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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!

BrokenSunglasses Tue 06-Aug-13 11:29:07

I agree with you, but I've found I'm in the minority on MN on this subject. Thankfully not in RL though.

themaltesefalcon Tue 06-Aug-13 11:32:43


Lottapianos Tue 06-Aug-13 11:32:55

YANBU at all. I narrowly escaped having to deal with this situation when my best mate got married. Her arsehole DP suggested that, to keep numbers down, they only invite people's partners if they were married to them. DP and I had been together for 5 years at that point but he would not have been invited. Thankfully, someone saw sense and it was never mentioned again. I was shock that anyone could think this was reasonable!

It is selfish and entitled and suggests you don't give a fig about your guest's enjoyment of the day.

EvieanneVolvic Tue 06-Aug-13 11:35:35


Also hideously rude (imho)are people who find your subject matter boring but rather than just ignore it have to say (or yawn) so.

And yes I am well aware that I could have ignore Maltese....

MidniteScribbler Tue 06-Aug-13 11:37:47

I'm in the "it depends" camp. I've been invited to a wedding of a workmate where all the staff were invited without partners (about 20 people). It worked out just fine, because we could all celebrate as a group. The couple couldn't have had the whole workplace there if they'd had to invite a partner for everyone as well. They told us all in advance, and not one person had a problem with it.

Family members, or friends that don't have a fairly large friendship group at the wedding should always be invited with a partner.

FattyMcChubster Tue 06-Aug-13 11:38:13

What if you can't afford a big do? If you can only afford a certain amount of people would you rather have half your closest friends and their partners or no partners but all your close friends?

Hercy Tue 06-Aug-13 11:39:43

I don't think budgets or venues are hollow excuses. Some venues have a maximum capacity, some budgets are extremely strict. So, if you're tied to a certain number of people and have no leeway on that number, some partners might have to miss out.

It's not ideal, and I'm sure that most brides and grooms would love to include everybody, but if it comes to having to capacity/budget to invite an old school friend, but not her partner (who you may have met several times and perfectly like), what would you do? Not invite either of them? Or just invite your friend and explain that as much as you would love for her partner to come, it's not possible?

Personally, I would want to include partners, but I do understand why it wouldn't always be possible.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 06-Aug-13 11:40:35

I agree it's different when a couple are giving an invite to one half of a married couple because they are a workmate who would attend in a big group of other workmates, but other than that it seems very weird to invite someone to attend your marriage celebration when you don't respect their marriage.

OryxCrake Tue 06-Aug-13 11:40:36

Depends on the wedding. If they're only inviting two guests to be witnesses, YABU; if it's a larger do, YAprobablyNBU.

Lj8893 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:40:42


I was a bridesmaid at a recent family wedding and when I got the save the date card my partner wasent on it. Granted we wernt married and had been together only about a year but I was still hmm and when questioned it was informed that no, due to numbers he wasent invited to the day, only evening.

Yeah, I kicked up a right fuss!!! Very unlike me but I was really upset about it!

When the invitations came out he was on it grin

Lj8893 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:41:28

Oh and it wasent a small wedding either, about 100!

themaltesefalcon Tue 06-Aug-13 11:41:48

Hideously rude, really? If you think that's rude... [sits on own hands]

Using the way someone marks a solemn event (being joined before God- it really doesn't get more important, other than perhaps a christening) to get offended or be bitchy about the bride really doesn't make you look good.

And there's another thread about this already today, and it's been done to death.

Hence the weariness.

Jan49 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:42:59

YANBU and I agree with you.

I got married and invited a close friend but not her partner. He'd fit your category of " a history of deeply unpleasant behaviour". We had about 10 guests. I invited her but really didn't want to invite him. They were cohabiting. He was violent and it was obvious they weren't going to stay together. My friend said her partner "wouldn't allow her" to come alone. It was a longish distance so would involve an overnight stay.

