(Closed) To plus guest or no…rules on gf and bf

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

We didn’t have this exact situation so I don’t know how helpful my advice will be… but I’ll give it to you anyway 🙂

If it won’t break your budget or ruin the vibe of your wedding, I say invite him. Odds are they won’t be together by then anyway and your fretting will be inconsequential. If they are together they will have been dating for several months and it could be a big step in their relationship to go to a “family wedding” together.

Naturally you don’t have to, you also don’t have to give any excuse at all as to why someone wasn’t invited “the space in our venue was limited” would be the absolute most you would be required to say in response to rude questions regarding the guest list.

If you DO invite him, be sure to invite him by name (ask your cousin his name). That way it’s not “cousin and guest” and she can fill in that guest with whoever her beau of the moment is if she and bf aren’t together anymore.

Post # 5
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Absolutely true, and if you’re having to make cuts of people you really WANT to have there then that’s a compelling reason for a “no” to the guest. Like I said, if it works out without being a huge deal for you, and without making you miss people you want to be there, I think it’s a nice gesture. It’s also not necessary and you aren’t violating any rules of etiquette by not inviting her bf of 2 months (or whatever), so you can be confident in whichever decision you make!

Post # 6
Member
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

I sort of have a cut-off limit.  For unmarried people, their partners can come *IF* they were in an established relationship by the holidays, and I’ve met their SO.  If they get with someone now, too bad (all of my guests will know at least five or six other people at the wedding).  If they are in an on-again, off-again, and it’s off by the time I send my invites, too bad.  I don’t have the time or money to mess around with unstable adults who can’t get their crap together.

Post # 9
Member
2711 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If she has a boyfriend at the time the invites go out, you need to invite the boyfriend – they are a social unit and you can’t break it up.  It doesn’t matter how long they have been dating – it’s proper etiquette.  If she is not dating anyone at the time the invites go out, then you do not have to give her a plus one.  If she starts dating someone AFTER then it would be very nice of you to let her bring her SO if you have room and can afford it, but you don’t have to.

Post # 11
Member
2542 posts
Sugar bee

We invited people with plus ones only if they were living with the person, engaged, or had children together. We did make an exception for one of our groomsmen who is in a semi-serious relationship who did not meet that rule but it was because he is a super close friend and in the wedding party.

Post # 12
Member
2711 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Ashley_B:  Yeah, this isn’t an ideal situation and I definitely understand, but proper etiquette says that if they are dating when the invites go you, you need to include their SO’s.  And you’re right, you can’t allow some people to bring their SO’s and not others.  I know some people have a rule where they draw a line and will only invite the SO if they are living together, have kids, are engaged, they’ve met them, or in an “established” relationship.  I personally hate this rule because it comes off as judging other people’s relationships and I think that is rude (this is a pretty common sentiment too).  For example, my Fiance and I were very serious 2-3 months into dating.  We do not live together nor do we have any kids.  While I personally understand not always getting a plus one if I’m going to know a bunch of other people, I would be very upset if I found out other people got to bring their SO and my Boyfriend or Best Friend wasn’t invited because the bride and groom didn’t think we were serious enough.

I just re-read your OP.  It was extremely rude of your one cousin to just announce she was bringing her Boyfriend or Best Friend, so I think you have every right to be annoyed with that.  However – and this applies to your FI’s brother’s Girlfriend – even though you don’t like them or haven’t heard good things, that doesn’t give you an excuse to not invite them.  The only exceptions are if they are violent, have tried to sleep with you or your Fiance, or have tried to break up you and your Fiance.

Also, you do not have to invite anyone’s kids, especially your friend’s SO’s kids.  It is perfectly acceptable to either not have kids or just the kids of the Bridal Party and/or immediate family.

Post # 13
Member
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My rule of thumb right now is that we really need to have met the SO. If my friend/family member hasn’t made the effort to bring them around, I’m less interested in including them.

That having been said…. there will probably be a few SOs I don’t know at the wedding. I just kind of know how these things work. :

Post # 15
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

@RunsWithBears:  I’m not really sure that etiquette says that any boyfriend/girlfriend has to be invited. Traditionally “social unit” applied only to married couples. Many people have expanded that to mean engaged couples and unmarried people living together, but that is sort of a polite extension of the traditional rule, not part of it.

Now I’m with you that inviting SOs is the nice thing to do, but I’m not sure that one must, for the sake of etiquette, make an inquiry into every single guest (by which I mean unmarried, not each individual) before one sends out invites to see if they are dating anyone.

It certainly isn’t a judgment about the relative “seriousness” of the relationship to not be invited to a wedding as a couple, if the bride/groom don’t know your SO or don’t know that you even HAVE a SO it’s not rude of them to invite you alone. You may certainly choose not to attend if you’re not comfortable without your bf/gf, but it’s not some egregious slight on the part of the marrying couple.

Post # 16
Member
2711 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Lexy:  Everything I’ve heard and read says you need to invite the SO if there is one when the invites go out.  Emily Post says

“Invitations for mixed social events, such as parties, weddings, etc., must be extended to the established significant others of any invitees, such as spouses, fiancés, or long time or live-in boy/girlfriends. The significant other must be invited by name, and the host should inquire if it is not known. If the couple does not live together, the host should inquire as to the partner’s full name and address and send a separate invitation for formal occasions. If a person’s socially established partner has not been invited, etiquette allows him or her to politely request that the host do so. Persons without socially established partners may not request to bring a guest, nor is a host expected to invite singles to bring a date.”

In this case, I take “established significant others” to be people who consider themselves in a relationship (as opposed to causually dating if that makes sense).

I know it isn’t about judging people’s relationships and I don’t mean to imply that that’s what you or the OP are doing, but that’s what can happen when you make cut offs such as having to have been together for 6 months, living with someone, has to be “serious,” etc.  People will start to feel judged.  Also, while it’s nice to have previoiusly met the SO, what about people who live out of town? I grew up in Michigan, but my Fiance and I now live in Virginia and as a result not all of my friends have met him.  It’s not that I never made an effort to introduce him, it’s just that we live 500 miles away.

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