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Aurora
Dedicated July 2020

so of wedding party. Did you know or did you wing it?

Aurora, on May 20, 2019 at 6:01 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 15
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Hi All! Have you ever been invited to a wedding where your SO is in the wedding party and you are not? How do you know what you are supposed to attend? There is a lot of gray area for me for example the rehearsal dinner, do I attend? Is there an official invite for that?
It is my fiancé’s sister’s wedding and he is the best man and I will be her future SIL but i’m not in the wedding. We’ve known each other for 3 years and live in close proximity. I asked their mom (my FMIL) and she doesn’t know the answer. I talked to a counselor that just told me to straight up ask his sister what her expectations are of me. I feel ackward doing that though. Just curious is there etiquette for communicating to the wedding party if SO’s are alooud at rehearsal dinner ? Or is this just an assumed thing?
I realize that most of the wedding will be me playing it by ear on what I am and am not including in, there are a whole slew of things. I might not have dinner with my fiancé, i might not be in any of the pictures with the photographer, etc. etc. I want to not seem rude that I am including or not including myself. If I am distant I might seem uninterested and if I am too close I might not be permitted and seem disrespectful. My strategy will be to try to be social with other people the best I can to pass the time and if they want to include me hopefully someone will let me know instead of saying why is she being distant and weird. We should be all family at this point but not everyone has the same feelings towards each other, and I am 100% sure that she is so busy (planning a very quick time frame wedding)that she hasn’t stopped to think how she could include her future SIL, but again she might not want to include me. Our wedding we will be including her and giving her special recognition and she be in pictures but understand this might not be a reciprocal thing.

15 Comments

Latest activity by Judith, on May 27, 2019 at 5:14 PM
  • Renae
    Dedicated August 2019
    Renae ·
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    Hello! My recommendation is to have your FH ask if you are invited to the rehearsal dinner, family photos etc. I've gone to 2 weddings just this year alone and for one- plus ones were allowed for the rehearsal and for the other one they weren't. Since your fiance is her brother, I think it best that he ask what the expectations are.

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  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    Whether or not there’s a formal invitation depends on the couple. Etiquette wise, you should be invited to the rehearsal dinner with your SO, but that doesn’t mean she’s familiar with etiquette or cares about it. When is the wedding?
    • Reply
  • Aurora
    Dedicated July 2020
    Aurora ·
    • Flag
    Thank you Renae, I love that idea! I think it will be less ackward if he asks instead of me, so thank you! Hadn’t thought of that!
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  • Aurora
    Dedicated July 2020
    Aurora ·
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    Thank you Renae, I love that idea! I think it will be less ackward if he asks instead of me, so thank you! Hadn’t thought of that!
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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Typically, you should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. If he is your fiance, then you are not a plus one. You two are a social unit. It is traditional for the partners of the bridal party to be at the rehearsal dinner. Also, there should be separate invitations for the rehearsal dinner. If you are unsure of certain things and do not feel comfortable talking to your FSIL about it, then your fiance should. However, I would just be open with her, as that can allow you to become closer with her. Just being like "hey, I don't want to step on any toes, so I just want to ask you what you want/expect from me for your wedding. I'm excited to be as involved as you'd like me to be." Or something along those lines.
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  • Aurora
    Dedicated July 2020
    Aurora ·
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    Caitlyn, The wedding is in two months from now. Thank you! I feel she might not care of etiquette and a lot is being planned by her matron of honor as well.
    • Reply
  • Aurora
    Dedicated July 2020
    Aurora ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Hannah, I love that! Thank you!!!!! That’s good dialogue you offered and will come across well intended.
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  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
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    My hubby was in a wedding last summer and I wasnt invited to the rehearsal dinner but it was a very casual thing at the brides step dads house.

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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Most wedding, only one member of a couple is in it. Any time the rehearsal dinner is a formal dinner party, home or restaurant, established couples, married, engaged, or seeing each other and committed, are usually invited. Casual plus ones, dates for the wedding, go either way. . . . But for something casual or at an odd time, it may just be those involved in the wedding. I just went to a local church rehearsal, 10 am. Saturday. Followed by brunch across the street, no spouses or SO . Casual, no gifts or anything. Wedding in 2 weeks. Next week bride is having BM and MOH to tea, giving thank you gifts. Groom is taking guys to a baseball game, then beer and whatever. So no formal couples RD. . . I think each time one of us has been in a wedding, 2-3 months ahead , the one in the wedding has said to the B or G, spouse/ fiancé and zi are trying to do our calendars so we can schedule things around your wedding events, and get the days and times straight. Please tell us ... And then ask about anything unclear. Will we be seated together at meals? Do we arrive at the venue an hour early, and WP goes for pics while the rest of us wait? Or are WP coming hours earlier, and we get there separately, but go home together? RD, any other ?, ask. You are trying to accompany them by being at the right places at the right times, since wedding differ. So most are happy the one in the wedding party wants this advance list of expectations.
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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Trying to accommodate them, not accompany them. God how I hate this autocorrect...
    • Reply
  • Autumn
    Dedicated September 2019
    Autumn ·
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    So I actually just went threw this situation! My FSIL got married and my FH was a groomsmen but I was not a bridesmaid. I did not expect to be. We are friends but not like best of. My FH and I had been together for 3 and a half years, but weren’t engaged yet ( everyone knew we would be though). I either asked her directly if I should come to the rehearsal dinner or had FH ask them. Don’t sweat about asking. I would ask before showing up though because some people need to know how much food for how many people. Besides that just play it by ear. I was in some pictures but not many maybe one or two. I just stayed close by for a while in case they needed me and then when it was obvious they were moving on I went inside. I would help whenever possible but don’t like make yourself a nuisance trying to help lol. Lend a hand if it looks like they need it, if they seem good just be a guest they won’t be mad or blame you. They are too focused on their day lol
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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Your fiance should ask if you are invited to the rehearsal dinner. I've never heard of an SO not being invited to a rehearsal dinner, but it's good to ask. I think the best move is to just have your fiance talk to his family about it.

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  • Nicole
    Super October 2021
    Nicole ·
    • Flag

    I think you're over thinking things! Have FH ask if you are invited to the RD.


    I have gone with FH to both rehearsals and rehearsal dinners he has been involved in.

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  • E
    Savvy January 2020
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    Old School Etiquette:

    Yes, You go to Rehearsal Dinner. You sit in the "audience" while he does his stuff.

    at the ceremony, you sit alone in the audience (next to friends if you know any, or people you met the night before).

    At the reception/dinner, he is at the Head Table and you are assigned to a different table, hopefully with people you know. If you are placed with elderly aunts, et.al., remember, that is considered an honor.



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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    Actually, something that pleases me, is that head tables where wedding party sits without their SO, are rapidly disappearing. It used to be common. But of the last 20 plus recent weddings, everyone in the WP sat with their SO, either with other wedding party and Bride and groom, or spread out through the dining room with friends and family. I used to think it a particular cruelty to separate SO who may not know anyone, from wedding party during dinner. I do not know anyone who liked being the cast off spouse or fiancé.
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