Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wediquette: Deciphering The "Plus One" Debate

My husband's old college friend is getting married and we just received the invitation but only his name was included on the envelope. My husband called to see if this was a mistake. Nope. The bride explained that they're trying to keep the wedding small and they're only inviting people close to them. My husband reminded her that he's married now, but no, she was firm on her decision. To add insult to injury, we recently had dinner with another mutual friend and he was surprised that I wasn't invited because he was with his girlfriend of three months! His girlfriend doesn't even know the friend getting married! His invite actually said "plus guest" and I'm not even invited to the wedding with my husband! We understand that its their wedding and that they can invite whomever they'd like but we can decline the invitation if we want as well. My question is this...are we being unreasonable in doing so?

Firstly, this etiquette question is one that resonates deeply with me as something similar happened to me. Long story short, we were engaged, and my now husband got invited to a friends wedding in LA {anyone whose ever met me knows my fantasy of moving to LA} without me. We'd been living together for almost 4 years at this point and had been engaged for close to six months.

It was no doubt, a slap in the face to not be invited - especially if you are engaged or married. We all get that everyone is working within a certain headcount or budget, but it would almost be less hurtful to just not invite either of us instead of just inviting one half of the marital unit. You might as well say "your wife / husband / fiancee doesn't actually exist in our minds" hurtful!

If you really feel strongly about attending this wedding as a Mr. & Mrs. - cite Emily Post who says that: "Partners of invited guests must be included in a wedding invitation. This includes couples who are married, engaged, or living together. Allowing single guests who aren’t attached to a significant other to bring a date is a thoughtful gesture, but one that is not required"

In the example above the bride has just about broken every wedding etiquette law: not inviting the wife of a potential guest, yet allowing a newly minted girlfriend to get the invitation. I'd let the bride know of her faux pas and if she doesn't relent, don't feel obligated to go.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! I think it is a really important thing for people to realize. In today's world, budgets are important and the single best way to keep your cost down is to keep your guest list small. Not allowing "+1" will go a long way toward helping with the bottom line!