Post # 1
I could really use some advice on a situation that has arisen recently between myself and a friend who is getting married in a couple of weeks.
My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 4 years and currently live together. Shortly after the bride announced her engagement (about a year or so ago) she asked me to be a bridesmaid (I agreed) and then told me that she did not want my boyfriend attending her wedding if things did not improve between him and I. At the time, things were pretty rocky between he and I, so I understood her concern.
Fastforward to today (two weeks before the wedding), she informs me he is not invited. Period. Regardless of the status of our relationship (which is great). When I told her I was under the impression that if our relationship improved, it wouldn’t be an issue, she basically said she didn’t like him and didn’t want him to cause a scene at her wedding because 2 years ago, he and I got into an argument (not in public) that she overheard. She told me that I didn’t have to like it, but I did have to respect her wishes.
I am very upset by this. I feel like she has singled out my boyfriend unfairly based on issues we had years ago. I also don’t appreciate the fact that I am spending hundreds of dollars on a dress, shoes, the bachelorette party, hair appointments, manicures, makeup, jewerly, tanning, gifts, and multiple trips out of state to accommodate “her day” and she can’t accommodate my boyfriend.
I am aware of the “No Ring, No Bring” rule, which not being implement at this particular wedding, so that’s not the issue. It is also not a “we don’t have room on the guest list’ issue because she asked if I was bringing a date (um, no! Not one that isn’t my boyfriend!). She just doesn’t like him.
I am seriously considering bowing out of the wedding party (and wedding altogether) because of this and am not sure how to handle it. At this point I feel like if I go I will be resentful of her because he was not invited. I don’t want to be petty, but I feel like she is completely out of line here and I could really use some advice and perspective from others who have been in a similar situation (either as a bride or bridesmaid).
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
No, she shouldn’t be excluding your live-in boyfriend.
The only way I’d really consider an exception to that is if the relationship was abusive previously. I’m not sure I could invite someone in those circumstances. But, I probably wouldn’t ask her to be a bridesmaid either.
Sorry you’re dealing with this.
Post # 4
I would tell her that you’re not prepared to be a bridesmaid if she cannot respect your relationship. She is being nasty by asking you to do so much for her, but refusing to include your boyfriend. Stand up for yourself, chicky.
Post # 5
Thank you ladies for the advice! It is much appreciated.
I am by no means a doormat, but I also don’t want to possibly ruin a friendship if the consensus is that she is well within her rights to exclude him. The odd thing is that she has expressed dislike for the husbands of two other bridesmaids to me in the past, but they are still invited. It just didn’t seem right to me.
Post # 6
yeah i don’t see a good ending to this situation. personally, if i were you i would bow out of the bridal party and wedding. what she is doing is completely unfair. she’s taking the whole “it’s my day, my rules” thing too far.
the only way i would understand would be if your bf and the bride had some sort of major falling out or major situation arise between the two of them. aside from that it’s just not ok for her to do.
if you do go you’ll be seething and resentful and that’s not good for you or the bride.
Post # 7
From an etiquette perspecitve, your friend cannot properly exclude the significant other of one of her invited guests IF that guest is A) married, B) engaged, or C) living with his or her SO. She is incorrect to exclude him unless there are other, extenuating circumstances of which you have not made us aware.
Post # 8
@Brielle: The only extenuating circumstances I can think of would be that she has overheard us arguing (this was at least two years ago, possibly longer) and was at one point privvy to all of my gripes about him (again, at least two years ago). Yes, things between he and I were very tenuous at one point, and back then I could completely understand her hesitancy to invite him without a caveat. Now, however, we are much better (although we still fight now and then…who doesn’t?). I think her primary concern is that we will have some sort of fight at her wedding and ruin “her day,” which is, at this point, unfounded.
Post # 9
Did she give you a “plus one” on your invitation? If so, she has no say in who that is.
If she did not give a plus one, she obviously is ok with you bringing a date as she inquired about it. If she is ok with a “date” she still doesn’t get to say who that is.
