has to limit the guest list - cutting out the boyfriends/girlfriends of people you want to invite IS permissible by etiquette. If your issue is you simply don't like this guy you'll probably have to suck it up for the sake of the friendship. If however, you feel like you would be exposing yourself or your guests to any possible harm, then don't invite him. A few years ago my brother hosted a party at his house. A distant relative decided to bring these other people. It was pretty obvious these other people had a drug habit and casual conversation revealed they were unemployed, unstable and just kind of weird and creepy. NO ONE was comfortable with them there and my SIL was extremely uncomfortable having them in the house. We were all a little worried they would steal something or worse, come back later and rob them blind. If you are on that level of gut-reaction to this guy - don't invite him.
    No, it is not.  PLEASE read through the board. Do a search for threads containing questions on inviting SOs.  Look up Miss Manners' info on it.  It is NOT acceptable etiquette to invite one half of a social unit and not the other. You cannot invite Suzy without her boyfriend of 5 months just because they aren't engaged or living together.  If they present as a couple they ARE a couple and need to be treated as such.

    By your rationale, someone in a relationship for 2 years who doesn't live together and isn't engaged should not be invited together, but the couple that accidentally got pregnant so decided they should get engaged after 4 months would be.  Does the 4 month engagement really have "higher social standing" than a two year established relationship? No.  THEY ARE EQUAL BECAUSE THEY PRESENT PUBLICLY AS A COUPLE.

    If your friend is banging a random dude and they do not present as a couple - she does not need to be invited as a guest. but if Suzy says "this is John, MY BOYFRIEND" then John needs to be invited, even if they just became an official couple a month ago.

    ETF typo
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  • Zhabeego said:
    Don't get me wrong - I'm all for inviting couples together but if one has to limit the guest list - cutting out the boyfriends/girlfriends of people you want to invite IS permissible by etiquette. If your issue is you simply don't like this guy you'll probably have to suck it up for the sake of the friendship. If however, you feel like you would be exposing yourself or your guests to any possible harm, then don't invite him. A few years ago my brother hosted a party at his house. A distant relative decided to bring these other people. It was pretty obvious these other people had a drug habit and casual conversation revealed they were unemployed, unstable and just kind of weird and creepy. NO ONE was comfortable with them there and my SIL was extremely uncomfortable having them in the house. We were all a little worried they would steal something or worse, come back later and rob them blind. If you are on that level of gut-reaction to this guy - don't invite him.
    No, it's not. 

    It's also ridiculous and rude to make such blanketed statements. My FI and I didn't live together in four years of our for relationship for a variety of personal reasons - one of which was the fact that he's in the Army and I was in grad school. 

    Does that mean because we didn't live together our relationship did not deserve respect or consideration in those four years? If I had dropped out of school or he had not been deployed and we moved in together, then suddenly we deserve to be treated as a social unit?

    You never know the personal circumstances of another relationship. Making blanket rules such as these shows a disregard for the individual lives of your nearest and dearest. It's not only poor hosting, it's poor friendship. 
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  • Zhabeego said:
    I may be new here but I am not new to manners and etiquette. Not every relationship has an equal social standing. A casual dating relationship does not have the same social standing as a married, engaged or live-in couple. A casual date does *NOT* equal being a social unit and it is okay not to invite them together. That's not shitting on someone's relationship. If they want to be recognized as a social unit nothing is stopping them from taking the steps to become one.
    What are the steps to becoming a recognized social unit?  If you have been dating for several years but don't live together, you aren't a recognized social unit?  I am just confused.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Zhabeego said:
    I may be new here but I am not new to manners and etiquette. Not every relationship has an equal social standing. A casual dating relationship does not have the same social standing as a married, engaged or live-in couple. A casual date does *NOT* equal being a social unit and it is okay not to invite them together. That's not shitting on someone's relationship. If they want to be recognized as a social unit nothing is stopping them from taking the steps to become one. If they choose not to do that - for whatever reason - then that's their choice. Of course its nice to invite everyone with their boyfriend/girlfriend and if one can do it, they should. But in cases where the guest list has to be cut, its okay to invite individuals as individuals. That's nothing to be insulted over.
    Where is my Excedrin?  My head hurts from reading all of this bullshit!

