Post # 1
This weekend my fiancé went skiing with a bunch of friends including two couples. I know and like Couple 1 – the other couple, Couple 2, I’ve met the guy once for about an hour and the girl not at all. They live in another state. Last night, my fiance came home and said they were all talking about weddings (the other two couples apparently each are thinking of getting married) and then told me that he’d told “both of them” to save the date for our wedding. I said, wait, do you mean you told both members of Couple 1? Couple 1 is not currently on our guest list but we may have had a conversation about adding them, so while I was a little taken aback, I could understand. No, he tells me, he means both couples…. neither of whom are on the guest list. He somehow thought they were (this has happened before … apparently he did not give as much thought to the guest list as I did because there’s no one that I thought I put on there that I didn’t actually include) which is why he didn’t think twice about discussing the wedding and telling them to save the date.
So, what can I do within etiquette bounds? There are plenty of my out of state friends that I’d like to invite if we were having a bigger wedding, but we aren’t. Right now our guest list is at 42 people, all of whom we know well – only local, close friends and close family. Perhaps selfishly, but hopefully understandably to some, I don’t want strangers at my small wedding. If we were having a bigger shindig, then adding 4 people would not be a big deal and I would not expect to know all of my guests well before the wedding. As it stands, though, my fiancé unwittingly increased the guest list by 10%.
I’d like to be able to say to the out of state couple that I don’t know, apologies but there was a miscalculation and we are at our max, or something along the (true) lines of, since we have to keep it small, we’re only inviting local friends (that seems kind of harsh though). Or… something else? Thoughts?
Post # 3
@HannahGrace: Unfortunately, I don’t believe there is any polite manner in which you may rescind what, essentially, was a verbal invitation issued by your FI to these two couples.
Perhaps you will have some declines from among the 42 guests who currently are on your list, and the fact that your FI has invited these four individuals — if they are even able to attend — will not create any additional expense for you.
Post # 4
@Brielle: I apologize if I conveyed that my issue relates to money – it doesn’t. I’m worried about venue capacity and about having strangers at my intimate wedding. In general I understand what you are saying and that’s where I’m at too… I can’t come up with a polite way for my fiance to say “I didn’t realize when we spoke that I hadn’t put you on the guest list and now there is no room.”
Post # 5
Screw etiquette, it’s your small wedding and you don’t want strangers. I would tell them it was a misunderstanding and your only inviting very close friends and family. I’m also having a small 60 person wedding, so I can understand how tricky this would be!
Post # 6
@HannahGrace: I think the topic of wedding would have come up whether they would have been invited or not. That being said, have you sent out invites? It sounds to me like you haven’t, which might be your saving grace. Just don’t send them an invite, and they won’t be invited. Granted, they got a verbal, but things change during planning, and perhaps you can tell them that you weren’t able to accomodate extra guests at the wedding after you got more into the planning.
Post # 7
Why can’t you just not send them an invite or real save the date? If both couples will be getting engaged/married soon they’ll probably be busy and might not notice you didn’t invite them… or if they do notice have your fiance tell them it was his mistake and maybe everyone should go skiing together after everyone’s married to celebrate? Honestly, if you have less than 50 people you’re inviting to the wedding I would stand my ground on this.
Post # 8
If they’re not close to you, they probably won’t think it’s a big deal. And if they do, maybe you don’t want to be close with them?
Post # 9
@megz06: True, the topic would have come up either way especially with each couple now thinking about weddings themselves. We have not sent save the dates (and don’t plan to) and won’t be sending invitations for a while now since the wedding isn’t until September.
Just not sending invitations would certainly be easier, especially since my fiance hates conflict. Since I wasn’t there, I don’t know exactly what was said, but it sounded like it was pretty clearly a case of talking about wedding details and then saying “the date is September 13th, so mark that down and make plans to come! You’ll be getting an invitation.” I could seriously kill him.
Post # 10
@HannahGrace: Ugh, I would be SO mad if I were you. Forty guests is a SMALL wedding, and I don’t understand how your FI could be so clueless as to invite people who are just casual acquaintances.
Unfortunately, there is no polite way to rescind an invitation, which is what your fiance offered them. I disagree with PPs who are advising you to just not send an invitation. Doing so would be a serious insult. If someone did that to me, I would be very offended and it would probably end our friendship.
It would be one thing if you legitimately didn’t like these people and didn’t mind essentially telling them to screw off. But it sounds like, although you aren’t particularly close, you do like these people and probably don’t want to do irrevocable damage to the friendship.
ETA: If you aren’t that close, they might not even come? But I wouldn’t count on it.
Post # 11
@HannahGrace: And I apologize for making an incorrect assumption. Sorry about that. 🙂
However, I agree with your last sentence in post #3. Unfortunately, I don’t think there IS a polite way to do that. 🙁
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX
@HannahGrace: There is no polite way, but if there’s no room then there’s no room and he’s going to have to tell them that. It might affect the friendships, but it sounds like you weren’t that close to them anyway. He should apologize profusely and explain that it’s a small wedding with only 40 people invited, and he hadn’t realized that the space is literally maxed out.
Post # 13
@merpitymerp: Yeah, I was pretty upset! We can only have 50 people max at our venue and I’m not sure if the 50 is just guests or is supposed to include officiant / photographer etc, so I’m kind of freaking out. He’s just clueless. He genuinely thought he had put them on the list. I made him pull up the Google Doc on his phone and showed him – nope, none of these four people are there.
The first couple I do like, and they are local, and we spend time with them so I would be fine with them coming (as long as we go through the guest list first and confirm that there isn’t anyone else that my fiance “thinks” is on there who isn’t). That would put us at 44. The second couple, I can’t say I dislike them but I literally have never met or had any contact with the woman, and I met the guy once when he and my fiance were having a beer, in a loud bar for about an hour. Definitely could not pick him out of a crowd. I do agree that if we were going to do the gauche thing of essentially uninviting the second couple, there would have to be a conversation and a huge apology.
Post # 14
We had a small, private wedding as well (51, including us), only family and close friends, no random dates.
At first DH went a little guest list crazy and starting telling every Tom, Dick and Harry he’d like them to come. I had to be the “bad cop” and shut it down saying no, our wedding was very small and there just wasn’t room.
In the end, our day was perfect. It was just the right amount of people and the right mix of people. Any random friends would have felt so out of place.
Don’t be afraid of making the hard decision (or forcing DH to rescind and say sorry but no), I think you’ll be really happy you kept it small!
Post # 15
I am old school, which is, the only invitation to a formal event is the expensive printed one that comes in the mail. In the days of old where people got engaged and married in 6 months to a year, this was sufficient. Now, with weddings a year or two later, the save the date is an invention that can complicate things. in your case, neither STD nor formals have gone out, and it is ugly, but verbal invitations are not binding, this goes as well as idle Facebook and text mentions. There is a reason we spend so much money on the paper invitation.
It is awkward now, in that your future husband has to somehow say, oh dear, I did not check with my lovely fiancée before speaking of our wedding. She has let me know that the guest list was set for family only and we should plan to spend some time together after the wedding is over.
Edit. The “forgot to check with spouse” is an acceptable excuse all through married life,
Post # 16
@thebrazenhead: Thank you. Yes, the thought I kept having was, even if I didn’t feel weird about having strangers at our tiny wedding, who the heck would these people even hang out with or talk to? The close friends who are invited are people that have been in our lives on a regular basis for years and all know each other.
Also, you are reminding me that our current list of 42 does not actually include us, so I should think of it as 44 even before any of these people do or don’t get added. ARGH.