Should we invite this jerk to our wedding?
January 7, 2013 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Our maid of honor slept with a friend and he treated her badly. He is now in a serious relationship with another old friend. Can we invite her and not him without hurting the friendship?

We're getting married this fall. My fiancee has a large circle of friends from high school that she's quite close to. Several years ago, her maid of honor (and best friend) had a one-night stand with one of these friends, Bob. He treated her very badly: she felt that he manipulated her emotionally, pressured her into sex, and insulted her. I'm hesitant to use the phrase "gray rape," but I can't think of a better way to describe it. We've avoided him ever since this happened. He was never a very close friend to begin with, so it has been pretty low-key, and I'm not sure he has even noticed.

The problem is that another one of my fiancee's high school friends, Christie, has started dating Bob and it has become quite serious. My fiancee wants to invite Christie, whom she hasn't gotten to see for quite some time, but we do not want Bob to come. We can't assume that he will be sensible enough not to attend, so is there any way to invite Christie but not Bob without offending her? Should we tell Christie what happened? We don't want to be rude to Christie, but we definitely do not want the maid of honor to be so nervous about Bob that she can't enjoy the wedding.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (56 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think it's okay to not invite Bob or Christie, and to tell Bob why you don't want him to come. You don't want him there because he hurt a friend of your fiancee's.

It sounds completely adult and reasonable to me. Why would you even want to be friends with Bob? He sounds like he causes problems in your friends circle.

By all means, tell Christie what happened. She can make her own decision about how she feels about Bob (as in whether or not he treated your other friend poorly or if that's just "Bob being Bob.")
posted by discopolo at 5:47 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Hey Christie can't wait to see you at our wedding! Sorry about not being able to let you bring a +1 but you know how tight the budget is and we could only invite a limited amount of people!"
posted by xicana63 at 5:48 PM on January 7, 2013 [16 favorites]


Christie's invite doesn't include a +1.
posted by smirkyfodder at 5:49 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would tell Christie why you don't want Bob to come, and she can make up her mind whether she wants to come without him or not come at all. You're not being rude to her; you're allowing her to make an informed choice whilst setting good boundaries.
posted by desjardins at 5:49 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jesus. Yes, of course you shouldn't invite him. You don't need this kind of drama on your wedding day. Or, you know, ever. I think the "sorry, no +1" route is a good white lie.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:49 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The only way you can do this is to force every unmarried person at your wedding to come stag citing budget reasons or wanting to "keep it small" - if Christie doesn't get a +1, no one does.
posted by slow graffiti at 5:51 PM on January 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


Don't lie, that will cause even more drama once she figures out that other people are able to bring their significant others.
posted by desjardins at 5:51 PM on January 7, 2013 [43 favorites]


I was going to say let the maid of honor put on her big girl panties, water under the bridge, etc, but if this is really a rapey situation (and not just a "that was a terrible idea" situation or a "that guy was such a prick" situation), I'd be tempted to side with the maid of honor.

How close is your fiancee to this Christie person? Close enough that Christie will be mortally offended if she doesn't rate an invite to the wedding? Is it going to be conspicuous if she's not invited, or if she doesn't get a plus one? Is this whole high school clique still a cohesive social circle, or are we talking about isolated friends from back then that your fiancee happens to still be in touch with?

I'm also tempted to tell you to screw all the old high school friends you guys aren't still extremely close to in the now. I get invited to a lot of old high school friend weddings, and mostly it's just kind of awkward because we're no longer close and I don't know anyone else there (and the bride and groom are typically busy with close family and the bridal party and photo ops and traditions and all the rest). At this point I make a rule of sending my regrets, if it's not someone I still see regularly.
posted by Sara C. at 5:52 PM on January 7, 2013 [14 favorites]


No +1, no white lie, no reason. It's your day, you get to decide.
posted by cromagnon at 5:54 PM on January 7, 2013 [17 favorites]


