Wedding Etiquette Forum
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guest list and family

This past weekend, FMIL said about the neighbor girl (she is in her 20's) going. I mentioned she isn't invited and she said of she will be FI's sister's date! I dropped it then, but out of our siblings only 1 is in a serious relationship,  so she was the only person getting a date.

If his sister started dating someone, sure she would be allowed to bring him, but I'm not willing to have my parents buy yet another plate for some person I really don't know.  Fi  agrees no dates for siblings, I don't think we are being ridiculous.. are we?
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Re: guest list and family

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    You don't have to give single people a date, but you DO have to let them bring someone if they are dating someone. Married or engaged is not an appropriate determiner. Anybody who considers him or herself part of a couple should have the other half of said couple invited by name.
    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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    Listen to Addie. If someone considers themselves to be in a relationship, their SO needs to be invited. 
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    edited July 2013
    You need to invite SO's - it's not up to you and FI to judge the seriousness of someone's relationship. 

    That said, if your FMIL is improvising ways to invite more people (fabricating "dates" for people who are truly single so that more people can be invited), that's some bullshit. Ask people individually (i.e. don't take FMIL's word for it) if they're in a relationship - if they say no then they get a single invite.

    Also, if you haven't sent out STDs, invitations, or verbally invited anyone, NO ONE is invited yet and you can still cut out cousins. My FILs sent me a list of over 50 people who they "expected to get an invitation" to the wedding but aren't contributing anything to the wedding. Yea, no. We gave them a certain number of slots and told them to prioritize. Unless your FILs are planning to host extra people (read: pay for them), they can't "expect" anyone to be invited. You invite who you want to host and that's it.
    *********************************************************************************

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    No to the sister bringing a friend. She can hang with her 70 relatives.
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    Totally disagree about the SO for everyone. Within his family, the only people who get invited are spouses and engaged couple. FI has gone to many weddings without me while we were dating and/or living together. Its actually perfectly acceptable within his family. I likewise have been invited to weddings without a date when I was in a relationship, and never thought twice about it. Honestly that's not the issue.

    The issue is with his sister bringing a friend as a date- I don't know if the sister feels entitled because she is a sibling or what, but FI needs to tell her and his mom that she will not be getting a date, unless she is in a relationship.
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    Is the sister in the wedding party? If so it's very nice to give bridal party members a date.

    Otherwise, stop talking to FMIL about the guest list. If it comes up say, "We're not giving +1s to single guests.

    As to your all not having been invited together before: That was rude. You shouldn't do the same rude thing to your guests.
    I'm glad you were talked into inviting spouses because to not have done that would have been terrible rude.
    However, unless his family is paying, you do not need to invite his cousins. Just say, "we've decided to only invite aunts, uncles, and their SOs. And then change the subject.

    Unless they are paying... in which case... they a big say on the guest list.

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    Totally disagree about the SO for everyone. Within his family, the only people who get invited are spouses and engaged couple. FI has gone to many weddings without me while we were dating and/or living together. Its actually perfectly acceptable within his family. I likewise have been invited to weddings without a date when I was in a relationship, and never thought twice about it. Honestly that's not the issue.

    The issue is with his sister bringing a friend as a date- I don't know if the sister feels entitled because she is a sibling or what, but FI needs to tell her and his mom that she will not be getting a date, unless she is in a relationship.
    This may be standard in his family, but it is still rude.  Everyone who is in a relationship should be invited with his or her SO.  Period.

    It is fine to not give truly single guests plus ones, so you are within your rights to say that his sister cannot bring a friend.  However, if she is in the WP, it would be a very nice gesture to give her a plus one.
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    This past weekend, FMIL said about the neighbor "girl" (she is in her 20's) going. I mentioned she isn't invited and she said of she will be FI's sister's date!
    If his sister started dating someone, sure she would be allowed to bring him, but I'm not willing to have my parents buy yet another plate for some person I really don't know.  Fi  agrees no dates for siblings, I don't think we are being ridiculous.. are we?

    This is the problem with the "Every SigOther No Questions Asked" policy of including all SOs all the time.

    Here is how I see it. As host, I want to keep control of the guest list. I want to know who is invited, and only invite the people I want to invite. I also want to keep track of the cost, and invite only the numbers my budget will permit.

    A person can only have one spouse at a time, and that spouse is a defined person. Thus, I invite a guest and his/her spouse.

