Wasn’t Given a Plus One (in wedding party)

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1665 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

Guest lists are a really hard thing. You never know who is pressuring them to invite or not invite people, or how much say they even have if it’s their parents that are paying for the wedding. But yeah, “live in SOs” are one of the plus one rules out there, though there are many variations.

Did they make the right call, IMO? It really depends on how well they know the other girlfriend. If they hang out with the other girlfriend all the time, then in their shoes I would probably invite her over someone my SO has never met.

I totally understand being hurt, and in your shoes I would be too. But you never know what kind of drama is going on behind the scenes. I was uninvited from one of my best friends from college’s wedding because the Maid/Matron of Honor didn’t want me there. 

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a personal slight against you. And if space opens up, I would go. For now, I say they deserve the benefit of the doubt. 

Post # 3
1349 posts
Bumble bee

So that is a rule a lot of people use, however being in the wedding party he should be an exception. 

I’m sorry bee.

Post # 4
717 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Yeah IMO this was pretty tactless on their part. I can definitely understand if he was a guest but I think it’s pretty tacky if you don’t give everyone in your wedding party a plus one especially if they’ve been with someone for 5 years —but to each their own. They might be stressed and taking things a little bit too black and white.

Post # 5
61 posts
Worker bee

You said you’ve only met the bride once. Maybe the bride knows the other girlfriend a little better?

Don’t take it personally, if a spot opens up you should attend.

Post # 6
1615 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

If a spot opens you should attend. 

Still sucks though!!!!

Post # 7
9238 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
lulamae91 :  I disagree w/PPs. I see this as a big F-you to you and your boyfriend both. Me personally, I wouldn’t try to talk him out of stepping down. I wouldn’t try to talk him INTO it, but I certainly wouldn’t try to talk him out of it either. Not only are they saying they don’t care about you, but they are also saying they don’t care enough about him to let him bring a guest. Not just any guest, but his girlfriend of 5 years. That’s shitty and no excuse about rules or hard decisions makes it better. They set their priorities and you guys aren’t priorities to them. I could not continue being friends with them like they didn’t just make this statement loud and clear.

Post # 8
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Canada

This is crazy rude and disrespectful.  I suspect your bfs relationship with this friend will be altered no matter what happens.

Post # 9
13930 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Traditionally, obligatory invitations are for couples married, engaged, or living together. Wedding party was actually never an exception to that rule. However, these days mature couples who are long term and a firmly committed social unit should also be invited. Not everyone has gotten that memo though. 

Wrong though it may be, I would probably not pick this hill to die on if I was not married or engaged and if I hardly knew the bride. I’d go by intention rather than the execution. 

Post # 10
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018 - City Hall

I wouldn’t take this as personal as you, or previous posters, seem to be taking this. You have only met the bride once and there are many variables that could be in play that might not have anything to do with your SO and you.

They might be paying for the wedding themselves and might have decided to follow the etiquette of the “married, engaged or living together” to limit the guest list, or heck, the parents are paying and decided on that rule. A lot of people utilize that method to limit guest lists.

It isn’t fair to insinuate a relationship is less serious because of the amount of time they’ve been dating, your 5-year relationship compared to their 6-month relationship isn’t any more or less serious.  But their living arrangements qualify them for the “married, engaged or living together” etiquette rule that a lot of people use for guest lists.  

They could also know the groomsman’s girlfriend more intimately than they know you. So perhaps the couple decided to invite her because they know her, and of course, it seems like a plus one because they’re dating someone in the wedding party. 

Quite frankly, and this just might be my antisocial insensitivity, but I don’t understand why it would even be hurtful to not be invited to a wedding of a couple that you barely know. Yes, you might know the groom, but you seriously don’t even know the bride. I don’t get the big deal. The best friend here is your SO, not you. You aren’t the couple’s best friend by default. To be quite honest, if the couple just doesn’t want to share their happiest day with a stranger, they don’t have to. 

Post # 11
11534 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Most bees will disagree with me about this, but the couple used a valid cut-off point for their decision-making.

Traditional etiquette requires only social units to be invited together, and that has traditionally been defined as those who are married, engaged or living together — the latter only because etiquette presumed them to be secretly married.

As someone who also did not live with her Fiance prior to marriage, I would have been OK with this.

I would encourage you to not find this behavior to be rude, even if it is upsetting to you. As for receiving an invitation if the numbers of those attending makes your presence possible, I would encourage you to go. Although Miss Manners’ requirement for a B list is that B list guests must not be aware that they are on the B list, in some cases, such as yours, the cat is already out of the bag, so to speak. I would not feel at all slighted to end up being invited later in the process if some of the couple’s family members and close friends are not able to attend.

I think the key to feeling better about this whole thing is to try to not take this perceived slight personally in any way.

Post # 12
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
lulamae91 :  I  would have invited you if this was my wedding because I believe bridal party should be given plus 1’s.  

But I also think that the engaged, living together or married rule is valid when guest list numbers are a concern.  It’s not a personal slight on your relationship or you as a person, especially when you hardly know the couple.

If a spot opens up then great, go.  If it doesn’t then it’s only 1 weekend.  Organise some pampering or something you’ve wanted to do for a while.

Post # 13
7271 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I think that one of the purposes of etiquette is to help people navigate social situations more smoothly but that basic common sense and an ability to discern between various circumstances should also have room in there, too. It doesn’t make sense that you wouldn’t be invited despite your 5 year relationship but some brand new girlfriend was just because they moved in hella quick and she gets to smell her dude’s farts on a daily basis. That’s where rule following makes people act silly.

I’d guess they are freaking out about the budget and making cuts wherever possible. Also, as a girlfriend of a groomsman who is friends with the groom, you are more of a tangential guest. I think a lot of these kinds of etiquette breakdowns land on the groom’s side because brides are more frequently the ones planning and also the ones navigating the various social rules. Since you don’t know the bride well and you’ve only met once, you are currently feeling the effects of their need to cut back and make strict boundaries.

I would wait to see how I was feeling as their wedding approached, if a space opens up. I wouldn’t plan to definitely go or not and I would just play it by ear. I would also make myself some other plans for things I might prefer to do that evening, whether or not a spot opens up- just so that I wasn’t at home, by default, feeling left out of something. 

Post # 14
11370 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Yeah, no, this isn’t ok.

Why does it matter if the bride doesn’t know her well if the groom does know her well? If this is the argument then all of the bride’s friends get more weight than the groom’s and that’s frankly not cool. Clearly the groom knows her. 

this practice might be legitimate, but it’s rude as heck. It might not be personal, but it’s still rude and inhospitable.

If you invite someone to be in your wedding party, you invite their five year partner. If you have to make cuts, you don’t make them to the groom’s friend’s partner because the bride doesn’t know the friends partner. 

This might be ok technically, but it’s not good hosting and it’s disrespectful of the groom’s friendship.



Post # 15
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think it’s pretty lame that this groom expects your boyfriend to support his relationship by being in his wedding party (which is expensive and time consuming), but he can’t be bothered to invite his girlfriend of FIVE years! If your boyfriend was a regular guest is say feet over it, but this is off. 

That being said, I wouldn’t throw this on the bride. I deferred to my husband on who to invite from his side of the family and it turns out a few people got very offended they didn’t receive invites. I didn’t think to question my husband and Mother-In-Law and trusted their judgement.

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