(Closed) Social Units and "Waiting for Marriage" (+1 Issue)

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should I cut friends from the guest list to give extended family plus ones?

    Yes, family comes first.

    No, invite the people you actually want.

  • Post # 32
    Member
    1900 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Normally, I would be okay with bending the rules for a few people as long as you could be sure that the “flood gates” wouldn’t open, however given that the in-law’s family already takes up over half your potential guest list, I would be fine with drawing the line at ‘Married, engaged, or living together.’ Including extra people for his family could be (and sounds like it would be) excluding members of your own family, or people that you care about and want at the wedding. When you think about it, there are only 70 spaces left for both your family and your (and fiance’s) friends – however you split it, that’s not really fair unless the in-laws are footing a majority of the bill.

    Also, I think there’s a big difference between living together and not living together but planning to become engaged. Not only is living together a very concrete standard (“You share a house? Yup! You’re in!”) while planning to get married is harder to evaluate (“Are you planning on getting engaged? Maybe? Yes, but not yet? Not at all?”), de facto relationships are also legally recognised. If you’re in a de facto relationship, then you’re legally the same as a married couple – the same cannot really be said of a couple that aren’t living together and are not engaged/married.

    Post # 33
    Member
    7635 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    It’s pretty rude to only invite half of a long term couple. Living together doesn’t necessarily make a couple any closer. There is no need to offer +1 to single guests though.

    You say: “In choosing to not live together they are not only choosing to “save it  for marriage” they are also choosing to not be a social unit.” – I strongly disagree. More to the point, your relatives may disagree and be offended.

    If you want to cut the list, don’t invite any cousins at all, or something like that.

    Post # 34
    Member
    497 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    Here’s what I would do: married + engaged. Everyone else gets selected based on their closeness to the couple AND you only get a plus one if you do not know enough people at the wedding. That’s what we did and it worked out great. Some people just don’t “need” plus ones family members, sorority sisters, coworkers (if there’s a group of them attending).

    Post # 35
    Member
    160 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    @StressedMess:  whoa! major deja vu for me. i feel ya girl, on the SO’s large catholic family and wedding venue and on the work place!! our wedding venue is 125, and he has almost 80 just family. 

    what about a different approach to maybe try to get the guest list to narrow down on its own… plan the wedding a) on the shortest notice you can b) on a week day c) near a holiday d) do a family only thing (no significant others that arent married / engaged) then do a reception later with your friends.

    for us, not inviting his family is not an option, at all. and not giving them dates is just not a headache / hurt feelings situation we want to deal with. i plan on writing letters to each friend that i could not invite and say basically, ‘i consider you a great friend, but due to an exceptionally large family and small budget, we are unable to invite you to the wedding. i hope this does not affect our friendship as i have been so grateful and honored to be your friend and have your support through the years.’ 

    i figure i may lose a few not so close friends, or just the friends that like drama, in this. but if they hate me because of this, i really don’t want them in my life anyway. with the economy as it is, and families / drama associated with families as they are, i think most people are understanding. i mean, unless your budget is hugeee and youre inviting 300 people, i dont think most of my friends will be offended. they know i’m not made of money! 

     

    good luck and hugs to you! (or a virtual wine cheers ;))

    Post # 36
    Member
    2701 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    View original reply
    @HonoraryNerd:  The OP said,

    In choosing to not live together they are not only choosing to “save it for marriage” they are also choosing to not be a social unit.  They have not entangled their finances, they have not combined lives, and they are not presenting themselves to society as, well, a social unit.  You can’t have seperate lives because of your religion and then expect people to treat you as though you don’t.

    Her requirements for being a social unit were living together, merging finances, and combining lives.  I’m saying that an engaged couple living apart is the same thing.  They have promised to combine lives, but they haven’t yet.  The point is that you can live apart, but still be a social until.
     
    Also OP, your poll is misleading.  SO’s of family members are NOT +1’s.  I don’t think your results are going to be very accurate. 

    Post # 37
    Member
    3456 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    View original reply
    @RunsWithBears:  It sounds like you need to find a bigger venue

    +1

    Offending people by using fine lines to distinguish who is a “worthy” couple is not the best start to a marriage.  I think you need to draw the family circle smaller (by cutting out say, second cousins, and not long-term partners), accept you cannot invite all you would like or get a bigger venue.

    Often people use the “1 year together” rule (in conjunction with married, engaged, or living together) which you might consider here, but I know couples that have gotten engaged at the 6 month mark – and expressed their intention to get married at the 3 month mark.  It’s hard to put a value judgment on someone else’s relationship without upseting someone.

    Note: I did not vote because your poll options were too misleading.

