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"And Family" on wedding invitation

(118 Posts)
WeddingInviteAIBU Sat 11-Jul-20 10:27:25

My first AIBU. This is quite an old tale but has been on my mind as one of the main players is still off with me so I thought I'd check with the hive mind if I was in fact unreasonable.

The wedding was of my DH's youngest brother. I'll call him BIL3. DH has several DBs and this was the last to get married. We have 2 DSs. At the time of the invitation they were both adults. Both in long term relationships. DS1 was living with his long term partner. DS2 was living at home with us but in a long term relationship. BIL3 and his fiancée are actually closer in age to my DSs than to DH and me, socialised with them and knew both partners well.

Anyway, the invitation to their wedding arrived at my house and the invitees were DH, me "and family "

Was IBU to check who was covered by the invitation? If it was just my household then one of my sons was excluded. If it was everyone who I considered my family, then it would include both my sons and their partners.

Should it have been obvious what the invitation meant?

To cut a long story short, it turned out both DSs were invited but not their partners. As a result of my query the partners were grudgingly told they could come as evening guests.

The fiancée (now SIL3) was so annoyed at me querying the invitation that she uninvited me from her hen party and has barely spoken to me since. This all happened about 12 years ago!

What did I do wrong?

OP’s posts: |
Camomila Sat 11-Jul-20 10:31:11

I don't think you did anything wrong 'and family' is confusing if you've got adult kids that live somewhere else.

milienhaus Sat 11-Jul-20 10:32:18

Maybe she has something else against you and that was just a “last straw” type situation? On the face of it is does seem like an overreaction!

milienhaus Sat 11-Jul-20 10:33:21

Thinking about it, I would not have assumed the long term gf that didn’t live with your son was invited though.

mollypuss1 Sat 11-Jul-20 10:33:49

I would assume just immediate family, no partners.

I feel there is more to your story than you are giving away here. if you simply queried and we’re told no partners then why were they grudgingly invited to the evening do? Did you ask for this? Complain? Kick up a fuss? Makes no sense if all you did was ask.

JaniceWebster Sat 11-Jul-20 10:34:32

Confirming that you are not bringing unwanted guests is being kind, not "querying" the invitation.

You did nothing wrong, checking was exactly the right thing to do.

TheChineseChicken Sat 11-Jul-20 10:34:52

I would assume ‘and family’ includes any spouses or live in partners, although that would have excluded one of your DS’s partners, which would have been a bit unfair. But totally reasonable and considerate of you to query it (surely better then to all turn up?!) and weird of your BIL and SIL to be annoyed by that.

WorraLiberty Sat 11-Jul-20 10:34:54

I wouldn't have have assumed partners as it clearly states family.

Mind you, your SIL was well OTT but I'm assuming there's a bit more to it?

VinoOlive Sat 11-Jul-20 10:35:30

We've had an invite like this, we only have one preschool DS. I thought it was rude and lazy not to put his name on plus yes it's definitely ambiguous, especially when you have adult children.

Snarkastic Sat 11-Jul-20 10:35:37

On the face of it yanbu. Might depend on how you phrased the question: "are Janet and Barbara invited or not?" would be seen differently from a gentle open-ended question!

topoftheshops Sat 11-Jul-20 10:36:56

You did nothing wrong by checking, it would have been worse if you'd have all just turned up and they'd only planned for four of you. But yes it depends how you reacted - did you hint that the girlfriends should be invited?

upsidedownwavylegs Sat 11-Jul-20 10:37:39

I would say ‘and family’ generally means ‘and your children’ - if they had wanted to invite the partners as well I’d have expected your sons to get their own invitations with ‘DS1 and guest’ or ‘DS2 and (named partner)’, and when you queried it would perhaps they felt pressured to invite your DILs when they didn’t want to. Wedding guest list planning is stressful (I’m doing it at the moment) and I can see how these issues would piss off a bride. I really wouldn’t have thought it’s a TWELVE year grudge issue though.