I didn't want her partner at our very intimate wedding. My main reason was that my only relative at the wedding was my very elderly grandmother and I think she'd have been horrified by this man - crude language, swearing, etc - and him being there would have influenced how she felt about the wedding. For me, the wedding was really an occasion to keep the relatives happy - my grandmother and my h's parents - as cohabiting and children outside marriage was unthinkable to them. Otherwise we wouldn't have bothered to get married. I think if we'd had a huge wedding, I wouldn't have minded him being there.

My friend didn't come. She is still my friend and is now married to a much nicer

Morien Tue 06-Aug-13 11:43:28

YANBU. We just got married in Saturday and wanted a small do - but it never even crossed our minds to think that one way of achieving that was not to invite other halves!

Lj8893 - so you threw a tantrum and made your friend invite your boyfriend to their wedding - and you think they were rude??!

Pawprint Tue 06-Aug-13 11:45:07

I would always invite both members of the couple. However, I wouldn't invite people and agree to them bringing a 'date' to the wedding, IYSWIM. That is, I wouldn't do a 'plus one' invitation.

At my wedding, my pain in the arse witch aunt was very offended because we invited all seven of her (adult) children but didn't let them bring anyone to the wedding. In my defence, none of them were in a relationship and our venue was very small. Had they brought along a guest, that would have added seven people to the guest list and it wasn't a large wedding.

On the other hand, I unintentionally caused offence by inviting someone and completely forgetting to invite her partner. She threw a strop and several of the other guests (who were friends with her) refused to come to our wedding. It was very upsetting and neither I nor my dh are in touch with any of these people any more (their choice, not ours).

Groovee Tue 06-Aug-13 11:45:14

I invited my workmates without partners. They saw it as a night out. Only a couple of them had partners. I invited the bosses who were a married couple. But I have been invited to weddings on my own. As long as friends are going then I don't mind.

Crinkle77 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:45:59

It wouldn't really bother me. I would just assume it was to keep costs down. Although it may have been polite for her to explain that. Does she know your partner well and how long have you been together?

BrokenSunglasses Tue 06-Aug-13 11:46:13

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.

No couple is forced into using a particular venue, they choose the one they like, even if that excludes people. That is entirely up to them, but to me it does come across as if their priorities are wrong.

Budget can be more of an issue, but even on a tight budget people have a choice. If they choose a cheaper venue/food/dress/decorations etc then they could probably afford to invite partners. But for some people, those things are more important than their guests enjoyment.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Tue 06-Aug-13 11:47:06

I'm another 'it depends'. I think it's fair if you have a very tiny, intimate wedding to say you only want people you know well - but then, if it's a very tiny, intimate wedding it should be quite easy to sound people out beforehand and realize that while sister A doesn't care if her DH doesn't come, brother quite minds.

I think also if you are inviting a crowd of, say, school or university friends whose partners you never met, and they'll all know each other, it's not that bad.

What I think is rude is inviting people who will know very few people, and not inviting their partners.

It still annoys me that I went to two family weddings on my own, and both times the couples had invited everyone else's partners so I spent the whole evening say 'yes, nice to meet you, drunk single man, no, the ring on my finger is an engagement ring, no, my partner isn't here and everyone else's is, I know ...'.

A basic amount of thought about how partnerless people will get through the evening should do you fine, though.

Saffyz Tue 06-Aug-13 11:47:29


Viviennemary Tue 06-Aug-13 11:48:37

I think it depends. People can invite who they want to and if the would be guests aren't happy then they can just not go. I wouldn't bother too much if I was invited without DH. People can go to things separately.

EvieanneVolvic Tue 06-Aug-13 11:49:09

Then why not ignore this one than openly showing your disdain in the first instance or calling the OP bitchy?

And your rationale is a little flawed...plenty of people don't make their vows before God (although I agree this does not make the marriage one whit less valid or important than a a religious one...especially when lots of people marrying in religious establishments don't wholly follow it anyway)

Hideously rude ...yes really (although I was just borrowing the OP's wording...maybe you slept through it!)

EvieanneVolvic Tue 06-Aug-13 11:51:41

and ftr I don't wholly agree with fenix but s/he raises some interesting points which is why I don't think s/he is being unreasonable.

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