Does Christie know how the maid of honor feels? She doesn't have to understand or agree. If she already knows, all your fiancé need do is let Christie know (with deepest apologies) that while MOH would be extremely uncomfortable with Bob around, she (fiancé) would really like to see Christie and that she hopes Christie will consider attending solo or with a friend. If Christie is unaware of the bad blood between MOH and Bob, then success of that request depends on if Christie and MOH are friends, how good of friends, their personalities, etc.
posted by tllaya at 5:57 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


how about not including a +1 for christie's invite and then if she asks to bring bob tell her you aren't comfortable having him there? you can then go into as little or as much detail as you want about what happened with the maid of honor. if you lie to christie and tell her no one gets a +1 she'll be able to figure out pretty easily that is not true and will be understandably upset.
posted by wildflower at 6:00 PM on January 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would not tell Christie what happened. I don't think it's your place to tell a story like that to her, since he is her serious boyfriend -- to me it would seem like you're trying to break them up. You could tell her that for personal reasons, you don't want Bob at your wedding and hope she will still come, but understand if she doesn't want to.
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:02 PM on January 7, 2013 [14 favorites]


"Hi Christie! We're really excited to be getting married and we would very much love you to be able to join us for the celebration of our union. Unfortunately, an essential member of our wedding party would feel uncomfortable with Bob attending the wedding as your date due her negative feelings about a past involvement with him. Requesting his absence is not meant at all as an insult to you as we are both very excited that you have found a happy relationship with each other, but we understand if you would prefer not to attend without Bob. We apologize for the awkward circumstances and would be thrilled for you to be present at our wedding. We hope to see you there."
posted by greta simone at 6:03 PM on January 7, 2013 [33 favorites]


This all also kind of depends on what kind of a person Christie is. Will she be cool and polite about being invited without a plus one, and show up solo and be classy about it, or will she get butthurt and have a hissy and possibly bring him anyway? Does she even know about Bob and the MOH's past? I think that if she asks why you don't want him, it will be very difficult to prevaricate about it, so beware that it's going to be almost impossible for you avoid having a convo about this whole thing if you choose to invite her and not him.

If she's not the type to cause drama, I'd invite her on her own (but call her and tell her why Bob isn't included, and that there is no room for negotiation on that point), but if she's the sort to take it badly and dramatically, I would probably decide against inviting either one of them. If your fiancee doesn't see her that often anyway, Christie may not think anything of not being invited.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 6:04 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If she hasn't been good friends with Christie for the last few years, just don't invite her. A wedding isn't the place to rekindle old friendships. Bob problem solved!
posted by ldthomps at 6:05 PM on January 7, 2013 [56 favorites]


Can you just not invite Christie?
posted by jerseygirl at 6:07 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


You don't have to invite anyone you don't want to, but I'm not sure that I'd pick this hill to die on--1 person's "gray rape" is another person's wild tumble. Hearsay doesn't always mean stone cold fact to me, esp. in sexual matters. If you like Christie, be prepared for her to be not happy about her SO not being invited. If you invite her, she's going to want to bring him along.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:08 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


My fiancee wants to invite Christie, whom she hasn't gotten to see for quite some time,

Then she needs to catch up with her at a separate time. Weddings aren't a great time to invite people you've not seen in a while (the only exception to that can be family), and no one needs the Bob problem.
posted by heyjude at 6:09 PM on January 7, 2013 [51 favorites]


Oh, and yes: if you really believe this guy is a sorta kinda rapist and if you are pretty sure that Christie will at least listen to you about it, and if you can tell Christie either without violating MOH's privacy or with MOH's permission, then you should tell Christie why you don't like Bob. Otherwise, "Bob and one of my other dear friends don't get along at ALL. I hope you can understand." On preview, i'd go with something very much like greta simone's script.
posted by tllaya at 6:09 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would leave them both off the guest list. If you want to talk to Christie about what Bob did, you should do that separately, but it shouldn't be a factor in your wedding plans.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:13 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


You say that your fiancee hasn't seen her friend Christie "in quite some time"; a wedding isn't really a good time for a long-lost-friends reunion, especially if one of those friends is the bride: she'll be too busy getting married. You really CAN'T invite only half of a couple; your best bet is if Christie is just distant enough of a friend that you can avoid inviting her OR Bob.
posted by easily confused at 6:14 PM on January 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


i would, honestly, not invite christie, and then have your fiancee catch up with her at a later date. interjecting yourself in their relationship by telling christie about bob's past is going to cause you some crazy drama (from christie, bob, or both), and if it's going to make someone that you've already involved in the wedding that uncomfortable, then you should just not ask them to come. this is between your MOH and bob to have out, not you.

