August 2012 Weddings

Strange Etiquette Question (a little longish)

I have an etiquette situation that I'm not quite sure how to handle.  It is VERY important to my FFIL that his close family friend, we'll call her Karen, is invited to the wedding.  Karen is also the mother of my fiance's brother's girlfriend.  So, although I have never met Karen, I am perfectly fine inviting her.  The problem is her husband/live in boyfriend (no one seems to be sure if they are actually married or not), we'll call him Dennis.  Dennis is a drug dealer and is physically abusive towards Karen.  Karen and Dennis have split up in the past, but are currently together (many friends have tried to get her to get help and leave him, but she chooses to stay).  In addition, Dennis and my fiance's brother (who is a groomsman) have gotten into a physical altercation before (when my fiance's brother witnessed Dennis abusing Karen)...so I know it will be uncomfortable for my fiance's brother if Dennis is there.

So, am I obligated to invite this man to my wedding?  I know that etiquette says never to split up a couple, but is this an appropriate exception?  I don't want to offend anyone, but inviting this man seems like trouble.

Re: Strange Etiquette Question (a little longish)

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_august-2012-weddings_strange-etiquette-question-a-little-longish?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:1fb748ee-7a4e-40eb-b4b4-e553486f4cacDiscussion:e4810de2-2b11-4856-9fac-f5e34ea06d09Post:a9981291-5259-4b5c-8604-f676ec210327">Re: Strange Etiquette Question (a little longish)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Having said that, I guess I have a question. who told you all these things about Denis? I mean if FFIL knew this, I don't think he'd want to bring a potential situation like that into your wedding. Plus I don't think FFIL would want one of his own sons to feel uncomforatble, ever. I hope you can work something out, but I wouldn't split up the couple. I'd just  not invite them. It's not worth the chance of trouble inside or outside of the wedding.
    Posted by mtishawt[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Everything I told you is something that my FFIL or future brother in law told me.  I have never met either of these people, and really have no desire to. Basically, the situation is that Karen is like a sister to my FFIL.  FFIL thinks that Dennis is a scumbag and is perfectly fine not inviting him, and only inviting Karen.  I'm just thinking, like you said, it might be better not to invite Karen or Dennis, rather than split up a couple or have a potentially awkward/dangerous situation.

    </div>
  • Honestly, I would defer this one to your FI.  Have him make the call.  He knows best how his brother would feel about seeing this guy at the wedding.  He also knows how much it means to his mom and can share your/his concerns with her. 

    My FI was great at making the call on anything involving his family and who was invited.  And, he took responsibility for it to his mom, so that she didn't think so & so wasn't invited because of ME.
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  • My opinion would be not invite either of them. IT sounds like a highly volatile situation to begin with and I agree with other posters that might not be what you want on your big day. That being said it isn't always easy to tell FFIL no. But here, I would rely on what has turned into my standby phrase. I am sorry, I don't know so-and-so and they aren't invited to the wedding. (FI and I will have been dating 5 years by the date of the wedding, and have known each other about 8 years - if I haven't met you by now, you aren't important enough to come to the wedding.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_august-2012-weddings_strange-etiquette-question-a-little-longish?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:1fb748ee-7a4e-40eb-b4b4-e553486f4cacDiscussion:e4810de2-2b11-4856-9fac-f5e34ea06d09Post:d2a6282b-46e8-470c-bde9-c05ef32c80e9">Re: Strange Etiquette Question (a little longish)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Honestly, I would defer this one to your FI.  Have him make the call.  He knows best how his brother would feel about seeing this guy at the wedding.  He also knows how much it means to his mom and can share your/his concerns with her.  My FI was great at making the call on anything involving his family and who was invited.  And, he took responsibility for it to his mom, so that she didn't think so & so wasn't invited because of ME.
    Posted by rungirl12[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this!
  • I agree with rungirl that you should have your FI speak to your FFIL and trust his judgement.  I know I have heard of people being escorted out of weddings/receptions because of volatile behavior.  Would your FFIL be prepared to do that if "Dennis" became an issue?  I'm asking because I have seen a good friend in an abusive relationship, and even if her SO was not invited somewhere, he would show up anyway just to "check on her" and make sure she wasn't "doing anything funny" (he ended up leaving her and impregnating a girl the same night, so it should've been the other way around). 

    If you do end up inviting Karen and Dennis, just be careful and watchful for any situations, and be prepared to have one or both escorted out if a situation arises.
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  • I am in a very similiar situation except it involves my FI mother and her husband.  In our case we are inviting only the mother and not her husband.  The etiquette police may fine me over this but it is what is best for OUR wedding and OUR situation.  So the moral of the story....do what is best that it doesn't disrupt YOUR day...and if Karen doesn't like it...then she won't come.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_august-2012-weddings_strange-etiquette-question-a-little-longish?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding Club BoardsForum:1fb748ee-7a4e-40eb-b4b4-e553486f4cacDiscussion:e4810de2-2b11-4856-9fac-f5e34ea06d09Post:695c66f2-5e1c-40c4-bffb-67f2a68799d4">Re: Strange Etiquette Question (a little longish)</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am in a very similiar situation except it involves my FI mother and her husband.  In our case we are inviting only the mother and not her husband.  The etiquette police may fine me over this but it is what is best for OUR wedding and OUR situation.  So the moral of the story....do what is best that it doesn't disrupt YOUR day...and if Karen doesn't like it...then she won't come.
    Posted by smilesavy[/QUOTE]

    I won't fine you for it, if there is a reason that is understandable!  Etiquette police would probably want to lock me up for a LOT of things we are doing for our wedding lol!
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  • Thanks for the advice ladies!  I'm going to have my FI talk to his dad and brother about it, and then we'll make a decision of what it best from there.
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