Post # 1
I have just hit my first wedding snag. We are having a rather small, self-funded wedding with no more than 100 guests. While 100 guests seems like a lot, it fills up quite quickly. We are inviting mostly friends and immediate family. On my side, my parents and siblings (and their serious long term SOs) are coming. On his side, his parents, brother (no SO), immediate aunts and uncles and their families are invited. In total, he will have 4 cousins attending. Two are in middle school, one is a single mom (her 3 year old is very welcome), and another female cousin. We have decided not to give +1s unless the guest is married, engaged, or involved in what a reasonable person would consider a serious relationship (ideally we would have met the SO in advance, but understand that cannot always be practical).
FI has a cousin who recently got married and divorced within a year because the two got bored in the marriage. I would liken their reasons for divorcing to the average reason why people break up. Since then, she has brought a “guy friend” over to our place, presumably just to hang out but it later surfaced that they were couchsurfing in the area and wanted to crash, with no advance notice. She’s FI’s cousin, so no big deal. Four months later, she is shacking up with another guy and asked for a +1. FI’s mother gave her one without consulting us.
This shocked me because we have been very public about the limited headcount and a strict +1 policy. We have many examples of guests who are far more deserving of a +1 but did not get one, and we reached out to each of them to explain why. Luckily, we are blessed with such understanding friends. I simply cannot believe that the only exception to the rule so far is FI’s cousin’s current “guybuddy”… and a very new one at that.
Sadly I do think this is a lost cause and there is no rescinding the invite without causing more drama than it is worth. I am willing to admit a loss on this one (marriage is give and take, right?). I am wondering if any kind Bees here can give me some perspective and/or advice on how to deal with this internally. I know I won’t notice him at the wedding because I will be focused on other things, but the sour taste of things going awry is still fresh in my mouth. Perhaps I can find some comfort in your words, or in a schadenfreudish way, your even more horrific guest list debacles? 😉
Thank you for reading. You are all wonderful.
Post # 3
You’re so sweet to let this all go. If you look at the bright side, at least you only had 1 issue and the rest of your guests were understanding. Do a search for guest list drama on the boards and you might feel better : )
It seems like you’ve made up your mind, and bless your heart, but I would put my foot down. It’s 2014, it’s a special day to be shared with those you cherish and who cherish you the most. He obviously doesn’t fall under those categories.
Post # 4
How exactly did she give her a plus one? If you are planning the wedding and you are paying for the wedding I don’t understand how anyone but you and FI can offer that. If it’s not on the invitation, then she doesn’t get one in my opinion. If there is an issue, well she should have spoken to you or FI and not someone not involved in planning/paying for who wouldn’t know who is invited. That would irk me.
Is that date right? 2018??
If that is correst, I would think they could be broken up by that point and wouldn’t worry about it now.
Post # 5
@beetrothed: First, your fiance needs to read your mother the riot act. She deserves blame more than the cousin. FI should roast her so that she doesn’t make the same mistake again.
As for this cousin, wait until invites are about to be sent out, which I’m guessing is May or June. Inquire then to see if the she’s still with that guy.
Post # 6
@LuluInLove: Thank you! You’re right, I should consider myself lucky!
@BriansBride: The date is wrong.. I just fixed it! So far, we have invited people by calling them personally and extending the invite, with the understanding that a physical invite will be mailed out later. For those who are married or engaged, they are verbally extended a +1. For those who do not get a +1, we also note it to them to avoid confusion, and everyone is very understanding because most of our friends also happen to be mutual friends. It was very clear from the beginning that the cousin was invited as part of FI’s aunt’s family. From what I know, the cousin called FI’s mom to plead her case for a +1, to which his mom agreed. FI’s mom is very sweet and kind and I don’t think she thought it through. We have talked to her about this now, so this won’t repeat itself. She assumed that the cousin’s cohabitant was considered “family” but I would never see it that way. This was an unfortunate instance of communication breakdown, and I’m taking it a little too hard because it’s my first planning snafu.
