“You Are Inviting Me To Your Bachelorette Party, Right?”

by admin on November 15, 2011

I am currently planning my own wedding, and while I always assumed I would have to deal with at least a few people trying to invite themselves, never did I think this would be so over the top, and over my bachelorette party to boot.

I gave a list of people I’d love to attend to my friends who wanted to throw me one, and helped them set a date. Other then that, I am staying out of it. I have had one lady, ‘E’, who had been throwing me hints that she would love to be there, but I simply never considered her, because I wanted something small, and we really aren’t even that close. We both attend the same events, but that is it. I am actually quite close to her husband, because we share a hobby, and a group of us comes together at his place for that hobby. So I did put both of them on my wedding list.

Last month we were at a friends house for a party, and both E and her husband attended. A lot of people there I didn’t know yet, but it was fun to mingle and see a few people again. Talk starts up about my wedding, and before I know it, she asks me flat out ‘I’m invited to your bachelorette, right?’ It wasn’t even a question, it was more of a statement. I know I could have handled it better, but I am not one to lie. So I blurted out. ‘No, you’re not’. She got this look of utter disbelief, and started up a complete rant on how she couldn’t believe me, and how completely unfair this was, after all the things she did for me, and all the times she invited me to her house.

I just stood there completely baffled.

1) She never invited me to her house. Her husband did. For said hobby. Yes, she was around. Did she ever join in? No. Was she nice to me? Yes. Do I like her? Sure! Does that make her a close friend by default? I don’t think so.
2) She was screaming at me and putting me in my place in front of a ton of people, of which about at least 20 were closer to me then she was, and absolutely nobody else just assumed they were invited.
3) At one point, she ends with ‘well I guess we won’t come to the wedding then. If we’re invited to that at all.’ With a ‘that’ll show her’ attitude.

I was about ready to explode, but I somehow managed to end the conversation calmly, and walk away. And it just boils me up inside that I can’t get myself to scratch them off the wedding list, no matter how many people tell me I should, because I really don’t see how punishing her husband is going to be fair in this.

And to top it off, I later found out she continued her rant to one of my friends who is in charge of the bachelorette.

On the other hand, I had one other friend who asked me if she was invited to the bachelorette. I told her ‘sorry, no, I’d really love to keep it small.’ She said she was disappointed, but she understood, and wished me a good time.

Can you guess which one made me feel guilty for not inviting her? Yeah.   0928-11

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah November 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

I do not think you did anything wrong etiquette-wise. However this could be seen as a warning to other people, when you sort of know that someone is expecting to be invited you can drop hints that they are not or tell her outright! She seems to me to be the type of person who hints and then loses her cool because she is not getting an answer! When you first had the impression that she was expecting an invitation I would have called her to one side – maybe when you were in her home – and say “I hope I am not reading too much into something you said but I am afraid I am having a very small bachelor party. The main celebration is the wedding and I am so looking forward to seeing you and DH there.” Even sit beside her holding her hand as if you are breaking bad news. I do not mean to criticise how you dealt with it and I know it is a lot to ask to fix someone´s etiquette fail (which I am well aware I am suggesting!)

Reply

Just Laura November 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

This person was rude to you, yes. There will always be those people who invite themselves to things, and make you uncomfortable if you don’t comply.
But talking about another party in front of people who aren’t invited? That causes them to feel left out, and is unfair to them.

Reply

Dannysgirl November 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I don’t think the OP was talking about her bachelorette party in front of anyone. I re-read the post, and the OP says guests at her friend’s party were talking about her wedding. Did I miss something? She doesn’t say they discussed her bachelorette party. It looks like the OP is innocent here.

Reply

Just Laura November 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

I’m not attacking the OP necessarily here, but there were (according to OP) “a lot” of people she didn’t know at this party, and they (I assume OP and a few friends) start talking about the wedding. Not that this excuses Self-Inviting Friend at all, but if I were at a party, I wouldn’t want to hear all the details of a wedding to which I won’t be invited. This doesn’t mean the couple is wrong in not inviting me, but why discuss this event where there are so many who don’t know the engaged pair? Then things like this pop up, where people start inviting themselves to events where they have no business.

Reply

Yvaine November 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm

But Self-Inviting Friend was invited to the actual wedding, ergo no faux pas in discussing the wedding in front of her. SIF just jumped from there to the assumption that there was a bachelorette and that she was invited to it.