of course, dealing with christie bugging your fiancee about why she wasn't invited to the wedding is a different matter entirely, but you'll have to figure out how to respectfully cross that bridge when you get there. i would probably suggest that "it simply wasn't possible due to logistics.", and if she keeps pressing you, you can tell her that she may want to discuss why with bob, and leave it at that.
posted by koroshiya at 6:15 PM on January 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


if one person feels there was a sex through manipulation, and that person is your best friend, and you don't care one way or another about the person they had sex with, then you don't need cold fact to rearrange your social group a little for the best friend's comfort.

if you invite christie, you'll have to give some sort of explanation and realize you might be losing her as a friend as well. i'd probably lean towards not inviting christie and your fiancee asking her out for coffee or something soon just to catch up and chat if that's something your fiancee wants to do.
posted by nadawi at 6:15 PM on January 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


Don't invite Christie. Even her presence there, if the MOH knows that she's dating Bob, will make make the MOH uncomfortable. Unless Christie is a very important friend as well, it's just not worth it.
posted by tk at 6:20 PM on January 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


is there any way to invite Christie but not Bob without offending her?
Nope. Well, I should say, perhaps she wouldn't be offended to not get a +1, but she'd probably feel some kind of way about it that. I think it'd be much easier to not invite either of them. However, if Christie is a close friend (which I don't discount just because they haven't seen each other in a while, but I don't know), then maybe your fiancee could personally invite her but ask her not to bring Bob because it would make other people uncomfortable. All of that depends on a lot of factors we don't know, though.

Should we tell Christie what happened?
Nope. I think this would actually cause more drama than it's worth, at least for wedding purposes. It puts you and your fiancee in the middle of something that doesn't really involve you. If there is a time to disclose what you think you know about the situation, this is not it.
posted by sm1tten at 6:24 PM on January 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Are Christie and Bob living together? If so, you pretty much have to invite them both. If not, you can invite her without the +1, but I'd honestly not invite her at all, as there will be no catching up at your wedding, and it sounds like this friendship is on the wane anyway. It's ok to not want drama at your wedding.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:32 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't invite Christie. There's too much potential for unpleasantness involved. Your fiancee can catch up with her and Bob on some other occasion.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:46 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Folks - please be cool about this and don't turn it into yet another "Was this rape?" MeFi discussion. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:00 PM on January 7, 2013


I assume that MOH, bride and Christie are all from the same group of high school friends, but: can you ask MOH what she prefers? Maybe she wouldn't mind if Bob were there, maybe she'd find even Christie there upsetting. If you feel you can ask MOH this and she will answer honestly, that might solve your problem.

Otherwise, it depends on what quite serious is. If they're living together, you can't invite just Christie. If they're not, you can -- though you'd have to be careful that she isn't the only person from that group not given a +1 -- but bear in mind that people occasionally bring dates to weddings even when the date isn't invited.
posted by jeather at 7:08 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a person who invited old, rarely seen friends to her wedding: nthing the fact that your bride won't be able to catch up with Christie in any sort of meaningful way at the wedding or the reception. Now, if they talk every day, that's another situation altogether and there are many good suggestions up there.

But if she really, truly hasn't been in touch with Christie for quite some time, she should seriously consider not inviting Christie.
posted by cooker girl at 7:23 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is no polite way to invite only Christie. Your choices are to make your MOH uncomfortable at your wedding, not invite Christie, or invite Christie only and hope the friendship survives the rudeness.

It sounds like because you weren't that close with Bob in the first place you never decided for yourself whether what he did was Seriously Wrong, on the level of sexual assault, or if he was just a jerk but you were going to shun him out of solidarity with the MOH. It seems like figuring out how you feel about that should make your next decision pretty clear.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 7:26 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I completely disagree that you would be rude to invite only Christie.

Etiquette says that you have to invite both halves of a 'social unit' to formal occasions. Decades ago, a 'social unit' meant couples who are married or engaged. These days, it also includes couples who are living together or in a LTR (i.e. years). It sounds as if Christie and Bob are none of these things.

