Spouses not invited

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notgoing Posts : 1 Registered: 8/29/09
Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 29, 2009 3:21 AM

My wife and I have been together since high school, 14 years. Back then we commonly double dated with one of her friends, and lived with her boyfriend of several years. Needless to say my wife and I interacted with this person often during this period of time. Over the years my wife and her had not kept up. Well over the last year she has caught back up with my wife and another one of her friends via social networking. She has become engaged to a guy from a flashy well-to-do family. Since they had not kept in touch my wife and her friend were not really expecting invitations, but they both did receive one. My wife and her friend both rsvp'd and said my husband and I will attend. An email arrives a few days from the bride which says, "I got your rsvp for 2 but we are not allowing any children or guests outside the wedding party. I hope you understand and I have you down for 1." The email read like a past due bill and made no mention of myself by name. It was very informal considering the subject matter.


Now, I am a fairly easy going person, I would not have my feelings hurt to have not been invited at all, but by inviting my wife and then saying sorry, your husbands whose name I will not even mention is not invited is very hurtful to me and makes me feel as though she thinks I am a raging alcoholic or such and will cause a scene or do somthing else to ruin the wedding. Basically I am not good enough to be there. I understand that you ladies can get crazy with these weddings and often times inviting too many can over run your budget, but to me it seems very rude to invite a person and not their spouse, even more so when you know their spouse as well. My wife nor her freind even second guessed this on the invitation, and both were surprised by the reply of "I have you down for 1". If it were me and I had to eliminate people from attending, I would probably just reduce the fanciness of the wedding and instead allow for more people to attend. Would you rather offend people or have that dream wedding that you can apparently barely afford?

Am I wrong in this situation? It seems common etiquette would tell you that you invite a persons spouse unless of course they are some type of child molester or there are some other bizarre circumstances. I have never encountered such rudeness before and have been "spousely invited" to several far fancier weddings by people even my wife barely knows. It has me so upset that I do not even want to speak to this person and even if some event changed and now I became invited, I certainly would not attend.


Edited by: notgoing on Aug 29, 2009 3:24 AM

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BBGF Posts : 66 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 29, 2009 4:27 AM Go to message in response to: notgoing

You are absolutely right. Proper etiquette and class would say that if you invite 1/2 of a married couple that you invite the other 1/2. Second of all if they are so well off then they can afford to invite the spouses of their guest. Bravo to your wife and the other lady who declined. Its not even worth getting upset.


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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 29, 2009 10:28 AM Go to message in response to: notgoing

you are correct, this bride is either extremely rude or clueless as hell about etiquette. But Im going with rude, because I think even if you live under a rock, everyone pretty much knows that you ALWAYS invite spouses to weddings (well, with the exception of that child molester you mentioned....creepy! lol) If this bride chose not to invite ALL spouses, she is going to have a lot of angry guests on her hands. Or, she will have a very small wedding due to so many declines.

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XYZ1 Posts : 367 Registered: 1/7/08
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 29, 2009 1:34 PM Go to message in response to: notgoing

Yikes. I know it's still early, but that's the rudest thing I've heard all day!

You have to invite spouses. Period. And I'm usually pretty understanding about guest list limitations. I'm OK with "no children" weddings, I'm OK with "no ring, no bring" rules about guests. But every etiquette source I've encountered says that spouses MUST be invited. Someone's spouse is not a "guest" or a "+1." Unless there are serious objections to a particular person (e.g. child molestor or violent alcoholic), it is emphatically NOT OK to invite a wife without also inviting her husband, or a husband without his wife. You're not wrong. This couple is being insanely rude. I'd feel the same way if my husband were deliberately left off a wedding invitation addressed to me.

If this couple doesn't think being a guest's husband is a good enough reason to invite you to the wedding, they must not take marriage very seriously.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 29, 2009 3:30 PM Go to message in response to: notgoing

dear Smart Husband,

The bride is totally out of line. Spouses and fiancé(e)s of wedding guests must be invited. I also include any same-sex couples who do not have the legal option of marriage.

Your only path out of this is to politely decline the entire invitation.

"We attend social events as a couple, and must respectfully decline."

Then, write them off as friends. They are social idiots.

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LAcat88 Posts : 39 Registered: 9/15/07
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 30, 2009 12:10 PM Go to message in response to: notgoing

Before your wife out right declines, she should send back an email saying that she is married and was expecting to be attending with her husband and not just a "guest or child."

It's possible that your wife's friend didn't realize she was married or just lost that detail in the chaos called wedding planning. Maybe she had recieved a couple rude guests-to-be's that added extra numbers to thier RSVP's before recieving your RSVP (not saying yours was rude because as husband and wife you should both be invited) and simply sent out that email in a fluster.

I think people should talk to each other and make the subject clear before making any final decisions. You wouldn't want your wife to lose a friend over a misunderstanding.

If and when your wife sends an email back explaining your marital status and her friend still declines you, then your wife should politely respond that she will be unable to attend without her husband and send a congratulations card (just to be the bigger person.)

Try and give this woman the benifit of the doubt and a chance to rectify her mistake or oversight.

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 10:09 AM Go to message in response to: notgoing

I don't blame you. I would decline an invitation if my husband wasn't invited, too.

The only thing I can think of is that perhaps this person didn't realize that your wife was married, and thought she was adding a random date. A lot of couples getting married invite single guests without a date and later have to contact them, as this person did, to explain that the guest is not invited. Perhaps there has been a mistake? I really couldn't imagine somebody being so clueless as to not invite both spouses, but I suppose it could happen.

In any case, I agree with AOTB. Send back an email saying, 'I'm sorry, but my husband and I attend social events as a couple. Please mark me down as having declined.' If there has been a mistake, the friend will realize and hopefully try to correct it. If not, and she's truly an idiot, then I'd let this friendship slide back into the past.

