Post # 1
My fiance has never gotten along with his uncle’s wife (so much so that he refuses to call her his aunt). She’s said some really nasty things about him and his brothers behind their backs, and was stealing money from his grandparents while they were alive. I’ve heard a lot of these stories, and some are truly despicable. The family has had issues with her for the past 35 years, so it’s not a recent thing either. His uncle is a great guy, but gets completely walked over by his wife.
When it came time to make the guest list, my future Mother-In-Law told us that we needed to invite his uncle and aunt, but that she didn’t think they’d come due to the distance (it’ll probably be a 5 hour trip each way). My Fiance was ok with this, since he also seemed sure that they wouldn’t come – I reminded him that weddings are a big deal and that they may make the effort to come. Save the date cards were sent about 3 weeks ago.
Fast forward to this weekend, when his uncle and aunt show up to a birthday party for FI’s dad, which was completely unexpected. I always try to be civil with the aunt, and while making small talk, she mentioned that they’re planning to come to the wedding. Fiance lost it when I told him – and now he doesn’t want to send them an invite.
I guess I struggle with this for two reasons – 1) we sent them a save the date, and I fully understood that doing that meant there was a possibility that they’d be at the wedding, and 2) I’m super closer to my family, and can’t imagine not inviting any of them. Fiance has said that he wants our wedding day to be happy, and that it will be impossible for him to relax knowing she is present. I basically told him it’s his family, and he needs to figure out how to handle this.
Has anyone else sent someone a save the date, and not an invite? Or had to deal with terrible relatives during the guest list process?
Post # 3
It is in extremely bad taste to send a save the date and not an invitation. A save the date is a promise to be invited. If you send a save the date, you’re telling that person to make arrangements to be there, and they may very well make arrangements. These arangements may be buying plane tickets, getting a babysitter, etc. Even if they made no special arrangements to be at your wedding, the principle still applies. I’m not saying you CAN’T not send an invite, but it would be unbelievably rude not to invite them at this point.
Also, they are married. If you want to invite one, you have to invite both. They are a package deal, ufortunately.
ETA: I’m very sorry this is happening to you. It really does suck that you’re in this situation. But keep in mind, most people assume the bride is handling most of the weding planning, like sending invitations. Even if it is your FI’s idea not to invite them, it will reflect poorly on you whether you like it or not, and you don’t want to join his family on such a bad note. Good luck!
Post # 4
I don’t think you can invite the uncle and not the aunt. That said I have two “uncles”, one is my mother’s brother, the other is my dad’s brother. You can’t have a conversation with them that is in depth, it’s always about .. the weather or their tennis game or how much such and such cost. My mom’s brother yachting off the coast of Mass when my mom passed and showed up the second night for the last 20 min of the viewing. The other, would only come to the viewings if someone paid his airfair. huh?
So neither got invites, nor their wives or kids. I think you either invite both or do not invite either. My dad, completely agreed with me, and actually called them both up to explain that it was the numbers game, and just no room at the inn for them to come to the wedding. He took the hit, said it was his fault he didn’t have the budget for my uncles/families to attend. Meanwhile Darling Husband and I paid for it all anyway….. best gift my dad could have given me. Could whoever is the sibling of this uncle do something like my dad did?
Post # 6
@LilliePad: +1 You took the words right out of my mouth.
Post # 7
@HisIrishPrincess: That was a real nice thing your dad did.
Post # 8
You sent a STD so in my opinion you have to send an invite. You also must invite the aunt – they’re a social unit, it would be really rude not to.
Post # 9
@LilliePad: That’s exactly the angle I’m coming from – even though I don’t like the woman, I still don’t want to give her a reason to trash talk me and to make this into something way bigger than it has to be. STD’s are asking people to make arranagements and save the date! I get all of this, but I’m trying to convey this to my Fiance, since he is hell-bent on not inviting her now (and I realize that we can’t just invite the uncle).
