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Refusing groomsman's plus one

Tricky question: Can you refuse a groomsman's plus one? 
For context, groomsman (also a family member) has been very on and off with girlfriend (-ish) for over a year. They've split something like 5 times. It's made FH sick to watch, but he's trying to remain positive, and doesn't want any advice to come off as trying to tell this groomsman what to do.
My only context with her has been family events, in which she consistently finds a way to offend everyone in the room. It's less of a difference of opinions kind of offense; the worst example has been openly calling the faith and traditions of someone in the room "made up." The first time we saw family after we got engaged, she went on-- at length-- about how marriage is a prison for women, how she'd never give her "power up to a man," how degrading marriage and motherhood could be, how terrifying and awful childbirth must be (we didn't bring up future children at any point). If there is something you enjoy, value, hold as dear, watch out-- she's better informed than you, will spend the night telling you, and will tell you why her opinion/value/choice is better. Most outings including her end in a monologue from her with everyone staring at the floor. She's been informed that she's making people feel like outsiders, and it's continued.
If this had been a one-off, I would've chalked it up to catching her on a bad night, but it's been every interaction for over a year. I cannot see the rest of our guests enjoying their evening with her there, and it's a small enough wedding (ballpark 50 people) that she wouldn't get lost in the crowd. I don't want to sacrifice the experience for our entire guest list for the feelings of one person, but I know that etiquette dictates she's supposed to get an invite, and FH feels bad. What do we do?

Re: Refusing groomsman's plus one

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    Tricky question: Can you refuse a groomsman's plus one? 
    For context, groomsman (also a family member) has been very on and off with girlfriend (-ish) for over a year. They've split something like 5 times. It's made FH sick to watch, but he's trying to remain positive, and doesn't want any advice to come off as trying to tell this groomsman what to do.
    My only context with her has been family events, in which she consistently finds a way to offend everyone in the room. It's less of a difference of opinions kind of offense; the worst example has been openly calling the faith and traditions of someone in the room "made up." The first time we saw family after we got engaged, she went on-- at length-- about how marriage is a prison for women, how she'd never give her "power up to a man," how degrading marriage and motherhood could be, how terrifying and awful childbirth must be (we didn't bring up future children at any point). If there is something you enjoy, value, hold as dear, watch out-- she's better informed than you, will spend the night telling you, and will tell you why her opinion/value/choice is better. Most outings including her end in a monologue from her with everyone staring at the floor. She's been informed that she's making people feel like outsiders, and it's continued.
    If this had been a one-off, I would've chalked it up to catching her on a bad night, but it's been every interaction for over a year. I cannot see the rest of our guests enjoying their evening with her there, and it's a small enough wedding (ballpark 50 people) that she wouldn't get lost in the crowd. I don't want to sacrifice the experience for our entire guest list for the feelings of one person, but I know that etiquette dictates she's supposed to get an invite, and FH feels bad. What do we do?
    You really can't ask this groomsman to come here and support your relationship while simultaneously telling him he's unable to bring his own significant other. He would be within his rights to tell your FH that he won't come to your wedding after a slight like that. Maybe they'll be "off" again by your wedding?

    50 people is still enough where you can excuse yourself and walk away from a conversation. It would be difficult for her to kill the vibe totally just with the behavior you've described. Adults should know how to ignore a boor. If there's music and dancing, she can't monopolize the ears of the whole group.

    You should be sitting your bridal party with their SOs just out of consideration for both of them (that's why "head tables" are thankfully no longer in). Make sure the GM is with his GF as much as possible so it's less likely she'll be making bad conversation with everyone else she finds.
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    levioosalevioosa member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Unfortunately she still needs to get an invite. Who knows, if they're so on and off maybe they won't even be together at the time of the wedding. Or marriage is so oppressive of a construct she won't go in principle. But you will be much too busy to be interacting with her much, and fifty people is not so small that you're going to be engaged with her for very long. People know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation. 


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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    Everyone encounters situations like this at some point when they know a person who is linked to someone they don't like.  Of all days, on the day that you expect people to come and honor your loving commitment it would be so insulting to your groomsman to not honor HIS relationship.

    Do as @flantastic said and ensure that your BP is seated with their partners and then they'll ideally be together the entire time.  
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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    levioosa said:
    Unfortunately she still needs to get an invite. Who knows, if they're so on and off maybe they won't even be together at the time of the wedding. Or marriage is so oppressive of a construct she won't go in principle. But you will be much too busy to be interacting with her much, and fifty people is not so small that you're going to be engaged with her for very long. People know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation. 
    Although I agree that there's no polite way to exclude her from your wedding, I don't agree with the bolded. All too often, it is not the case that people know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation and boors ruin the occasion by shooting off their mouths. The others will be expecting you and your fiance to step in and get her to shut up.

    And fifty people with one person who doesn't shut up is still very noticeable, especially since this is the girlfriend of a groomsman. Unfortunately, you can't avoid her or "not be engaged with her for very long."

    You can excuse yourselves from conversations with her, you can take her aside and ask her to stop, and you can have security remove her if it comes to the point where that's necessary. Unfortunately, as long as your groomsman is continuing his relationship with her, not inviting her would be rude.


