Post # 1
I am hoping that some bees can give me some good advice here.
FI and I decided from the start that single people would not receive an “and guest” with their invitation. Only people who are in longer relationships, engaged, married will bring a guest. Also, only kids 12 and up will be invited to the wedding.
Here is where I am struggling…my in laws keep coming up with exceptions to this rule. They have pointed out that two of FI’s cousins (who are 17/18) have been dating girlfriends for over a year and that those girlfriends need to be invited (they live out of state). They have also mentioned that another adult cousin now has a girlfriend and she needs to be invited too.
Honestly, I don’t want to invite these people since our guestlist is already at the max. I also feel like I can’t keep up with everyone’s dating life and that teenagers don’t need to bring girlfriends.
So what should I do? Continue following days of our lives with people’s new relationships? Should I invite the teeny bopper cousin’s girlfriends? Ah, help!
Post # 3
Generally the rule is if someone has had a SO for more than 6 months, it’s rude to not invite them. I had this problem with my guest list too, but just wait until about 10 weeks before the big day, when you start addressing invitations, and then decide if someone gets “and guest” privileges.
Post # 4
I completely agree that teenagers don’t need to bring gf/bfs. Yes, it is a feat for a high school relationship to last more than 3 months, but I don’t think that deserves an invitation. Plus, if I were the other person’s parents, there is no way I would let them travel out of state for a wedding anyway, but you shouldn’t have to gamble with your guestlist like that.
As for the new girlfriend of the adult cousin, again, I don’t think she needs to be invited. Especially if they just started dating, whose to say they will still be when the wedding rolls around.
Maybe you can support your case to you in-laws by pointing out people who you are actually CLOSE with that don’t quite fit on the guestlist. I have several college friends not getting invited so FI’s cousin’s can fit on the list.
Post # 5
I agree that teenagers don’t need to bring dates – particularly when they’re cousins.
Maybe FI needs to have a gentle chat with his parents outlining exactly who and what you can pay for to they understand that the decision is bedget-based and not an effort to exclude particular people.
Post # 6
I think if your in laws want to bend the rules, then they should be willing to pay for the extra guests.
But to be frank, even if they offered that I’d still resist. It makes it really awkward if the rules are bent for some people and not others — how would someone from your family feel if they weren’t allowed to bring a guest, but there was a different rule for your FI’s family?
I would get your FI deal with this as it’s his family who are putting on the pressure – calmly but firmly explaining that you’ve had to decide to draw a line somewhere, and this is where you’ve decided to draw it — and it just isn’t fair to start making exceptions. I think you’ll need to be really clear about how you define where that line is — eg, what you mean by a longer relationship, etc.
Teenage relationships are difficult — when my brother was 17 he was with the girl he married 8 years later. But that’s an exception, and I don’t think he would have taken it personally if he’d been told she wasn’t invited to a family wedding.
Adult cousin’s new girlfriend? No way she needs an invite!
Post # 7
Hah! “Days of our Lives” – that’s funny. I hear you though. My parents are pulling the same thing lately. We did decide to give an older cousin a plus 1 whether or not he’s dating someone but he’s in his 40’s.
I’d stand your ground on the teenager thing. I never had a +1 to family weddings until after college. At 17? Who knows what’ll happen in the next few months.
P.S. – we’re date twins! 🙂
Post # 8
I think if you are inviting the kids on one invitation with the parents, then it is totally ok to keep to the idea that they should not be allowed to bring a guest.
However, if you are sending someone an individual invitation (which I take to mean that they are grown and live on their own) then I think you should allow them to bring their boyfriend/girlfriend. Your wedding is nine months away, so you can make the call closer to the time when you send out the invitations, but if I was dating someone for 6 or 9 months and didn’t get invited “and guest” I’d be a little peeved. Wouldn’t it just be totally awkward if your cousin ended up marrying this girlfriend, but you didn’t invite her to the wedding?
Post # 9
I would invite them. The odds are heavily in your favor that they will not show up. What 17 year old is going to come from out of state to go their boyfriend or girlfriend’s cousin’s wedding? Like, practically none.
I went through this issue too and no one’s random extra guests showed up. I was kind of inconsistent–early on I was very hard-line about “no +1s” and as time wore on I became more lax. Of course, the one cousin whose boyfriend I didn’t invite (because they had been dating less than 6 months, although they are in their late 20s, not their teens)—well, she ended up marrying him last year. We went to their wedding last August and I felt a-w-k-w-a-r-d.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone for the input!
Dancy- Great minds think alike, September 5, 2010 is the best! 🙂
Jacqi- Great points. I am conflicted with who to send invites to because one of the teenage cousins will be in college when we send the invite.
Also, I was not invited to weddings of two of FI’s friends. The first one was after we had been dating 6 months, the second we had been dating over a year. What bugs me is that these friends are now married so we are inviting their wives to our wedding. This is an annoyance of mine, but that is a whole other topic!
Post # 11
@jayli- I can totally see why you are mad you didn’t get invited to your FI’s friends’ weddings. The only thing you can do is not make someone else feel that way about your wedding and invite the guests.
I was invited to a family member’s wedding in college (I was 20) and the invitation was sent to my family at my parents house. I didn’t get a guest and I didn’t care, although I wasn’t in a serious relationship at the time. I think if they are in college, you can put them on the parent’s invitation, especially if you aren’t very close with these cousins.
Post # 12
I would say no way to the teenagers having their bf or gf there. When I was that age there is no way my parents would have let me bring my bf to an out of state wedding. It’s just silly. We are not allowing people to bring random dates to our wedding either. Unless they are engaged, or living together we are not inviting people’s SO. It’s just too much and I don’t want random people I don’t know at my wedding.
Post # 13
You need to just have your FI lay down the law and say – sorry mom and dad, the guestlist is finalized and we are at capacity. We are already having to cut some friends that we would really like to be there so there simply is no room for plus ones for guests X, Y, and Z. Sorry but it’s not going to happen and we’re not going to have this discussion again.
Oh, and PS – the cousin that has a gf (or bf, i cant remember) that will be in college by the time the invites go out – um, it’s freshman year of college. they are SO breaking up.
Post # 14
i agree with the others. if you start making exceptions for them, you’ll have to make exceptions for others, and it starts to be too much. besides, you stated your rules very clearly, and these people are not within the boundries of being invited.
Post # 15
I’ve never heard of the general rule of inviting the SO if they’ve been dating for at least 6 months. Most people stand on the ground of: serious relationships (YEARS, not 6 months), engaged or live together. If your in-laws are not helping to foot the bill then they have no say so…period. However, if they are willing to pay for the teenie bopper girlfriends, then its up to you. But I totally agree with you!
Post # 16
Our rule is that short-term/new SO’s of adults are invited if we know them. If they still live at home with their parents, they’re not adults, even if they’re over 18. For example, my cousin has been dating her bf for about 4 years now, but he’s not getting an invite because a) she’s still living at home; and b) I don’t know anything about him other than his first name and that I think he’s still going to school. We just don’t see the point of having strangers at our wedding. Also, it’s not like depriving these people of bringing dates is going to make them sit by themselves at the wedding–they’ll know other people, so I think it’s fine. If there were singles who didn’t know anyone else at the wedding, we might feel differently about allowing them a date, but we don’t have anyone like that on our guest list.