    A person can only have one fiancé(e) at a time, and that is a defined person. Thus, I invite a guest and his/her fiancé(e).

    Married and engaged couples are in permanent relationships. (Permanent until they aren't any more, that is.)

    Next is the broad, general category of "plus one", "and guest" and "significant others".

    Like most people, yes, I would indeed include the SO of a guest where the couple are publically a couple. Yes, I would invite the uncle with a girlfriend of 25 years. Yes I would invite the neighbor living with her boyfriend. Yes, in most cases I would invite the SO. Budget and space permitting, I would contact people that I know to be single and politely ask if they are "seeing anyone" and if so, would that person like to be invited as their date?

    In every case, I would make it my business to get the name of the spouse, the fiancé(e), the boyfriend, the girlfriend and add that person to my guest list. I would tell the original guest that I'm looking forward to meeting someone of importance to them.

    What SOs would I exclude? I can think of a few, examples right out of my real life. Last week a romance between 15-year olds of my acquaintance formed, blossomed and flamed out in a 48-hour time span. Yep, two days. Facebook showed "in a relationship" status for two days, complete with lovey-dovey new two-person-smooching avatars. Two days later, both were FB "single" with new avatars, complete with "You are such a jerk" status updates directed at the former lover. Had I been making a guest list during that exact 48 hours, I think I would have waited on including the very transient SO.

    Another example. I have a female relative who was married, then separated from her husband. While separated, she took up with a married man. They conceived a child. She got a divorce before the baby was born, but to this day the married man is still married and the "baby" is almost ten (10) years old. They have had two more children, but do not live together because he has been residing in prison for meth possession, dealing and causing an automobile accident while intoxicated resulting in great bodily harm. This is his second prison stint, the first for DV after choking my relative trying to make her miscarry. Their then-four year old called 911. He makes no attempt to engage with any of the family, preferring to sulk in a corner playing Angry Birds or texting drug contacts. I have no qualms about leaving him off a guest list. None.

    Back to the OP.

    By being generous with the guest list, allowing people to bring unnamed dates and SOs unknown to the host, the FMIL feels free to treat the invitations that come to her family as transferable tickets to the event. Daughter does not have a boyfriend? No matter. She can use her "And Guest" ticket to bring the BFF neighbor. If the host is willing to buy a plate of food for an unnamed boyfriend, why not buy a plate of food for an unnamed neighbor friend?

    My suggestion: Invite SOs, sure, I do, too. But keep control of the list. Make it your business to find out the SO's name and listen for the invited guest to volunteer info to justify the SO invitation. "We've been living together for three years and have been discussing marriage" vs "I met him yesterday."

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    she is not in the wedding party. Actually none of our siblings are

    I can't believe that people think its rude to not give non-married guests a +1 (even if they are in a relationship), but in our circle, its NOT expected, which is why I was shocked his mom would think the single sister gets a date- we are both the first in our immediate family to marry, so I wasn't sure if special consideration is given to siblings.
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    she is not in the wedding party. Actually none of our siblings are

    I can't believe that people think its rude to not give non-married guests a +1 (even if they are in a relationship), but in our circle, its NOT expected, which is why I was shocked his mom would think the single sister gets a date- we are both the first in our immediate family to marry, so I wasn't sure if special consideration is given to siblings.
     FMIL is in the wrong.

    Talk to your guy and see if the neighbor girl has any significance to him. Have they been neighbors for a long time? Did the neighbors water the plants and pick up the mail while the family was on vacation? He might decide that the neighbor girl deserves a genuine invite of her own, just based on past friendship or neighborliness. Let FI decide.
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    By being generous with the guest list, allowing people to bring unnamed dates and SOs unknown to the host, the FMIL feels free to treat the invitations that come to her family as transferable tickets to the event. Daughter does not have a boyfriend? No matter. She can use her "And Guest" ticket to bring the BFF neighbor. If the host is willing to buy a plate of food for an unnamed boyfriend, why not buy a plate of food for an unnamed neighbor friend?

    Actually we are NOT doing this- the only people with dates are known because they are married or engaged to the relative. Our friends who are in a serious relationship are getting a date, but again the person is known to us. the only people without dates are unmarried/ or unengaged family members. Honestly I don't thinks its appropriate to invite a cousin's you only see at wedding's flavor of the (month, week, year) if they are not at least living together or engaged.