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His4life Posts : 117 Registered: 4/7/09
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 11:32 AM Go to message in response to: notgoing

I would decline the invitation too. Spouses are always invited unless there is an extreme circumstance, like alcoholism, abusiveness, etc...

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 12:33 PM Go to message in response to: notgoing

I have a dissenting opinion here...

I'm aware of the etiquette rule and the reasoning has been explained to me (thanks AOTB!), but there are situations that I would break it. For my wedding I'm considering inviting some of the ladies from work that I'm close to, however close to only in the work setting. We rarely socialize outside of work, and if we do, spouses are never part of things. So if I have room for all of them (6 people), the invitation will only be for them as individuals and not their spouses/boyfriends. They would of course be free to decline if they felt offended by that, but I'd be really surprised if they felt that way. We're friendly enough that I would like to have my work buddies to attend if I can afford it, but not close enough that I'd want to downgrade some aspect of my wedding to have their SO there as well.

In your situation, you said you wouldn't have been upset to not be invited, but you were offended by the way in which it was explained. So if that's the case and it's not a wedding that you were expecting to be invited to anyway, perhaps this is one of those "don't sweat the small stuff" situations.

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 4:32 PM Go to message in response to: Agape14

dear Agape,

" For my wedding I'm considering inviting some of the ladies from work that I'm close to, however close to only in the work setting. We rarely socialize outside of work, and if we do, spouses are never part of things. So if I have room for all of them (6 people), the invitation will only be for them as individuals and not their spouses/boyfriends. "

Let's reconsider a bit.

One thing that young people have to learn is that there is a big difference between true friends and people with whom you are friendly at work. (It's a hard lesson coming out of school, where one's social and professional friendships are one and the same.)

Sure, you want things to be pleasant at work. You are polite, you take a personal interest in various co-workers and you pass time together at lunch and on breaks. But if you never see each other outside the workplace, then you are not truly friends. You are polite, pleasant co-workers.

Let's say one of you leaves the job. What are the chances you would ever see that person again? Probably low. You might meet for lunch a few times, but not for long.

With co-workers such as these, I see no reason to invite them to a social event such as your wedding if you would never see them for so much as a dinner or movie out of the workplace. My suggestion to you is to not invite them, and use that money for other things.

It is rude to invite a married (or engaged) person without their spouse. You cannot make an exception for work friends. If your budget is so tight that six people more would be difficult, then consider what you could do with six fewer people on your list. That's six more "real" friends that could be invited.

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 6:04 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

AOTB, I actually agree with just about everything you said, just not the part about it being rude =)

I'm very particular about whom I call "friend" and I agree wholeheartedly about those points you made. That's why I referred to the potential invitees as the "ladies at work" and "work buddies". As I said, we sometimes socialize outside of work, but it's rare. So obviously people with whom I go to the occasional movie or dinner date aren't going to be top priorities for invites. But that being said, I choose to socialize with them more so than I do some individuals who are on the "must invite" list, so I'm definitely considering inviting them.

As you've mentioned before, etiquette rules are conventions rooted in a particular time/history/culture etc and do change over time. And it's up to the individual, once informed about the "rule" and its source to decide how they're going to deal with it. For the most part I agree that couples should generally be invited to events together, but there are definitely situations when I don't feel it's necessary, and that's just my personal opinion. I would not think twice if certain acquaintances invited me to an event without my FH if their relationship is with me alone for whatever reason (e.g. work buddies, sports teams members, random acquantainces in other situations). Yes we're engaged, but we don't need to be a unit for every single social event. Similarly, when I have kids I won't expect that they'll be included in every social event I'm invited to. I appreciate that other people will disagree though.

 

 

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 6:55 PM Go to message in response to: Agape14

This is one etiquette rule that I still do believe in. First of all, no I don't need to be invited to everything my husband is and vice versa, but I also don't believe that a wedding is an every day event and I prefer the option of deciding if DH is attending (or he can decide, but you get my drift). Also, while a gift is not required - I'm not going to attend a wedding without one and as a unit, that is no longer coming from 'my' money but 'our' money - but he's not even invited?

Basically, if I received an invite to a wedding for just me, I'd politely RSVP no and keep moving along.

 

 

 

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 8:27 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

I would not attend, and I would not send a gift.

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 10:22 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Fair enough. We can agree to disagree =)

But one of the biggest reasons this doesn't make sense to me is the points you've all made in the kids/no kids debate (and which I've agreed with). Parents and their kids are similarly a unit, and I would even go so far as to say more so than spouses (you choose to be married and you can always get divorced. your kids are your kids forever). So it doesn't seem to follow that people will logically argue that a host can decide who to invite and who not to invite when the argument is about kids, but then turn around and say that it's rude to decide not to invite a spouse. Either splitting up units is wrong in every case (whatever the unit is comprised of), or it's always up to the host's discretion to determine the guest list.

Or we can just agree to disagree =)

 

 

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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: Spouses not invited
Posted: Aug 31, 2009 10:27 PM Go to message in response to: Agape14

It is perfectly fine not to invite kids, and by the way, they are not "units" with the mom or dad, not the way spouses are considered. It is simply not ok, per etiquette, to invite one spouse or engaged person and not the other, and I agree with AOTB's rule too for same sex couples.

The rules are what they are and if you want to ignore them so be it. But they exist, and people may or may not come. I do know for certain that if my husband were not invited I would not go, and if I wasnot invited he would not go. If our kids were not invited we would happily go regardless. That's just the way it is.

You can ignore the rules, that's fine, but be prepared for hte reactions you may get.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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