Etiquette

A nice way to not invite an SO?

JBee85JBee85
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edited September 2014 in Etiquette
I was browsing on Reddit's wedding planning board and came across this topic.

A lot of people were saying that it's ok to not invite someone's +1 just because you don't like the person because "its your day." A few people were telling the bride that she was disrespectful. One person said just use the venue's capacity as an excuse to not invite the whole couple. What is the Knot's take on this? Is there really a nice way to tell a friend they couldn't invite an SO? The last wedding I went to, the bride did the same thing. I am really confused, haven't done it myself though, but am wondering if this is ok or not. Thanks!

Re: A nice way to not invite an SO?

  • Yikes! The comments on that.

    No, there is no polite way to not invite someone's significant other. Have you read the posts about the most miserable weddings people have been to? A lot of those involve their SOs not being invited. 

    If you know that someone is in a relationship, you should invite their significant other, whether they've been dating for a month or a year. If you're not sure whether or not somebody has one, it's best to ask.

    This said, single guests do not need to get a "plus one," though it is a nice gesture if they're coming in from out of town, do not know anyone and if you can accommodate them.

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    JBee85 said:
    I was browsing on Reddit's wedding planning board and came across this topic.

    A lot of people were saying that it's ok to not invite someone's +1 just because you don't like the person because "its your day." A few people were telling the bride that she was disrespectful. One person said just use the venue's capacity as an excuse to not invite the whole couple. What is the Knot's take on this? Is there really a nice way to tell a friend they couldn't invite an SO? The last wedding I went to, the bride did the same thing. I am really confused, haven't done it myself though, but am wondering if this is ok or not. Thanks!

    There is no nice or appropriate way to do this. It's downright rude.m



    Anniversary
  • Oh and another point: an SO is not a +1. The former is one half of a relationship unit, the other is a date/friend/mom/whatever. You do have to invite an SO, you do not have to invite a +1 (although it's nice to if you can)
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    edited September 2014
    Some people are "okay" with their SO not being invited, but I am not one of them.  

    I get not everyone can be invited, I get you (general you)  have to make cuts.  I would rather not be invited than be invited without my SO.   I can still be happy and support your wedding without being invited.  I would have a harder time forgiving you if you didn't invite my SO.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    RebeccaB88[Deleted User]luckysnorkel
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz
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    Not inviting an SO is beyond shitty.

    When Fi and I had been dating around three years (we were in college) he was invited without me to his cousin's wedding.  Then FMIL asked if FSIL could borrow my favorite dress to wear to the wedding.  I was crushed.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • No nice way to do it. No excuse of "venue capacity" or "budget" makes it better. Cut ME from the guest list too, if that's the case. I typically don't attend social events without my SO because we are a couple and we do things together. IDGAF what anyone has to say about that. If you disagree with that, cool, all the more reason to cut me from your guest list.
    JBee85lurkergirl[Deleted User]ejpentecost
  • Not inviting an SO is beyond shitty.

    When Fi and I had been dating around three years (we were in college) he was invited without me to his cousin's wedding.  Then FMIL asked if FSIL could borrow my favorite dress to wear to the wedding.  I was crushed.
    I had the same experience, only I was the one invited without my then-boyfriend, now-fi. I didn't mind so much because I don't see my cousin very often and I don't honestly think they knew I was dating someone seriously. Also the wedding was across the country so he wouldn't have traveled for it in any case. 

    I am not saying it is okay or that I would do it or that anyone should do it. I just didn't mind in this one case, and I think the fact that we had similar experiences and reacted differently is the reason we have etiquette 'rules' that don't depend on region or circle or family or "how it's done" in the first place. 

    I would definitely mind if I knew the reason was not just simple ignorance but rather that the person CHOSE not to invite my SO because they didn't like him/her. That's so much worse in my mind. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    It's very rude to not invite an SO.
  • ...doesn't exist because it's not nice.




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  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta
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    edited September 2014
    My personal favorite way that this has been said is: "We're throwing a black tie event for 250 of our closest friends and family, but after we paid for the swanky venue, the 10-piece band, the build-your-own macaroni station, and the top shelf open bar, we just couldn't afford to host everyone's SO. Besides, you weren't even engaged yet when we sent out the invitations. You understand, right?" - FI's fraternity brother

    All night at that wedding people were asking FI where I was, and he had to tell them that I wasn't invited (with the unspoken implication that the host was rude).

    Okay done ranting now. So yeah, there is no nice way to say it. Even in the (very rare) circumstance where it's permissible to exclude someone's SO because they would endanger the well-being of other guests, telling someone their SO isn't invited is likely to damage the relationship.

    ETA: missing words.
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    lurkergirlperdonami
  • I will say that I will be inviting half of a couple. Yes, that's right - I'm inviting half of a couple.

    FI's aunt's husband and son were going through FI's grandfather's house on the day of grandfather's funeral, stealing medicine and anything from WWII and moving it out to the car. When confronted, they were totally open about it - we're taking things to sell. He's dead, what does he care?

    Those fuckers are so not invited. But aunt had no idea about it, and while it has been made very clear that aunt's husband and son are so very cut out from the family, we want to make sure aunt knows that she is loved and missed.

    I am falling in love with etiquette as we plan our wedding, but if other people break etiquette (like stealing stuff at a funeral) you can be damn sure my need to be polite to them has evaporated.

