(Closed) Are you obligated to invite a couple if you attended their wedding recently?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3170 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Obligated? No. It would have been nice for them to invite you but they were/are doing what they needed to do to accomodate their wedding. If you had said yes then they could have been pushed over capacity. You never know reasons for why someone is doing something but there is usually always a good one.

Post # 4
9549 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

No I do not think this is rude. Everyone has to draw a line somewhere.

Post # 5
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

The more I read about weddings, the more I realize – you’re not obligated to do ANYTHING. It would have been nice for them to extend the invite, but don’t be hurt because they didn’t. They are in quite a situation with their venue, so umm, yikes. Hopefully they get a lot of declines. 


My Fiance and I went to a wedding in October and we’re not including that couple on our guest list. We simply aren’t that close to them and therefore didn’t feel that we needed to extend an invite. We were both quite surprised when we got the invite to theirs actually. In any case, we went to theirs and had a wonderful time – but hopefully they weren’y expecting an invite to ours. If so, they were probably disappointed. 🙁

Post # 6
6221 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

I don’t think it’s rude. If it were a good friend, sure. But I know that the one couple whose wedding Fiance and I attended together will not be invited to ours

ETA and we attended that wedding in June. I might feel differently if that couple didn’t profit greatly from inviting us and then make us feel shafted

Post # 8
3688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t know, circumstances change, relationships change. I attended a couples’ wedding about two years ago, and they’re not invited to my wedding in August.

Post # 9
3170 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@lilbluebird:  I get that but I think it’s even more rude to invite someone and then make sure someone else (your sister in law) tells you that you can’t come even if you wanted to. How would they be sure that you wouldn’t go? Do they know your schedule?

Post # 11
11 posts

I know not being invited stings but, no, it’s not rude. I’d hate to think my Darling Husband and I received an invitation out of a sense of obligation rather than the couple really wanting us there.

Post # 12
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@lilbluebird:  Guests do indeed have obligations to their hostess, but they aren’t the obligations that you imagine. A well-bred guest, upon receiving an invitation to any formal event, will:

  1. Send a note of congratulations to the guest of honour (if there is one and there is something being celebrated), or to the hostess (if she is giving a celebration on her own behalf); which note may optionally accompany a gift.
  2. Reply immediately to the hostess, by the same means as the invitation was extended — to whit in writing on the guest’s own stationery —  either accepting or declining the invitation.
  3. Optionally send flowers to the hostess ahead of the party, or some other small gift the day after the party, and refrain from bringing any gifts to the party itself as that could be embarrassing the hostess or the other guests and could disrupt the social flow of the party.
  4. Show up (!) if the invitation was accepted (!)
  5. Send a bread-and-butter note the next day thanking the hostess for her hospitality
  6. Issue a return-invitation to the hostess (and her spouse or fiance if she has one) to dinner some time during the same season.

Obviously, there’s no obligation to invite the hostess to a wedding, since some reasonable number of the guests will be already married. The married ones don’t get off the hook of having to issue a return invitation, and the unmarried ones are not constrained to limit their return-invitation to a wedding.

In the modern era it is a rarely gracious guest who even knows about expectations 5) and 6). For that matter 1) and 3) seem to constitute insider knowledge alas, and some guests even flout 2) and 4). But traditional etiquette demands a double standard where one judges one’s own behaviour by the strict standard of etiquette, while attempting to find excuses or understanding for the deviations of others. I don’t know, of course, whether your friends actually did or did not adhere to the real etiquette rules above. But the expectation that they will invite you to their wedding is your own expectation, not the expectation of traditional formal etiquette.


Post # 13
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I wouldn’t be offended. Just because someone isn’t having what I’d perceive to be a small wedding doesn’t necessarily mean they have room to invite all the friends they want – they might have very large families, and everyone has to draw the line somewhere. I’d respect their budget/space/guest list limitations the same way I wanted others to respect mine while we were planning.

And I know some of my friends have attended a TON of weddings the last couple of years. Luckily we weren’t in that situation, but I’d hate to feel like I had to cut someone I’m closer to just because tons of other friends had invited me to their wedding the last couple of years and I had to invite all of them first. Expecting it to be tit for tat is just kind of setting yourself up for unnecessary disappointment in my opinion. And I’d never encourage anyone to go over their capacity or assume people would decline, I’ve seen that lead to serious venue issues for people!

Post # 14
2268 posts
Buzzing bee

@Birdee106:  “Obligated? No. It would have been nice for them to invite you but they were/are doing what they needed to do to accomodate their wedding. If you had said yes then they could have been pushed over capacity. You never know reasons for why someone is doing something but there is usually always a good one.” 


It would have been nice of them to invite you, but they don’t have to. Sometimes it’s not possible to invite everyone you would of liked to.

Post # 15
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I don’t know if I would say that it’s rude but I think I honestly might feel a bit offended if this happened to me (although I would never tell anyone besides my fiancee so it wouldn’t matter anyway). If this couple had recently gone to your wedding and enjoyed a nice night, on your dime, I feel like the polite thing to do would be to invite you guys too. I get it, guest lists are SO hard so I can’t really blame them (going through this myself right now) but I’d still be a bit peeved!

Post # 16
4687 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

I think people these days know how outrageously expensive weddings are and don’t get too offended if they’re not invited. For example, I know I was pretty much a pity-invite-because-we-attended-college-together recently. She’s wealthy and dad paid for the whole thing, mine’s not. She had a spacious venue, mine’s small. I’m not inviting her and I don’t think she’ll be surprised.

The topic ‘Are you obligated to invite a couple if you attended their wedding recently?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors