Can I Un-invite Someone to My Wedding Over Political Beliefs?


AAPW: Is it okay to just pretend like I never sent it in the first place?

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

bride looking at card from groom

Q: I made the mistake of sending someone a guilt-induced save the date for our wedding. This person assumed she would be invited to our wedding, and I figured I liked her well enough (and let’s face it: I’m a people pleaser), so I sent it out. Then we barely talked for months, and when we did it was usually her asking me to explain my political beliefs to her, or her telling me those beliefs are wrong. Surprise, surprise, I realized we don’t really have much of a relationship, and this is how it’s been the entire six or seven years we’ve known each other. She seems to only want to take from me—advice, attention, validation, or whatever it is.

I talked this over with my fiancé and we agreed that we should just not send her a wedding invitation at all… but now I feel incredibly guilty. I feel like I’m actively excluding her, like I’m being overly mean, and like she’ll assume I un-invited her because of our political differences. It’s one of those situations where I truly don’t know how she feels about me and the situation (or if she’d even care), so my brain is spiraling in worry circles about it.

I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I also don’t want to spend any part of our wedding day worrying about whether drama is happening between her and the other guests, or thinking about the uncomfortable conversations we’ve had recently. We sent all of our invitations out yesterday, but the wedding is still more than two months away… so there’s time to send her one.

I’m curious, was the mistake sending the save the date in the first place, or withholding the invitation? Is it ever okay to send a save the date without following up with an actual invite?

—Frenemy Bride

A:Before I get into the ethics of wedding etiquette (if you will), let’s jump in with the more esoteric question, because honey, this political question is timely.

In my dream wedding world scenario, people only invite the friends and family that they love and who love them back, and everyone is happy and gets along and there’s no drama and you exit into rainbows and sunshine and fairy whispers. Of course, life doesn’t always work like our imaginary dream worlds. Furthermore, when it comes to political disagreements with friends, it’s worth thinking about it like this: if the person is annoying but is ultimately on your team (maybe she likes Bernie and you like Hillary and you’re frustrated, or maybe you’re an Independent and she’s a Republican, but you generally agree on life things…), then, you know, deal. Presidential campaign years are a bitch like that. However, if she’s unapologetically supporting a candidate that is openly racist, misogynistic, and overwhelmingly horrible and you’re not into that (you know, not to name names…), maybe consider un-inviting her from your life.

Where is the line, and how do you know when to draw it? It probably differs for everyone, but for me, I do like to have friends who have different views, but don’t want to surround myself with racists ever. But while it might be tempting to un-invite a friend from my wedding who has political differences, it wouldn’t be as easy to un-invite my many, many family members who have those same differences. So if she’s just annoying but mostly harmless, then you have to just deal.

So with the politics taken care of, let’s talk etiquette. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that quite a few people have sent out save the dates and then decided somewhere along the line that actually having some of those people at the wedding isn’t such a great idea. And to that point, I do think that you potentially made a big mistake. To me, the mistake isn’t not sending the wedding invite; it’s that you sent the save the date in the first place. Save the dates are such a funny thing in the wedding world these days, because they can mean different things to different people.

I think the original idea of a save the date is what the name says: a little notice that says, “Oh hey, we’re getting married on this day! Formal invite to follow, but mark it on your calendars.” Unless, of course, you didn’t include “formal invite to follow” (which is something I see lacking from save the dates all the time). Because you know what? If you didn’t note that people will receive a separate invitation, the save the date becomes the invitation. And you know what else? Even if you did make that note, some of your guests might still consider the save the date the actual invite… which means she might be coming anyway, and you don’t even know about it.

So perhaps the best thing to do is to figure out if she’s planning to come to the wedding at all. First and foremost, you said that you guys have mutual friends (or at least, people you both know). Do any of them hang with her regularly enough that they could inquire? If not, has she reached out at all since you’ve sent the save the date? If still no, then your best plan might be to neglect to send an invite, and hope she doesn’t show. If she does, be prepared to be gracious, but ultimately busy yourself with the fact that, you know, it’s your wedding day and you don’t have to be too worried about her if you don’t want to.

Wedding etiquette in 2016 is a fluid beast: the rules are changing constantly. Miss Manners holds little leverage these days, and you can never be totally sure that a save the date means the same thing that it has before. It’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll probably be in total whirlwind mode on your wedding day anyway, and I doubt you’ll even notice half the people who come.

