Wedding invitation etiquette: Should I invite my single friend’s boyfriend to my wedding?

by alice

Question for you: You are getting married, and have a single friend who has been dating her boyfriend for a few months. Do you you extend a wedding invitation to your friend’s boyfriend, or just to your friend?

I just read a nice article that mentions the etiquette.  In this article, Chez from The Halifax Wedding Planner, says that if you’re single friend has been dating her significant other for more than 6 months, you may wish to ask your friend if she’d like to bring that person along. That seems reasonable advice to me.

But what if budget considerations are limiting the guest list? This article goes on to say that you have two options.

1. The “case-by-case” approach where you ask each friend individually if they’d like to bring their significant other – no ‘6 month rule of thumb here’. Ask everyone  (I would like to add that this gives them the option to decline to bring their ‘other’ and gets you off the hook).

2. The other approach is the “one way or the other” decision. Decide either everyone gets an invitation to bring a date or no one gets one.

What would I do? I personally would tell all my single friends to leave the significant other at home  (unless they were engaged). I want to avoid explaining to “single-Julie” why I invited “single-Mary’s” boyfriend Tom – reason: because Mary and Tom have been dating for 3 years, and why I didn’t invite her boyfriend Mark – reason: because she and Mark had been dating for only 3 MONTHS.

I also want to avoid awkward cancellations at the last moment. Who knows…what if one of your friend’s breaks-up 3 days before your Big Day? Can someone say “awkward cancellation” or worse, “ice-cold” couple on the dance floor? Please, no. Save me the drama!

And don’t forget that wedding photos and videos live forever on the Internet. There is a good chance in 10 years that your friends who are dating now, will be with new husbands or wives.  Break out that old wedding album 10 years from now and see their current spouse’s reaction to those old photos :). Just sayin’.

Bottom line: Why loose sleep over who brings who? This is supposed to be YOUR Big Day.   If you  are losing sleep over the issue, just make it clear that single friends come just as they are; that is to say, please come “single” – no dates…. especially good advice if budget considerations are a factor.  If you can’t bring yourself to be so black and white, then at least give each single friend the option (and hopefully only the real serious couples will take you up on the extra invite!).

What would YOU do? or What DID you do?  I’d love you to leave your thoughts in the comments below:

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