Do I Have to Invite My MOH’s Jerk Partner?

He probably won't even make an effort to come anyway

couple standing together on the street

Q: I’ve asked my best friend of ten years to be my maid of honor. We’ve had a bit of a complicated relationship, but she’s been at my side for so many years, and we’ve experienced so much together that it was never a question that she’d be my MOH.

Now for the tricky part.

She’s been dating a guy for a few months now that my fiancé and I don’t really like. There’s nothing glaringly terrible about him, but he doesn’t seem to care much about my MOH’s friends, and he’s been consistently cynical and negative the few times we have managed to spend time with him. He was hours late for another friend’s twenty-first birthday recently, and his only reason was that he didn’t feel up for socializing yet (the speeches were delayed just because we were waiting for him).

My fiancé and I don’t really want to invite him. When I tried to gently broach the topic with my MOH, she became very hurt and upset, and stated that since she and her new boyfriend will have been dating for a year at the time of the wedding, it’s very inconsiderate of us not to invite him. Although I love her and want to support her relationship, I don’t think that should extend to us inviting him to our intimate destination wedding.

We’re also planning on renting a small house close to the wedding venue for our wedding party, and we’re paying for one of the groomsmen to bring his live-in girlfriend (whom we know very well and have spent a lot of time with) and their two young kids. My MOH hasn’t clearly said she expects the same treatment for her boyfriend, but I feel that it’s implied.

Now I don’t know what to do. Should we stick to our guns and not invite my MOH’s boyfriend (we’re not planning on inviting plus-ones that we don’t know well anyway)? Should we invite him as a gesture (seeing as we don’t think he’ll make the effort anyway)? Or should we bite the bullet, avoid the drama, and include him in our plans?

—Confused and Stressed

A: Dear CAS,

Invite him. But it’s not about avoiding drama, it’s about getting to know the people your nearest and dearest love.

Put another way: keep your friends close, and their douchebags closer.

Maybe you haven’t gotten to know him enough. It sounds like your friend is an awesome person, and she likes him. Set aside those first impressions and try to figure out what it is your friend sees in him. Even if he’s not your favorite personality, maybe you can appreciate their relationship, their dynamic, or how well they treat one another.

Or it turns out he really is just as awful as you think he is. In which case, there’s a chance your friend will hit some heartbreak with him in the future, and she’ll need someone around who never left her side. Conversely, she could start really making serious plans with this guy, and you might want to say, “Wait, don’t!” Your thoughts and advice will be better received if you’ve actually been around the guy and made some effort to know him.

That’s all rationale for inviting him to your small wedding. But, yeesh, I can understand not wanting him to stay with you. So I wouldn’t mention that part up front. Just invite him to the wedding and see how that pans out (you mention he probably won’t even make the effort to come). If he is coming and, ugh, you are stuck offering a place to stay, it’s a small sacrifice for the good of your friendship (and keeping an eye on him).

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