AIBU to think it's hideously rude... (weddings!)

(64 Posts)
fenix Tue 06-Aug-13 11:26:47

... to invite someone to celebrate your public declaration of love, whilst not inviting that person's own parter?

I understand not inviting someone's casual date, or a partner if there is a history of deeply unpleasant behaviour. Nor should this imply that couples should be joined at the hip - it's perfectly reasonable to invite just one person to a birthday party or random celebration.

My gripe is with people who find nothing selfish or hypocritical about inviting close friends/family to honour their partnership, without showing any reciprocal courtesy or respect for their guests' own unions.

I honestly can't see any reasonable explanation for it aside from selfishness - budgets, venues and catering arguments seem to be hollow excuses. Surely the reasonable thing is for the guest list to dictate the venue and elaborateness of the day, rather than the other way around? Hell, even being selfish is fine if you own it and acknowledge that you wanted a certain type of wedding, and guests were a secondary part of that!

raisah Tue 06-Aug-13 19:21:20

It's not ideal but sometimes budgets, venues & other factors dictate the guest list. I come from a community where the whole family is invited & it's an alien concept to have a child free wedding. It is also regarded as highly rude to have a two tier guest list & to not feed your guests properly. People are prepared to forgo on the £3k car hire etc to ensure that they are hospitable & nobody is left out. The guest lists can be massive, think 500+ but everybody is made to feel welcome.

When we got married we wanted the wedding to be local to my home, but not a church wedding. Home is fairly rural, and the choice of venues with dates available that summer was limited (several close family members are teachers and couldn't have time off on weekdays except in the school holidays), so dates were restricted. We didn't want to make everyone have to travel miles and we didn't want to wait another year. So, the guest numbers had to be tailored to fit the venue, not choosing a venue to fit the guest list. As it happens we didn't invite anyone without their partner, but I don't think it is as easy as some make it sounds to just keep adding more and more people.

I have been bored stiff at quite a few weddings as a +1 where I didn't know anyone (with boyfriends who weren't particularly serious relationships), I think those people would have been perfectly justified in not asking me, it would have been fine, but I am appreciative of the fact that they did so, nonetheless. If DH was invited to a wedding without me now I wouldn't mind either, all it says to me is that numbers are limited and he is the priority guest.

It just seems to be that couple marrying can't keep everyone happy, it is always going to be a compromise and if you don't like it, don't go. Of if you haven't been invited, then it's just a non-issue.

Sleepthief Tue 06-Aug-13 18:13:57

Eccentrica - of course I don't expect everyone to be happy with my all decisions, but I do take great offence at being harangued and abused by letter for some thing that was, after all, MY decision to make. Especially by someone who wasn't planning to come anyway... Anyway, the only consequence is that my immediate family and I think she's a complete harridan.

You don't have to like the decisions of others, but you DO have to live with them.

HaughtyCulturist Tue 06-Aug-13 17:59:33

I got married recently and invited a bunch of workmates without their partners. I also invited a couple of friends who are former workmates without their partners, as the partners are not part of the social group in which I know the friends, and I had only met the partners once. I would like to have invited everyone but could not have done so in that venue as we were up to capacity, and it would have meant increasing our guest list by a quarter, which was a significant sum of money. Our wedding was all about the party, with very few frills or fripperies, so we were hardly prioritising this over our friends. Given that all bar a couple of people who had other engagements accepted the invite, it didn't seem to cause any offence.

The only bit of offence we may have caused is my nephew's partner. As I had not spoken to, let alone seen my nephew for over 8 years, and didn't even know he had a girlfriend, tbh I am not that worried about not inviting her, even though I invited my niece's partner whom I have met several times. I only found out that he had a girlfriend when about a week before the wedding she passed a message through a closer relative to ask if she could come. I made hasty enquiries with the venue to see if they could cater for her particular diet, only for her to change her mind again two days before the event and decide she wasn't coming after all. Maybe that was her way of demonstrating her horrendous offence, but as nephew had not made any contact with me (even ignoring Facebook requests) I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 06-Aug-13 17:35:43

Venue, budget etc. is often a polite way of saying "your DP is a liability and we don't want them there".

