Wedding 911

Bridesmaid without her boyfriend?

staceydeareststaceydearest member
10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
edited October 2014 in Wedding 911
I can't imagine not having my best friend with me on the day of my wedding. 

Unfortunately she is in the middle of a very unstable relationship with her boyfriend. My fiancé and I have tried to be understanding and supportive of their relationship but have ultimately decided that it would be best if he was not invited to our wedding.

Not to sound like a bridezilla, but he acts like a child, and we fear that he won't be able to behave in an emotionally charged atmosphere. 
I fear that we won't be able to have him at any of the associated festivities because he will undoubtably make a scene. 

Just last night we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate our engagement and he attempted to start a fight with the bartender (my co-worker) for being too kind, and a stranger for dancing too close. 

I would really like for her to be a part of my wedding, and I'm worried that she either won't come without him, or that he won't let her come alone.

That being said he also has a history of being physical with her, and I don't want to risk her safety by inviting only her to partake in our wedding. 
I haven't addressed my concerns with her yet, because I'm not sure how or even if I can avoid offending her.

I'm so torn about what to do, and I would appreciate any advice!


Edit: 10-13

It seems that my concern for my friend has been understated in the first posting. I want to clarify that I have no intent to put myself or wedding concerns above her safety, but at this point she has refused any help that I've offered her. While reaching out and trying to support her has been an ongoing process, I'm at the point where she doesn't seem interested in making any moves towards leaving the relationship. 

I would like to extend thanks to the people who have provided links to support sites, I do appreciate it and will look into them.

With that being said the goal of this post was to come up with advice/ideas on how to talk to her about not including him in the wedding, and how to avoid conflict with both her and the SO. 

Re: Bridesmaid without her boyfriend?

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I can't imagine not having my best friend with me on the day of my wedding. 

    Unfortunately she is in the middle of a very unstable relationship with her boyfriend. My fiancé and I have tried to be understanding and supportive of their relationship but have ultimately decided that it would be best if he was not invited to our wedding.

    Not to sound like a bridezilla, but he acts like a child, and we fear that he won't be able to behave in an emotionally charged atmosphere. 
    I fear that we won't be able to have him at any of the associated festivities because he will undoubtably make a scene. 

    Just last night we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate our engagement and he attempted to start a fight with the bartender (my co-worker) for being too kind, and a stranger for dancing too close. 

    I would really like for her to be a part of my wedding, and I'm worried that she either won't come without him, or that he won't let her come alone.

    That being said he also has a history of being physical with her, and I don't want to risk her safety by inviting only her to partake in our wedding. 
    I haven't addressed my concerns with her yet, because I'm not sure how or even if I can avoid offending her.

    I'm so torn about what to do, and I would appreciate any advice!


    If you're concerned for her safety, talk to her gently about the relationship, but leave your wedding out of the conversation.

    Regarding your wedding, if they are a social unit (dating), then you have to extend the invitation to him as well.  

    How far out is your wedding?  
    OliveOilsMom[Deleted User]
  • staceydeareststaceydearest member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2014
  • I can't imagine not having my best friend with me on the day of my wedding. 

    Unfortunately she is in the middle of a very unstable relationship with her boyfriend. My fiancé and I have tried to be understanding and supportive of their relationship but have ultimately decided that it would be best if he was not invited to our wedding.

    Not to sound like a bridezilla, but he acts like a child, and we fear that he won't be able to behave in an emotionally charged atmosphere. 
    I fear that we won't be able to have him at any of the associated festivities because he will undoubtably make a scene. 

    Just last night we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate our engagement and he attempted to start a fight with the bartender (my co-worker) for being too kind, and a stranger for dancing too close. 

    I would really like for her to be a part of my wedding, and I'm worried that she either won't come without him, or that he won't let her come alone.

    That being said he also has a history of being physical with her, and I don't want to risk her safety by inviting only her to partake in our wedding. 
    I haven't addressed my concerns with her yet, because I'm not sure how or even if I can avoid offending her.

    I'm so torn about what to do, and I would appreciate any advice!


    If you're concerned for her safety, talk to her gently about the relationship, but leave your wedding out of the conversation.

