This story has two parts, but it involves the same guest. The person in question is my cousin “Megan”. A bit of background: most of my family lives in State A. Megan, although she grew up in State A, lives in State C, which is about 12 hours from State A. Megan is engaged to James. Megan and I have a cousin (“Renee”) who was married in May.
Renee addressed Megan’s invitation to “Megan and James”. Megan checked off that two people were going and put in her friend’s name instead. (I’ll call her friend “Karen”. She lives in State A.) Since Megan cannot go anywhere in State A without Karen (so it seems), no one was surprised. (Megan is *always* with Karen when Megan’s up in State A. It’s really odd.) Renee was irritated, but did not say anything.
At Megan’s wedding, I was with my future sister-in-law, “Samantha”. (She’s engaged with to my brother.) Megan and Karen came up to us, and Megan said to Samantha, “Hi. Have you met Karen? She’ll be coming to your wedding with me. James is not allowed to go!” Karen then chirped, “It’s going to be so much fun! Your family is hilarious! Your family knows how to throw a party!”
Samantha and I looked at each other, horrified. Samantha’s wedding wasn’t for another 15 months, and she was NOT planning on inviting Karen. All Samantha could say was, “Oh…we haven’t finalized the guest list yet.”
Two months later, Renee’s brother “William” got married in State B, which is closer to State C than it is to State A. Megan pulled the same stunt, but invited “Jane” instead of Karen. (The invitation was addressed to Megan and James.) Megan and Jane, who live in State C, carpooled up to State B together. William did not say anything to Megan about her substitute guest.
At the hotel, Megan, Jane, Megan’s mother (“Aunt Chloe”) and “Aunt Katherine” (Chloe’s sister) shared a room. (Keep in mind that Katherine and Chloe came up from State A.) As they were dividing the cost of the hotel, Aunt Chloe said that Megan, Chloe and Katherine should split the room 3 ways because Jane did a Megan a favor by driving Megan up to the hotel. Aunt Katherine said that she would pay 1/4 of the bill, but she was not paying anymore. I did not understand this at all. Jane’s favor to Megan has nothing to do with Aunt Katherine or Aunt Chloe. Why should they be expected to pay Jane’s share? Jane wasn’t even invited to the wedding. That was bizarre, but I’m glad Aunt Katherine said no.
I have no idea why James does not go to family weddings or why Megan has to have a friend who was not invited to these events go with her. I think it was very rude of Megan to presume that she could substitute a guest. I also don’t know how to take this “James is not allowed to go!” bit. This isn’t a ticket to a ball game. It’s a wedding!
I am looking to get married in late 2014 or 2015. How do I deal with this substitute guest nonsense? 1111-13
*Whew!* Did everyone keep track of that?
If James and Megan are co-habitating, send the usual invitation inviting both of them. If they are not co-habitating at the time of your wedding, send individual invitations to each one with no “And Guest” designation. If the RSVP comes back with James deleted and some friend added, you can contact Megan and explain to her that you cannot accommodate added guests. While it is delightful that Megan gets to see her friends Karen or Jane when she visits from out of state, you and the other bridal family members have no obligation to facilitate that reunion (Aunt Katherine gets this, btw). Further, it should be a concern that Megan’s fiance does not make an appearance at significant family events. That’s a red flag, imo. If Megan insists that James “is not allowed” to attend these family weddings, I would be wondering whether he even knows about them and if he does, why is he hiding from meeting his future wife’s extended family? You can politely explain to her that your invitation was to James, too, and that you have an interest in meeting Megan’s future husband.