Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Asked to invite school friend...

I'm struggling with an etiquette situation. 
I went to school outside the USA, but have quite a few former schoolmates living in the USA right now. I tried to get as many of them as possible to come to my wedding, but had to make some cuts as my numbers are already out of control. Weddings are generally the only opportunity we get to see each other in large groups. I have other people coming for the wedding from outside the USA as well. 
I invited someone "Andrew" and his wife, we are in fairly regular contact. I was unable to invite "Abe". I thought about it, but I couldn't swing it with the budget. We haven't spoken in a few years, but are on generally friendly terms. I had already heard from another friend that "Abe" had mentioned he really wanted to come and hoped he got an invitation.
Andrew called and said he would be able to come, but his wife couldn't make it. He specifically asked if I could invite Abe in her place instead? 
The thing is, I now have room for Abe, and I'd love him to come, but I can't afford to host his wife and he needs to come alone. I don't think he would mind, since he's been asking. 
How bad of an etiquette breach is this? 

Re: Asked to invite school friend...

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    It would be against etiquette to send Abe an invitation and not include his wife. I think it would be OK to tell Andrew that if he may bring a plus one, since his wife can't make it. Then he could bring Abe as his plus one. Guests aren't to assume their significant other's invitation is transferable, but I believe that you could tell him that he may bring someone else, if he'd like to.
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    Don't do it. I mean, I guess if Andrew brings Abe as his date, but you invited his wife by name, correct? It's kind of like B-listing and that's rude. 
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    There are two etiquette issues here:

    1) Technically, you are B-listing Abe. B-listing is an etiquette no-no.
    2) If you invite Abe, you cannot invite him without his wife. Not including SOs is also an etiquette no-no.

    Have you talked to Abe personally or are you getting this information second-hand? It's always tempting to try to invite as many people as possible. Personally, I would stick with my original guest list and save the money I had set aside to host Andrew's wife versus B-listing and allocating elsewhere. If your budget is already stretched thin, let this one go.
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    I think it's fine if you tell Andrew he can bring whoever he wants as his plus one if his wife cannot make it.  I think it's generally nice to tell people that they can substitute another guest for their invited SO, since you've already budgeted for it, especially if they're traveling (although this is not required, invitations are not transferable).  

    That way you are not inviting Abe directly, so you do not need to invite his wife.  I could see how Abe could find this insulting, but I'm going to guess that he kind of knows he's not invited right now and would be happy to come with Andrew for a friend reunion.  Is that right?
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    This happened with me. My then BF went to a wedding as the date of his friend that was invited with a +1. I was offended at first, but then realized that my BF didn't actually get an invite, so it was fine with me.

    But, I agree with what PPs said about this being a breach.

     Wedding Countdown Ticker

     

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    But is OP really B-listing? I think that's a little bit of a gray area. She INVITED Andrew's wife, not Abe. If Andrew's wife can't go and he asks to bring someone else so he doesn't have to travel alone, is that really an etiquette breach? 

    Just to be clear, this is only if the invitation to Abe comes from Andrew, not OP. 
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    Can she just tell Andrew straight? "Since your wife can't attend, feel free to bring someone else! If that is Abe, great! Unfortunately I can't invite him on his own since I can't accommodation his whole family."

    I might be way off base, but if a friend said this to me, I wouldn't be mad. 
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    I'm with the PPs who say to tell Andrew he can bring a friend since his wife can't make it. I don't think that's b-listing since OP isn't sending Abe an invite. One of my grad school friends brought a less-close friend of mine as her plus one and it worked totally fine.
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    I think it sounds like a great idea. You aren't b-listing Abe since you're not inviting him.
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    Can she just tell Andrew straight? "Since your wife can't attend, feel free to bring someone else! If that is Abe, great! Unfortunately I can't invite him on his own since I can't accommodation his whole family."

    I might be way off base, but if a friend said this to me, I wouldn't be mad. 
    This. Andrew is breaching etiquette, not the OP. I think it would be generous of the OP to accommodate the request to transfer the plus one to Abe. Most people prefer to travel with a companion, especially overseas.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

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    Thanks for all your responses. I told Andrew he could invite Abe in his wife's place. Abe sent me a text saying he was so happy to be coming. 
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    @ JessicaBessica
    Yes, Abe knew he wasn't invited- we haven't spoken in a couple of years. It was more like he was hoping he could be fit in somehow.
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