Wedding woe: The +1 you dislike
In today's wedding woe, Nicole writes:
I wondered if you had written any previous blog entries on what to do when you feel obliged to invite someone that you really don't know very well and/or like?
I have a friend who has been with her man for a couple of years now and they have just moved in together. Since she's been with him I have met him maybe three times (all very briefly) and just don't like him.
I can't explain it, he just gives me the creeps. You know when you meet someone and you instantly know you're going to get along? Well I think the opposite can happen too! He can come out with some really inappropriate comments and just seems to be showing off. Neither of us has made an effort to get to know each other during the brief times we've met, he's not met my fiance and I guess in essence, my friendship is with her, not them as a couple.
When making a guest list, we had a general rule, no strangers at our wedding, only people that know us well individually or as a couple.
This isn't to save money, we just feel it's a very personal day and it will be hard enough being in the spotlight in front of our own family let alone people who we don't know.
This rule of ours means that some people's partners theoretically wouldn't be invited. I think my friend assumes her partner is invited too even though invites haven't been sent out yet.
How do I tactfully discuss this with her? Or is it just easier to invite him and try to deal with my anxieties about him sitting next to my friends and family being rude and inappropriate and judging our special day? Do you think not inviting someone's partner is acceptable if you don't know them?
I just feel that having her presence there is all I want. She will know at least two other people attending the wedding (excluding myself and my fiance) and I feel that she is friendly and sociable enough to attend on her own.
I would love to hear if you have this problem yourself or have any advice from those that have had to deal with a situation like this. The last thing I want is to offend or upset her but I truly feel awkward about him being there too.
When I read this out to Beyonce, he was like "Easy! Don't invite them!" Err, no - not that easy. Forget the "it's your day, invite who you want" BS (because it IS BS). Sometimes you actually do have to do something you don't want to do because it is the right thing to do.
I'll put it to you bluntly: the type of person you just described is the type of person(s) we have invited to our wedding.
The way I justified it? I turned it around. Would you, for example, be pissed if she invited just you - and not your long-term partner/husband to her wedding?
Because I think there is a fine line. We have invited some people's partners who we would rather not come - but we recognise that sometimes you do just have to suck it up. Sometimes, being polite is the right thing to do (Sometimes? I mean all the time... well almost all).
But don't get me wrong: we haven't invited everyone's partner. Ooooohhhh no. There are "plus ones" we (and by "we" I mainly mean "me") have flat out refused to invite.
It's not because I think they'll be judging our day (though they would) or because I'm worried what he/she will say to other guests (I shudder to think), it's quite simply because their presence would infuriate me as I dislike them that much. It has put the invited parties in an awkward position - I accept that - but that is their issue to sort out, not ours as the couple getting married.
I am much like you Nicole, I don't want to look out over the guests gathered at my wedding day and be angry at the presence of some guests. But at the same time, I think you have to establish on a scale how much you really dislike this person, and whether you could (potentially) lose a friendship over it.
For example, if my dislike is over an eight out of 10, and it's mutual (i.e. they dislike me as much as I dislike them), they're not coming. If they're hovering around a six or seven, they'll get an invite. Sound weird? I know. I'm not sure I'm making the most sense.
Everyone I know who has been married has had to "put up with" guests that they wouldn't have lost sleep over if they hadn't shown up. Nine times out of 10, the anxiety you've worked yourself up to doesn't ever eventuate, and they're well behaved and you'll enjoy your day without any concern that this person is present.
Personally, I think the polite thing to do is to invite this guy. You'll be so busy on your day you can definitely get away with not interacting with him. Just do what I do and cross your fingers he has to work on the day of the wedding or it clashes with some other important event he has to attend. Hah!
What is your advice for Nicole? How did you manage guests that you didn't *really* want to invite?
You can also email Greer here and share your wedding woes, feedback or questions.