I would have a face to face or phone conversation with her- no text or email- and explain to her that ____ is very important in your life and that you are not comfortable with her excluding him, and that he will be attending the wedding with you.
I would not state that I wouldn’t attend unless he could come. An ultimatum like that is sure to have a serious impact on your friendship. Let her be the one to ask you to step down if his attendance is such a big deal to her.
Post # 10
Where do people get off thinking that just because they are getting married it allows them to try to control everyone around them? God this stuff burns my ass.
I’ve never been in a wedding party, but I do know this–my Maid/Matron of Honor may feel incredibly honoured that I asked her, but I feel equally grateful that she accepted. I need her more than she needs to fork out money for a dress, listen to me brainstorm about my wedding, the potential future meltdowns, and to dedicate an entire weekend to my wedding. She is doing me a FAVOUR and I will make damn sure that every step along the way she is taken care of and knows I appreciate her. That is how it is supposed to be.
Your bride has no business making judgments about your relationship. She can dislike him all she likes, but it is nothing but utter disrespect to both of you to suggest not only that you can’t bring him, but that you bring another date! Put it another way, even if you didn’t like her husband, chances are you would still be there to support your friend on her wedding day.
I would be so out of that wedding party. Of course, there will be long term repercussions for doing that at this stage of the game, but ask yourself if you really need friends who have so little respect for you anyway.
Post # 11
@K8SABGR: To me, those are not viable reasons for her to not invite him. Not that there is a printed list anywhere in any etiquette books I’ve ever read, but the kinds of extenuating circumstances that I was thinking of in a generic sense when I wrote that would include things such as if a person who otherwise would be invited were actually a convicted or suspected child molester/predator, an abusive spouse or domestic partner, someone against whom you or someone else has had a restraining order, someone who has a history of brandishing weapons in public, or someone who is technically still legally married to someone else.
Post # 12
@julies1949: She did give me a +1, and in fact, that’s precisely what started this problem. She asked me today if I was “bringing a guest or my daughter” and I told her that my boyfriend might be coming (depending on logistics and his work schedule) and that’s what started this whole thing.
Post # 13
@Nautigirl: You said “Your bride has no business making judgments about your relationship. She can dislike him all she likes, but it is nothing but utter disrespect to both of you to suggest not only that you can’t bring him, but that you bring another date! Put it another way, even if you didn’t like her husband, chances are you would still be there to support your friend on her wedding day.”
That is precisely how I feel! I would never think of inviting someone to be in my bridal party (should that day come) but then excluding that person’s SO. It just seems rude, inconsiderate and wholly uncouth.
Yes, he may have been a jerk before (and he still can be sometimes, I mean, what guy isn’t if you catch him on a bad day?) but I simply don’t think it’s her call, even it is her wedding. On the off chance he and I did have a disagreement about something on her wedding day, I am perfectly capable of putting it aside to be there for her and dealing with our issues later.
Post # 14
this exact situation happened to me before and the bride and i had a huge disagreement. i asked her how she would feel if i didnt invite her husband to my wedding and she was silent. she still would not allow me to have a date to her wedding even though some bridesmaids had guys they had been dating a month as dates. we are no longer friends and she and her husband will not be invited to my wedding. i thought it was incredibly rude, and just thinking about it is pissing me off.
Post # 15
@sleepyhead22: I’m so sorry this happened to you, too! It is a very frustrating and upsetting situation, and I feel like no matter what happens (either I suck it up and go or bow out) it’s not ultimately going to end well between her and I.
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
Have you talked to her recently about how much things have changed? Have you guys hung out together at all since your relationship was “tenuous”? I agree that it’s rude for her to not allow you to invite your boyfriend, but looking at things from her point of view (based on what you’ve described), it sounds like she’s concerned that your boyfriend isn’t right for you and has possibly mistreated you, or at least done enough to make her think that he is a disrespectful person who could make a scene. If he’s changed, you need to make sure that she sees/realizes that, otherwise fighting back on this could have a serious negative impact on your friendship.