Reply

Harley Granny November 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

Actually you are off the hook with the invites.
You are not the hostess.
altho…instead of a blunt no, you could have played the confused bride with something like….Wow, I didn’t even think about it since we’re really just aquaintances and the party is being given FOR me BY my long time friends.
My co-workers gave me my wedding shower…it was a surprise party and they did a great job keeping it from me by getting all addresses from my DH.
Imagine my surprise when the youngest SIL made sure everyone was around when she declared that she didn’t get me a gift because she only found out about it yesterday. I said I’m sorry to hear that but I’m glad you’re here. (it should have ended there now shouldn’t it?) She then declared that I must not have wanted her there too bad if I didn’t invite her until the day before. I very calmly stated that I didn’t even know about it until I walked in the door.
21 years later she still brings it up.

I’m very blessed tho to have this be the only blip on the festivities.

Reply

Dawn December 29, 2011 at 1:40 am

Hmm. I think SIL just wanted to make trouble, period. She found out about it the day before but didn’t have time to get a gift? Bull. This year I did all my Christmas shopping on Christma Eve in a couple of hours and got everyone on my list GREAT gifts. SIL just wanted to throw the last-minute-invitation in your face.

Reply

bloo February 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Your SIL is quite a pip, isn’t she?

I think there is something in the archives about someone being mad at a guest of honor for not knowing in advance about a surprise party. Why do so many think that people are mind-readers?

Reply

Amy August 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thank you for this comment. I’m in a similar situation and it’s so helpful to have the words to say to someone! I’m going to use it.

Reply

Sterling November 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

I am in the midst of wedding planning and worry about this. I have a good friend planning my bacherlorette party and I have asked that it be very small. It is going to be the night before the wedding in the small resort town where the wedding takes place. I am literally only inviting those women involved in the wedding and 2 other really close friends.

Reply

Wendy November 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

Don’t take them off of the wedding invite list because it’s pettiness responding to pettiness. Be the better person by keeping them on the list and letting them decide whether they’ll come or not.

When I announced my engagement one of my cousins threw a royal fit because she doesn’t like my fiance (husband now!). She’s just about the only one. She sent long emails telling me what a horrid decision I was making (just days before Christmas, no less) and how rotten I was being to her and her family (yup). When it came time to fill out the invitations I wanted to leave her off the list, but knew better. I not only never heard a peep from her, she hasn’t said a word to me in…months. And I don’t care. :o)

Reply

LovleAnjel November 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

Another possibility would be to say, “I’m not organizing it. I gave the organizers a list of people, but I told them I’d like to keep it small.”

Reply

Cat November 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm

You were caught flat-footed. If you had had advance warning, you might have had a stock answer ready.
No one should ask if they are invited to anything. Asking, “Am I invited to your party?” puts me in mind of the old saw, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” There is no good answer.
When she was told no, that should have ended the conversation. You don’t owe her an explanation as to whom you chose to invite and whom you chose not to invite. My stock answer is, “I am sorry you feel that way.” And then I talk to someone else.
Send the invitation. She can come or not as she chooses.

Reply

Angela November 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

This illustrates the old saying “Don’t ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer”. She probably thought that by putting you on the spot like that, she’d get the answer she wanted. Her mistake.

Reply

Emmers November 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

She purposefully put you on the spot in hopes to catch you up and get the answer she wanted. It was becoming clear you weren’t responding to her ‘subtle hints’ and one way or another she was going to go as far as she seemed to be concerned.

If you feel the effort may be ‘worth it’, finding a method to inform this woman “I am sorry but the party is extremely small and for close friends and family.” Though I don’t believe you owe her any more explanation then you gave, “No you are not invited”. I can only hope you and her husband remain friends and you can inform him of just how excited you are to have him at your wedding.

Reply

Allie November 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Where does etiquette stand on passive-aggression and flat out lying (but only to spare someone’s feelings). In order to extricate myself from the very uncomfortable position this boor had put me in, I would have said I wasn’t having a stagette or that my friends might be planning something but that I didn’t know anything about it. Then I would have taken the first opportunity to wander away and avoid this person for the rest of the party.

I had sort of the opposite problem. A relative recently got married, and his bride kept asking all the women in the family “you’re coming to the stagette, right?!” We weren’t sure as it was out of town (over a 4-hour drive) and we’re all a bit long in the tooth for night-clubbing and the like, so we kept avoiding her and putting her off with cryptic comments. But in the end we went and had a great time.

Reply

Hemi Halliwell November 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm

You were not wrong in telling her she was not invited to your bachelorette party. Maybe you could have phrased it a little differently, but I think in E’s case, no matter what you said, she was going to make a scene.

