Post # 1
Okay so this is a tough question and I really hope I don’t get flamed for this. I have a cousin on my mom’s side who I don’t have a relationship with. This cousin has done some really cruel things in her past that affected our family, has stolen a significant amount of money from various people, and has been in and out of prison.
My mom and my cousin’s mom have recently become much closer than they’ve been in the last 20 years and because of this, my mom is now insisting that I invite my cousin. Okay, fine. Not a huge sacrifice, even though I’d really rather not.
Now onto my issue. My mom tells me that my cousin has a new boyfriend, and they just moved in together. She is saying that because of etiquette and “social units” and whatnot, I now have to invite this boyfriend because they live together.
I’ve never met this guy, I didn’t even really want to invite my cousin in the first place and now I don’t know what to do. Knowing my cousin, there is a distinct possibility this guy could be shady. Do I really have to invite him?
Not sure if it makes any difference, but Fiance and I are paying for the entire wedding ourselves.
Post # 3
@bee_gone_anon: Nope, you don’t have to invite him. You don’t even have to invite HER if you don’t want!!! It’s not about your mom, it’s about you and FI!!!
Post # 4
“I’m sorry, Mom, but we’re really trying to keep our numbers down, and I’m not close enough with Sophie to invite her boyfriend Carl, too.”
Post # 5
I think I’m in a minority of bees here but I fall squarely under the belief system of “it’s your day and you invite who you want.”
Post # 6
Sorry, but yes you do. If you are inviting her and they are in a relationship living together you have to invite him. The only way to not invite him is to not invite her. You don’t have to invite her if you don’t want to.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t invite him or her with her shady past. I don’t like expecting the worst from people, but sometimes you have to. if she really does have a shady past with stealing from family I wouldn’t even tempt her with being near a gift table to be honest!
Post # 8
I don’t think you need to invite him!
Post # 10
To @bee_gone_anon: If you are a regular Bee gone Anon, then you know that I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob (in so much as I know the Rules, and how they can be applied in most situations)… so here goes.
IF you invite all your Cousins (same tier) and not this one YES it will be obvious that you are leaving her out / snubbing / shunning her.
That will cause drama… how much drama ? Well that depends on how much the rest of the family knows of this girl’s personal history (crimes), and what your Cousin’s Mom (Aunt ?) chooses to make of this snub. Will she be greatly offended, and kick up a fuss ?
In reality, when it comes to social norms, if someone has fallen out with society (ie such as gone to prison) then it is not seen to be a faux pas / unjust to the rest of the Guests if you don’t extend an Invitation
Remembering that one’s Guests & their comfort is paramount (seriously who wants to worry about stuff being stolen… be that yours or a Guest’s items)
That is where you begin this process… evaluating the situation, and making a call that you are comfortable with (your conscience can live with)
If you do extend an Invite to this person, you technically don’t have to give them a Plus One… infact “technically” one never has to give someone a plus one (unless they are married or engaged) to do so beyond those realms are a social courtesy (ie recognizing a live in as “common law married” if it isn’t legally recognized in the place in which one is from)
Personally, knowing that to go against a Rule of Etiquette means there is a risk / consequence… this is one I’d be willing to take. If I was in your shoes, I’d more than likely NOT INVITE the Cousin… and let the chips fall where they may.
Hope this helps,
Post # 11
Your mom is correct on the etiquitte here- IF you invite your cousin the proper thing to do is to inviter her SO as they are living together & as such are a social unit. However, you do not even have to invite her to begin with. It’s your wedding and the decision is no-one but yours & your FI’s… Personally I’d just tell mom I’m maxed on the guest list & budget already to avoid anyone pitching a hissy fit about not being invited.
Post # 12
I am also in that minority.. If the cousin is as awful as OP says, she wouldn’t be coming. Period.
Post # 13
This was my first thought.
@This Time Round:
This does help, thanks! I think I have to decide between whether I am willing to deal with the drama, or whether I want to have complete peace of mind the day of.
Thank you all for your feedback, whether yes or no! I don’t want to upset my mom because she is really important to me, but at the same time I don’t want to have an added thing to worry about the day of the wedding.
Post # 14
No. I wouldn’t invite him. Just tell your mom you are willing to invite the cousin…or neither one of them, but you don’t have the room for both. It might not be the correct ettiquete, but when it comes down to it its your wedding so I think if you don’t want to invite him than don’t. You’re already agreeing to invite her even though you don’t want to…i think thats enough.
Post # 15
Invite who you want! This is what I thought about – whoever I’m inviting.. do they know other people? If so, then why do they need to bring a guest? We only allowed +1s to people who knew nobody else and would have an awful time if they were by themselves. She’s family, though, so she’ll know everyone!
I’ve talked about this with my friends as well and even they say it’s sometimes fun to go out without the boyfriends/fiances/husbands. So whatever makes you happy!
Post # 16
If it makes you feel any better, I’m not giving any of our guests plus ones (outside the bridal party). This includes one guest’s long term boyfriend who will not be invited due to this rule (to be fair he’s a liability in the same sense that your cousin is, and there would be a good chance that police would get involved…but etiquette snobs would all agree he should be invited due to his long term relationship with our guest!).
*I* feel terrible about it, but literally ALL of our guests that I’ve spoken to have all said the same thing: it’s your wedding, your day, not ours. You do what you want to, and if someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to come.