Therefore, you can politely invite Christie without Bob. It does not matter if you are inviting partners for everyone else or not. Address the envelope to Christie only, and put her name only on the the insert.

You do not need to give Christie a reason. If Christie contacts you before the wedding to ask if Bob is invited, she is the one being impolite. You are fine to tell her sorry, no, and whatever polite fiction you want.

I'm not much of a stickler for rules of social etiquette, but they come in handy for just such situations as this. Yes, Christie may feel slighted and upset, and your girlfriend may have to do some damage control over a coffee after the wedding. But no, Christie's feelings do not trump your comfort, or the comfort of a member of your wedding party, on your wedding day.
posted by Salamander at 7:58 PM on January 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


If everyone else gets a +1 and Christie doesn't,that will likely sour the experience for her to the point where you'd be better off not inviting her. You haven't given a lot of detail, but I think catching up with her later separately is the best bet.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:47 PM on January 7, 2013


It's totally fine not to invite Christie, who doesn't sound like a close friend, to avoid drama. It's your wedding. But, assuming you do want to invite Christie, you treat her equally. Are you inviting other friends in serious, non-live-in relationships? Then, yes, you have to invite Bob because you're inviting Christie.

It sounds to me like your maid of honour needs to grow up. Bad behavior, short of rape/assault/criminality, in a one-night-stand years ago is not grounds to expect your friends to shield you from interaction with that person forever. Your maid of honour is not entitled to expect that everyone around her will ostracize him forever because he was a douchebag, and she should not expect you to alienate Christie by shunning her partners and treating her differently. At this point she, not Bob, is the one creating drama.

If necessary, your fiancee can have a discreet conversation with Christie ahead of time in which she says, "Christie, as you may know, Bob and X had a thing a few years ago. I know it was a long time ago, but for whatever reason" - do NOT accuse Bob of anything with the word "rape" in it - "X still doesn't feel comfortable talking to him. Could you let him know just so that the night is easier for her? I'd really appreciate it as a favour to me, and not as a reflection on Bob."

In exchange, your maid of honour should be expected to comport herself like an adult and not create drama at your wedding because of years-old bad behaviour.
posted by Dasein at 9:16 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't tell Christie why because it's absolutely not your story to tell.

Unless you get your MOH's permission. Even then, who knows who Christie is going to tell or who Bob is going to tell and, as you can see from this thread, a good number of people will see fit to weigh in on how your MOH is lying, bitter, wrong...it's a lot of hurtful gossip for no reason. Just don't invite Christie.

And don't ask your MOH for permission...it puts her in a weird position where she feels like she has to suck it up in order to be a good friend. Out of love for her, do this thing for her and let her feel comfortable standing up there for you two.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:23 PM on January 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


It sounds to me like your maid of honour needs to grow up. Bad behavior, short of rape/assault/criminality, in a one-night-stand years ago is not grounds to expect your friends to shield you from interaction with that person forever. Your maid of honour is not entitled to expect that everyone around her will ostracize him forever because he was a douchebag, and she should not expect you to alienate Christie by shunning her partners and treating her differently. At this point she, not Bob, is the one creating drama.

But the point is that the OP and his girlfriend do not want Bob to come. They avoid him at social gatherings and they do not want him at their wedding.

There is no indication that the MOH is 'creating drama'.
posted by Salamander at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


I had a somewhat similar situation at my birthday party (which is not a wedding, sure, but was an Event of Importance in our circle.) Different special snowflake details, but with a comparative level of emotion involved.

My SO and I talked about our reactions, the what-ifs, our reservations, best and worst-case scenarios, and thought it through, and the more we thought about it, the more it was obvious that the right thing for us to do was to invite [our version of] "Christie" without any restrictions on her date.

* If we care about "Christie" and hope that she soon decides that she doesn't really want to date this guy, then cutting her out of the group isn't a great way to accomplish this. Worse, it could give Jerky Boyfriend an advantage in convincing her that her friends (and their opinions) don't matter.

* We didn't ask any of our other non-partnered friends to submit the names of their dates to us for approval as a condition of their invite or +1. It's not fair. And I didn't like imagining myself in those shoes, that's for sure.

