Inviting Half a Couple

Wedding Invitations in Envelopes Picture
Q: I’m getting married next summer. Because of budget and space limitations, we have decided not to allow any of our guests to bring dates, unless, of course, they are married. One of my friends has just found this out and is making my life miserable, insisting that I allow her to bring her boyfriend. She has told me it is bad manners to invite only “half a couple”. I find her behavior about this to be extremely rude and selfish. This is my wedding, not hers. How dare she tell me how to arrange my guest list? She is not even engaged to this man. They have only been dating for about a year. What do you say about all of this?

A:  The issue of inviting “half a couple” to a wedding is a highly sensitive one. I understand it is frustrating when you are short on space or funds. However, before you become too worked up over guests who are upset at not being allowed to be escorted by their significant others’, try to put yourself in their position, and understand it from their points of view. For many couples, being asked to attend a highly social occasion like a wedding without their steady boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner may present great discord within the relationship. Often it leaves a guest feeling that if their “other half” isn’t invited to attend, perhaps they should not attend either, rather than going and leaving their partner behind. This type of situation can put some of your guests in a very difficult position.Certainly, you would never extend a wedding invitation to only half of a married couple. By the same token, many couples who aren’t married feel just as strongly for, and committed to, each other as those who are married. Therefore, receiving an invitation for only one of them to attend a social function often presents a very awkward and often unpleasant situation. Always put yourself in your guest’s position – how would you feel if you were invited to a wedding but told to leave your partner behind? Perhaps a little hurt, offended, concerned? And how would your partner feel about this? Just something to think about.Remember, an important part of hosting a wedding lies in mastering the art of being a highly gracious host. This means applying consideration and concern for your guest’s comfort and enjoyment at all times.

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