    Example- one of his cousin's is getting married in the fall, I was not invited to the wedding or her bridal shower- however now that we are engaged I am invited to both.. sounds horrible, but I never even met her, so I'd rather not even go- what business do I have at a party for someone i never even had a conversation with.
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    she is not in the wedding party. Actually none of our siblings are

    I can't believe that people think its rude to not give non-married guests a +1 (even if they are in a relationship), but in our circle, its NOT expected, which is why I was shocked his mom would think the single sister gets a date- we are both the first in our immediate family to marry, so I wasn't sure if special consideration is given to siblings.
    Really? My SO and I have been together longer than most of our friends who are married or engaged. But our relationship isn't valid enough for you? If you aren't inviting SO you are being rude. It's not your guests fault that you let the guest list get out of control, so don't be rude to them and disregard their relationships.

    You don't have to give your single FSIL a plus one.


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    By being generous with the guest list, allowing people to bring unnamed dates and SOs unknown to the host, the FMIL feels free to treat the invitations that come to her family as transferable tickets to the event. Daughter does not have a boyfriend? No matter. She can use her "And Guest" ticket to bring the BFF neighbor. If the host is willing to buy a plate of food for an unnamed boyfriend, why not buy a plate of food for an unnamed neighbor friend?

    Actually we are NOT doing this- the only people with dates are known because they are married or engaged to the relative. Our friends who are in a serious relationship are getting a date, but again the person is known to us. the only people without dates are unmarried/ or unengaged family members. Honestly I don't thinks its appropriate to invite a cousin's you only see at wedding's flavor of the (month, week, year) if they are not at least living together or engaged.

    Example- one of his cousin's is getting married in the fall, I was not invited to the wedding or her bridal shower- however now that we are engaged I am invited to both.. sounds horrible, but I never even met her, so I'd rather not even go- what business do I have at a party for someone i never even had a conversation with.
    WTF? People don't have "flavor of the year" that's called being in a relationship. And even if the relationship is only a month old it could be serious, you don't know because you aren't in it so you don't get to define it.


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    A person can only have one fiancé(e) at a time, and that is a defined person. Thus, I invite a guest and his/her fiancé(e).

    Not true. Just ask my ex-FI. 
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    A person can only have one fiancé(e) at a time, and that is a defined person. Thus, I invite a guest and his/her fiancé(e).

    Not true. Just ask my ex-FI. 

    So let me guess why he is now your ex-FI.

    Smart girl, you dodged a bullet.
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    When I read this post, all I can think is "two wrongs don't make a right."  It's clear OP is going to do what she wants but if it were me, I wouldn't stoop to their level.  
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    auriannaaurianna member
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    edited July 2013
    Yeah... @BarbLovesDave no one is saying she should invite unnamed plus ones. We are saying she should invite the other halves of couples if anyone is in a relationship. This may involve *gasp* talking to people and finding out if they have a SO. But once she has the name she can put it on the invite (and then people won't bring randoms since there's an actual name on the invite).

    Significant Others are not the same as +1s. You know good and well that no one here thinks random +1s are required to be invited with truly single guests.

    And the examples you sited I think we'll agree with and you know it. People under 18 can be considered in a social unit with their parents and don't need SOs (and actually in your example, if you'd sent out the invite in the two day window they were together, they wouldn't have been together by the wedding, and since his name was specifically on the invite, you don't have to deal with him after all).
    Also plenty of people are fine excluding convicted felons, especially those with known history of theft or violence.

    The examples I think you forgot are how you would not invite a couple together for "just" two months because their relationship doesn't live up to your standard as queen of relationship judging.
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    Totally disagree about the SO for everyone. Within his family, the only people who get invited are spouses and engaged couple. FI has gone to many weddings without me while we were dating and/or living together. Its actually perfectly acceptable within his family. I likewise have been invited to weddings without a date when I was in a relationship, and never thought twice about it. Honestly that's not the issue.

    The issue is with his sister bringing a friend as a date- I don't know if the sister feels entitled because she is a sibling or what, but FI needs to tell her and his mom that she will not be getting a date, unless she is in a relationship.
    Doesn't make it right. It's still rude
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    aurianna said:
    This may involve *gasp* talking to people and finding out if they have a SO. But once she has the name she can put it on the invite (and then people won't bring randoms since there's an actual name on the invite).
    So we are in agreement. That is exactly what I do. I talk to people. I am interested in their lives, not in a nosey butt-in-ski way, but happy to hear any kind of Life news people might want to share. Later, I might say "Are you still with that nice guy I met at Joe's party? How is he doing with his master's thesis?"