I keep telling Fiance, that he will have to accept their congratulations in the receiving line but after that, there’s a good chance he won’t have to talk to her the rest of the day. She’ll be one guest out of 250+ for goodness sake! And it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they’ll RSVP and not show up, or change their minds about coming.
Post # 10
I don’t know what the relationship with the uncle is like, but I had a similar situation with my MoH. She recently married a man whom I cannot be around without getting upset. He’s an abusive drug addict with a bad history regarding underage girls — seriously, the man should be in prison.
I had a heart-to-heart with her early on. She already knew how I felt about him because I told her when they were dating and after they got engaged (which was risky, I admit, but we have a very strong friendship). She understood that he was not invited. She simply asked that I make a show of inviting him for her sake and she would make sure he didn’t come. It worked for us. I don’t know if that would work with this uncle, but an honest talk may be in order. If you can’t have the talk, if the relationship isn’t the kind that could handle that — I think you may need to invite her. It’s really just a weighing game: what’s more important to you and your Fiance, avoiding the woman or avoiding the fight?
Post # 11
This is yet another reason why save-the-dates are silly. You’ve now put yourself in the position where you have to invite them – both of them. Unless she’s tried to sleep with your Fiance or physically harmed one of you, you’re SOL – gotta invite social units together.
Post # 12
@cinbee: I see. Sometimes it is hard for men to understand the importance of etiquette.
Even without taking etiquette into consideration, think about it this way. If you invite them, he will have to put up with her for a few hours for one day, and like you said, he probably won’t even see her after the 5 second “hello” in the receiving line. But if you DON’T invite her, she has the undeniable potential to make both of your lives a living hell by possibly turning his family against both of you. Personally, I would rather just suck it up and deal with her being present for a few hours at my wedding than risk having to hear about it over and over and over again from not only her, but the rest of his family as well, for months, possibly years, after your wedding. He will probably have to put up with her less if you do invite her. Maybe if you explain it to him like this, he might change his mind.
Post # 13
I feel for the situation you’re in, I really do. When I got married the first time I couldn’t stand some members of my fiance’s family and I would have loved not to invite them!
Honestly though, you can’t invite someone without inviting their spouse. They’re married! Imagine how you would feel if someone invited your fiance/husband to a wedding and not you, you would be pissed and upset. I think this potentially has a lot of harmful effects in the long run if you invite him and not her.
Post # 14
I gave save the dates to both of our new neighbors when we first moved as they kinda kept asking us to invite them. (And then kept asking me when the wedding is because they keep forgetting…uh thats what the STD was for…) But since then (several months ago) They really turned out to be not so nice, talking about my Fiance and i behind our backs to other neighbors and just stupid neighbor issues….They also cant hold their liquor (were talking falling down drunk) and we really dont want that kind of thing going on….I turned to the hive for advice and this is what I got:
Do I HAVE to invite them…Please give your opinion…
I’m not inviting them now. One moved but is planning on visiting the other during the weekend of the wedding anyways and the other is also moving soon. I really dont want them ruining the day, nor do I want to pay the $100+ per person just to save face…
I know its bad ettiquet but so is asking to be invited and saying bad things about us….
Post # 15
omg, when I read the headline of your post I thought I may have blacked out and posted it myself. My uncle’s wife is awful, and she has done so many terrible things to hurt our family, and she definitely hates me. I am, however, inviting her despite this. I figure I can’t invite my uncle and not her, and it would hurt my grandmother’s feeings if I didn’t invite either of them. Also, it saves face. Since you all have already partially invited them I think your stuck with this too. I know it’s not going to ruin or affect my day at all with them being there, and hopefully your fiance can realize that too. Don’t worry, they probably won’t even stay that long.
Post # 16
Urg, I have an aunt I’d like to invite without her dreadful husband. He’s a horror. But… sadly, I cannot. And neither can you. You sent them a dave the date – in effect, you’ve already invited them. They’re just waiting for the detailed info.