Post # 1
FI and I decided long ago not to extend plus ones to guests not in relationships. Besides the financial aspect, we are having a small wedding and prefer to be surrounded by people who are close to us and who have supported our relationship through the years. We haven’t had any of the RSVP horror stories that other Bees have experienced, and for that we are very thankful.
Until this weekend. Yesterday my mom told me that my college-aged brother was “surprised” that he wasn’t invited with anyone, “since that is what is usually done at weddings.” Said that I should make this allowance for family. Told me what an imposition it was to make my brother spend a weekend away from college to come to the wedding. I gave her the party line that we’ve kept the wedding very intimate, that my brother isn’t the only person invited alone, etc. She offered to pay for the friend if it is a financial issue (it’s not). I calmly but firmly stated that we are sticking to this policy. She wasn’t pleased but switched the subject.
Today, my parents, FI, and my brother (who is home on break) got together. According to FI (I wasn’t there), the plus one topic came up again. FI calmly explained that we are keeping the wedding small and unfortunately won’t be extending any more inviatations to extra people. At this point, my brother said, “Well, that may be a dealbreaker for me.”
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if my brother is just talking or if he intends to follow through with this. He and I are not close, so I can’t just call him up and expect to have a rational conversation. At this point, I kinda won’t care if he doesn’t come (though I do want to know before the catering numbers are due). For what it’s worth, he will know 20% of the guests (extended family) — he’s not close to them, but he won’t be without people with whom to socialize.
Is this issue ultimately about my brother, or is it about my mom? Clearly my brother is acting immature, but why is my mom so insistent? Is she merely caving to his whims, or is she trying to prevent potential embarrassment in front of her family if my brother boycotts the wedding? I don’t know if/how to ask her whether there is an underlying reason she wants us to change our minds. Help!
ETA: I am not judging brides who decide to extend plus ones to single guests. This was just what works for us financially and emotionally.
Post # 3
@philodendron: I would talk to your mom first to see if there is some reason she thinks you need to change your policy only for him. Then, I even if I wasn’t close to him, I would contact my brother directly to talk to him because third party information is not very reliable.
Post # 4
‘I’m sorry if he(you) chooses(choose) to miss such an important day in my life due to this issue. He (You) will be missed but it is his(your) choice.
Wash, rinse, REPEAT!
Post # 5
@philodendron: Whatever. This may be the teacher in me talking, but… don’t give in just because he throws a fit. He doesn’t NEED to bring a guest, and I think both he & your mom are being sort of demanding here. You made a decision, so stick to it. If he doesn’t come, he’ll regret it 10 years from now when he’s an actual adult. And that’ll be his issue, not yours.
Post # 6
I would strongly recommend you give a +1 to your brother.
I’d also RSVP no to weddings where there is no +1 extended, and if it was my own sibling, I’d really be peeved.
Post # 7
Your mom is probably just trying to prevent a fight between her kids. Thats what moms do! I highly doubt that she actually cares one way or the other, she is just picking what she sees as the easy solution.
Your brother needs to grow up. Yeah, it’s not always super fun kicking it with family, but when you are an adult you just suck it up. The world doesn’t revolve around him, sheesh!
Post # 8
Of course your brother and mom need to see it from your side, but if it were me, I’d just give your brother the plus one. Would it hurt more to have the plus one or to not have your brother show up?
Post # 9
You say that you are not close. Do you know for sure that he isn’t dating someone and that is why he is peeved?
Why not try talking to him instead of talking about him?
Post # 10
Don’t give in, it is unfair for him to expect you to change your policy at the last minute. If he decides to miss his sibling’s wedding because he can’t bring a friend that’s his choice, but don’t give in to his manipulation.
Post # 11
@lanalnoco: College age is an adult…There are many brides on here that are in the same age group. No?
At the end of the day, I might be a doormat, but I caved and allowed certain guests to add a +1…We pinched in other places to accomodate the extra folks. It’s one person you are talking about and it is your brother—not extended family.
It’s sometimes easier for a single sibling to attend a wedding if they have someone accompanying them. I think that kind of sensitivity is something that goes a long way in relationships. When planning a wedding and gathering people, I do tend to think about being respectful and honoring their requests. If we didn’t want to deal with people, we could have eloped. But, if you invite guests to a wedding—they are guests and you want them to be comfortable and have fun.
Just my humble opinion.
Post # 12
@twitterpated0315: I agree that college age is an adult, I am 22, attend college (we call it university in Australia), and am an adult still. Just because you are furthering your education does not mean you are less of an adult.
Post # 13
I think your brother deserves a date if he has someone to bring. (I say date because him bringing some guy friend he can’t even dance with seems way off.) It’s unfortunate that he’s being a pain, but in my book that’s the right thing to do.
Post # 14
Having had a small wedding, it seems it would be awkward for the +1 (if you don’t know them) and you guys. I did offer a plus ones to two people (thinking they might be more comfortable with a plus one) if they wanted them but they didn’t. But after the fact, if they had brought a plus one it would have been wierd all around. I couldn’t see it being the same unless the plus one was a life long or old friend who knew the family or something.
I do agree, talk directly to him.
@twitterpated0315: Heh, my ex husband is 38. We’re still friends tho divorced for well over a decade. Our mutual old friend from back then was in my town yesterday and talking about how much X has really become an adult recently (X has been on “the itty bitty steps” plan to adulthood, and I’ve always been free with saying how far he has come and worked to be better because he HAS come a long way on his own!). The fact that he was an adult but didn’t act like it is what suck us. Sure OP’s brother is technically an adult… he’s not “an actual adult” as @lanalnoco: meant it I’m sure. I’m pretty sure she means “an actual adult” as in mature, responsible, and the like. Plenty of folks are adults but don’t act like it. It’s like my dad always said “The key to being an adult is to know when it’s appropriate to act child like and do it every chance you get, but never to act childish.”.
Post # 15
“I’m sorry you feel that way. I hope you’ll reconsider.” Repeat as necessary.
Post # 16
As someone who didn’t marry until late in life, I was invited to many weddings without a “plus one,” and I didn’t mind. Based on the information you’ve provided, I think your brother is being immature and unfair in his demands and attempts to coerce you into allowing him to bring a friend, and your mother is choosing the wrong side to support in this conflict.
In my opinion, your mother should be spending her efforts trying to explain to your brother that he cannot possibly want to send the message that his bringing a random friend from college is more important that his attending his own sister’s wedding, and that is exactly the message he will be sending to you and the rest of your family if he selfishly and immaturely boycotts your wedding over this.