* We have other friends who have had Bad Fallings Out who nevertheless are both invited to important events. It's not close quarters, no-one has to be really engaged, it is very easy to politely ignore, take the high road.

* Surely you're enduring at least at least one other potential dramariffic unpleasant or feuding or tsk-tsking friend/relative/their spouse for the sake of convention and politeness? Most people manage to reel it in and behave, and you're well within your rights to ask any guests to leave if they're being horrible.

That said, if Christie has absolutely no idea about Bob's history with your maid of honor, it's fair to tell her about your concern. In describing the incident, keep it brief, stay away from details that can sound gossipy and provoke a big he said-she said (because a rehashing is the very last thing that you need here.) And then I would say something to Christie like "this is the thing, I want you there, I do not want to presume to tell you who to date or who you can bring, I don't want to be a bad friend to my maid-of-honor, I don't want to be a bad friend to you, and I don't know what to do." See what she says.

Hey, she may not bring him, or she may go but he may opt out. Which is what happened at my party. All that fretting and it was a non-issue, but we felt that we totally did the right thing in not disinviting our friend or telling her she couldn't bring her boyfriend.
posted by desuetude at 9:36 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


But the point is that the OP and his girlfriend do not want Bob to come.

Good point. If I've misread the MOH's involvement, then I agree that she's not creating drama. I would say that there should be no expectation of hard feelings/drama on the MOH's part, but if the concern is simply for the MOH's feelings, as I said, it's your prerogative not to invite them. That may well be the best course here. But don't treat Christie differently than everyone else by inviting her without a +1.
posted by Dasein at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't invite Christie. Too much potential for drama and/or hurt feelings. As a couple of people mentioned above, even inviting her without a +1 doesn't guarantee that she'll show up alone.

I don't think anyone's made this point yet: if your fiancee hasn't seen Christie for several years, there's a good chance she wouldn't come to the wedding anyway. So you guys are very possibly stressing out over nothing.
posted by whitelily at 9:47 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


No +1 for Christie. There's no blanket rule for who does and doesn't get invited with a date. If you don't know or don't like the date, there's no obligation to include a + 1, whereas it would be fine to invite partners of other friends, Especially if you are friendly with them.
posted by emd3737 at 9:50 PM on January 7, 2013


You can't just leave the +1 off Christie's invitation. I mean, you can, but you can't expect it to be foolproof. If you invite her, she may just bring Mr Gray Rape anyway. People disobey the +1 thing all of the time. If you really don't want him there, don't invite her, either.
posted by Coatlicue at 10:38 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


My fiancee wants to invite Christie, whom she hasn't gotten to see for quite some time,

Assuming this means she's not really a close, involved friend these days and given she now has Bob in her life, are you guys really going to be spending time with her anyway? I think it's better just to let her go, no invite, no drama.

Also the information you have about Bob is second hand. I'm not saying it's not accurate or you should second guess it, but by the time you go to Christie it's third hand at best. Which is basically gossip and hearsay. If your MOH wants to talk to Christie directly then she can, but she doesn't need to drag your wedding in to it to do so.
posted by shelleycat at 12:23 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


If the bride hasn't seen Christie in ages then you shouldn't invite her. That's so random and trust me you will not have any time to catch up with her at the wedding. Do you even know Christie? If you feel you must invite her, then it's completely natural to only invite her without a +1, again because you haven't seen her in ages and she would be completely rude to bring it up or ask.

Also - are you planning on spending any time with Christie after the wedding? If yes, you know you'll probably have to hang out with her man eventually right? If not, then it's even more reason NOT to invite her to your wedding as you are asking her to spend a not insignificant expense for a pretty thin reason and potential for drama.
posted by like_neon at 1:22 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


My fiancee wants to invite Christie, whom she hasn't gotten to see for quite some time,

I agree with the others who have said just don't invite Christie (with or without Bob). When I get a wedding invite from someone I haven't seen or spoken to in years, it feels like a gift grab.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:11 AM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are there other "girls only" events in the run up to the wedding she could include Christie in? The sort of party you invite friends but also coworkers who aren't going to your wedding to?