FannyMcNally Tue 06-Aug-13 17:22:52

I love guestzilla! How we've come this far on MN without that word I'll never know.

Saffyz Tue 06-Aug-13 17:01:50

> I also had couples who were invited where only one half turned up. Were they hideously rude to do that??

If they'd said they were coming, then yes of course, that's very rude.

Ragwort Tue 06-Aug-13 16:14:41

I'm also in the 'it depends' camp grin - one of the nicest weddings I attended was with a group of office colleagues to another colleague's wedding, we had a table to ourselves and it was all great fun.

I have been bored senseless going to some of my DH's friends' weddings, and no doubt he has felt the same at my friends' weddings. I have felt obliged to 'chat' with him rather than having a good laugh with old friends. We are not joined at the hip, we can attend social functions without each other quite more happily smile.

ShoeWhore Tue 06-Aug-13 16:09:05

We didn't invite anyone who we'd never met. Seemed reasonable enough to me!

We also took a lot of care to sit people with others we thought they'd get along with. We were quite young and so were our friends, so perhaps relationships were generally less serious anyway.

Re the numbers - you do have to draw the line somewhere!

MaxPepsi Tue 06-Aug-13 15:52:15

I excluded people from my wedding.
Partly for cost and partly because I just didn't want them there.

I only had immediate family children - cost and room
I didn't invite cousins - no room
I didn't invite an Aunt - didn't want her there spoiling my mum's day.
I didn't invite the partner of a day do guest - I don't like him.

However, I also had couples who were invited where only one half turned up. Were they hideously rude to do that??

CaptainWentworth Tue 06-Aug-13 15:46:03

I just wanted to point out that sometimes there isn't an option to hiring a bigger reception venue. DH and I got married at my parents' church in north Northumberland - there were a few possible reception venues in the area but none could take more than 80 people for a meal, and some were considerably smaller. I didn't want to invite anyone just for the evening as most people had to travel; my mum asked a few church people and neighbours along in the evening but that was it. We did manage to invite all necessary relatives as well as everyone's long term partners in the end, but I was really worried about numbers at one point!

Why would someone want to go to a wedding where they barely know the bride and groom?

I do take teacherandguideleader's point about being lonely at a wedding if you know no-one else there, and your partner hasn't been invited. There has to be compromise, so if you are inviting someone who doesn't know anyone else at the wedding, then it is only fair to invite their partner. But it isn't an automatic right to,have your partner with you at a wedding.

I have been to a colleague's wedding where I was invited, but dh wasn't - and that was OK because I was part of a group of colleagues, I wasn't on my own.

zipzap Tue 06-Aug-13 15:00:20

I wasn't invited to BIL's wedding - dh is one of 6 and although I'd been going out with DH for over 10 years at that point, we'd never got married. We had been living together for a long time and were pretty well settled, just hadn't got around to the wedding.

It was a small wedding - but I think DH was more upset than I was. Me - meh - it would have been a weekend away with lots of dh's relatives, a long drive there and back, meant I had a nice weekend at home alone which suited me just fine grin

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 06-Aug-13 14:52:09

My argument with a friend about this was that if they wanted what amounted to a group of 5 people that I didn't really know turning up then they could pay for them.

It was interesting how quickly they backed down when I told them the price of the meal.

Crinkle77 Tue 06-Aug-13 14:44:27

Might be selfish but I would not want to sacrifice the quality of the food, venue etc... just so I could afford to invite people's partners that I don't really know that well. I think there is something wrong with people if they can't go for a day out without their partner and to be honest i think most blokes would be relieved to not have to go.

DontmindifIdo Tue 06-Aug-13 14:28:53

OP - it really does depend, your argument that you could sacrifice the quality of food/venue/flowers etc assumes that people aren't already going for the cheapest possile option and still can't afford to have everyone they want there.

Or (like one friend) if you have a wedding so small that it really is just parents, siblings, children and one or two guests, then it's reasonable not to invite partners of the one or two guests.

