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The friend dilemma – who to invite, who to leave off??

Home Forums Guests & the bridal party The friend dilemma – who to invite, who to leave off??

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  HappyG 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #440282

    JessicaFay
    Member

    My partner and I are in the fortunate position of having been friends before we started dating, which means that 90% of our friends are the same. Sure, there’s a few people that I consider myself to be close with that he doesn’t and vice versa, but overall we socialise in the same circle.
     
    This has led to a problem, however, in that all of our friends believe they will be invited to our wedding. No one has actually come out and said something in front of us, but there have been subtle hints (which I have ignored so far) and comments passed through the grapevine. I now feel awful – we were never intending to invite our whole social group (it would be around 40 people and we don’t see a lot of them all that often anyway!) and I know that feelings are going to be hurt. When subtle hints are made in the future by friends we have no intention of inviting, how can we handle it?
     
    I’m also worried about tensions arising when it becomes public knowledge exactly who is invited because some of the friends we have put on the guestlist aren’t people that we see very often for one reason or another. One is a friend (and her partner) whom I grew up with in a small country town – it isn’t exactly close so we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like. Another is a friend (and her partner) who works night shift whilst I work day shift, so our timetables don’t mesh too often. These are just examples of some of the people that we consider to be close even though life has gotten in the way and prevented us from spending lots of time together. If (God forbid) the situation arises when a friend who was not invited confronts us about this, how should we respond?
     
    NOTE: We do have a couple of friends who are incredibly dramatic and are known to carry on about nothing. We are not planning on inviting them to the wedding. Whilst they are nice people in small doses and we have known them for a long time, these unattractive traits are the very reason why we don’t see them that often anymore. Also, I felt the need to ask the question regarding a confrontation as one friend (who fits this category) has already confronted a different girl about not being invited to her wedding!

    #440295

    HappyG
    Member

    Let’s face it, no matter how you plan it, or try to get around the inner-workings and tensions there will always be drama and gossip, especially from friends who are known to have done it before. You’ll end up stepping on toes, unexpected people will get offended and upset for a whole range of reasons.
     
    However, you can attempt to lessen the blow by providing other alternatives, whether it’s a friends-exclusive pre or post wedding party, a mini celebration, cocktail hour, brunch or second wedding;  the point is to invite the whole group so that no one can get too sore about who’s invited to the main event. Don’t invite everyone with the expectation that they’ll all come, a considerable amount may decline, the point is that they feel included, wanted, needed and equally special. This will help to soothe any hurt feelings and dampen some of that inevitable gossip.
     
     
     
     
     

    #440328

    JessicaFay
    Member

    Thank you, Happy G – the idea of a pre or post wedding event that all of our social circle could be invited to just had not occured to me. My partner’s sister had suggested that we invite all of our friends to our engagement party, but I thought this would be rude considering that they will not all be invited to the wedding (especially as an engagement party is considered a gift giving event). I like the idea of having a casual BBQ at home or something to celebrate. Perhaps we will have a family only engagement party as well.
     
    Again, though – what should we say when subtle or not-to-subtle hints are made about them being invited to the wedding? Would a comment about only inviting close friends be enough of a hint that they haven’t made the cut? And how should we deal with any confrontations from those who aren’t invited? Even if we do this other event that all our friends are invited to, there may still be some people who are sore over not being invited to the ‘main event’ as Happy G put it.

    #440706

    HappyG
    Member

    Definitely don’t say you’re only inviting “close friends” as there will be people who have misconceptions and they think you’re closer with them than you think they are, so they’ll assume that of course they’re invited because they think you’re close and would want them there (as a result they’ll be pretty miffed when an invite doesn’t show up).
     
    Use a reason that they can understand, but don’t try to embellish it so that it sounds like an excuse. Budget concerns are a good reason to fall back on, as you can say how you’d really wish everyone could come but it wasn’t within your means etc. Just so that it isn’t a personal attack that rates friends against one another. Emphasise that you hate having to choose, which is why you would love them to have a friends-only celebration exclusively for them to make up for it. Be humble and apologetic so they can’t get mad or lay blame.
     
    Try and prevent any focus on preference, such as certain friends being closer to you and your partner or some friends being better behaved etc. As it will only start wars,  people will say nasty things behind your back and boycott your big day if it gets out of hand. Also, keep wedding chat on the downlow, by talking about it you’re encouraging that speculation over who is invited (and more importantly who isn’t) and what will be happening; I know you just want to talk and vent and enjoy being a bride, but keep it in the bridal party and between you and your partner as much as possible to avoid any negatives in your friend group.
     
    Sometimes you just can’t win, but you can do some damage control now to prevent a fiasco on or near the wedding date.
     
     

    #440770

    JessicaFay
    Member

    Thanks again, Happy G – I had not considered the implications of saying that we are only inviting close friends either! Gosh, there are so many traps it seems like I could walk into. I think I’ll probably go with the budget/venue restraints reasoning – it is true that we simply cannot invite everyone (even if we wanted to) and I hope that everyone is understanding of this.
     
    I do try to keep wedding and engagement chitchat on the downlow already and only discuss it when someone else has brought it up (usually in the manner of a direct question). If I want someone to know something or think they need to do, I’ll tell them. I just don’t think that my wedding and what it entails really needs to be public knowledge – there’ll be no surprises on the day otherwise!
     
    Thank you for all your advice, Happy G. You have definitely given me some ways to handle invite hints and questions. I’ll get to put them in practice tomorrow night when we meet up with a few friends (half of whom aren’t on the guestlist) for drinks. Fingers crossed the topic isn’t even raised!

    #441145

    HappyG
    Member

    Good luck! I hope it all goes well!

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