    Regarding your wedding, if they are a social unit (dating), then you have to extend the invitation to him as well.  

    How far out is your wedding?  
    Thanks for your response! 

    I understand that it would be rude to exclude him, but I still want to have her there.. In a weird way, I think she would understand where I'm coming from, but I know that he wouldn't tolerate it. 

    We're looking at October 3rd, 2015.. so there is still a chance that they break up before then.. (I know, it's awful, but when you know someone deserves better what else can you do?)

    Even if she is a bridesmaid, and he is invited as a guest, how would we handle the situation about him not being able to attend the bachelorette/bachelor parties or rehearsal dinners?
  • lurkergirllurkergirl ATL member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2014
    I can't imagine not having my best friend with me on the day of my wedding. 

    Unfortunately she is in the middle of a very unstable relationship with her boyfriend. My fiancé and I have tried to be understanding and supportive of their relationship but have ultimately decided that it would be best if he was not invited to our wedding.

    Not to sound like a bridezilla, but he acts like a child, and we fear that he won't be able to behave in an emotionally charged atmosphere. 
    I fear that we won't be able to have him at any of the associated festivities because he will undoubtably make a scene. 

    Just last night we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate our engagement and he attempted to start a fight with the bartender (my co-worker) for being too kind, and a stranger for dancing too close. 

    I would really like for her to be a part of my wedding, and I'm worried that she either won't come without him, or that he won't let her come alone.

    That being said he also has a history of being physical with her, and I don't want to risk her safety by inviting only her to partake in our wedding. 
    I haven't addressed my concerns with her yet, because I'm not sure how or even if I can avoid offending her.

    I'm so torn about what to do, and I would appreciate any advice!


    If you're concerned for her safety, talk to her gently about the relationship, but leave your wedding out of the conversation.

    Regarding your wedding, if they are a social unit (dating), then you have to extend the invitation to him as well.  

    How far out is your wedding?  
    Thanks for your response! 

    I understand that it would be rude to exclude him, but I still want to have her there.. In a weird way, I think she would understand where I'm coming from, but I know that he wouldn't tolerate it. 

    We're looking at October 3rd, 2015.. so there is still a chance that they break up before then.. (I know, it's awful, but when you know someone deserves better what else can you do?)

    Even if she is a bridesmaid, and he is invited as a guest, how would we handle the situation about him not being able to attend the bachelorette/bachelor parties or rehearsal dinners?
    They still need to be invited together as a social unit where applicable.  As long as you bach parties are separate, there is no reason for him to be invited.  If it's a couples' bach party, then he would need to be invited.  He also needs to be included in the rehearsal dinner.

    Now, if you are really concerned for your friend's safety, then that is a much bigger problem than your wedding and its parties.

    You're still a year out.  I would leave it alone.  Unstable people don't tend to have lasting relationships.

    ETA: You could still address your safety concerns with your friend, but you need to leave the wedding aspect out of it and just approach it as a friend. 




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    holyguacamole79OliveOilsMomdoeydo
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with lurker. There is no reason for him to be invited to bachelor / bachelorette parties (unless you have a joint party and invite other couples). Just let things play out and see how things are after the new year.
    lurkergirl
  • I can't imagine not having my best friend with me on the day of my wedding. 

    Unfortunately she is in the middle of a very unstable relationship with her boyfriend. My fiancé and I have tried to be understanding and supportive of their relationship but have ultimately decided that it would be best if he was not invited to our wedding.

    Not to sound like a bridezilla, but he acts like a child, and we fear that he won't be able to behave in an emotionally charged atmosphere. 
    I fear that we won't be able to have him at any of the associated festivities because he will undoubtably make a scene. 

    Just last night we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate our engagement and he attempted to start a fight with the bartender (my co-worker) for being too kind, and a stranger for dancing too close. 

    I would really like for her to be a part of my wedding, and I'm worried that she either won't come without him, or that he won't let her come alone.

    That being said he also has a history of being physical with her, and I don't want to risk her safety by inviting only her to partake in our wedding. 
    I haven't addressed my concerns with her yet, because I'm not sure how or even if I can avoid offending her.

