Wedding Etiquette Forum


We were intending to invite a couple, that has now broken up. We sent an invite to the one we're closer with, because it was a bad break up and he indicated he would bow out if she was there. 
So after the invite's been sent to him, he's accepted and booked accomodation and flights, we've learnt the girlfriend has already booked accomodation as well. I was a bit mystified because she never received an invite, but my FH indicated she was verbally invited last time they spoke. 

Stuck between a rock and a hard place now. If we invite the girlfriend, it would be a huge betrayal of trust to the friend. But we don't want the girlfriend to lose money if she's already spent it. 

Re: Awkward

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited August 2017
    Who told you she has booked accommodations? Did she actually RSVP? 

    If your fi verbally invited her, then you're stuck. It's time for your fi to have a talk with his friend, let him know he invited her. 

  • A mutual friend who's also attending. They booked accomodation together - the girlfriend and the one who told us. 
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Yikes! Well, I hope your friend is over the initial breakup pain and can deal with it. It would be rude to un-invite her. 
  • It feels like a lose-lose situation. The friend is definitely not over the break up and not likely to be for some time (there was cheating occurring). So we'll have to break his trust to not be rude.  
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You don't owe him not inviting her, even though you indicated you wouldn't. Framing anything as "breaking trust" when you force friends to take sides in a breakup is not fair to the friends (i.e. you). Friends are welcome to take sides, but it's not bad friendship to be civil to both parties, even when there's obviously some bad behavior by one party which led to the breakup. It's still not a betrayal of trust unless you don't tell him.

    Just have your FI (since he's the one who screwed up) talk to him and say that we accidentally invited her, and you understand if he doesn't think he can come now, although you guys would still like to have him there.
  • Do you still have a relationship with the ex? Or did you ONLY talk to her because she was daring a friend?
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I wouldn't feel guilty or do anything to change your arrangements. You invited them as a couple when they were together. It's not your fault they broke up. She had the right to accept the invitation and make the necessary arrangements to come. If he gets his shorts in a knot over it, that's not your problem, it's his. He needs to be a grownup about it. If he doesn't attend or leaves because she shows up, that's not on you, it's on him.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited August 2017
    TBH, l think it's a little strange that the ex gf accepted the invitation. Your fi must have sounded sincere when he extended the invite. I nominate him to fix the situation. She must also feel very comfortable as part of your social group.

    Playing Devil's advocate for a moment - Let's say you want to burn bridges with the ex-gf, even though she hasn't done anything to you. Your fi should call her and explain that he is un-inviting her. He should cover her nonrefundable expenses, since he mislead her. He should expect icy silence or worse. She may have thought you were her friends, aside from her (former) relationship. And there's always that possibility that she and your friend will get back together again, after you've slighted her. There may be fallout from the mutual friend who booked with her. So messy.

    Imagine how you would feel to be told you are no longer invited to an event.


  • If I'm reading this correctly, they broke up BEFORE invitations went out and she never received a formal, written invitation. Only he did.

    OP said she was verbally invited. Was this before or after they broke up?

    Either way, you're in a bad spot. If you still want any kind of relationship with this person rescinding her invitation isn't cool (in fact if she was verbally invited and you want to stay friends I'd probably send her a formal invite now).

    Have a talk with the friend. Tell him you'd already invited her (even if it was accidental). Find out if there's any way he'd be comfortable or have a good time if she was there. If he's willing to be a trooper then do everything you can to cater to him (separate them on seating charts, specifically). If he can't...

    If he can't handle it then you're really going to have to decide what your priorities are and what hills are worth dying on for you.

    Rescinding an issued invitation is never etiquette approved. It's not nice and it can be a friendship ending move. Is it worth losing her friendship to have him at the wedding and avoid hurting him? Will it potentially cause problems with other mutual friends? How much money could she potentially be out (and would you consider potentially reimbursing her?)

    I'd get a read on your closer friend and see if there's any wiggle room before you start down the other road.

    I will say, if the verbal invitation was before the break up I do find it a little odd that she'd book travel and such without having even received the actual invitation unless you are also quite close to her as well.

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