Can someone explain to me the etiquette with the guests of the wedding party?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Is FSIL and her friend traveling for your wedding? How does FSIL get along with the rest of your girls?

I think if they’re traveling for your wedding, or if FSIL isn’t friendly with the rest of your girls, that it would be a nice gesture to let the friend attend. They’ll probably hang out together in one side of the salon/limo, and you can party with your girls on the other side!

But if they’re not traveling for your wedding and she is close with the other girls in the BP, I think it would be fine to talk to her.

Post # 4
11614 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Well, the guest should be included in things like the rehearsal dinner, but aside from that…

I would let her come to the rehearsal.  She’s going to stand in the background and not bother you.  She should come to the dinner, because she is the invited guest, and your FSIL should have her guest with her.  As for getting ready, driving in the limo, and doing pictures, I disagree. The wives of our groomsmen weren’t with me the day of the wedding, and the dates of my bridesmaids weren’t with me getting ready or driving around. 

Basically, I’d tell FSIL that her guest is welcome to join at the rehearsal, but must stand in the back out of the way so the rehearsal isn’t disrupted, and that she, of course, is welcome at the rehearsal dinner by extension.  Other than that, her guests can meet you at the church, sit in the congregation, and meet up with FSIL after the ceremony when the reception begins. 

For the record, I don’t think there is too much ettiquette surrounding this!  Go with your gut!

Post # 5
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Ah…. and this is why I am not the biggest fan of bridal party bringing guests….. Sometimes the guest gets in the way of wedding day activities (hair, makeup, pictures etc). 

My DH’s groomsmen were all married and their wives were a little bit of a pain the butt and I really wished the boys left them home.  These women actually made their husbands late for pictures (they were hungry and didn’t feel like driving 5 minutes to get themselves food…. they made their husbands do it)………

She should be invited to the rehersal dinner.  She should not be invited for hair and makeup, she should not ride in the limo, she should not sit the bridal parry at the church and she needs to find someway to entertain herself during pictures. 


Post # 6
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I would invite her guests where there are other guests like the rehersal dinner. Is she younger and/or does she not know the other BMs? If so I think it would be nice to allow her to bring her friend other places so she can feel more comfortable.

One of my BMs brought her boyfriend to the rehersal, rehersal dinner, and picture time. He also came to the hotel room when we were getting our hair done but I think we scared him off as he didn’t stay long. She’s on the shy side and wasn’t close with the other girls. It made her happy and he didn’t cause any problems so we were all good! 

Post # 8
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@March1stBride:  Oh! Then I would definitely talk to her and be like “Hey! I would really like for it just to be the BP hanging out in the limo and getting ready at the salon. Just me and my girls!”

Post # 9
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@March1stBride:  I think that’s really odd. It would be offputting to me if someone took advantage of a +1 by inviting their bestie even when they know the whole bridal party. But I would get over that.


I certainly would NOT agree to having the random friend participate in everything. Rehearsal and dinner, that’s it.

Post # 11
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@March1stBride:  The short answer is no, etiquette does not require the friend to be included in the pre-wedding or day of activities.

Etiquete recognizes married, engaged or live-in couples as a social unit meaning that you must invite both members of the couple to events where they would reasonably have an expectation of being invited together such as a dinner party or rehearsal dinner or wedding.  If it’s a girls or boys night thing, or a trip to the salon before the wedding, it’s okay to invite only one of the couple.

As the hosts can choose (or not) to extend the social unit designation to others in romantic relationships as you see fit. 

Etiquete does not consider two friends a social unit So you are not obligated to include your FSIL’s plus one guest in anything beyond the wedding and reception.

Your FSIL is being pushy and ridiculous. Her guest is not a defacto member of the wedding party and need not be her play date at the salon, in the limo, whatever.  

If you want to throw your FSIL a bone, agree to let her friend come to the rehearsal dinner and/or allow them to sit together if you’re having a head table but make it clear her friend will NOT be included in any bridal party events or activities.

Actually, it might be best for your fiancé to handle this conversation.

Good luck.

Post # 12
2364 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@March1stBride:  No way.  Everything invovling you as a bride and your girls/family the morning of should be special and intimate.  +1’s, friends and peanut gallery do not need to be invited, they can meet your FSIL at the ceremony, case closed. 

My FMIL asked if she could bring her friend who’s coming from out of town to get ready with us that morning.  I was taken back by the question so I kind of brushed it off but I need to find a tactful way to say no.  I don’t know her friend, I don’t think it’s fair and (I NEVER say this about anything, not even my birthday), that morning is about ME, about US.  If I don’t want you there or if it’s even questionable, I shouldn’t have to comply b/c of ettiquette.

LOL, was that harsh??  Undecided

Post # 14
1531 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

They get invited to the wedding and the Rehearsal Dinner.  No more is necessary.  If the friend can not be left alone, I would suggest BM accompany her friend to whatever they want to for makeup, etc. 

Post # 15
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@March1stBride:  FH was in a wedding a couple years ago, I knew both the guys and the girls making up the bridal party, but I had to drop him off at noon day of the wedding and spend the day by myself, find my own way back to the wedding, hang out by myself after the ceremony (well, with the other guests) while the BP went off to have photos done.  I also sat at a separate table from the BP and my FH.

I don’t think the friend is entitled to come to anything except the wedding and MAYBE the rehearsal dinner – I think typically the guests/partners/spouses of the BP attend the rehearsal.

Post # 16
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@March1stBride:  I think it was relly nice of you to allow them to sit together for the reception dinner! I was a +1 guest myself when my FI was a groomsmen in his cousins wedding. I did not know anyone at the wedding and the bride did not allow me to go with my FI for anything. She initially was going to allow me to go with for the hayride to the reception but the day before she decided “bridal party only” and left me to drive an hour alone. At the reception, it was seat yourself and I knew nobody so I was so uncomfortable and alone I just stood in the back of the room. 

I think you’re being incredibly thoughtful to at least sit them together for dinner. But as for including her in everything else, I think she’s asking for a lot and you shouldn’t feel obligated to include her in everything. She can sit on the side lines while you guys take your pictures, (I did that at the wedding I attended) and then she and your sister can talk when your sister is not busy with photos. As for the limo ride, perhaps not but it depends if you are allowing the significant others for the rest of the bridal party in or not. If not, then she probably doesn’t need to ride with…

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