So, Frenemy (and others in the same boat), take note. In the future, don’t send save the dates or invites to any event at all unless you’re sure you actually want the person to be there. The best-case scenario is that she never responds or acknowledges the date at all. The worst case is two-fold: she’ll show up and be dramatic, or she won’t show up but will passive aggressively comment on every single wedding photo you upload to Facebook (or hey: she’ll ignore it completely). Good luck.

And as for your relatives supporting Trump… well. I just wish there was an easy way to change minds and hearts.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK APW A QUESTION, PLEASE DON’T BE SHY! IF YOU WOULD PREFER NOT TO BE NAMED, ANONYMOUS QUESTIONS ARE ALSO ACCEPTED. (THOUGH IT REALLY MAKES OUR DAY WHEN YOU COME UP WITH A CLEVER SIGN-OFF!)

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! 😊 🎉 🎉).

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  • Amy March

    “I feel like I’m actively excluding her, like I’m being overly mean, and like she’ll assume I un-invited her because of our political differences.”

    Isn’t this exactly what you are doing? If you decide that you simply can’t have her there, then don’t invite her. But it is mean, it is rude, it is actively excluding her, and of course she will assume you un-invited her because of your political differences. You say you don’t want to hurt anyone, but this is a hurtful thing you are thinking about doing, and I don’t think pretending like it isn’t is helpful.

    I think if you do this you are making a deliberate choice to be mean, hurtful, and rude to someone you (used to) consider a friend, and someone who it sounds like you will have to see again because you have mutual friends. Assume she will consider it a dramatic end to the friendship. Once you’re in that place, then decide if it is what you need to do. I don’t think politeness as a value does or should trump all others – this may absolutely be a time when you have to do what you have to do – but don’t give yourself the easy out of trying to figure out a way that maybe this thing is actually not a big deal because . . . reasons. It is. Treat the decision that way.

    • Poeticplatypus

      The real question is have you actually sat down with this person and told her how her actions make you feel? And I understand that on one hand it might not solve anything but then what if it could?

      But doing this is a kill to the realtionship. I agree that it is mean and rude. Own your choice. You made the mistake sending the Save the Date. Of course the funny thing will be that she can’t make the wedding and doesn’t get the hint.

      • Totch

        Follow-up: If you don’t want to have that sit down, you don’t need to. But that is also a decision you’re making about a relationship–that it’s not worth working through the hard parts.

        That’s totally fine, but I think people often ignore that the choice not to act is a choice and it both shows your priorities and has consequences.

    • Eenie

      From the LW’s perspective, she may feel like she’s univiting the friend because their friendship has died, but it just so happens it died because of the political differences. (semantics in a sense)

      Either way, if you’re really concerned about what she’ll think, just send the dang invite. It’s one (or two?) people out of the many people at your wedding.

      • another lady

        exactly – just sent the invite and hope that she either can’t come, chooses not to come (probably because of said differences and recent falling out) or she comes and just chills with your mutual friends. You could also get one of the mutual friends to keep an eye on her in case she starts to cause issues. There were some people at my wedding who I didn’t love having there, but they either showed up for a short time, or were annoying and made a small scene to other people. You will be so busy on your wedding day that you won’t even notice those people (her) and/or, if she tries to be a pain in YOUR butt, you can just say something like, ‘oh, there is my cousin so-an-so who I haven’t seen yet, better go say hi… enjoy the rest of the night!’ and walk away from her! People at weddings expect to only talk to the bride and groom for a short time, as they have things to do and need to try to talk to everyone.

        • Danielle

          +1 for having a mutual friend “babysit” her if you are concerned she might start a scene or be rude to other guests. This is what I did for a troublesome person at my wedding. Thankfully, they did not act up (at least, not to my knowledge), but having a security guard of sorts put me at ease that day so I didn’t have to think about that at all.

    • NatalieN

      Agree. If you need to exclude this person, and have decided relationship over that’s one thing. But to say “I want to cut you out, but you can’t think this is rude or hurtful” is just being unfair.

      • another lady

        Also know that if you do not invite her and make it known that she is not invite, it will kill the friendship for good! Make sure that is definitely what you want before you choose to not invite her at all. Also, future mutual friend events have the potential to be awkward because of this and/or her.