    I put an actual name on the invite, not "And Guest".

    aurianna said:
    The examples I think you forgot are how you would not invite a couple together for "just" two months because their relationship doesn't live up to your standard as queen of relationship judging.
    You are talking about hypotheticals, and I keep on thinking of what I have done in actual real life. Let's see. Matt and Mary. Two real people, mid-fourties. They met and were hot and heavy for about a year, then broke up. After the first couple of weeks, I was wondering out loud to anyone who cared to ask when we might hear of an engagement. I really thought they would get married within a couple of months it was that intense. Well, they did break up and I was wrong. They were totally, no doubt, a publically SO couple almost immediately and were treated as such by those who knew them. They are actually friends, now, after a couple of years of "not speaking", which I think is nice.
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    I can't help but think of my friend Ron a man in his mid-70s. He was married 45 years, until his wife died. He loved his wife deeply and is still attending a Grieving support group 9 years later. He is a sort of adopted Grandpa. I take him out for Father's Day since his own two kids are living on the East Coast. He's a nice gentleman. It's all ethical, on the up-and-up.

    Ron has dated many women, even to the SO stage of relationships. None have panned out, possibly because he can't stop talking about his beloved late wife (and she was truly a wonderful woman), but who wants to hear about that on a date?

    In the particular case of Ron, with his never-ending revolving door of girlfriends and SOs, and his never-ending quest for a woman even half as wonderful as his late wife, I would probably make an exception to my usual rule. If planning an event like a wedding, I would privately tell him that he could bring whatever date he likes to the event, just so long as he lets me know "One" or "Two" by the catering deadline.

    But, still, as host I am in charge of the guest list and I get final say.
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    edited July 2013
    heapbrideincentpa said:
    Totally disagree about the SO for everyone. Within his family, the only people who get invited are spouses and engaged couple. FI has gone to many weddings without me while we were dating and/or living together. Its actually perfectly acceptable within his family. I likewise have been invited to weddings without a date when I was in a relationship, and never thought twice about it. Honestly that's not the issue.

    The issue is with his sister bringing a friend as a date- I don't know if the sister feels entitled because she is a sibling or what, but FI needs to tell her and his mom that she will not be getting a date, unless she is in a relationship.
    Doesn't make it right. It's still rude

    No, YOU think its rude based on your culture. However in this culture its obviously an expected norm. They obviously feel weddings are only for family and unless you are married or engaged you are not family. If there was a couple living together I might invite the other person, however FI was the first in his family (yep, out of 30+ first cousins) to ever live with someone prior to marriage, so that is not even an issue.

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    Well, bless your heart.  You do need our help. You can't even tell when someone is being rude to you.

    If this is how his family normally treats each other, that's fine, but it's also rude. Don't be like them. Do your wedding right and invite all significant others.
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    heapbrideincentpa said:
    Totally disagree about the SO for everyone. Within his family, the only people who get invited are spouses and engaged couple. FI has gone to many weddings without me while we were dating and/or living together. Its actually perfectly acceptable within his family. I likewise have been invited to weddings without a date when I was in a relationship, and never thought twice about it. Honestly that's not the issue.

    The issue is with his sister bringing a friend as a date- I don't know if the sister feels entitled because she is a sibling or what, but FI needs to tell her and his mom that she will not be getting a date, unless she is in a relationship.
    Doesn't make it right. It's still rude

    No, YOU think its rude based on your culture. However in this culture its obviously an expected norm. They obviously feel weddings are only for family and unless you are married or engaged you are not family. If there was a couple living together I might invite the other person, however FI was the first in his family (yep, out of 30+ first cousins) to ever live with someone prior to marriage, so that is not even an issue.

    How do you know you are from a different culture than everyone telling you it's rude? His family is not it's own culture.