Inviting her without a +1 seems like a terrible idea to me, even if etiquette says it's okay. She will realize about two minutes after arriving at the wedding that she is the only one in that position and will likely be either extremely pissed off or feel very uncomfortable. It certainly will not make any brief "catching up" conversations that happen more pleasant or less awkward for Christie or your fiancee.
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:36 AM on January 8, 2013


Just don't invite Christie. If your fiancee was close enough to Christie that she would be hurt to not be at the wedding, it stands to reason that your fiancee would more easily be able to explain the problem with bringing Bob. All of this awkwardness shows that Christie is not a super close friend. If I were Christie, I would assume I just didn't make the invite list for cost reasons.

Whatever you do, please do not get in there and try to explain the problem to Christie. That is a nuclear wedding drama bomb just waiting to go off.
posted by pazazygeek at 8:54 AM on January 8, 2013


you call him a friend. So is he? If he's not then don't invite him. If he is then invite him.

We've avoided him ever since this happened. He was never a very close friend to begin with, so it has been pretty low-key, and I'm not sure he has even noticed.

That sounds like he's not a friend.


The problem is that another one of my fiancee's high school friends, Christie, has started dating Bob and it has become quite serious. My fiancee wants to invite Christie, whom she hasn't gotten to see for quite some time, but we do not want Bob to come.

It sucks to be in that situation, but this is not HER wedding, it's yours. So invite her and then send her a separate communication stating "look, we know you've got a thing with Bob, but we feel he has caused enough drama in our lives and respectfully request that he not attend our wedding if you do decide that you want to. Thank you for understanding, hope to see you there." If she doesn't know about the "gray rape" issue then let him explain it to her, but you are under no obligation to explain to her, you should just leave it as "drama" and tell her he can explain it if he wants.

Large friend circles have a lot of drama, and here you need to be true to your desires and what you want to see as a great occasion years down the line. You also don't want to lose the friendship of the Bride's Maid, which might certainly happen if you do invite him.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:27 AM on January 8, 2013


Don't invite Christie.

Sure, it's fun to see how many people will come to your Potlatch and see you on your "special, special day," but you have to draw the line at close friends and family.

A high school friend you haven't seen 'for awhile' doesn't count.

Perhaps your fiancee can call Christie and have lunch aside from the wedding. Who knows, if she likes Bob, she might not be someone you want to know. If you catch my drift.

Weddings are horrible times to try to reconnect with friends. They are a blur of faces and details and stress.

I once traveled across the country to see my friend from Jr. High get married. We have stayed close through the intervening decades and we're still good friends today. Even at that, I got to see her while she got her nails done, and shook her hand at the reception. Did I mention that my Dad performed the ceremony? Is it really worth upsetting your MOH, potentially causing drama where none need exist, or even pissing off someone, over something like this? No. It isn't.

Tell your fiancee to let Christie go. If they want to reconnect, there is all that time after the wedding.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:32 AM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the OP:
"OP here. I realized I forgot some important details. Fiancée invited Christie to the wedding verbally some time ago. They talk frequently, though they haven't physically seen each other in years. The verbal invitation was before Christie got together with Bob, but things with them seemed to get really serious really fast. So not inviting Christie is not really an option without some rudeness. I assume Christie doesn't know about the situation with the MOH unless Bob told her, because she barely knows the MOH. Sorry for any confusion."
posted by jessamyn at 9:50 AM on January 8, 2013


From your update, I have two ideas.

Verbally invited? Unless she already received a printed Save The Date in the mail, I wouldn't worry about it. Verbal mentions like, "OMG you're going to love the flowers I picked for the centerpieces!" are not a binding guarantee of future wedding invites.

And honestly, this is maybe hard for wedding planning couples to grasp, but most people are not that desperate to attend your wedding. When Christie doesn't receive an invitation, she'll probably be momentarily confused/miffed and then be over it like 30 seconds later. Especially if your fiancee hasn't seen her in years, which implies she doesn't even live nearby. What is the likelihood she's going to want to travel to attend the wedding of someone she hasn't seen in years?