I have never understood why people get so crazy about being invited to bachelor/ette parties & weddings or being asked to be a BM. Sure, it’s nice to celebrate & have fun with your friends & family but some people do not grasp that they are *not* friends, they are acquaintances. Some people may be invited to the wedding as a professional courtesy or as in this case, because the BTB shares a hobby with E’s husband and they frequently meet at E’s house. As E is not really part of the hobby group, she is an acquaintance. Being invited to the wedding does not mean you are invited to all the parties, showers or pre-wedding festivies.

You are lucky she did not want to be bridesmaid or expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. She probably really would have flipped out then.

Reply

Clair Seulement November 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I wonder what the worldwide ratio of bachelorette party drama to bachelorette party benign mutual enjoyment is?

Reply

claire delune November 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

This in no way excuses her tantrum, but I just want to mention, regarding the matter about her never inviting the LW to her house: if her husband invited you and she was there–in their shared home–then I think it’s perfectly appropriate for her to think of them as mutually hosting you. She lives there, I’m sure at the very least shares in the responsibilities for keeping their home suitable for guests, cleaning up after, etc. If she welcomed you into their home, it doesn’t really matter that the invitation was extended by her husband; I’m sure she thought of herself as your hostess. Not that that entitles her to an invitation to any gathering of yours, but something about the way it was phrased seemed really dismissive.

Reply

jess November 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

This is what I thought. the woman is horrible but if it was HER home too, not just her husbands then yes, she is hosting you because she has to prepare and tidy the house for guests too.

Reply

SFgurl January 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm

This was the husband’s event for a group the wife isn’t involved with; why would you assume that he’s incapable of tidying his own home in preparation for his event?

Reply

Serenity S. November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

I also agree with claire delune. The women was rude, but it was her house that you have been invited to many times as well. Her and her husband are equal owners of the home so she was your host as well. And you could have been more considerate in how you phrased your reply even though she was rude by asking if she was invited. It would have been easy to say that you can only afford to have a small amount of close friends or that your friends who are throwing the party are in charge of inviting people. I feel that a part of etiquette is being graceful and sparing others feelings.

Reply

claire delune November 17, 2011 at 1:28 am

Yes, I totally agree–though the OP was completely entitled not to invite this person to her bachelorette if she didn’t want to, she could have asserted her correctness in a more graceful/gracious way.

Reply

Sarah Jane November 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

The woman was terribly in the wrong and made a fool of herself.

I think you could be the bigger person by still inviting them, but I don’t see how it is “punishing” her husband if you don’t invite them. She’s his wife, he should take her side if she doesn’t want to go, no matter how wrong she is. He probably reaps the negative consequences of her actions all the time, but they are a couple and it goes with the territory.

Reply

SFgurl January 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

I couldn’t disagree more. When someone is behaving unreasonably, rather than blindly taking his/her side and letting him/her continue to make a fool of him/herself/continue to alienate people, it’s the spouse’s job to support her/his spouse by trying to get him/her to see reason (in private, obviously). That, to me, is “taking her side” in a way that’t much more helpful in the long run. You’re not doing either of you any favors by “supporting” your spouse by standing by bad behavior.

And yes, of course it’s punishing the husband, the OP’s friend, if he doesn’t get invited to things because his wife is a boor.

Eventually he may get fed up with reaping the negative consequences of her behavior, which is another reason continuing to let it go isn’t in their best interest.

Reply

bloo February 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Totally agree with SFgurl. OP technically can’t invite someone to a party she’s not hosting.
Guest of Honor does NOT equal host.

Of course he should NOT take his wife’s side if she behaves badly. If she makes good on her threat to boycott the wedding, her husband will have to decide if the fallout from him attending alone is worth it. But it’s perfectly reasonable for him to call OP and apologize for his wife’s rude behavior if she won’t see reason and do so herself.

Reply

Ann November 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

OP wasn’t caught flat-footed, she’d had plenty of warning that the woman had an issue with the party. And, as LovelAngle said, all she had to do was say the invitation list was in the hosts’ hands. Change of subject.

Also, I can’t quite get past OP’s early sentence… “I am actually quite close to her husband, because we share a hobby, and a group of us comes together at his place for that hobby”. At his place? That’s some interesting subtext from a woman about to be married, to think of a marital home as “his place”.

Reply

MonkeysMommy November 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I agree. My husband would be in a lot of trouble if another woman called our house “his” and acted as though I was just “there”.

Reply

SFgurl January 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

Wait, what?