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    Um, no one here would tell you to invite either of these examples. A 15 year old doesn't need to have their SO invited, they are likely invited with their parents. And no one would tell you to invite a criminal who has physically attacked your relative. But not inviting someone because they don't meet YOUR qualification status isn't cool. One of my BMs was a BM last year for a zilla who didn't allow her to bring her BF (now FI) to the rehearsal dinner bc they weren't engaged yet, and he was the only SO excluded. It nearly ruined their friendship, and posters here generally don't want to see brides ruin their friendships, which is why most advise against being rude.
    This past weekend, FMIL said about the neighbor "girl" (she is in her 20's) going. I mentioned she isn't invited and she said of she will be FI's sister's date!
    If his sister started dating someone, sure she would be allowed to bring him, but I'm not willing to have my parents buy yet another plate for some person I really don't know.  Fi  agrees no dates for siblings, I don't think we are being ridiculous.. are we?

    This is the problem with the "Every SigOther No Questions Asked" policy of including all SOs all the time.

    Here is how I see it. As host, I want to keep control of the guest list. I want to know who is invited, and only invite the people I want to invite. I also want to keep track of the cost, and invite only the numbers my budget will permit.

    A person can only have one spouse at a time, and that spouse is a defined person. Thus, I invite a guest and his/her spouse.

    A person can only have one fiancé(e) at a time, and that is a defined person. Thus, I invite a guest and his/her fiancé(e).

    Married and engaged couples are in permanent relationships. (Permanent until they aren't any more, that is.)

    Next is the broad, general category of "plus one", "and guest" and "significant others".

    Like most people, yes, I would indeed include the SO of a guest where the couple are publically a couple. Yes, I would invite the uncle with a girlfriend of 25 years. Yes I would invite the neighbor living with her boyfriend. Yes, in most cases I would invite the SO. Budget and space permitting, I would contact people that I know to be single and politely ask if they are "seeing anyone" and if so, would that person like to be invited as their date?

    In every case, I would make it my business to get the name of the spouse, the fiancé(e), the boyfriend, the girlfriend and add that person to my guest list. I would tell the original guest that I'm looking forward to meeting someone of importance to them.

    What SOs would I exclude? I can think of a few, examples right out of my real life. Last week a romance between 15-year olds of my acquaintance formed, blossomed and flamed out in a 48-hour time span. Yep, two days. Facebook showed "in a relationship" status for two days, complete with lovey-dovey new two-person-smooching avatars. Two days later, both were FB "single" with new avatars, complete with "You are such a jerk" status updates directed at the former lover. Had I been making a guest list during that exact 48 hours, I think I would have waited on including the very transient SO.

    Another example. I have a female relative who was married, then separated from her husband. While separated, she took up with a married man. They conceived a child. She got a divorce before the baby was born, but to this day the married man is still married and the "baby" is almost ten (10) years old. They have had two more children, but do not live together because he has been residing in prison for meth possession, dealing and causing an automobile accident while intoxicated resulting in great bodily harm. This is his second prison stint, the first for DV after choking my relative trying to make her miscarry. Their then-four year old called 911. He makes no attempt to engage with any of the family, preferring to sulk in a corner playing Angry Birds or texting drug contacts. I have no qualms about leaving him off a guest list. None.

    Back to the OP.

    By being generous with the guest list, allowing people to bring unnamed dates and SOs unknown to the host, the FMIL feels free to treat the invitations that come to her family as transferable tickets to the event. Daughter does not have a boyfriend? No matter. She can use her "And Guest" ticket to bring the BFF neighbor. If the host is willing to buy a plate of food for an unnamed boyfriend, why not buy a plate of food for an unnamed neighbor friend?

    My suggestion: Invite SOs, sure, I do, too. But keep control of the list. Make it your business to find out the SO's name and listen for the invited guest to volunteer info to justify the SO invitation. "We've been living together for three years and have been discussing marriage" vs "I met him yesterday."


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    annathy03 said:
    Um, no one here would tell you to invite either of these examples. A 15 year old doesn't need to have their SO invited, they are likely invited with their parents. And no one would tell you to invite a criminal who has physically attacked your relative. But not inviting someone because they don't meet YOUR qualification status isn't cool. One of my BMs was a BM last year for a zilla who didn't allow her to bring her BF (now FI) to the rehearsal dinner bc they weren't engaged yet, and he was the only SO excluded. It nearly ruined their friendship, and posters here generally don't want to see brides ruin their friendships, which is why most advise against being rude.
    Actually, my own standards for inviting SOs are pretty liberal. I am adamant on inviting same-sex couples who are living life as if they were married, when they live in states that do not permit same-sex marriage. (Here in California, it's been off and on and off and on.)

