My husband is the best man in his cousin’s wedding a few months from now which has put him in quite an uncomfortable position. We have no idea the polite/correct way to handle this situation so I’m hoping you all can give us some good direction.
A few weeks ago my husband received the details on the rehearsal dinner. Included in the text cousin wrote that significant others were not invited. My husband assumed that to mean no boyfriends/girlfriends but called the cousin to find out. Sure enough he was told that due to their restaurant choice they will not be able to afford for any of the bridal party to bring their husbands or wives (a total of 3 of us not invited).
Last year when we got married I made sure that we budgeted for everyone and had a home party catered by a local restaurant to lower costs. Cousin’s GF at the time was invited so I feel really hurt that I was not included. The kicker is that I work at the school next to the restaurant so I will be getting off the same time as the dinner and will drive past them. My husband is torn about the situation. He does not want to go without me yet he also knows that he is best man and his family will chew him out if he does not come to the dinner. I am trying to remain neutral when talking to him about this on this but obviously inside I am thinking, “Please don’t go!!!”. I’ve looked a lot on wedding websites and it seems to be pretty well known that the proper etiquette is to invited spouses, yet cousin told my husband that he doesn’t see anything wrong with it. What would be a good way to handle this situation? 0813-12
I am flabbergasted that Cousin is so ungracious and uncouth as to not invite the better halves of his bridal party members to the rehearsal dinner. Cousin choose pricey, upscale restaurant ambiance and food over the civility of good relationships for many years with at least one cousin. People should be aggressively finding ways to avoid barriers to positive, happy family experiences and relationships and if that meant scaling back plans to prioritize people over place, you do it. This decision to exclude spouses of the wedding party is profoundly stupid and short-sighted.
Rant now off, what to do? Discussing this further with the cousin is futile, imo, because if he does change his mind, it was due to pressure and not a real change of heart. Would you really want to attend knowing Cousin extended the invitation not out of love for his extended family but rather because he felt guilted into it? Cousin apparently knows your husband isn’t in agreement on this and he’s stubbornly stuck in his choice.
I think your husband should go to the dinner in order to fulfill his obligation as best man and to keep the family peace. But that doesn’t mean he has to do more than what he is obligated by his position to do. After dinner is over and all other official business done, he can take his leave by bidding good bye to his cousin with, “I must be getting home to my lovely wife. I will see you tomorrow. ”
I think you should also prepare yourself for the possibility that your husband could arrive at the rehearsal dinner to find all other spouses are there except you. I don’t like to borrow trouble prematurely but something about this story has my “Uh oh” hairs on the back of my neck tingling. In which case, I think your husband can ask his cousin, “Did you intend to purposely exclude only my wife from attending this dinner? Because she appears to be the only spouse not invited to this affair.” Depending on the answer, your husband may face a hard choice. He may want to resign his role as best man right there but I suggest that he carry on with his duties as he should be a man of his word. But that doesn’t mean he has to do his job 110% or with great enthusiasm. Civility and responsibility doesn’t demand that we must act as if we are enjoying the process but does require behavior with decorum. Your husband would not want to do anything that could be used by his extended family to accuse him of undermining Cousin’s wedding joy.
But once the wedding is over, the frigidity of an icy cool relationship can commence while Cousin wonders why on earth his best man and cousin is so distant lately.