      • Jess

        This is often my problem with advice-seekers looking to do a thing and not cause any feelings about it. In the end, you have to decide if the benefit outweighs the feelings that may happen.

        I always think of Pulp Fiction, when Uma Thurman protests being asked not to be offended. People are going to have whatever reaction they have – they can’t control that, and it’s unfair to ask them to.

    • Christina McPants

      I agree with Amy here. If you want to ghost her, invite her to the wedding, see what happens (if she even comes) and then ghost her. You will have so many other things on your mind on the actual day, I guarantee you that you won’t even realize if she starts a fight until well after.

  • Nameless Wonders

    I don’t remember the exact details of the STD (ugh) we received from a friend years ago… but an invitation never followed. We knew the date, but not the time or location (until we asked the friend’s brother, my husband’s best friend). My husband even went to the bachelor party with them, in another country. Turns out, the groom had forgotten to send our invite and really meant nothing by it. We didn’t go to the wedding because we didn’t find out WHY until after. Really sucked that we didn’t get to go, but we didn’t want to take the chance that we actually weren’t welcome.

    What are the chances of this person feeling that way? :p

    • NatalieN

      Dang, you guys are good friends. Cause if I got a STD and especially if husband went to the bachelor party I’d be nosey enough to send a text or mention to the couple that an invite hadn’t been received cause maybe it got lost in the mail?

      • Nameless Wonders

        We did ask about it and there was kind of an “oh I forgot” but then he still never sent it. He was understandably busy before the wedding and never got back to our final inquiries :(

    • Eenie

      I think this story really underscores the importance of RSVPs! Because if I hadn’t gotten an RSVP from you, I (or my SO) would have sent you a text/called you to find out if you were coming or not! My guess is they assumed you were coming. But seriously, I made my parents RSVP. Assumptions always end poorly!

      Tangentially related is thank you notes – I like getting the thank you note so I know my gift arrived!

      • Nameless Wonders

        Yeah the groom did say later that he kind of just assumed we’d come, but he also was aware he messed up and never sent the invite.

      • emmers

        Truth. I even appreciate a “hey, thanks for the gift!” text, if a thank you note is too hard. I just want to know it didn’t fall off the truck!

  • emilyg25

    Oh, I disagree with this! An invitation needs to follow a save the date. Otherwise, yes, it will look like you’re excluding her because you are. Fortunately, unless you’re only inviting like 10 people to the wedding, you won’t have to talk with her much more than to say, “Thank you for coming!” You can be gracious but generally busy yourself with other things.

    And pro tip for future brides: You don’t need to send save the dates to everybody or even at all. Best to limit them to your VIPs.

    • Leah

      Agree on both of these points.
      A save the date without an invitation is a snub. If her behavior/opinions are offensive enough that you think she deserves being snubbed (and maybe Trump support is enough to fall in this category), then snub away. Otherwise, invite her – and relax knowing that you’ll probably interact with her for like 5 minutes tops.

      And definitely second the pro tip – we only sent STDs to maybe 2/3 or less of our final invite list – to the people we were 100% we wanted to invite, to those whose presence was important enough to us that we wanted to give them every opportunity to plan for the event, and especially to those who would be traveling from far away and need to make travel plans. It’s easy to invite people who haven’t received a STD! The other way around? Not so much.

      • Rebekah

        (This is much easier to do with in-state guests.)

    • KPM

      I think that’s not a terrible idea but you do want to take into consideration a) people traveling from far who aren’t quite VIPs and b) friend groups where word will get around.

      For either, you can informally tell them “hey, wedding is on date X. Still finalizing the guest list but wanted to let you know to put it on your calendar. We hope you can make it!” Though this really is still like a save the date for them but is good for doing on a rolling basis as you are finalizing the list.

      • Amy March

        Until someone is on your final guest list I don’t think you should say this.

  • Her Lindsayship

    Sigh. I was raised in the South, but somehow still ended up hella liberal. Now I live in New England and most of my friend circle rests comfortably on a cloud of mutual understanding because we have similar views. But this is not true for my family. The very conservative ones have views that I actually can’t believe sometimes. Because we’re Southern, we handle this by not talking about it. And we still love each other, and they will absolutely still be invited to my wedding. Their political beliefs will not matter to me that day, not even the louder ones. They’re probably mature enough to know that a wedding is not the place for striking up a debate.