    I refuse to be bullied into inviting someone I consider objectionable (see examples of 15-year olds in love and the guy in prison). I refuse to turn over control of my guest list to someone who wants to bring a person I would never invite alone, or someone who makes no effort to be a part of the family or someone who makes no effort to communicate their SO-status until there's a party with free booze in the works.

    (And, yes, I'm talking about a poster in another message who had been living for TWO YEARS with an SO, but had apparently not bothered to communicate such info to an aunt, thus she was invited solo to the wedding. OH HOW INSULTING! HOW RUDE! If I were the aunt, all drama could have been avoided by sending Christmas cards to Aunt Barb and Uncle Dave with a photo of the couple wearing silly sweaters, Santa hats and a nice note informing Aunt B and Uncle D that they are now a couple. That couple would have been on my guest list, for sure.)

    Because I'm doing well in life, financially, and because I can afford to throw a party with lots of people and because I can be liberal in my guest list, yes, in most cases I would voluntarily invite an SO. Gladly so. Do it all the time. No problem. I have a pretty good track record of never losing a friendship over an un-invited SO.

    I do recognize, however, there are others for whom budget is a serious constraint and who are carefully considering each and every "seat" at their wedding, or other event. Guests invited to these events should remember that the really hard and fast rule is inviting married/engaged couples (plus same-sex who live together as if married in states where marriage is not allowed).

    SOs are optional.

    I suggest that if a person is highly offended because her SO was not invited to a rehearsal dinner, and if that is enough to rupture a friendship, then perhaps this is a friendship without much of a future. If the bride was a bridezilla, then why be friends with her at all? I've watched the Bridezillas TV show and seriously wonder why anyone at all would want to be friends with any of those awful women. There are Bridesmaid-zillas, too, who are highly insulted if everything doesn't go their way.

    Except the lady in Greenville, MS. I actually liked her.
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    OP, it's rude not to invite all SOs, even if it's common in your circle.  Sure, FI's family won't expect you to invite anyone else, but what about all the other people you're inviting outside that circle?  If you want to go ahead with this, then fine, we can't stop you.  Just be prepared, that some people won't be pleased with you.  But most of them won't tell it to your face.

    To answer your question like PPs have done, there's absolutely no reason your sister should be allowed to bring this neighbor as her "date".  You're not obligated to do this, so stand your ground!

    Back to the whole SO thing.  Think about this.  My cousin and her husband dated for over twenty years before they decided to get married.  They lived together for most of those years, and had made the committment to each other, and that was all that mattered to them.  They eventually decided to just make it legal and they got married in September.  Except for a fancy piece of paper, they're still living the same as before.  Now add this-FI and I got engaged about 9 months into our relationship.  Say my cousin never got married.  By your rules, FI would have been invited with me, but my cousin's SO would have been excluded.  Does that seem at all fair?  No, it doesn't.  It's a huge slap in the face.  It's not your place to judge the validity of someone else's relationship.  Just something to keep in mind.  Good luck to you.

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    Totally disagree about the SO for everyone. Within his family, the only people who get invited are spouses and engaged couple. FI has gone to many weddings without me while we were dating and/or living together. Its actually perfectly acceptable within his family. I likewise have been invited to weddings without a date when I was in a relationship, and never thought twice about it. Honestly that's not the issue.
    Rude. /bangs gavel
    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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    Ugh, in case you missed it, the 15 year old and criminal ARE exceptions. Children don't need to be invited with an SO, and people who have caused physical harm don't need to be invited to anything. Note that it's their age and actions that keep them or their SOs off the list, not their relationship status. And it isn't "liberal" to invite same sex couples as a couple, it's common courtesy, not doing so would be equivalent to not recognizing their relationship as valid, which is what the aunt example in your post did. "Oh, I didn't know you'd been living with each other for two years, which means your relationship isn't valid enough for you to be treated as a social unit. You should really go to the trouble and expense of sending cards announcing it next year". I don't need to go into the full scale of the zilla my friend put up with, but suffice it to say that was the straw that broke the camels back, and frankly I'm surprised she stayed friends with her.
    annathy03 said:
    Um, no one here would tell you to invite either of these examples. A 15 year old doesn't need to have their SO invited, they are likely invited with their parents. And no one would tell you to invite a criminal who has physically attacked your relative. But not inviting someone because they don't meet YOUR qualification status isn't cool. One of my BMs was a BM last year for a zilla who didn't allow her to bring her BF (now FI) to the rehearsal dinner bc they weren't engaged yet, and he was the only SO excluded. It nearly ruined their friendship, and posters here generally don't want to see brides ruin their friendships, which is why most advise against being rude.
    Actually, my own standards for inviting SOs are pretty liberal. I am adamant on inviting same-sex couples who are living life as if they were married, when they live in states that do not permit same-sex marriage. (Here in California, it's been off and on and off and on.)