    Post # 38
    Member
    2113 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    View original reply
    @RunsWithBears:  She said at the beginning, “I firmly believe that you cannot seperate a social unit, so everyone who is  engaged, married, or living together is bringing their significant other.” What you quoted was in regard to those who had been dating, but not living together, as they aren’t engaged or married yet. These people have not yet promised to combine lives.

    Post # 39
    Member
    2113 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    View original reply
    @kay01: I think what OP meant by large Catholic family isn’t including extended family. I’m in the same boat. Parents, siblings, grandparent, aunts, uncles and their children add up to about 75 people, including my adult cousins children brings it to about 85? That doesn’t even touch on all of my extended family who I know and would love to be there. Cutting out second cousins probably wouldn’t help as, most likely, they weren’t on the list anyways.

    Post # 40
    Member
    3456 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    View original reply
    @HonoraryNerd:  I do understand that, but I used second cousins as just an example.  DH actually has a fairly large family (his mom was one of 6 – who all had several children, most of whom are married or in long-term relationships) and he actually opted to cut out his cousins to make space for friends he wanted to invite rather than invite anyone w/o a plus one.  I just think cutting a circle such as a cousin or leaving off some friends is a better choice than saying to someone that their relationship is not “significant” enough.  Ultimately, however, if they are having difficulty with this choice, I suggest rethinking the venue.  (DH did not have a problem because he did not feel that close to his family and there had been precedent for doing it already with a few weddings.)

    Post # 41
    Member
    1375 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    View original reply
    @HonoraryNerd:  And people living together haven’t nessecarily combined lives. Yes they share an address, but they may not have combined finances (I actually thought it was pretty common for cohabitating couples to pay bills from their own accounts and not a joint one), may not have the same social groups and may not have any intention of ever getting married. So while I see why it’s a rule (since it’s awkward to invite only one member of the household), living together doesn’t always signify commitment level.

    Post # 42
    Member
    2113 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    View original reply
    @worldtraveler:  Oh without a doubt. I was just explaining that being engaged, but living apart wouldn’t disqualify your SO from being invited. I’m in the “give every man, woman, and child a plus one” camp. That’s our culture. For the purposes of this thread, though, she set a, very common, line for who does and doesn’t get a date.

    Post # 43
    Member
    471 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I am actually really surprised that so many people think the OP should allow everyone to bring their SOs.  Maybe it’s because we took things really slowly, but my Fiance and I did not expect to be treated as a unit for the first year or so of our relationship.  For that first year we did spend time with each other’s families, but we also spent time with our families alone.  As in, he was not automatically invited to every dinner and neither was I.  We both understood that family functions we still reserved for family, and while we may consider ourselves to be serious we knew that not everyone else would.  Do people seriously demand to be treated like a unit after a few months of dating?

    I will not invite people that I don’t know to my wedding just because they are dating someone in my or my fiance’s extended family.  Siblings and wedding party members get to bring their SOs, of course.  But cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles?  Nope.  My wedding is a family function, not a date night.  That’s why I used a modified rule.  Married, engaged, or living together was automatically included.  SOs that have been to the majority of the family functions in the last year as of the time the invites go out will also be invited.  That means I know their name, I’ve had a conversation with them, and they have been brought around enough that it isn’t out of place to have them at a family function.   

    Post # 44
    Member
    59 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    View original reply
    @BuBuBubbles:  The thing is, OP said that they are in “long-term, probably headed for marriage relationships”. They just are not living together, and they have strong reason for it. I don’t know what it means to you, but to me, they are not “just” dating. Sure, probably couples who are married, engaged, or live together are considered as a social units, but just because some couples decide to wait to live together doesn’t make their relationship any less serious/committed.

    We invite all exclusive couples, because to us their partners are not random people; they are important people to our guests, and this is how we show that we respect their choices (the partners, living arrangement).

    Having said so, OP, I didn’t vote, because we don’t invite someone just because they are family. If we haven’t met in the last 2 or 3 years, they are not invited. But since the venue has been booked and you have a limited space, do what you have to do.

    Post # 45
    Member
    161 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    As PPs have said, it wasn’t the best idea to find a venue before having the guest list together but hindsight is always 50/50.

    My Fiance also has a HUGE immediate family and extended (aunts, uncles, cousins). He has over 30 first cousins alone! This is why we decided instead of having the uncomfortable job of “judging” relationships, we cut the list at aunts and uncles without (most) of the first cousins being invited. We each are having cousins in the wedding party so those families are invited (including cousins’ kids) but otherwise there will be zero first cousins. I’d really think about not inviting the cousins since this will probably be more acceptable to the family than cherrypicking relationships.

    I will finish thought by saying that if these are not people you will see all that often, then go ahead and do what you want. I know I’d rather have my closest friends than some of my cousins that I haven’t seen or talked to in years and their SOs.

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