But other than that, then I agree, I'd draw the line of living together, if you are living as a unit then you should be invited together. Dates beyond that (regardless of how long you've been dating) are 'nice to have' but not rude to invite without. (I also think once you go down that line, it's best you give everyone a "plus one" invite, because if you are letting people bring someone they are officially dating but not serious enough to be living with, then they are invites really just to keep that guest company, they aren't going to be someone important to you, so other guests should get the same option to bring a friend).

I think it tends to depend on the size of the event and who the people in question are. When I got married we invited my DB and his wife, and my other DB (but not his 18 yo girlfriend, who hadn't been with him very long) and my DS (single, but didn't do a +1), however, every friend was invited with a partner/ +1 as I would never contemplate attending a wedding where I knew no-one other than the B+G.

crocodilebird Tue 06-Aug-13 14:21:21

We invited a friend minus her DH to our very small wedding (12 guests, reception in back garden). We might have been wrong to do so, but it made no difference - she brought him along anyway. And her little dog, Yappy.

eccentrica Tue 06-Aug-13 14:16:07

EvieanneVolvic "However I am veering toward a bottom line of the guests are honouring the B and G by being there rather than the B and G doing the guests a huge favour by inviting them so if I were to get married again myself (nay chance!!!) that would probably inform my choices."

Absolutely right.

teacherandguideleader Tue 06-Aug-13 14:09:58

I was invited to a wedding last year without my DP. If I had been part of a big group of friends I don't think it would have bothered me, but I wasn't and I knew noone else at the wedding. I was so lonely all day, no one to talk to in the 5 hours between the ceremony and dinner, noone to dance with (people were quite insular so it was hard to break into groups who were up dancing).

What made it worse was the amount it cost me in petrol and that my friend got annoyed because I left home early to drive home. She wanted me to stay in the hotel, but I couldn't justify the cost for just me - if it had been DP as well we'd have turned it into a mini holiday.

I always think weddings without partners or children are a little odd, since a wedding marks the start of their life as a family together, yet they want to exclude others. I think it is slightly different if you are inviting a big group of colleagues / friends - at least they'll all know each other, but it is a little mean otherwise.

gingermop Tue 06-Aug-13 14:00:25

one of my best friends got married last year, I was bridesmaid, my dp and dc's ( oldest dc aged 14 her godchild) was not invited to ceromony or afternoon bit only evening.
I wasnt happy, didnt say anything though as her day, her choice.

EvieanneVolvic Tue 06-Aug-13 13:54:59

I am finding this thread REALLY interesting.

My dd is getting married soon and apart from being allowed to invite a couple of friends and their partners to the evening do I have been told to butt out (which is fine my me, although I wish she had the same attitude toward my bank account!!)

However I am veering toward a bottom line of the guests are honouring the B and G by being there rather than the B and G doing the guests a huge favour by inviting them so if I were to get married again myself (nay chance!!!) that would probably inform my choices.

WineNot Tue 06-Aug-13 13:47:17

Budgets or venues seem hollow excuses to me because if you choose a venue with a limited capacity, you are basically saying that you care more about having the nice venue than you do about your guests.

Or, maybe it means 'I care more about having a venue I love and my guests will love than inviting someone I've never met/only met once or twice'

I invited some people to our evening do (another big no no I gather) without partners... But I spoke to them first.

The one person I'd been told would have a problem with it (by their best friend) didn't get an invite. Simple.

Recently went to a friends wedding where I was invited to the whole thing but DH only to the evening (married 6 years together 15) Can honestly say it bothered neither of us & didn't think it was at all rude-a bit odd but not rude.

Each to their own, you do what you want for your wedding & leave others in peace to do what they want for theirs.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 06-Aug-13 12:40:45

I wouldn't invite anybody I didnt know, like and enjoy the company of,the only time I would do so was if an guest having plus 1 was essential due to illness or disability.

But then again I mix with people who don't need to bring partners to events and an socialise perfectly capabley without one and I would also make sure that each guest knew most of the other guests.

So if I know like and enjoy the company of yor partner they would be invited but if I don't then they won't,if you don't approve of this then fine decline the invite its no big deal.

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