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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    Jen4948 said:
    levioosa said:
    Unfortunately she still needs to get an invite. Who knows, if they're so on and off maybe they won't even be together at the time of the wedding. Or marriage is so oppressive of a construct she won't go in principle. But you will be much too busy to be interacting with her much, and fifty people is not so small that you're going to be engaged with her for very long. People know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation. 
    Although I agree that there's no polite way to exclude her from your wedding, I don't agree with the bolded. All too often, it is not the case that people know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation and boors ruin the occasion by shooting off their mouths. The others will be expecting you and your fiance to step in and get her to shut up.

    And fifty people with one person who doesn't shut up is still very noticeable, especially since this is the girlfriend of a groomsman. Unfortunately, you can't avoid her or "not be engaged with her for very long."

    You can excuse yourselves from conversations with her, you can take her aside and ask her to stop, and you can have security remove her if it comes to the point where that's necessary. Unfortunately, as long as your groomsman is continuing his relationship with her, not inviting her would be rude.


    No they shouldn't. Reasonable people shouldn't expect the bride and groom to know to manage all conversations.  To suggest so is inappropriate.   They're adults - not running a daycare.
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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited May 28
    banana468 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    levioosa said:
    Unfortunately she still needs to get an invite. Who knows, if they're so on and off maybe they won't even be together at the time of the wedding. Or marriage is so oppressive of a construct she won't go in principle. But you will be much too busy to be interacting with her much, and fifty people is not so small that you're going to be engaged with her for very long. People know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation. 
    Although I agree that there's no polite way to exclude her from your wedding, I don't agree with the bolded. All too often, it is not the case that people know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation and boors ruin the occasion by shooting off their mouths. The others will be expecting you and your fiance to step in and get her to shut up.

    And fifty people with one person who doesn't shut up is still very noticeable, especially since this is the girlfriend of a groomsman. Unfortunately, you can't avoid her or "not be engaged with her for very long."

    You can excuse yourselves from conversations with her, you can take her aside and ask her to stop, and you can have security remove her if it comes to the point where that's necessary. Unfortunately, as long as your groomsman is continuing his relationship with her, not inviting her would be rude.


    No they shouldn't. Reasonable people shouldn't expect the bride and groom to know to manage all conversations.  To suggest so is inappropriate.   They're adults - not running a daycare.
    No, they shouldn't, but unfortunately, all too often wedding guests do not have reasonable expectations. They expect the couple to manage the event and keep it running smoothly, and expect the couple to take responsibility for shutting up a boor and/or hold the couple responsible for the boor's being present in the first place.
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    levioosalevioosa member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Jen4948 said:
    banana468 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    levioosa said:
    Unfortunately she still needs to get an invite. Who knows, if they're so on and off maybe they won't even be together at the time of the wedding. Or marriage is so oppressive of a construct she won't go in principle. But you will be much too busy to be interacting with her much, and fifty people is not so small that you're going to be engaged with her for very long. People know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation. 
    Although I agree that there's no polite way to exclude her from your wedding, I don't agree with the bolded. All too often, it is not the case that people know how to extract themselves from an unwanted conversation and boors ruin the occasion by shooting off their mouths. The others will be expecting you and your fiance to step in and get her to shut up.

    And fifty people with one person who doesn't shut up is still very noticeable, especially since this is the girlfriend of a groomsman. Unfortunately, you can't avoid her or "not be engaged with her for very long."

    You can excuse yourselves from conversations with her, you can take her aside and ask her to stop, and you can have security remove her if it comes to the point where that's necessary. Unfortunately, as long as your groomsman is continuing his relationship with her, not inviting her would be rude.


    No they shouldn't. Reasonable people shouldn't expect the bride and groom to know to manage all conversations.  To suggest so is inappropriate.   They're adults - not running a daycare.
    No, they shouldn't, but unfortunately, all too often wedding guests do not have reasonable expectations. They expect the couple to manage the event and keep it running smoothly, and expect the couple to take responsibility for shutting up a boor and/or hold the couple responsible for the boor's being present in the first place.
    I have never, at any wedding, ever expected the bride and groom to step in with an unruly or "boorish" guest. People roll their eyes, excuse themselves, and then talk about it on the way home. But telling her to shut up or getting security involved because you don't like her sharing an opinion (of course barring advocating for violence, or outrageous bigotry) will do nothing but escalate what would otherwise be a lovely day. 


    image
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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited May 28
    levioosa said:
    No, they shouldn't, but unfortunately, all too often wedding guests do not have reasonable expectations. They expect the couple to manage the event and keep it running smoothly, and expect the couple to take responsibility for shutting up a boor and/or hold the couple responsible for the boor's being present in the first place.
    I have never, at any wedding, ever expected the bride and groom to step in with an unruly or "boorish" guest. People roll their eyes, excuse themselves, and then talk about it on the way home. But telling her to shut up or getting security involved because you don't like her sharing an opinion (of course barring advocating for violence, or outrageous bigotry) will do nothing but escalate what would otherwise be a lovely day. 

    Stuck in box

    Sadly, someone this boorish herself might escalate if she is ignored or everyone changes the subject and no one intervenes.
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    downtondivadowntondiva member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited May 29
    She sounds extremely unpleasant, but you still have to invite her. Especially since this groomsman is family, I don't think you want to cast aspersions on her or their relationship (however unsteady) by not inviting her. They may be "off again" by the time you're getting married, or she won't show up for some other reason, but then at least you've included her.

    Yes, she very well may irritate some other guests, but unless you think she's a safety hazard, they (and you) will just need to put up with it. Reality is, even if she is obnoxous at the wedding, for most people it'll just be an entertaining story down the road. 
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