    I'm so torn about what to do, and I would appreciate any advice!


    If you're concerned for her safety, talk to her gently about the relationship, but leave your wedding out of the conversation.

    Regarding your wedding, if they are a social unit (dating), then you have to extend the invitation to him as well.  

    How far out is your wedding?  
    Thanks for your response! 

    I understand that it would be rude to exclude him, but I still want to have her there.. In a weird way, I think she would understand where I'm coming from, but I know that he wouldn't tolerate it. 

    We're looking at October 3rd, 2015.. so there is still a chance that they break up before then.. (I know, it's awful, but when you know someone deserves better what else can you do?)

    Even if she is a bridesmaid, and he is invited as a guest, how would we handle the situation about him not being able to attend the bachelorette/bachelor parties or rehearsal dinners?
    They still need to be invited together as a social unit where applicable.  As long as you bach parties are separate, there is no reason for him to be invited.  If it's a couples' bach party, then he would need to be invited.  He also needs to be included in the rehearsal dinner.

    Now, if you are really concerned for your friend's safety, then that is a much bigger problem than your wedding and its parties.

    You're still a year out.  I would leave it alone.  Unstable people don't tend to have lasting relationships.

    ETA: You could still address your safety concerns with your friend, but you need to leave the wedding aspect out of it and just approach it as a friend. 
    Absolutely, as a friend I have already had the heart to heart about healthy relationships with her. In no way am I putting my planning above her safety in this situation. 

    I'm still new to this and I wasn't sure how quickly I would need to choose my bridesmaids in general, and that is the only time constraint I'm worried about.. 
  • I agree with lurker. There is no reason for him to be invited to bachelor / bachelorette parties (unless you have a joint party and invite other couples). Just let things play out and see how things are after the new year.
    Thank you!
    holyguacamole79
  • About 9 months out is a good time to pick bridesmaids.  Like Sarah said, wait until the new year and see what happens. 




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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    If this dolt is around by the time your wedding rolls around, then let your venue know to be on the look out for him and to have him escorted from the premises if needed.  But PP have great advice and are wise!

    doeydoaleighbaker
  • Hm, I'm not sure I 100% agree with PPs here. If he has a history of physical violence/abuse against you, her or people you know, I think this is one area where you are not obligated to invite an SO.

    If he's just an attention-seeking shit-talker and isn't actually physically violent, then I think you need to roll your eyes and accommodate him. I agree with PPs who suggest having security onsite if he starts causing problems. 
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    themosthappy91staceydearestcdn0292aleighbaker
  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I understand SO's are a social unit, but as far as I'm concerned anyone who can physically harm someone and tell them they love them in the same day, isn't a person.  So as far as wedding etiquette goes, I'd say fuck him, he's not worth the air he breathes much less any kindness from you.

    That said, this can potentially be a very volatile situation, and one of those things that is insanely tough to deal with.  As far as putting your friend in danger, I honestly don't know what to do.  I wish there was a real life batgirl to deal with these pieces of shit. 
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    staceydearestaleighbaker
  • I understand SO's are a social unit, but as far as I'm concerned anyone who can physically harm someone and tell them they love them in the same day, isn't a person.  So as far as wedding etiquette goes, I'd say fuck him, he's not worth the air he breathes much less any kindness from you.

    That said, this can potentially be a very volatile situation, and one of those things that is insanely tough to deal with.  As far as putting your friend in danger, I honestly don't know what to do.  I wish there was a real life batgirl to deal with these pieces of shit. 
    Now this is how I feel about the subject, too.

    She and I have had conversations about the risks she is taking by continuing the relationship, and she knows that I will be ready to support her if she takes the next step. But in no way am I willing to accommodate someone like him in my presence any longer. 

    At this point I know what his reaction would be if he found out that he was going to be excluded.. I'm worried about the risk of stalking/harassment of her, myself, and any of the associated party when it gets closer to the date. 

    One of the PP talked about having security handle the situation at the venue, but I'm not sure how that would play out.. especially if I don't want him around for any of the activities. 

