Post # 1
Hey ladies…I really didn’t want to come on here to vent but I really feel like I’d be best understood here…sicne I’m pretty much the first of my group of friends and family to get married…I have no one who’s been in my situation to talk to….
We have a max. guest of 180 for the wedding….and all of our siblings are in our bridal party. So when we made our list…we decided that the ONLY people who would get a +1 would have to either be already married or engaged….if we knew a couple as a friend we would invite them as individual friends…not a couple…but still seat them together.
I have 2 sisters (and a brother) and when one of my sisters heard of this she was very surprised and a bit upset because her boyfriend wouldn’t be there. I explained to her that not only is there a setting limit but she’s a bridesmaid and she won’t even get to see her boyfriend the entire day (we’re off for pics at another location as soon as the ceremony is over and she’s obviously going to be sitting at the head table with us for the reception). She told her boyfriend and then told me that he was kinda upset about it….but I told her too bad. This was like 5 months ago and since then she’s totally understood and is ok with it. So everything was ok…
But now …a week before we’re going to hand out the invitations…one of my fiance’s brother (he as 3 brothers and 1 sister) just txt messaged me and asked me how come his gf won’t be invited. I told him the same thing….that we have no extra room and that there’s really no point in her being there because he won’t even get to see her all day. He told me that he was surprised and that she was so excited about the wedding (THIS surprised me since his mom…my FMIL..hates his gf and would probably kill me if I had invited her…but that’s a different story). I also told him that it’d be really unfair for all the other ‘singles’ there because they won’t be bringing dates. I don’t really know how he feels about it exactly since this was all through text messaging.
I’m really worried about this because we are inviting a lot of friends and not their bf/gf. We simply cannot fit them in and honestly we don’t really want people there that we don’t know. Am I completely being unreasonable? Cuz I think I am but I’m so tormented now because I feel like people are going to be unhappy about not being able to bring dates…which makes me kind of mad because my wedding isn’t supposed to be a place for people to bring a date to…it’s supposed to be a place where our friends and family witness our union and be happy for us. *SIGH* I just don’t want people to be unhappy!!!!!!
What do you guys think?? Thanks so much for allowing me to vent…
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club
I think this is just one of those situations where you can’t please everyone. I think also that people are thinking that your elimination of their bf/gf means you are passing judgement on their relationship, and they’re sensitive to that. Others expect dates to be invited; some feel that this is traditional. As far as a wedding being something people "bring a date to," yes, some feel that weddings are just that.
That said, you’ve made your decision, it’s the best one for you, and you’ve been as polite and apologetic as you can. Hold your head up and don’t let anyone intimidate you or try to make you feel bad. Don’t get involved in the drama. Planning a wedding is a HUGE deal and the insensitivity of others never ceases to amaze me!
I find that repetition helps when people are trying to intimidate you or get you to change your mind. As in, "I’m sorry, we can only invite +1 in certain circumstances." "But what about…" "I’m sorry, we can only invite +1 in certain circumstances." "Well so & so said…" "I’m sorry, we can only invite…" etc., etc. You may have to repeat it several times but at least people will get the point! When they get there and see how big & beautiful your wedding is, they will understand. And if they don’t, well there’s nothing you could have done anyway! 🙂
Post # 4
We are in the same kind of boat and it sucks,but hopefully people will be understanding…sorry hon..
Post # 5
I’m so sorry to hear that this is stressing you out, especially as you’re about to hand out your invites! We are only inviting plus 1’s if the guest is married, engaged, or has been with the SI for more than one year. But the exception we made to that is with the bridal party. Everyone in the bridal party is getting a plus one, even if they’re not in a relationship. We felt that seeing as these people are devoting so much time – not to mention money – to our wedding day, that we should at least let them share it with their SI.
From what i’ve gathered from etiquette books, it’s customary to allow all the bridal party a plus one, even if no one else is getting one. That may be why your siblings that are in the wedding are upset, because they just assumed that they’d get to bring their SI’s. And if their SI’s know that usually wedding party gets a plus 1, then they might feel personally insulted that they weren’t invited. I don’t think that it would be strange if the wedding party brought dates, but others still couldn’t. I think that the guests would understand that a) they’re the bridal party, and b) they’re your siblings, so they’re going to get special treatment. You never know, your brother’s girlfriend might end up being his wife one day, and the last thing you want is to upset her now and then get stuck with an angry SIL forever! I think that if you can squeeze them in, then you should try to do it just for the bridal party. I hope maybe that helped a little bit, and that it all gets sorted out soon. Good luck! 🙂
Post # 6
Hi ladies! Thanks so much for your comments!!
londonladybug: I have thought about that too…but with this particular brother it’s not so easy. My FMIL absolutely HATES his girlfriend (I don’t though) and for 110% if we invite her it will NOT be ok with his mom. This gf isn’t even allowed into their house. And there’s kind of the same situation going on but less intense with one of my sister’s bf. So personally I think that this is the best solution for us as we feel it’s more important that the parents are happy. On top of that, my parents are the only ones who have made financial contributions so far so we really felt from the beginning that if there were any extra room left the seats should go towards my parents friends. I really do wish I can squish more people in. I’ve even tried asking the venue to see if we can add tables by downsizing the dance floor. But we’re not allowed. And in a way even if we can add more tables our budget really doesn’t allow for it.
I’ve decided to call this particular brother’s gf and let her know why we’ve made these arrangements. Hopefully if I let her know in person or even over the phone that the reason she’s not invited is not because of HER in particular, she will understand….cuz I really do like her as a person. But at the same time, if she’s going to hold it against me forever and not be understanding and hate me, then so be it because real friends or family don’t do that to each other in my books.
Post # 7
They’ll understand more later when they are not single and going through the wedding process themselves. I used to be one of those ‘hurt’ people who didn’t get to bring a guest but I TOTALLY understand now.
