Etiquette

Extra guest

My daughter is getting married in a couple of months. Her fiance's half sister is sponsoring a foreign exchange student for the school year beginning in August and wants this young girl to be invited to the wedding? We are already at 250 invitees without her and the cost of each person is around $75.00 for food and beverages. My daughter and fiance will have never met her before the wedding. As it is, I didn't invite some of my friends because of the space and cost. The sister mentioned that a stamp could be saved if the girl was not invited to the wedding because she was part of their family. What would you do?

Re: Extra guest

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    edited July 12
    I'd say that as unfortunately, it isn't possible to invite everyone you would like, you won't be able to invite the exchange student.

    Edited to add: I've revised my opinion on this. See below.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    My daughter is getting married in a couple of months. Her fiance's half sister is sponsoring a foreign exchange student for the school year beginning in August and wants this young girl to be invited to the wedding? We are already at 250 invitees without her and the cost of each person is around $75.00 for food and beverages. My daughter and fiance will have never met her before the wedding. As it is, I didn't invite some of my friends because of the space and cost. The sister mentioned that a stamp could be saved if the girl was not invited to the wedding because she was part of their family. What would you do?
    That is not the attitude that will win people over.  I have little to zero tolerance for that type of entitled attitude.  (I am reading her words to mean that she would not attend if an invitation is not extended to the FES.)

    It is unfortunate you were not made aware of this situation sooner.  Attending a wedding from a culture other than your own can be an incredible experience.  I attended one while in Europe and will never forget!  It will be a bit awkward for your FSIL's half sister to leave this FES behind, particularly if the entire household is being invited to the wedding.  However, the FES might find some "alone time" refreshing.  Perhaps the family can make sure this FES has some options while they are attending the wedding.

    I understand the frustration as the MOB.  My husband and I paid for the weddings for both our son and daughter.  Other than being assured everyone was properly hosted, no strings were attached.  I was deeply frustrated with my son when two invitations were not extended to guests I considered VERY important.

    I do not think you "owe" this FES an invitation.  However, if you find yourself with several RSVP declines, it might be the one situation, if you so chose, to offer what would be considered a "B list" invitation. 

    I'm curious to know how others feel about this compromise under these circumstances.

    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • My gut reaction is to say not to invite her since you already had to leave out some of your friends. That being said, how old is this exchange student, and does the half sister have children that would be attending the wedding as well? 


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    charlotte989875ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  •  She is high school age. She has three other children, 2 are older than 18 and a younger one who is the flower girl.
  • Are you inviting other children? Does the sister have other children that you are inviting? 

    I think if the sister has children you are inviting them I think you definitely need to invite the student; a FES is for all intents and purposes the sister’s child during the time they are there (presuming the FES is a minor) and shouldn’t be excluded. 

    I also think if this is the only child you’re excluding you should reconsider as well. 
    thisismynickname2ahoyweddingshort+sassyMyNameIsNot
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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     She is high school age. She has three other children, 2 are older than 18 and a younger one who is the flower girl.
    Just to clarify, the FES is high school age and the half-sister has 3 other children, right?



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  •  She is high school age. She has three other children, 2 are older than 18 and a younger one who is the flower girl.
    Are they all being invited? If so I think you need to invite the FES. 
  • I'm curious.   How old is the sister and how old is the student?  

    If the FES was the sister's child eoukf s/he be unvited?

    I would most likely extend the invitation if others this student's age are invited. 
  • colleenhascolleenhas
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    edited July 11
    The half sister is in her late 30's/early 40's.  Her daughter are 19, 18 and 8. I have no idea how old the student coming in is. It was just assumed by his sister that she would be coming to the wedding.

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    One is 19, 18. I am not sure of the age of the FES.

    But she's high school age, right?  I think you should invite her since it would feel pretty crappy to be the only one not invited in a group of 4.



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    charlotte989875ahoyweddingeileenrob
  • banana468 said:
    I honestly think the FES needs to be treated like a sibling of the sister.    The student will be hosted by family and this is one of those times I think I'd grin and deal.  
    I have to agree. I know it's frustrating when OP had to leave friends off the guest list, but it's not right to exclude FES when the whole family she's staying with is invited to/attending the wedding. 
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    charlotte989875ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • It might suck but the right thing to do is to invite the FES. We hosted foreign exchange students and they went to all our family events. We would have felt terrible getting dressed up for a wedding and just leaving them. 
    ShesSoColdahoyweddingcharlotte989875eileenrob
  • CasadenaCasadena
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    Yeah, I think it's kind of rude to leave the FES student out.  I would definitely invite her since the rest of the sister's kids are invited.
    ahoywedding
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
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    I agree with PPs. I think this is an instance where you need to, unfortunately, let it go and invite the FES.
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    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • Ditto everyone else. It sucks you weren't able to invite some of your friends, but I believe FESs are supposed to be treated as part of the family. My parents had several, and they went to everything with us. 
    short+sassyMyNameIsNot
  • Now that I've read more details, I also think the FES should be invited.  It would be one thing if only the FSIL and her H were invited.  Or if the FES was living with one of the adult children in a different household.  But, since the whole family is being invited and the FES will be living with them, inviting her is the right thing to do.

    While I realize the cost is feeling like a zinger for you, on top of how much money is already being spent...on the altruistic side...I'm sure seeing a different culture's wedding would be an amazing opportunity for this young woman.  She'll probably talk about this wedding for years to come, whenever the subject of her trip to America comes up.

    Although not a different country, my mother is originally from Hawaii, though I never lived there.  We were taking a trip to visit my grandparents.  They were invited to a wedding, but called with regrets because it was during the time their "daughter and her family" would be visiting.  The hosts told them to "Bring us along! The more, the merrier."

    We didn't know the bride or groom or their families, but I still remember that wedding in a positive light!  Everyone was warm and welcoming.  Great food.  Lots of fun.  And I especially enjoyed seeing some of the local wedding traditions for a place my mother used to call home. 

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  • Another thing to consider is that the high school exchange programs I have been involved with have the host families sign very specific agreements, many include wording about supervision and not excluding the exchange student from events.  The half sister’s family may not be able to just leave the student behind and honor the commitment they made to the program. The high school exchange student should be invited to the wedding on the half sister’s family invitation. If this was a collage exchange student my opinion would be very different.

    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • I hope you invite this girl. My daughter lived with a French family for a year and was included in all of their family functions, including weddings, confirmations and baptisms (very large Catholic family!) It was a lovely, life-changing experience for her and it made all the difference in her year abroad.

    By contrast, this same family sent their two youngest daughters to work as au pairs for some families in my town, and while one family was great, the other did not treat the girl, who was only 16, very well at all. They kept pawning her off on other families whenever they had a special event. It was really shameful, and I was embarrassed that I had been instrumental in getting her placed.

    If you open your house to a foreign student, you really need to think of them as part of your family.
    ernursejshort+sassyMairePoppycharlotte989875
  • We will be including her in the plans. The biggest complaint we had and I should have included this in the original post, is that the half sister never  told the groom that they were having a student staying with them. If the grooms mother hadn't told my daughter, we wouldn't have had any idea that there was an extra person coming. The sister lives about 4 hours away and they rarely see or talk to each other. I have always been taught not to assume but to ask. Common courtesy on her part should have been to have communicated to the bride and groom. Thanks for all your comments
    MobKazmaine7mob
  • @colleenhas I am so glad you're including this girl. It's a good thing the groom's mother clued your daughter in! In my experience, family is the worst about communicating stuff like this. I actually had to call one of my brothers a few days after the RSVPs were due to ask if he was coming!
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