    Things are just a little frustrating at this point, I know it's early yet, but I want to be prepared for the situation when it comes up.
  • I have a fairly unpopular opinion about people who are abusive, thieves, etc. - I am not bringing them to a situation where their proven behavior may likely cause police to be called. Particularly where I have to pay for them. When others break etiquette so bad they break the law, they forgo the right to be pissed at me.

    I think it's great you're trying to find ways to continue to be there for your friend when she is in such a terrible situation with her boyfriend. I lost a friend in a similar situation because I couldn't stand to see what was happening. Friends in these situations usually have to choose to look past the abuse in order to be there for the friend, or realize that in taking a stand they will be losing a friend. There's no right answer or good choice. But you may be losing your friend forever if you don't invite her SO. And in losing her, she might become more cut-off, more dependent on her shitty boyfriend.

    If you decide to invite the boyfriend, make sure your DOC or someone has eyes on him and is aware that he might cause an issue.

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
    staceydearest
  • I agree with MedEn1 I would not invite him to my wedding.

    With any of my friends who I would consider having in my wedding party, I would hope that I can be honest and open with them about my concerns. In this case I would invite her over one day or night alone (girls night out) and have dinner and a movie or something for after we talk about the situation.

    I do not care about social decorum when it deals with someone who is going to be an issue for not only someone else, but me as well. 

    That being said, I would talk to her and explain to her that you want her opinion before you make any decision. Tell her how you feel and how you think the night will go down if he is there, and let her know that you want her opinion and she can sleep on it. Don't push her too fast or she will get defensive of her relationship.

    After a few days you can ask if she thought about it and what she may want to do or how to handle it. Maybe tell her that is she does want him to come, then you expect her to usher him out if he becomes a pain to everyone and starts getting into fights. Giving her that responsibility may make her say he shouldn't come! (Because after a day or so she will just feel like she will have too much to deal with to deal with him).

    If she can not ensure it wont be a problem and still wants him to come, thats when you will have to decide if you really want him there, and if its worth uninviting both of them as a result. 

    As for your friend I hope that she sees that she can do better and finds the help she needs. Maybe allow her to house sit for you ALONE when you go on your honeymoon and time away from the guy may help her realize she doesn't want to be in that relationship.. Its hard to say. 

  • Of course, not putting your planning above your friend's safety is paramount, as you've indicated.

    I agree with PPers RE: breaking "etiquette" rules - while a bridesmaid is an integral part of your wedding and, by tradition, they expect (and oftentimes are expected) to bring a date, in the end this is your wedding. You have the ultimate say in who's invited and who's not. If you feel this guy will be engaging in unsavory behavior at any point during your event, you are not obligated to invite him.

    The more major issue at play here is that you feel - at some level - the act of deliberately excluding him will put your friend's physical or psychological safety at risk. This is a huge red flag. If something as (excuse my adjective) insignificant as an invitation to a wedding is going to set him off to that degree, it's time for her to run - not walk - far away from this guy.

    You previously said you've already had the heart-to-heart, but this statement really sticks in my craw. She needs to get out of this relationship, and fast. I hope she takes your advice to end the relationship and move on.
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited October 2014
    Of course, not putting your planning above your friend's safety is paramount, as you've indicated.

    I agree with PPers RE: breaking "etiquette" rules - while a bridesmaid is an integral part of your wedding and, by tradition, they expect (and oftentimes are expected) to bring a date, in the end this is your wedding. You have the ultimate say in who's invited and who's not. If you feel this guy will be engaging in unsavory behavior at any point during your event, you are not obligated to invite him.

    The more major issue at play here is that you feel - at some level - the act of deliberately excluding him will put your friend's physical or psychological safety at risk. This is a huge red flag. If something as (excuse my adjective) insignificant as an invitation to a wedding is going to set him off to that degree, it's time for her to run - not walk - far away from this guy.

    You previously said you've already had the heart-to-heart, but this statement really sticks in my craw. She needs to get out of this relationship, and fast. I hope she takes your advice to end the relationship and move on.
    What?! No. Get out of here with your terrible advice. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

    SOCIAL UNITS MUST NOT BE SPLIT APART. "It's your wedding" does not, in fact, give someone the ultimate say.

