Not inviting significant others to wedding; is this ok?
Recently, me and my partner have been invited to various friends’ weddings. However, none of the invitations included both of us. When we contacted the respective friends, they said that we could not bring a date and that only married people could bring their significant others. One of my friends said that she did not have room and she was putting priority on inviting her friends. While I understand financial constraints, I am a little saddened. There is no legal way in my state that I can marry my partner, so should I expect to not have them invited to any weddings that only allow married people?
Also, some of these weddings are a far drive away from where we live. We were not able to attend one of the weddings because the other was not invited and we could not afford to get a hotel room alone. The people who were throwing that wedding were very angry and kept harassing my partner about why she would not come even when she would know anyone. Do they have this right?
And is it appropriate for me to turn down a wedding that is over three hours drive away when my partner is not invited and I could not make the drive back myself after the evening wedding? I have to be at work the next day and cannot take the day off. Plus I do not know anyone else besides the bride and groom, so I would not be able to drive with any other guests and I would be alone at the wedding.
My partner is angry at some of the people that are inviting us (or rather not inviting the other half of us) because she thinks that they do not want to invite a lesbian couple. While I would prefer to think that this isn’t the case, should I find out? I do not want to remain friends with people who would do this.
I know these are a lot of questions and I thank you for your responses.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
Dear Not Invited,
Traditionally, significant others are supposed to be invited whether or not the couple is married. Of course, the couple has the right to limit the guests to just friends and family and not those that they do not know regardless of what is traditionally done. After all, a wedding can be very expensive. But, if significant others are being invited in some cases and not in all, this is a problem.
The right thing to do is that if a bride knows that her guest is in a serious relationship, the couple should be invited as a couple. With so many choosing to live together and not marry right away, this is common.
And no, the bride does not have the right to harrass you if you cannot attend for any reason. Jeez. You can decide not to attend a wedding for any reason you want. Your reasons are yours and it is fine if you cannot or won’t attend.
I don’t think that it would be a good idea to ask these people what their motives were in not inviting your partner. If you asked them if it is because you are a lesbian and they said yes, what could you say at that point? Would you really want to put yourself through that?
It is always best not to question why someone doesn’t invite us or our partners anyway. It isn’t considered polite. So… it probably isn’t a good idea and it isn’t polite. Two very good reasons to just let it go.
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