Post # 7
@paula1248: I would never ask FI to roast his mom… She has been very kind and loving to me for the past 5 – 6 years… I did talk to her about this and she understands now. I am willing to let this slide because insisting that she rescind the +1 is simply too messy and would cause my FI some grief. The cousin is also very nice and I happen to disagree with her life choices but they are none of my business… I think FI’s mom understands now and hopefully we won’t have a repeat situation! Thank you for being so fired up, though!
Post # 8
@beetrothed: Thanks! That wedding date makes more sense for the situation. I’m still confused why the cousin would call FI Mom to plead her case for a +1 if FI mom isn’t the one paying for or inviting guests, or why FI Mom wouldn’t just ask you two. If it were me I would probably tell the cousin there seemed to be come miscommunication and that FI mother is not planning or paying and that you are sorry she spoke to the wrong person and got the wrong information.
Post # 9
Etiquette Snob here…lol
Sorry this turned into such a debacle for you… I am happy to hear that your Fiancé has now straightened out with his Mother that you and he are the Hosts / issuing the Invites, and not her.
In your Reply # 5 you said:
She assumed that the cousin’s cohabitant was considered “family” but I would never see it that way. This was an unfortunate instance of communication breakdown, and I’m taking it a little too hard because it’s my first planning snafu.
Just so you know…
In the Etiquette world (traditional & modern) a recognized social unit… those who are issued Plus Ones include all of the following:
Married – Living Together – and Engaged
So if the Cousin & this guy are living together, like it or not (thou shall not judge another’s relationship) they are considered a “recognized social unit”
So you truly should be issuing the man an Invite as her Plus One.
Lol, now if SHE IS as fickle as you claim, chances are good that he won’t be around come the time that the actual Invites are issued… and if she is living solo, then you wouldn’t have to give her a Plus One
BUT considering, that FMIL has already “stepped in it”… I think you are going to find yourself with this Cousin and a Date of some sort in attendance.
Post # 10
@This Time Round: Hi, yes, while we do appreciate the intricacies of wedding etiquette in the modern world, we have decided to stand very firmly by our definition of who gets a +1, notwithstanding the amorphous definition of a “social unit.” To be entirely honest, invite etiquette is at the very bottom of our list of priorities, and we are blessed with friends and family who feel the same. Our headcount cannot accommodate guests who are only there by virtue of a second-degree association with the bride or groom. If we had a venue that could allow more guests, it would be a different story, because the money is not tight and we are willing to spend the money on extra guests if the space could accommodate them. Nevertheless, I appreciate your well-meaning response.
Post # 11
You wouldn’t give family a +1 if it’s someone they have been living with for 8+ months (your wedding is 9 months from now)?
Post # 12
@gelaine22: Thanks for your response. The answer is “it depends.”
Due to the limited headcount, the hierarchy goes like that:
1. Immediate family (parents, siblings, siblings’ SOs)
2. Close friends (married and engaged persons get a +1, as do those who have been cohabitating for a long time and whom we hang out with as a unit… no new faces invited)
3. Extended family by one degree (direct aunts and uncles, direct cousins… we do not have any living grandparents in the picture). Also, because I am from a foreign country, none of my aunts and uncles are invited because the travel is too far, and we do not have room for them. We will probably host a separate reception overseas later, but haven’t really planned it yet…
4. Other friends (we don’t have room to account for this tier… but if we did, I guess some friends from college would fall into this category)
So, if FI’s brother started cohabitating with someone, she would get a +1, because he is immediate family. A cousin does not get an automatic +1 in our mind.
I understand this does not fly with everyone, but, as noted in a prior post, invite etiquette is really at the very bottom of our priority list.
Post # 13
First, your fiance needs to read your mother the riot act. She deserves blame more than the cousin. FI should roast her so that she doesn’t make the same mistake again.
+1,000 to this.
Post # 14
@beetrothed: i can totally understand what you are going through but if your date posted is correct, you won’t even be sending out invites for another 6 months. so much can change in that time; people get married, people break up, etc.
i wouldn’t spend too much energy on it right now. wait until the spring to see if a plus one will even be necessary or warranted for this cousin.
Post # 15
@mypinkshoes: You’re right! Thanks for the constructive advice. I woke up this morning feeling so much better about it. By tonight, this should be out of my mind 🙂