If “Bill” is hosting poker night and “Jane” doesn’t play poker, then poker night is at Bill’s place. Ditto for “Jane” hosting her book club. If Bill and Jane are hosting a party, the party is at Bill & Jane’s.

None of those scenarios imply the slightest bit of “subtext” for Bill, Jane, or both of them together.

And I would never assume that Bill’s lack of ovaries render him incapable of cleaning his home in preparation for the party he’s hosting.

Reply

MellowedOne January 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

SFgurl, I agree. In thinking about how I refer to where my married friends live, the verbage I use depends on whom I know, and the reason I am going.

If know both people but are going to their house for an event exclusive to one spouse, then I refer to it as that spouse’s house. If I’m going for an event hosted by both and I know both, I refer to both of them. However, for co-hosted events I will only refer to one person if I don’t know the other spouse.

Funny, I didn’t even realize I used so many variations until just now. Guess we never stop learning 🙂

Reply

Cat January 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm

She was caught flat-footed because she never dreamed anyone would be so rude as to blurt out, “I’m invited to your bachelorette, right?” Hinting that you would like to come is not the same as asking outright, which demands an immediate answer.
My sister-in-law mentioned that she was going to a town two hours drive away and I said, “Oh, I love that place.” She immediately asked me if I wanted to go with her. I said, “I can’t; I’ve got class all day.” I had no idea that she would think I wanted to go with her. I just meant I liked the place.

Reply

Enna November 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

OP, next time someone is dropping hints maybe next time respond to them and correct them. I think the woman went way over the top in putting you on the spot like that in front of other people then flying off the handal – if she had asked you out right in private then that would be one thing. Now my mum and me are part of a bookclub, my dad is quiet happy for us to host when it is our turn but he would never expect to be invited to a member’s birthday party – likewise no member of the bookclub or member’s spouse would demarnd to be invited to an envent. That is just plain rude. The discussion was about the wedding not the party. Even if some discussion was about the party it wouldn’t be the OP’s fault unless she was delibrarlty or carelessly talking about it. If the OP was bragging about it and E was the only one not invited then it wouldn’t be a suprise that she felt a bit left out, however she should bring it up in private. If Evil Enna was there she would say “you are not invited to the party now with that bad temper.”

Reply

Enna November 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm

P.S as for keeping her on the guest list for the wedding why not? Howver just see how it goes, if she starts getting really difficult might be an idea to take her off. Or you could ask if she is okay e.g. if she has had a stressful time at work or period cramps.

Reply

Avisse November 17, 2011 at 2:30 am

Couldn’t agree more with Ann. It’s their home, she also has a say whenever her husband invites you (or anyone) over, and from the sounds of it, she’s been agreeable to all of your visits, so that counts her to be a gracious host.

I also agree with Serenity S: Part of etiquette is being graceful and sparing others feelings. Before the woman condemned herself further to e-hell by ranting out loud publicly, I felt her asking to be invited expectantly didn’t warrant such a blunt reply (yet), when she had been pleasant to you from your past interactions with her. Personally, I feel such bluntness should only be resorted when she starts to be difficult.

Reply

MellowedOne November 17, 2011 at 6:52 am

It’s amazing how all of this drama could have been avoided simply by nipping it in the bud. OP, you knew she wanted to go, and that she would not be going. Why not take her aside privately, and kindly, explain why?

Rude behavior is never justifiable. However, I am of the firm belief that in many cases, it is an inappropriate way of expressing hurt feelings. Of what benefit are etiquette and social graces if we don’t care how our actions affect others?

Reply

bloo February 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I totally agree with this. There may have been underlying hostility towards this woman from the OP, because your suggestion is really the one that promotes the most peace and harmony.

Reply

Rosie November 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I don’t understand these people that get upset about not being invited to parties. I love celebrating special events with loved ones, but in this economy it’s actually a relief to not be invited.
Of course, if I am invited, I go and enjoy myself and bring a present. If I’m not I congratulate the person the next time I see them (without making them feel guilty about not inviting me).

Reply

Angel February 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I used to have a friend who did this routinely. After a while I didn’t even feel bad about telling her “no” even when she asked in front of a bunch of people. I don’t think the OP did anything wrong, and in fact, if this woman has the cajones to try and blackmail you into an invite “If I’m not invited to the bachelorette, WE’RE not coming to the wedding” I think the OP is within her rights to say, “We will miss you at the wedding then.” I wouldn’t even want to be friends with this woman let alone have her at one of my parties!!

Reply


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: