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Wedding my Mom is Attending, Ettiquette Question

My mom was invited to her cousin's daughter's wedding. Originally, she was invited by herself, without my dad. She politely turned it down and received a call a few days later from her cousin letting her know that they adjusted some numbers and would love it if she and my dad could come together. She accepted. A little while later, my parents became separated and now my mom is wondering if she should ask to bring one of her daughters to fill the ticket that she already bought for the flight. She would hate to waste it. I told her that I did not think it was polite to ask if she could bring me or my sister instead. But, she argues that she
1. already bought two plane tickets, no refunds
2. paid for a hotel room, can't change because of a large fee to change rooms or cancel because she will be given another large fee

I told her that I could possibly get the time off work, and then I would stay at the hotel room while she went to the wedding and she began to cry because she did not want to go to the wedding herself. I understand, I mean... She is really depressed and this is a cousin that my mom talks to on almost a daily basis, so she does not want to just skip it, plus everything is already paid for.

I don't know, I think It would be rude for her to ask. But, I am honestly surprised that they have not offered to let her bring someone else in my dad's place since the entire family knows what happened.

Any advice I can pass onto my mom?

Thanks!

Re: Wedding my Mom is Attending, Ettiquette Question

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    Given the circumstances, I'm surprised no one else in the family called to make the offer, either. I think it wouldn't be out of line to ask if she could bring you or your sister, but since they didn't invite her with her husband-at-the-time in the first place, I wouldn't be surprised if they turned her request down.
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    I'm also surprised that they did not already extend her the courtesy of inviting someone else to take your father's place. I know that I would not want to have any of my guests be alone at a wedding because of something like this (I extended the opportunity to one of my friends whose husband was originally scheduled to deploy that she could bring her mom, sister, etc. with her if she wanted - luckily, his deployment was cancelled!).

    I would advise her to reach out to her cousin, but to not get her hopes up too much. I also think that what OP suggested about going on the flight, staying at the hotel, but not attending the wedding is also a good option. I know it's not ideal for OP's mom, since she doesn't want to attend the wedding alone, but she could always leave the reception early if she's feeling upset, overwhelmed, etc. and then she will have someone to spend time with back at the hotel (or out for drinks, or whatever works for them).
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    If the invite was for her and her husband, then wouldn't that mean she has two seats reserved? I would assume that means she can bring another guest. But I would definitely ask first.
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    My mom was invited to her cousin's daughter's wedding. Originally, she was invited by herself, without my dad. She politely turned it down and received a call a few days later from her cousin letting her know that they adjusted some numbers and would love it if she and my dad could come together. She accepted. A little while later, my parents became separated and now my mom is wondering if she should ask to bring one of her daughters to fill the ticket that she already bought for the flight. She would hate to waste it. I told her that I did not think it was polite to ask if she could bring me or my sister instead. But, she argues that she
    1. already bought two plane tickets, no refunds
    2. paid for a hotel room, can't change because of a large fee to change rooms or cancel because she will be given another large fee

    I told her that I could possibly get the time off work, and then I would stay at the hotel room while she went to the wedding and she began to cry because she did not want to go to the wedding herself. I understand, I mean... She is really depressed and this is a cousin that my mom talks to on almost a daily basis, so she does not want to just skip it, plus everything is already paid for.

    I don't know, I think It would be rude for her to ask. But, I am honestly surprised that they have not offered to let her bring someone else in my dad's place since the entire family knows what happened.

    Any advice I can pass onto my mom?

    Thanks!
    Honestly, this entire invitation is an etiquette debacle.  Why in the world would the original invitation not include your dad??  Your mom did the right thing to decline the original invitation.  Then, seemingly because they realized the breach made, your cousins re-issued the invitation properly.  This current situation also creates an etiquette nightmare.  I personally think it's rude to ask the host for guest changes.  However, a two person invitation is a two person invitation.  

    This sounds like someone your mom is very close to if she speaks with her on a daily basis.  My guess is that her cousin would probably call and suggest this scenario, but it is probably so close to the wedding that she has her hands full with other issues.  Are they still speaking on a daily basis?  I think if this were me, I would hope that my relationship with my cousin would come first, and along with that, compassion and understanding.  I would call.  "Cousin, you are busy and I don't mean to burden you or add stress to your planning.  I am excited to share this day with you.  With the recent changes in my personal life, I hope you will understand and not object if I bring daughter along with me."

    However, here is another dicey plot twist..........your folks are separated.  However, the invitation was extended to your mom and dad.  For your mom to bring someone in his place would require you to know for certain that your dad would not be attending.  Is there a chance he would? Stranger things have happened....
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    psychbabe314psychbabe314 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited August 2013
    @mobkaz yes, there is a chance my parents get back together. The wedding is not for ~1 1/2 more months. This is not the first time it has happened, but usually it lasts for 4-6 months before they get back together. My parents have had a very rocky relationship for the past 3 years. Also, this is my mom's cousin's daughter's wedding. So, I do not think she was doing much of the planning, just assisting from what I understood and helping her daughter with reaching out to my mom's side of the family.

    I should also add that this time with my dad leaving is a little different. We have no clue where he is. He has been gone for ~3 weeks and has not answered his phone. He is doing his work off site and emailing it in, so we at least know he is alive... I know I sound apathetic towards the situation, because I sort of am. But, I have had to deal with this for a long time so you get use to it.

    Edited: Additional Information
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    auriannaaurianna member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited August 2013
    If the invite was for her and her husband, then wouldn't that mean she has two seats reserved? I would assume that means she can bring another guest. But I would definitely ask first.
    This is something in general a guest should never assume; invites aren't transferable unless they are a generic "and guest" to begin with. A bride and groom might be willing to spend the extra money to host a guest's significant other but I wouldn't blame them for not wanting to pay to host a random +1 in the event the original invitee couldn't make it (not that OP is random. I mean in general).
    At my wedding, after RSVPs were in but right before the final headcount was due, my friend told (not asked) me that her husband (who'd been invited by name) could no longer make it, so her friend was coming instead. This really annoyed me because she wasn't traveling, knew other people at the wedding and I had no idea who this random girl was that I'd be paying over $100 to feed (though I didn't want to embarrass my friend so I just smiled, asked her friend's name and went with it). So in general it's not good as a guest to just assume you can give an invite specifically addressed to someone to whatever sub you want (especially if the headcount is still fluid); it's not really respectful to the couple. But that's just an in-general point for lurkers' sake.

    However...

    In this case... considering they already had the head count accounted for, and considering your mother has to travel, and considering the plane ticket is paid for, and considering the sad circumstances, and considering that your mother is close to her cousin, I would personally never judge your mother if she asked to bring you or your sister.

    But what bothers me, is if they didn't invite SOs to begin with... I'm not sure how it will go when she asks. Is there the possibility that there were other people they were rude to and did not invite SOs with? This might make the hosts feel more awkward about granting the request of letting her bring a non-SO guest (though, that's their own fault).
    Do they already know/assume your father won't be at the wedding?

    Also... when is the wedding? And how far in advance did they send the invites??? For them to send them, your mother to decline, them to call and revise the invite, your mother to accept, your parents to separate (sorry), and your still having time to dwell on what to do, it makes me feel like they had to have sent them out pretty early. Any chance they are B-listing? That's yet something else that might make things difficult; if they figured your dad wasn't coming and already offered his spot to someone else. But that's all just crazy conspiracy theory.
    ETA: Still 1.5 months out. Check.

    Ok, normally I'd say, if the RSVP date has already passed (aka they might be assuming the headcount anyway) and/or it's super important that your mother still go the wedding, and she just can not handle going alone, personally I'd ignore the little etiquette bells going off in my head and tell her to ask her cousin (but tell her to keep in mind it could create an awkward situation). (disclaimer: my personal opinion; not really etiquette-stamp-approved). But as their not inviting your dad to begin with gives me worry that that conversation might not end well, one of the following scenarios would probably be better:

    1. If it isn't at the RSVP date yet, is it possible that your mother calls and politely declines, sends a nice gift, and then you and she use the tickets to have a girls' weekend out of town with one of her daughters?

    2. Another possibility for if she doesn't ask, or if she asks and they say no, is you travel with her, go to the ceremony with her (assuming it's in a public place), she goes to the reception herself for dinner and then leaves early and you guys go get drinks / see a movie / whatever you might do together after.

    I wish there were a way you could feel-out what the cousins' response might be ahead of time. Normally in special circumstances like these I'd say ask... but other things about this are making me worry it could turn into a really awkward situation.

    If you think there's a chance the cousin would say no, it's possible a hurtful situation could make your mother feel even worse. That's my concern here, moreso than the etiquette breech which I think would be forgivable in this case.


    ETA:
    Firstly, wow I type too much.
    Secondly, I'd definitely wait a little to deal with this. Wait until closer to when their final headcount is due or the date the plane ticket must be transferred by, as a lot could happen with your parents in a months' time.
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    Well, if the hosts didn't invite your mother the second time around with a plus one, I think she needs to accept that if she attends the wedding, she'll have to do so alone.  Her not being happy about that is understandable, but it doesn't constitute an exception to the rule of etiquette that invitations are not transferable.

    The fact that she bought two extra plane tickets, has two places reserved, etc., does not permit her to transfer what is no longer a plus-one invitation to someone the hosts didn't invite themselves or indicate she could choose for herself.  It's not okay for her to assume that just because she was previously invited with your father, she can bring someone else along in his place.
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    This is the E board so I can't recommend your mom stoop to the level of your relatives' disregard for others. That said, if your mom would be more comfortable attending with a daughter, under the sad circumstances, I'd think she could politely ask if you could accompany her.
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    You have to pay to get the ticket name changed anyway do I don't know if that's a valid excuse that the plane is already paid for..
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
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    I would definitely not assume that someone could take his place.  Generally, invites are non-transferrable, and it sounds like they might be on a tight budget (from their initial faux pas).  If she really doesn't want to go, maybe you guys could go to the destination together, she can go to the ceremony when it's time and then you guys can have a fun night together.  I would wait until as late as possible in case they extend an offer, and suggest this as a potential alternative.  But I really don't think you should ask.
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    This is the E board so I can't recommend your mom stoop to the level of your relatives' disregard for others. That said, if your mom would be more comfortable attending with a daughter, under the sad circumstances, I'd think she could politely ask if you could accompany her.
    I'm in this camp, too. 
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    This is the E board so I can't recommend your mom stoop to the level of your relatives' disregard for others. That said, if your mom would be more comfortable attending with a daughter, under the sad circumstances, I'd think she could politely ask if you could accompany her.
    I'm in this camp, too. 
    Me too!  I feel like if somebody from my wedding had this happen, I would have no problem with them bringing another family member with them.
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    I think she absolutely should contact the bride, explain the situation, and make the request.

    I think it would be rude to come without asking first.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
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    Thanks for all of the reply's! I told my mom to wait and ask a little closer to the wedding date that way we are absolutely sure that my dad is not going (she insists she is completely done with him but...)
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