    I refuse to be bullied into inviting someone I consider objectionable (see examples of 15-year olds in love and the guy in prison). I refuse to turn over control of my guest list to someone who wants to bring a person I would never invite alone, or someone who makes no effort to be a part of the family or someone who makes no effort to communicate their SO-status until there's a party with free booze in the works.

    (And, yes, I'm talking about a poster in another message who had been living for TWO YEARS with an SO, but had apparently not bothered to communicate such info to an aunt, thus she was invited solo to the wedding. OH HOW INSULTING! HOW RUDE! If I were the aunt, all drama could have been avoided by sending Christmas cards to Aunt Barb and Uncle Dave with a photo of the couple wearing silly sweaters, Santa hats and a nice note informing Aunt B and Uncle D that they are now a couple. That couple would have been on my guest list, for sure.)

    Because I'm doing well in life, financially, and because I can afford to throw a party with lots of people and because I can be liberal in my guest list, yes, in most cases I would voluntarily invite an SO. Gladly so. Do it all the time. No problem. I have a pretty good track record of never losing a friendship over an un-invited SO.

    I do recognize, however, there are others for whom budget is a serious constraint and who are carefully considering each and every "seat" at their wedding, or other event. Guests invited to these events should remember that the really hard and fast rule is inviting married/engaged couples (plus same-sex who live together as if married in states where marriage is not allowed).

    SOs are optional.

    I suggest that if a person is highly offended because her SO was not invited to a rehearsal dinner, and if that is enough to rupture a friendship, then perhaps this is a friendship without much of a future. If the bride was a bridezilla, then why be friends with her at all? I've watched the Bridezillas TV show and seriously wonder why anyone at all would want to be friends with any of those awful women. There are Bridesmaid-zillas, too, who are highly insulted if everything doesn't go their way.

    Except the lady in Greenville, MS. I actually liked her.

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    My cousin and her husband dated for over twenty years before they decided to get married.  They lived together for most of those years, and had made the committment to each other, and that was all that mattered to them.  They eventually decided to just make it legal and they got married in September.  Except for a fancy piece of paper, they're still living the same as before.  Now add this-FI and I got engaged about 9 months into our relationship.  Say my cousin never got married.  By your rules, FI would have been invited with me, but my cousin's SO would have been excluded.  Does that seem at all fair?  No, it doesn't.  It's a huge slap in the face.  It's not your place to judge the validity of someone else's relationship.  Just something to keep in mind.  Good luck to you.


    I would have invited the cousin and her SO, for sure, but I have the means to be liberal in my guest lists. Others of limited income might not be able to be so liberal.

    One of the things one learns as one gets older is that Life is not all that fair. There are plenty of unfair things out there, such as certain benefits for those with the fancy piece of paper that people without the fancy piece of paper don't receive. When Cousin and SO were legally two single people, did they voluntarily pay the higher income taxes for married people because of their personal commitment?

    It is a fallacy that the "fancy piece of paper" makes no difference in the relationship. Sure, Cousin and SO got married, and went back to living exactly as they were before. That happens to everyone. You are in love with the person before and after signing the piece of paper.

    The fancy piece of paper makes a HUGE difference when the marriage ends. All marriages end, get used to that. All marriages end by either death or divorce. With the piece of paper, you have the status of wife at the time of the death of a spouse or divorce from that spouse. You have rights, protected by law. Without the piece of paper, you have the rights of a legal total stranger plus whatever you might inherit as a beneficiary of a will or are able to get in a civil lawsuit.

    Which reminds me: Ladies, have you discussed estate planning with your beloved? Do you have a will? Does he? (Living trust in places like Calif?) A woman I know has been married 10 years and just recently discovered her husband's will names his ex-wife as beneficiary. They are now in the process of getting all that fixed.
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    i don't think people read the post correctly - the sister wants to bring a neighborhood girlfriend, not a date. No, you don't need to allow her to bring a friend. It's not a movie outing.
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