More guest list drama! Sister's boyfriend?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Am I in the wrong?
    Yes : (67 votes)
    64 %
    No : (35 votes)
    34 %
    Special Snowflake (please comment below) : (2 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    466 posts
    Helper bee

    @Penelopeee:  I think you should invite the sister’s boyfriend.  A year is a long time to be dating particularly in your early 30s and I know my SO and I were quite serious when we were a little less than a year out.  I considered him to be likely to become a part of the family.  He was invited on a family vacation 4 mos into our relationship, as we were very, VERY serious (and my parents had only met him once.)  

    My sister, who was single and not with anyone at the time, was not allowed to invite anyone.  

    You don’t have to give plus ones to all your siblings, but it would be nice to include your sister’s boyfriend (and any other long term significant others).  Its quite possible that she and he are talking marriage, etc.  I would not extend plus ones to unattached siblings since you want to keep the wedding small.  She may consider him part of the family already particularly as she is requesting he come, and he should probably be treated as such by you.  Just consider it as an opportunity to get to know your sister’s partner better and integrate him into the family.  


    Post # 4
    2642 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m firmly in the camp that all SO’s need to be invited regardless of how long the couple has been dating or whether or not you have me them.  I really hate the rule where one only invities SO’s if they are married, engaged, or living together.  Some couples have been together for YEARS but not engaged for whatever reason so how do you tell them their relationship isn’t worthy enough for them to be invited together.  Or what about the couple who choses to live apart until they are married?  How is it fair that they aren’t invited together but the couple that moved in together after 3 months is?

    Remember, even though it’s your wedding day, it stops becoming all about you the moment you decide to inclue other people.  I also find it hypocritical to invite people to celebrate your love and relationship but ignore theirs.

    Now, I will say that just because you invite the BF doesn’t mean you have to give every single guest a +1.  You only need to invite the SO’s of those in a commited relationship.  If a guest is truely single, it’s perfectly fine to just invite the guest by him/herself.

    Post # 5
    1555 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Your sister’s bf should be invited. Dating someone for a year in your 30s is very different than dating someone for a year in college or your early 20s. Just because you haven’t met him many times, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t consider the relationship serious. 

    Inviting your sister’s bf doesn’t mean you need to invite all of your siblings with a date, unless they are also in relationships. I agree with @lawyerchick13 – its a good opportunity to get to know him better, especially because he is so important to your sister.   

    Post # 6
    841 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I don’t think it will open the floodgates unless all your other siblings have SOs of about the same time. There are tons of people who live together who haven’t been together as long as some people who don’t live together. I would invite him just to avoid the drama. You can still refuse to let people bring dates just for the sake of bringing a date, but it’s no fun to go to a wedding alone when you have to leave your SO at home.

    Post # 7
    1332 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    1) A year is a long enough time to consider someone a partner and not just a date. Especially when one is in their 30s.

    2) Inviting a semi-LT partner does not mean you have to invited the truly unattached guests with dates.

    3) Is this the hill you want to die on?


    Post # 8
    6450 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I personally don’t think that criteria is very good because some people move in together after a few months while others (for various reasons) wait. I don’t think you should judge the seriousness of someone’s relationship and TBH at that age I think almost a year is fairly serious. However, that is the criteria you set and if it was say a cousin or friend I would say not to give in.

    But since it’s your sister, I would let her bring him. He could be your BIL someday and really I think siblings are close enough to you that they should be able to bring a plus one even if they are not in a relationship.

    So, to sum that all up- I think you should let him come.

    Post # 9
    2546 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I think it’s terribly rude to not invite your sister’s boyfriend. Like others said, at 30, a year is a long time.

    Post # 10
    838 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    If he means enough to her that she felt she wanted him there, then he should be there. She’s your sister, he could potentially be your brother-in-law in the future (who knows) so you should allow her to have him there. It’s not your place to decide how serious their relationship is. Sorry. 

    Post # 12
    855 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2008

    @Penelopeee:  If you are only inviting spouses, BOYFRIENDS (or fiances) are not spouses. You invite who you want. End of story.

    Post # 13
    460 posts
    Helper bee

    So once OP adds this b/f, and the 21 yr old sibling’s S/O, and surely someone else is going to chime in asking that their partner be included as well, she is going to +1 herself out of her planned venue. If ANYTHING, I’d think that siblings should be more ‘accomodating’ to her request to not bring dates (of any kind) since they WILL know others at the event – their family. Also, this does not sound to me like the usual “reception” that is a big party, dancing, etc. It sounds more like a dinner-only reception, and the OP wants to keep it small & intimate. I don’t mean to sound like I’m minimizing & simplifying this second marriage for the OP; rather, I can appreciate where she is coming from. As she stated, it has significant meaning/emotion for them, and I can certainly appreciate not feeling super ‘comfortable’ sharing those emotions in a room filled with strangers or people who aren’t that close to me.


    OP – I say stick to your plan on this one, and ask your sister to understand things from your perspective. It IS your day, and I don’t mean that in the “be a bridezilla” sense; rather, I understand you want to feel comfortable being emotional on what is generally a very emotional day for couples, and you shouldn’t have that diminished because of attendance “etiquette” for non-close boyfriends of guests. And when I say that, I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s relationship that is not an engagement, marriage, etc. Personally, if I were close to the sister’s b/f, I probably wouldn’t mind including him, but it doesn’t sound like OP is that close to him to feel comfortable baring herself emotionally in a room of semi-strangers … hell, I wouldn’t either!

    Post # 14
    1613 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @Penelopeee:  Because this will open up a flood gate, her boyfriend needs to stay home. If you invite hers, you will have to invite your other sisters. There are 2 more people as well. You could end up with 5 ‘dates’ from your siblings and that will put you over capacity.

    It’s easy for someone to sit behind a computer screen and judge.

    I think she can spend on evening away from him.

    Post # 15
    337 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    @Penelopeee:  I totally get why you might not feel inclined to invite him, but I do think you should extend the invite. It might be a nice opportunity to get to know him better.  Are your other single siblings dating anyone or have a you to bring? If the rest are single, I’m sure they would understand not extending a +1 to them as well.  Or at the end of the day explain to you siblings that the restaurant holds 37, you’re at capacity, but maybe they could come after dinner and have a drink or something?  Will there be dancing? Come for the party part maybes?

    Post # 16
    2642 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @Penelopeee:  Yes.  SO’s should always be invited.  You budget for food, you budget for drinks, you budget for a dress, you budget for flowers, you need to budget for SOs.

    Leave a comment

    Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

    Find Amazing Vendors