Another thought. Christie has clearly been dating Bob for less time than you have been engaged. Therefore she obviously doesn't rate a plus one and would be blatantly openly rude to assume this guy was invited. You don't get to bring your boyfriend of three months to somebody's wedding, just because, like, "it's serious" or whatever. I've attended plenty of weddings stag because my current relationship didn't have the longevity to merit a plus one. This is especially common for "old high school friend" weddings. They don't know my boyfriend. We're not married or living together. Boyfriend stays home. It would be appallingly presumptuous of Christie to get butt hurt about Bob not being invited. Though, again, I still think the situation is borderline as to whether Christie ought to be invited.
posted by Sara C. at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Verbally invited? Unless she already received a printed Save The Date in the mail, I wouldn't worry about it.

Wow, this is so wrong. A verbal invite is an invite.

When Christie doesn't receive an invitation, she'll probably be momentarily confused/miffed and then be over it like 30 seconds later.

Or she might be really hurt because she went and bought a dress for the wedding, and was looking forward to it. And it might lead to an awkward conversation when she calls because she hasn't received an invite.
posted by Dasein at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think your update really changes things. Seconding SaraC that People are just not as desperate for that invitation as you think they are, especially non-family out of towners. She certainly shouldn't expect a +1 if she got with him so recently.

It's your wedding. If you really want her there then invite her but set your expectations right: you will not have any chance for some reunion moment beyond a 2 minute chat and a hug. Don't give her a +1 because it's totally unnecessary drama and anyone who feels entitled to a +1 needs to get over themselves and is not really a friend.

I personally wouldn't invite her and just let the friendship drop because if they are Serious you've got a lot more Awkward Conversations ahead of you.
posted by like_neon at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2013


Verbal mentions like, "OMG you're going to love the flowers I picked for the centerpieces!" are not a binding guarantee of future wedding invites.

if someone said this to me I'd be pretty sure I was invited and would be really confused about not getting an invite, especially if Christie doesn't know this situation even happened with Bob and the MOH.

I mostly agree with this: I assume that MOH, bride and Christie are all from the same group of high school friends, but: can you ask MOH what she prefers? Maybe she wouldn't mind if Bob were there, maybe she'd find even Christie there upsetting. If you feel you can ask MOH this and she will answer honestly, that might solve your problem.

Also how close is anyone to Bob? This has confused me the whole time - if Bob is also one of the high school friends, and if so, not sending Christie a +1 will not solve this problem at all?
posted by sweetkid at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2013


Christie's been verbally invited, they're in regular contact, they've talked about the wedding. Avoiding the issue by just taking her off the invitation list with no explanation is rude at this point.

It leaves Christie hanging, wondering if and when and how she should bring it up -- sure, etiquette says not to demand the whereabouts of your invitation, but then again, things do get lost in the mail, and if so, the bride theoretically could be wondering why Christie hasn't mentioned the invite or bothered to RSVP. Meanwhile, this whole miasma of awkward is hanging over the bride's head in her friendship with Christie.

And then what happens when the explanation comes out? "You're seriously dating Bob, but he was a horrible jerk to my maid of honor, but we assumed you'd bring him as your date, so in order to avoid having him there we just crossed you off the invite list." That would be pretty damn hurtful on a lot of levels.

Mind you, I've personally been cut from the invitation list of a wedding and NOT found it hurtful. Because my friend called me after the printed invites had gone out and explained straight up that it was a space and money issue, nothing else, they had too many obligatory family invites and a small wedding venue (and I knew they were cutting it close.) Poof! Awkwardness and hurt feelings preempted, I was happy to hear the funny wedding stories and coo over the pictures without feeling excluded at all.
posted by desuetude at 1:54 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's really pretty simple. If Christie is a good enough friend so that this is really a serious conflict for you, then she's a good enough friend to tell the truth about Bob. (I don't know that it's necessary to tell her who Bob treated badly all those years ago.) If she's not that good of a friend, then why invite her?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah no +1. Only option. If she asks say you finalized the guest list before they were dating and/or serious (whatever white lie fits your timeline) and you are SO sorry but you know weddings and guests lists and seating charts, now grandma is inviting her whole bridge club, but we can't tell her no because she's paying for the open bar.... and fade out.
posted by whoaali at 6:30 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


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