Post # 1
<p class=”MsoNormal”>My fiancée and I live in the States now but his family is from central Europe, so we decided on a destination wedding in Spain to bring both sides of our families together. We’ve rented a mansion that will accommodate 30 people, it’s a 4-star place, and we’re excited to have all of our families stay together and get to know each other. We also want to have a few close friends stay as well, if there’s room. My good friend has asked if she can bring her mother to the wedding – I have never met her mother – because she feels her mother needs a vacation! I politely told her we’re keeping it small (which she already knew we have a small guest list) and that only family and very close friends are being invited to stay at the mansion with us. She then asked if she could bring a sleeping bag and her husband would sleep on the floor. <p class=”MsoNormal”>We don’t plan to include her mother in the wedding celebration because we do not know her. And even though I can appreciate that people traveling for a destination wedding would also like to make a little vacation out of it, I am surprised that she’s asking to include extra people whom my fiancée and I haven’t even met! Some of our own close family cannot make the occasion but we won’t be including strangers in their place. Another strange thing is that I went to her wedding a few years ago in Hawaii and she had a similar situation where a not-so-close friend asked to invite her in-laws to the wedding (and rehearsal dinner) because they wanted to take a family vacation there at the same time. My friend was not too pleased to deal with that request and the financial outcomes of accommodating 2 extra people whom she did not know well. So even though she’s dealt with a similar uncomfortable situation at her own wedding, she is requesting almost the same thing now. <p class=”MsoNormal”>I feel like she’s turning my wedding into an agenda of her own and unfortunately because of that, she and her husband probably won’t be included in the activities that we’re planning the day before and after the wedding day. Who do you talk to about these things when the person you normally talk to about people’s inappropriate behavior is your friend?
Post # 3
I think your friend’s request is extremely rude. I think you’re within your rights to say "I’m so sorry, but I just don’t feel comfortable with the situation, and since we are only accomodating our closest friends, it will be hard for me to explain to others as well." Just say no.
Post # 4
Oh, what a sticky situation.
My guess is that she doesn’t know how obtuse she’s being. Here’s what I would do: tell her that you really want her and her husband to be there for all of the wedding events – not just the ceremony – and that you cannot fit her mother in. Tell her that her mother is welcome to accompany her to Spain, but you can’t afford to pay extra to have her stay at the resort and you won’t be including her in your wedding (you could even be a little humorous here and say "There are some people who would be pissed if they found out that someone I don’t even know got to come when I told them that they couldn’t!").
You can still be understanding – say that you know that this is a good opportunity for her mom to take a much-needed vaycay. Suggest that they come to Spain before your wedding, and then her mom could fly home and your friend could stay on for your weekend.
In talking to her about this, gently remind her of the situation at her own wedding. Something like: "Of course, this is a little different since it’s your mom and not your in-laws, but I think I’m feeling the same way you did. I really want to keep my wedding intimate and meaningful, which is why I invited you! I’m wondering if there’s a way that you and your mom can spend time in Spain either before or after my wedding. I won’t be able to include her, and I’ll feel bad knowing that I’m keeping you from her."
This is all off the top of my head – I’m sure someone else will be a lot more eloquent.
Post # 5
I read this because I have a similar situation. I like Wiglet’s response, it sounds fair. That way, you gently but firmly draw the line for her. A destination wedding is a great opportunity to take a much-needed vacation, but it’s a little rude to ask the bride and groom to accommodate extra people they bring with them who weren’t personally invited (and whom they don’t know!).
Post # 6
Does she know anyone else that will be there? Honestly, I don’t really feel that it’s extremely rude if she’s not close with anyone else that’s going to be there. There’s a difference between asking someone to mingle with people he/she doesn’t know for one evening and asking someone to spend a whole week or weekend (however long the trip will be) with people she/he doesn’t normally hang out with.
If it were me though, I’d probably just find my own accomodations, so that I could bring whoever I want. I wouldn’t expect for them to be invited to the wedding or wedding-related events, though.
ETA: Just realized that this is 2yrs old, lol.