ComDummings Sat 11-Jul-20 10:37:44

Well, to me it’s kind of obvious ‘and family’ includes your children, even though they are adults and not their partners or anything. However, I don’t see anything whatsoever wrong with asking who it included.
You say the partners were grudgingly given an evening invitation when you asked so it depends how you asked. ‘Does ‘and family’ mean Ds1 and Ds2?’ is fine and wouldn’t lead to their partners being invited grudgingly, they don’t even come into the question. If you asked and then moaned or kicked up a fuss about the partners not being invited then I can see why they’d be annoyed at you.
This was all 12 years ago though so you’d think they’d have got over by now!

Chienloup Sat 11-Jul-20 10:40:29

I would definitely not have assumed it meant DS' partners and probably not the DS who didn't live work you either.
If my parents got an invitation like that, it wouldn't cross my mind that I (an adult child living in my own home) was invited, that would be weird. If I was invited they would send me an invitation to my house.

HowLongCanICallitBabyWeight Sat 11-Jul-20 10:41:17

I wouldn't have assumed the girlfriends were invited, 'and family' is you and your immediate family, if they'd wanted to invite your son's partners surely each couple would've received their own invitation? It's lazy but likely they didn't have the addresses for your sons. I sent some invitations C/O for young adult cousins as they were living in student accommodation or had only recently moved out, so I sent their invitations (plus one) to their parents' homes. The only and family ones I sent were to work friends with a partner and young children I don't know very well

Mumtumwobble Sat 11-Jul-20 10:41:35

The she should have sent separate invitations to your adult sons. The invitation you received was far too ambiguous and you were right to check. Imagine if all 6 of you had turned up for the full day! She’d have been livid at that.

Palavah Sat 11-Jul-20 10:42:11

You weren't unreasonable to check but it feels like there's something missing between you checking and your sons' partners being 'grudgingly' invited to the evening do.

They've invited in an odd way - not sure why they didn't name the invited guests in the one invitation, or invite the 2 adult sons separately.

CoRhona Sat 11-Jul-20 10:42:36

'and family' is your children, not their partners, your second cousins, your husband's first wife et al.

I would have thought you were taking the piss (which I assume is what your SIL thought as well).

SunshineOnATrainToday Sat 11-Jul-20 10:43:18

I would have assumed it meant me and my children, whether or not those children were adults. I wouldn't have assumed it meant any partners of my children.

I don't think you did anything wrong by asking though if you were unsure.

Chloemol Sat 11-Jul-20 10:43:43

You did nothing wrong. Sil3 should have made it clear

Sounds like she is doing you a favour by ignoring you, don’t let it bother you anymore, she’s just being silly

ekidmxcl Sat 11-Jul-20 10:44:07

I think you should be pleased that someone so fuckwitted doesn’t speak to you anymore.

LittleDonk Sat 11-Jul-20 10:46:00

I would have assumed it was the married couple and their children.

So you DH and 2 DS.

AnnaMagnani Sat 11-Jul-20 10:46:51

I would have assumed husband/partner and children. Not children's partners.

However if children are old enough to have their own partners it is confusing - either name them, and not their partners, on the parents' invite or give them their own separate invites.

Just writing 'and family' to someone with adult children is asking for trouble.

However if you asked and implied you were asking about your DC's partners, not just if it was all the DCs, it prob was irritating and people pressurising you for extra spaces at a wedding is really annoying.

AdoptAdaptImprove Sat 11-Jul-20 10:46:59

Definitely ambiguous. How long would it have taken to write ‘Barbara, Dave, Simon and John’?

Weddings make people act very strangely, but I can’t help feeling there must be a bigger story to this to have caused such a massive overreaction to being asked to clarify exactly who was expected.

Disfordarkchocolate Sat 11-Jul-20 10:47:32

I would only out 'and family' for a family group where they all lived at home and children were still young. If there were any stepchildren I'd avoid it to.

Once children are adults I'd name people individually. You were being sensible, lots of issues arrive when people assume. Could it be how you worded the question?

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