Post # 8
oh my word, it sounds like there’s some major tension between your FIL’s and the gf. That’s not fun at all, and it totally stinks that it’s landed on your doorstep. It sounds like you’ve made the right decision, and I hope the phone call goes well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that she doesn’t end up becoming family one day and creating drama wherever she goes!
Post # 9
To be honest, you might let your FI handle talking to your FBIL and his GF. Even if you like her and have a good relationship, it might just come off better if it stays in the immediate family.
For reassurance, nothing you are doing is strange…so don’t feel guilty. A serious BF (from before my FI) was really excited to bring me to a family wedding and kept talking about it, but then his aunt told him no one who isn’t married or engaged. And it was no big deal.
And you are totally right that siblings in the BP will really have very little time to be with SO’s during the wedding. There was no way I was bringing my BF (of only a month or so) to my sister’s wedding. My brother’s GF will be invited to ours, but they’ve actually been together longer than me and my FI. And she will know several other people there. Nonetheless, even though my Mom loves her and is looking forward to their getting engaged (which won’t happen soon b/c she’s in school), she is pretty adamant that the GF won’t be sitting at the head table etc…which is fine with me. I think non-married/engaged SOs of siblings at weddings are particularly awkward b/c tehre are many things (e.g. formal photos etc) that you probably don’t want to include them in and it can be kind of strange.
Post # 10
To be honest I’m a fan of allowing plus ones. I do understand budget issues, but I feel that :
1. Siblings and BP members should be allowed dates, at the least. Can you at least allow their plus ones to come after dinner? That’s when these siblings and BP members will get the chance to spend time with them, anyway.
2. I’m not sure if FI’s brother’s gf, and the whole BP not spending time with their dates are really the reasons behind not them not inviting dates. If so, I don’t think the rest of the BP should be punished by not bringing dates, because your FMIL and this gf are not getting along. I also know the BP is busy for most of the day, but you shouldn’t dissapoint them because you feel they won’t spend time together. Now if the real reson is simply money, I think you should keep it simple and state that.
3. I think some of the shock comes from what seems to be not including serious relationships. More times than not, even when people aren’t including plus ones, it’s often regarding singles who would bring random dates, not long term relationships. You seem to be excluding long term SOs. Think about it, they all want someone to dance with for slow songs etc. Weddings are exciting and romantic. Perfect stuff to cuddle up with your honey.
Allowing plus ones is a nice way to accommodate guests and make them feel more comfortable. But if you have budget and space concerns, you need to just figure out how to best sort out the guest list. If you don’t invite plus ones, I would at least consider making an exception for your siblings and BP.
Post # 11
well my situation is with childrens yeah! most of the couples we know have from two to three babies and when we added them up it was almost 20 kids hhmm? so we decided to ask not to have any kids at the wedding soo im hoping they understand
Post # 12
Aw that’s a hard situation — everybody’s already given you some great advice. I know when my FI and I had been dating for less than a year, I was personally surprised to be invited along with him to two weddings. But everybody has a different set of expectations. Is there maybe something you can do for them to make up for it? Throw a little party or BBQ with them?
I hope you find a solution and feel better! it really does seem like the guest lists are the HARDEST part.
Post # 13
Thanks again everyone for taking the time to read all this and write something back…this community is really great!
So I private facebook messaged the gf (that’s the only way I have of contacting her…) and asked her to give me a call and left my number…."Hey ___, Could you please give me a call when you get the chance to?" I haven’t heard from her…my FI told me that she probably won’t call me. So now I’m thinking I really made the right decision to NOT invite her. If she cared about our relationship at all she would call me talk to me about it considering how ‘really choked up’ my FI’s brother said she was. Oh well….what can I do? I tried right? I AM still pretty upset about it…but I had a nice talk with my FI tonight and he told me that his family is like that…they always keep trying to get their way no matter what you tell them. So really they’re just different than my family I guess and I will have to adjust to it all. My sisters who have serious boyfriends are competely fine with not bringing them because they said ‘it’s your wedding and we are your bridesmaids and you are the important one that day’. Isn’t that what your BP should be for you?
Tanya 123: I can totally see what you mean. I think ideally it would be great if we could allow all guests to bring their SO’s but I’ve personally always felt that weddings are really intimate for the bride and groom and having people there that don’t really mean much to them don’t make sense (especially since we’re paying for it out of our own pockets and we have a limited number of seating). Also my FI and I really did make an effort in trying to include each others siblings in the BP. My brother is in his party and his sister is in mine. It’s a huge thing to ask someone to be in your BP and I kind of just feel that to have someone complain that they can’t bring their gf isn’t what a good groomsmen should do (considering the tension with the MIL…he really put me in the middle of it all). Don’t get me wrong I DO agree that it would be nice to allow the BP to bring a date if they had serious relationships cuz it would be a nice guesture of course. But considering the tension…I don’t think it’s worth our trouble. The last thing we need is drama at the wedding.
minneapolitan: We already had an engagement party at my house back in October. Everyone was allowed to bring a date….I think that was a huge mistake on our part because it probably set them up to think that they would get invited to the wedding.
Post # 14
I know how you feel, I have the same issues with some of my guests. What I’ve decided to do is offer the +1 to my closest family members and my bridal party. Although we will be taking photos, etc.. and they won’t really be together for the day, they are going out of the way to be with me and my groom. They are spending a ton of money on their dresses, tuxes, gifts, showers, etc.. and I think it would be nice for them to have their significant other to dine and dance with at the reception. I just re did my list and obliterated some of my mother’s work friends (sorry mom) so I could do what’s right by my friends.
Accommodating friends and family who are there for you is something you’ll never regret. It’s all a nice circle of friendship and love
Best to you,