What is the etiquette for live-in significant other wedding invite?

A wedding invitation came yesterday that was addressed to my boyfriend of three years (we live in and bought our house together 2 years ago & have a child together as well). The invitation was for a friend of my BF (whom I have met in passing). To my surprise, the invitation specified that only 1 seat was reserved for him to attend the wedding, I am not invited. I was very hurt and upset, and expressed this to my BF. He thought I was being ridiculous and said that the bride and groom-to-be are probably strapped for cash and were trying to cut costs. A few other friends of his are also invited w/out their significant others (none are married). Am I crazy for thinking that it was a little rude to not invite me when we are in a very serious relationship? Should he still go to the wedding?

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

Significant others should always be invited. However, what will you do with this information?

I’d just assume this couple doesn’t know what’s proper and not that they have anything against you. try not to be hurt. But, this is a good reason why knowing what’s proper is important.

Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy

Dear Mel,
Thanks for asking this good question. Although I agree with Donna, in my view this was a gross mistake, not just a cost cutting measure. Were I to receive such an invitation, I would send my regrets, and send a gift or a card of congratulations. It is disrespectful of your significant other to dismiss your feelings. That needs to be discussed far more importantly than the wedding. Your feelings are always valid and should never be considered ‘ridiculous’. It would be his place to inquire of this invitation oversight. If he wants to let it go and ignore your feelings, I would suggest that you have another and far more significant row to hoe here. I hope this helps.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

I agree with Jay that this is a good reason to have a deeper discussion about your relationship. He needs to take your feelings more seriously. I certainly didn’t mean to diminish that. I hope you get that worked out before you marry.

I really think these people, your boyfriend included, just don’t understand etiquette and don’t realize they’re being rude. I hope that’s the case anyway! But, telling someone they are being rude is, well, err, rude. :wacko:

Maybe your BF could find a friendly way of asking why you weren’t invited. Maybe something like, Gee, was this an oversight – not inviting my significant other? Might open the door to a discussion for them?

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I agree with all the great advice. And, I also feel that you were not being ridiculous or rude for feeling upset. But, the main problem here is that so many people do not know what is considered proper or polite. Many only consider what is the most expedient or helpful for him or herself and not how his or her actions will affect others. This is unfortunate and as you illustrate it can be hurtful as well.

So…as the Wedding Queen asks, what will you do with this information? If it were me, I wouldn’t take being excluded from the wedding very seriously. I’d chalk it off to the couple being a bit ignorant of what most of us consider polite behavior. However, I would take my love’s comments more seriously. Discounting anyone’s feelings is not polite or kind. Most likely, though, he may not have even realized he was doing this. Unfortunately when men and women talk, they come at an issue from a completely different angle. Let’s hope this is what has happened here. Discussing it with him is probably best. Of course, that is just my opinion and has nothing to do with etiquette–just lessons learned from a long and happy marriage. 🙂


I just wanted to thank everyone for the great advice and for the reassurance. I really appreciate it and feel better knowing that the bride and groom-to-be were probably just not aware of proper etiquette. I had a long talk with the BF and he apologized for not acknowledging my feelings and now has a better idea of why I felt the way I did. He said he will politely decline the invitation and not even bring up the oversight.

Thank you again!! 🙂

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

I’m so happy that you were able to resolve this. Through conflict we can really learn. Consider it an opportunity to grow closer and learn about each other.