    bethsmiles[Deleted User]
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    edited June 2014
    Bears repeating: from page 152 from Miss Manners guide to a surprisingly dignified wedding: "Miss Manners is all for inviting couple wedding guests as couples - indeed, there is a new rudeness, which she is trying to stamp out, of inviting only half of an established couple. Those who are married, engaged, or otherwise firmly attached must be asked in tandem to social events (as opposed to office gatherings, which are still office gatherings, no matter how many drinks are served). This is not the same as being expected to surrender control of a guest list to the guests themselves." ETA: The part in question here is "firmly attached." The way to know if someone is firmly attached? You ask, and they tell you. You don't ask, hear the answer they give, then dismiss it out of hand because they aren't living together, haven't been together x amount of time, or don't fulfill any other made up criteria you may have. The OP may do whatever she chooses, of course but let's stamp out the nonsense that couples must be engaged or married to "count."
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  • Zhabeego said:
    I may be new here but I am not new to manners and etiquette. Not every relationship has an equal social standing. A casual dating relationship does not have the same social standing as a married, engaged or live-in couple. A casual date does *NOT* equal being a social unit and it is okay not to invite them together. That's not shitting on someone's relationship. If they want to be recognized as a social unit nothing is stopping them from taking the steps to become one. If they choose not to do that - for whatever reason - then that's their choice. Of course its nice to invite everyone with their boyfriend/girlfriend and if one can do it, they should. But in cases where the guest list has to be cut, its okay to invite individuals as individuals. That's nothing to be insulted over.
    Where are you getting your information from?
    Only the Emily Post Institute, not Emily Post herself, still goes by this rule and they also suggest honeyfunds, so most logical people dismiss their etiquette advice as nothing but propaganda and money making schemes.
    Your relationship does not automatically become valid just because you are engaged or living together. Think of it this way, most homosexual couples aren't allowed to be married. Is their relationship less valid than yours? Of course not. Some couples have been together longer than most marriages last. Clearly being engaged, married or living together doesn't make anyone's relationship more important or valid than those who aren't. Any divorced or broken up couple will tell you that. Throwing around arbitrary rules and labeling other couples relationship status as worthy of invitation and not worthy of an invitation will not go over well in this very open-minded forum.

    The OP is hellbent on not inviting this guy and just posted here to be validated for that choice she has already made. Fine. Don't invite him. But we'd be lying to her if we said that her friend should just "get over it." Etiquette rule or not, she will be pissed. At no point will she respond, "Oh, Emily Post's hellspawn said he doesn't have to be invited? Well, then, by all means, I'll just attend alone! No harm, of course I'm not upset!"
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  • Zhabeego said:
    I may be new here but I am not new to manners and etiquette. Not every relationship has an equal social standing. A casual dating relationship does not have the same social standing as a married, engaged or live-in couple. A casual date does *NOT* equal being a social unit and it is okay not to invite them together. That's not shitting on someone's relationship. If they want to be recognized as a social unit nothing is stopping them from taking the steps to become one. If they choose not to do that - for whatever reason - then that's their choice. Of course its nice to invite everyone with their boyfriend/girlfriend and if one can do it, they should. But in cases where the guest list has to be cut, its okay to invite individuals as individuals. That's nothing to be insulted over.
    I'm sorry but fuck you. My SO of almost 6 YEARS is not a casual dating relationship because we aren't engaged, married, or living together. It is ABSOLUTELY insulting to say my relationship is less valid than someone else's. Why on earth should I go celebrate another couple's relationship if they couldn't be bothered to even recognize mine?

    Reaction GIF: fuck you, Chloë Moretz

    If cuts have to be made, please just cut both of us from the list because we won't be coming if you only invite one of us anyway.
    THIS. THIS. THIS.

