Danielle
Beginner November 2019

How to handle those upset about no plus one

Danielle, on August 14, 2019 at 8:39 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 1 31
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Hi all!
Having a bit of a crisis I’m sure everyone faces when planning. When my fiancé and I set the rules for plus ones we agreed that we would invite all partners who are married/life partners and then only invite the boyfriends/girlfriends who we actually know. For example one of my cousins has a long term girlfriend who I see quite often at family events and get along well with so we wanted to invite her. Another cousin has a girlfriend who I have never met and I haven’t seen him in years so we didn’t invite her.
My aunty has now come to us saying it’s unfair we didn’t invite her sons girlfriend (who I didn’t know existed until she sent me this message.) I explained to her that it’s nothing personal against her we just really can’t afford to invite everybody’s partners if we don’t know them. It’s the same rule for everyone.
She came back with “if you can’t invite everyone don’t invite anyone. She feels left out. Very disappointing”
I guess my question is was this rule fair? I ran it by several guests whose partners I wasn’t inviting and they all were fine with it. Should I just suck it up and invite her? I don’t want there to be any bad blood but it feels to me like she is being quite rude and I shouldn’t give her what she wants as a result. Sorry if this is such a basic boring wedding problem it’s just gotten to me lol. Thank you!

31 Comments

Latest activity by Courtney, on August 18, 2019 at 3:41 PM
  • Jordan
    Devoted August 2020
    Jordan ·
    • Flag
    Hi!
    so first rule of thumb I learned from going to weddings and starting my wedding planning is- everyone who is 18 and older should absolutely always get a plus 1 date. Some people do like if they’re 21 and older then they get a date. But if you allow some people’s plus 1 then it’s only the right thing to give everyone the option. Obviously if there is a sibling or someone who just wants to invite a friend and isn’t in a relationship then obviously that kinda stuff I would say no too.
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    Where you didn't know this person existed I would say your aunt was very out of line. It seems to me that if you had known about this person you would have invited them.
    None of our cousins are getting plus ones because we don't know who's in a relationship or not and honestly don't see them enough to bother. I think we all have to draw a line somewhere and stick to it, extremely few people can afford to invite everyone.
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Devoted October 2021
    Danielle ·
    • Flag
    I don’t think it’s rude in anyway what so ever. I know for us money is a concern and our minimum for our venue is 75, my mother is paying for most of the wedding so she would like to keep it around 75-80 people because it’s like 99$ per person after tax and stuff. Some of his friends are single so they will not get a plus one. Married people and couples got plus ones and people who are traveling or may not know anyone there. I have one groomsmen on my FH side whose girl I’ve never met, if she doesn’t come to our engagement party this October then I will have a serious conversation with the FH about if this groomsmen will be allowed to bring his girlfriend. With money being so tight, this has helped me keep my guest list at my limit and allows me to invite people I actually want there or know. I don’t think this proper etiquette for weddings shouldn’t be so serious now a days. I mean first off, you wouldn’t invite someone you know out to dinner and pay 100$ for their meal just for once in your life and I’m sure how I feel on spending money on someone SO who hasn’t bothered to interact with us. It’s your wedding so your choice but I don’t think you are wrong at all!
    • Reply
  • Jordan
    Expert September 2019
    Jordan ·
    • Flag
    I had basically the same situation. I ended up making an exception for the cousin who’s gf I didn’t know because he asked nicely and I had gotten a few declines. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding. I know for me, I don’t want to be being introduced to a bunch of strangers on my wedding day. They can come without a date or they can stay at home. Either way, they’ll live.
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
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    Thank you! I already have 170 guests as it is as both our families are huge. I had to cut so many people who I might have liked having there to even get it down to that number. Our parents are helping us pay which is the only reason we are inviting their whole families but inviting everybody’s plus ones would push our numbers up to 230ish and neither our budget nor the venue can handle those numbers.
    I know it might feel like I’m leaving some people out but some of my cousins who I am close with have partners who have become like part of the family to me where as I hadn’t heard about this girl until yesterday 🤷‍♀️
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I think I might have been the same if she had asked nicely but I wasn’t happy with her telling me who I should and shouldn’t invite 😐
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Master December 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    I don't think you're rude at all, especially if you didn't know this person even existed. We did something similar with my cousins- married or engaged only.

    One of my cousins was upset by this because her boyfriend- that I met once 4 years ago for 10 minutes- wasn't invited. I explained to my aunt that it was our decision on where to draw the line on SOs as we're paying for this by ourselves. My cousin is now threatening not to come (fine by me), and not invite my husband to her wedding. A wedding that doesn't exist because she's not even engaged. Smiley xd Smiley xd

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  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Thanks! I guess I set the rule because with 170 on the guest list as it is I really needed to limit people.
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you! It’s hard when I’m so close to some cousins and their partners but barely see others enough to know they even have partners
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
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    Nice! It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he didn’t come but my mums side of the family can be very gossipy and I’m just worried it will upset others who I do have a good relationship with
    • Reply
  • S
    Expert October 2019
    Sara ·
    • Flag
    You did right and your aunt was totally out of line. We followed a similar “rule” when deciding who can bring a date. Weddings aren’t cheap, and anytime I’ve been invited to a wedding of a friend or even family member I see it as a privilege, not a righT, especially when it comes to bringing a guest. My FH has never gone to a wedding for anyone in my family because I hadn’t been given a plus one (no ones gotten married since before we were engaged so it’s been a while)
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Your rule goes against standard etiquette. As soon as you became aware he had a long standing relationship, you should have extended the woman an invitation . . . The standard rule if ettiquette is that when people are in a well established exclusive relationship, they are invited to all social events where there are couples, together. One social unit. You invite the person you know, and you have to accept their chosen partner whether you know them or not . The only way new people get to be known to their SO family and friends is by being invited . If everyone avoided inviting the unknown person, five years later, they would still be unk own, still always excluded . . . You made the original error in manners. The aunt is correct: if you were not going g to invite the girlfriend ( had you known she existed) or any other person's SO in an established relationship, you should not invite the friend or relative, either. Invite them both, or leave them both off the list. But it is a big social faux pas to invite someone and not their partner, even when you don't know the partner. It is insulting, or a social slight, to most people. How would you feel if a year or three after you started dating, your FI's family still left you out of every holiday dinner, party, family wedding, your FI's birthday party. And said, well we don't know her, we never spent time with her, so we don't want her here in our home. Every time, you would likely be upset. You are a couple. They want his company, they need to politely extend an invitation to you . You really should reconsider if you can.
    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    I don’t think it is particularly fair to exclude someone along the same relationship strain, no. Cousin A’s relationship shouldn’t be more important than Cousin B’s relationship — having met one SO and not the other tends to be a situation of circumstance, so excluding one on the basis of not having met one then feels not only uneven, but the bigger issue is— if they’re never getting invited to things because you haven’t met them....when are you ever going to have the opportunity to meet them? It becomes a cycle. It would make me batty if my brother’s gf got invited to our cousin’s wedding but my bf did not, just because my cousin had met her and not him. Does the Aunt in question have another child whose significant other *was* invited , or just other cousins? It does get murky when you don’t know peoples’ relationship statuses, but rules like this are a good example of the issues in trying to define the ‘significance’ of someone’s significant other.
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
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    Hi! When I asked my grandmother about it she told me they always invite her to our family events but she never comes so that would be why I haven’t had the opportunity to meet her. If it were just a normal party or event I wouldn’t mind plus ones but it being a wedding we just can’t afford to invite everyone.
    She doesn’t have any other kids with partners who were invited only a couple of cousins whose partners I have known for years and become very close to were allowed to bring them. I guess I was trying to find a way to have the people I want there
    • Reply
  • karen
    Master October 2017
    karen ·
    • Flag

    Inviting spouses and fiances of guests is obligatory, some would extend to live in or long term SOs. This is kinda dicey to invite one SO but not the other, but your aunt was rude. I would stand my ground, and say, sorry invites what they are. I don't get intimitaded. If she does not want to come, she wont.

    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Beginner November 2019
    Danielle ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thanks! I get what you’re saying and maybe had she politely asked and explained it would be different. I think it’s her aggressive response that has made me so annoyed.
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Master December 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Eh, let them be petty. You don’t need to be in their drama.
    • Reply
  • Kim
    Kim ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I think this is less about one how important Cousin A vs Cousin B's relationships are, and more about how important the relationship between Individual A and the Bride/Groom are.

    From what I can tell from the posts, this SO seemed to have the opportunity to come to family events in the past, and chose not to.

    If the relationship is important enought that you would like to introduce the SO to others, the place to do it is not a wedding where the couple has to fork out $100..

    • Reply
  • Cher Horowitz
    Master December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
    • Flag

    Couples are a social unit and need to be invited together. It might be a little late to invite your cousin's girlfriend, but if it's possible please invite her Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • D
    Super July 2020
    D ·
    • Flag
    Your cousin's SO was hurt by not being invited. I'm assuming your cousin is also upset. Your aunt is upset as well. Is $99 worth fixing this situation that could potentially cause a rift lasting years? If it were me I'd pay it.
    • Reply

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