(Closed) Future mother in law help!

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
1696 posts
Bumble bee

When I was a girl, wedding receptions were hosted by mature experienced women — usually the bride’s mother — who had the social confidence to stand up for their own sense of style. The future mother-in-law didn’t have much chance of overriding *her*, which is why she had to resort to hosting a lovely rehearsal dinner to fulfill all her own social aspirations. That is still what the groom’s mother should do: offer gentle suggestions perhaps, and then back off. The wedding is supposed to reflect the bride’s (or the bride’s family’s) social style, to be fair, on the perhaps-sexist assumption that once married it will be the bride’s duty to entertain in her husband’s (or husband’s family’s) style.

Do you have an older kinswoman or closer friend, who can say with all the dignity of her years and experience, things like “Yes, a wedding is a party, and the style of party we are planning is a family/close-friends party”. It can be very valuable, to have an older woman in the role of duenna/chaperone who will meddle on demand while deflecting any blame from you.

But to answer your question, whether a family/close-friends party or a very formal high-society party, it is in fact proper that you NOT invite people to invite guests. YOU are responsible for every guest that you invite: you should know their names and addresses, invite them by name at their own address, and be able to vouch for them socially to the rest of your guests. If you want someone to have a “date”, the proper thing is that you find a way to meet said “date” and invite him or her properly, pretending just as hard as you can that you are inviting him for his own sake.

 

Post # 4
Member
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ

If the future in-laws aren’t paying for it, you could also mention that you have a budget and if she wants to pay for the extra seats, she can. That’s probably not proper etiquette though. 😉

Post # 5
Member
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

proper etiquette is that invitees get a guest if they’re married, engaged, or living together.

is fmil paying for the wedding? if not, she doesn’t get to decide your guest list.

Post # 6
Member
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@kitzy: Not quite. Proper etiquette is that the hostess must invite both members of any engaged or married (including “living together”) couple. It isn’t that the “invitee” gets a “guest”. They are both invitees, both equally guests of the hostess. Any other arrangement creates first-class and second-class guests, which is a violation of the hospitality on which proper etiquette rests.

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