    H and I dated for 8 1/2 years before getting engaged, and we did not live together.  But it was just a "casual dating relationship"?  And if we wanted to be recognized as a social unit, you're saying that we should've rushed sooner into marriage or violated our beliefs by living together?  THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE.  *rolls eyes*

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    [Deleted User]annathy03
  • @Simply Fated

    Not sure where the notion that I am "hell bent" comes from.  I even conceded a few posts ago that I will likely go ahead and invite him, despite my strong misgivings.  Don't go putting words in my mouth.
  • It is insulting to say that just because we're not engaged or living together that our relationship isn't as important or valid. My relationship has lasted longer than most of our friend's marriages. Legally getting married or even getting engaged doesn't ensure the relationship will last forever, which is why these rules are so arbitrary.
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    bethsmiles
  • I agree that time in a relationship means nothing.  I was with my last SO for 7 years without a ring.  I was engaged to my FI after 7 months.  It is quite arbitrary.  I even have a couple of friends who aren't in a relationship at all, but I'm allowing them a "plus one" if they'd like to bring a date.  I know I wouldn't like going to a big event alone.
  • cleveraliascleveralias member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    Sigh.. crappy internet=double post.
  • @Simply Fated

    Not sure where the notion that I am "hell bent" comes from.  I even conceded a few posts ago that I will likely go ahead and invite him, despite my strong misgivings.  Don't go putting words in my mouth.
    I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth, honest. It just really seems like you really don't want to invite him. And I totally get why you wouldn't, I just wanted to make sure you consider the consequences of what not inviting him could do to your friendship.
    PP was saying how you can pull out an antiquated tradition of "no ring, no bring" and use that as an excuse and I was just pointing out how that wouldn't help in your situation, anyway.
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  • Etiquette says yes, invite both if you want the one.  However, you seem to want to say no -- as others said, there are consequences.  If you invite her only, then you risk offending her.  If you don't invite her at all, then you have to live with the fact she missed the wedding.  Since she has been in relationships with at least one other inmate before, she probably understands the consequences/prejudices that go with it (and yes, this is a prejudice -- you've have little to no contact with the guy, and he hasn't threatened you).  That doesn't mean she won't be hurt.  You stated that you would invite them -- be sure that you are comfortable with this.  If you spend your entire reception giving side-eye to the guy or having people 'watch' him for you, don't invite them.  That's just as insulting as (if not more than) only inviting her.  Be honest with yourself -- as much as you want to have her there, can you cope and enjoy your wedding with him there? 
  • As someone who works in law enforcement, I understand both sides: 1) that he has done his time and is being supervised but also 2) the recidivism rate is excruciatingly high in many states for probationers and parolees.  While, NO, this doesn't mean that someone (or this man in particular) will go off at your wedding, it IS a valid concern.  I agree that you should get to know the person because I've found that, often times, the way people present can be completely different from the way they really are.  If he was previously gang involved, he may have to associate with these people out of necessity, for his own life to be safe.  But please, please, please, do not just make assumptions about him because of his past or what you perceive to be possible criminal goings ons.  That is another reason why a lot of felons fall back into a pattern of crime: no one is willing to give them a chance.  It is entirely okay to feel a way about this because of your own history and because that's just how people feel when others violate social norms so heinously (I don't want you to feel I'm discounting your feelings, I don't!  I hear victim's stories all the time.)  I sincerely hope this works out in a way where you feel comfortable, you don't have to sacrifice this friendship, and nothing bad happens.

    Also, on the SO front...  I was invited to my cousin's wedding where my boyfriend of 5 years was not invited.  Was I annoyed?  Yes.  Was my family annoyed?  Yes.  Did we all get over it?  Yes, because ultimately, it was one night and I went and had a good time anyway with my family.  Maybe it's just me, and I have thicker skin, or maybe it's just you guys.  I get the etiquette thing, but sometimes I feel you guys overkill on it.

    I'm now prepared to get raked over the coals for my last comment, but whatever.
    knottieb078684a7daf3921
  • It is insulting to say that just because we're not engaged or living together that our relationship isn't as important or valid. My relationship has lasted longer than most of our friend's marriages. Legally getting married or even getting engaged doesn't ensure the relationship will last forever, which is why these rules are so arbitrary.

    Not giving a plus one for a boyfriend is not saying the relationship isn't serious or won't last. While I would not personally do it, etiquette does allow for inviting single people by themselves and in this case, singe is defined as not being married, engaged or living together. It's not a referendum on your personal relationship. For the purposes of etiquette, you are not a social unit until you meet one of those three criteria.
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