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    chibiyuibiggrouch
  • Here's my new rule of thumb:

    If people are using "It's my day" to justify behavior, it means their behavior is rude as #$*@.  "It's my day" = "I can't think of any legitimate, justifiable reason for my behavior, but I'm too selfish to care" when it comes to wedding excuses.

    So, no, there is no nice way to say it because doing it at all is just unbelievably rude. 

    grumbledoreluckysnorkel
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta
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    MegEn1 said:
    I will say that I will be inviting half of a couple. Yes, that's right - I'm inviting half of a couple.

    FI's aunt's husband and son were going through FI's grandfather's house on the day of grandfather's funeral, stealing medicine and anything from WWII and moving it out to the car. When confronted, they were totally open about it - we're taking things to sell. He's dead, what does he care?

    Those fuckers are so not invited. But aunt had no idea about it, and while it has been made very clear that aunt's husband and son are so very cut out from the family, we want to make sure aunt knows that she is loved and missed.

    I am falling in love with etiquette as we plan our wedding, but if other people break etiquette (like stealing stuff at a funeral) you can be damn sure my need to be polite to them has evaporated.
    Honestly, I think this is reasonable. I wouldn't want to have someone known to steal at an event where my guests' purses, gifts, etc. may be left unattended. Just be prepared for your FI's aunt to have hurt feelings about it, even if you're being reasonable.
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    biggrouch
  • That's interesting. I like Reddit, but posters there should probably stick to what they know and leave wedding etiquette to reputable etiquette sources. 

    The reason people have a hard time coming up with a "polite" way to do this is because there isn't one. No matter how you slice it, it's asking someone to celebrate your relationship while telling them their's isn't important. Of course there's no polite way to do that!

    It should be noted that there's a distinct difference between a "plus one" and inviting an SO. "Plus ones" are for truly single guests who do not consider themselves in a relationship. Extending "plus ones" is optional.
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    grumbledore
  • The only time it's okay not to invite someone's SO is if they have threatened or done harm to any of your other guests. Otherwise, it's rude. I don't understand people who think that disliking someone's SO is reason enough not to invite them - you're probably barely going to spend any time with the person that day anyway, so deal with it!
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  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
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    If you enclose a cutesy poem with their invitation, no one will be mad!

    We surely hope you are free
    To celebrate my new hubby and me!
    We'll fill you with food and wine
    I promise, it will be a really good time!
    Just don't bring your SO...

    Because I'm a Bridezilla and don't actually care if you have a good time or not.

    Oh wait, no, there really isn't a polite way to tell your nearest and dearest to spend time and money to celebrate YOUR relationship while at the same time telling them that their relationships are not important to you.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • I hate people using the "its my day" thing to justify being rude to other people.
    penguin44TeddiD34
  • blabla89 said:
    MegEn1 said:
    I will say that I will be inviting half of a couple. Yes, that's right - I'm inviting half of a couple.

    FI's aunt's husband and son were going through FI's grandfather's house on the day of grandfather's funeral, stealing medicine and anything from WWII and moving it out to the car. When confronted, they were totally open about it - we're taking things to sell. He's dead, what does he care?

    Those fuckers are so not invited. But aunt had no idea about it, and while it has been made very clear that aunt's husband and son are so very cut out from the family, we want to make sure aunt knows that she is loved and missed.

    I am falling in love with etiquette as we plan our wedding, but if other people break etiquette (like stealing stuff at a funeral) you can be damn sure my need to be polite to them has evaporated.
    Honestly, I think this is reasonable. I wouldn't want to have someone known to steal at an event where my guests' purses, gifts, etc. may be left unattended. Just be prepared for your FI's aunt to have hurt feelings about it, even if you're being reasonable.
    Honestly we doubt she'll come, as FI's father wrote a SCATHING letter to aunt and aunt's husband about it after the fact and CC-ed every cousin and relative involved. Aunt and her shitty hubby haven't contacted anyone in the family since.

    But we want to make sure that she knows that she doesn't have to be alienated from the family because of her husband and son's horribleness. Maybe she doesn't come or doesn't respond. Maybe she throws the invite away. Or maybe she keeps it, finds it 10 years later after being estranged from the family for ages and decides "I'm going to pick up the phone and give them a call." If that's all that happens from it, great. We just want her to know the door is open ... for her.

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    perdonami
  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee
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    This has happened to me 3 times in the past few years of friends getting married.  FI has not been invited to 2 weddings that I was invited to, and I was not invited to 1 that he was invited to.  Neither of us went to those weddings.  We felt extremely disrespected, and found out on all occasions, it was because of a budget issue.  HAVE A WEDDING THAT YOU CAN AFFORD!! all I'm going to say about that.
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    grumbledore[Deleted User]
  • My favorite is when the bridge/groom has an "SO rule"...that they don't even meet.  For example, they only invite SO's of at least one year...when they themselves are getting married after 10 months of dating, lol.
    Or only people who are married, when they don't start the day out married themselves... or "only SOs that we've both met" - if we followed that rule for all of our guests we would have been down about 100 people, including family. "Sorry Aunt D, but since you live across the country and haven't met FI yet, no invite for you." 

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  • Not inviting an SO is beyond shitty.

    When Fi and I had been dating around three years (we were in college) he was invited without me to his cousin's wedding.  Then FMIL asked if FSIL could borrow my favorite dress to wear to the wedding.  I was crushed.
    That is beyond awful. I would be crushed too. 
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