    OP, your friend has a boyfriend problem that's a lot bigger than your wedding. Don't worry about the invitations now. If she chooses to stay with him for the next year, and inviting him doesn't endanger you but not inviting him could endanger her, you should invite him. I hope she gets out so it doesn't come to that.

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    [Deleted User]Viczaesar
  • I know a guy who gets drunk and spews racist remarks--doesn't matter who he's dating--he's not invited. Generally, splitting up a couple is bad, but there are some actions so egregious that it negates any obligation to invite them.

    I assume that much of your concern is for your friend's safety and I don't have much great advice for that other than to try your best to ensure everyone's safety, but don't feel bad for a breech of etiquette for that scum. I think anyone who would still say you have to invite both based on etiquette is truly crazy.
  • mbl15 said:
    I know a guy who gets drunk and spews racist remarks--doesn't matter who he's dating--he's not invited. Generally, splitting up a couple is bad, but there are some actions so egregious that it negates any obligation to invite them.

    I assume that much of your concern is for your friend's safety and I don't have much great advice for that other than to try your best to ensure everyone's safety, but don't feel bad for a breech of etiquette for that scum. I think anyone who would still say you have to invite both based on etiquette is truly crazy.
    Correct.  You don't have to invite him.  But then you also don't invite his Significant Other.  If your best friend or sister starts dating this douche, you can't invite them.  Because the result of dating assholes is that you don't get invited to places where nice people hang out.

  • adk19 said:
    mbl15 said:
    I know a guy who gets drunk and spews racist remarks--doesn't matter who he's dating--he's not invited. Generally, splitting up a couple is bad, but there are some actions so egregious that it negates any obligation to invite them.

    I assume that much of your concern is for your friend's safety and I don't have much great advice for that other than to try your best to ensure everyone's safety, but don't feel bad for a breech of etiquette for that scum. I think anyone who would still say you have to invite both based on etiquette is truly crazy.
    Correct.  You don't have to invite him.  But then you also don't invite his Significant Other.  If your best friend or sister starts dating this douche, you can't invite them.  Because the result of dating assholes is that you don't get invited to places where nice people hang out.
    So you're saying the options would hypothetically be invite your sister/best friend and Mr. Crazy Pants, or don't invite either? I would never do that. I would discuss with sister/friend/whoever why Crazy Pants can't come but let my loved one know I still want them there. It seems to be the most logical thing to do.
  • mbl15 said:

    adk19 said:
    mbl15 said:
    I know a guy who gets drunk and spews racist remarks--doesn't matter who he's dating--he's not invited. Generally, splitting up a couple is bad, but there are some actions so egregious that it negates any obligation to invite them.

    I assume that much of your concern is for your friend's safety and I don't have much great advice for that other than to try your best to ensure everyone's safety, but don't feel bad for a breech of etiquette for that scum. I think anyone who would still say you have to invite both based on etiquette is truly crazy.
    Correct.  You don't have to invite him.  But then you also don't invite his Significant Other.  If your best friend or sister starts dating this douche, you can't invite them.  Because the result of dating assholes is that you don't get invited to places where nice people hang out.
    So you're saying the options would hypothetically be invite your sister/best friend and Mr. Crazy Pants, or don't invite either? I would never do that. I would discuss with sister/friend/whoever why Crazy Pants can't come but let my loved one know I still want them there. It seems to be the most logical thing to do.
    Yes.  That is what I'm saying.  My mom's best friend is married to a racist and homophobic asshole.  My mom's best friend and her asshole husband will NOT be invited to my wedding because I don't subject people I love to homophobic douchebags.  My sister or best friend would never date or marry a racist or homophobic asshole.  But, on the off chance that my sister lost her mind and starting dating a douche, I would have serious conversations with her about how good people don't hang out with douchebags.  And if she continued to date him, and if I continued to hate him so much that I just couldn't have him in my presence, yes, I would refuse to invite my sister to my wedding.  OR, I would invite them both and just deal with the fact that my sister has terrible taste in men.  But I would never invite my sister and tell her that she can't bring her boyfriend.  I think that's more rude than just leaving them both off the guest list.
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