    However, I do acknowledge this would be way different and more difficult if I were in a same-sex relationship or was in any way not cis. But assuming based on omission that LW isn’t facing these issues, I’d wager that your friend’s political beliefs will not impact your wedding day. And I suspect the concern stems more from overall wedding planning stress than from the (potential!) presence of one person who challenges your beliefs. Send the invite, and ask a friend keep an eye on her in the off chance that she does try to start shit, but it doesn’t seem likely.

    • Rebekah Jane

      “Because we’re Southern, we handle this by not talking about it.”

      Oh, hey soul sister! My family actively avoids talking about politics and religion with me. My dad does occasionally try to sneak religious doctrine into my life (he once sent me a book entitled “What the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?” and thought he was being helpful), but my mother has long accepted her agnostic liberal daughter as an unchanging human rather than a “phase.”

      Weirdly, my boyfriend’s family (well, his father) actively seek out political arguments with him and they are as Southern as they come.

    • KPM

      Oh hai! This is *so* my family. I moved West not North but Facebook is place where my extended family sees my liberal comments and I see their conservative ones and we all hold our tongues with each other. (Courtesy I do not extend beyond my family.)

      • Her Lindsayship

        YEP exactly. Tbh a few family members had to be hidden from my feed to temper the cognitive dissonance of simultaneously loving them and wanting to rip my hair out at their political overtures. You make a good point though… I might not hold onto a friend as long if they did the same.

    • EF

      My extended family is bizarrely conservative, so I too thought a lot about who to invite. Ended up inviting the siblings but not extended — and sent invitations with Harvey Milk+MLK stamps. And not one of the siblings RSVPed. Well, that sorted that, I guess.

      • Her Lindsayship

        LOL @ your subtle liberal message on the invites, but ouch! :( I’m grateful that my sisters and I are all on the same page, even if we’re the only ones over here in the whole family tree. I hope the snub was the preferred outcome for you, they certainly don’t sound like they would’ve been very supportive!

  • Alexandra

    Whenever a wedding etiquette question turns up, I always want to make my lips all pursed and get all Dowager Countess and British accent-y.

    What, pray tell, could a Save the Date possibly be for if it isn’t a message to inform people to…SAVE THE DATE? Perhaps you could explain that what you really meant by it was for the rogue friend to save a delicious sticky-sweet fruit morsel in order to be wrapped in some specialty bacon you are curing and it will be ready at this particular time? You know…save the DATE!

    “Oh, I sent you the notice because I want you to be aware that our wedding will be held on this date, so you could maybe say a prayer or do a meditation or think pleasant thoughts, whatever your belief system allows for or encourages, but, you know, from afar.”

    Etiquette is usually not a set of arbitrary rules, as people seem to think. It is a way of considering the feelings of others. If you send someone a Save the Date, they are going to think you are planning to have them attend your wedding and are extending them the courtesy of being able to plan for it ahead of time.

    A note of encouragement: at your actual wedding it will not really matter if she is there or not. The decent thing to do is invite her, with the knowledge that you need not really spend any time with her the day of. The sad thing about weddings is that it’s such a blur of people you love you don’t actually get to spend that much time with even your favoritest folks. I remember the agonies I went through over our guest list! Very silly. You’re not inviting her to go on a trip to Europe one-on-one.

    Of course, if it’s a wedding that includes a lot of preliminary and post event activities, that might not be the case. Still, if you uninvite her, it’s a faux pas.

    Lips unpursing now.

    • emmers

      Love this. So true! ” I remember the agonies I went through over our guest list! Very silly. You’re not inviting her to go on a trip to Europe one-on-one.”

    • lmba

      Very much agree with this!
      First: It is incredibly rude and bad form to not invite her. Action like this should be reserved for someone who is actively causing you (or a loved one) harm, not just someone you don’t like. Maybe she will say something that makes a guest uncomfortable. That is not your problem. Your guests are grown-ups, and some of them are going to occasionally offend each other. They can deal for one day out of their entire lives.
      Also, the exact composition of your guest list will not matter on the day of the wedding. It just won’t. You don’t have to spend more than three minutes interacting with this woman if you don’t want to. Smile, hug, thank her for being there, show off your ring (or whatever). Move on to the next person waiting behind her. Done and done.

      • Exactly. I agree with Imba. Its actually a bit rude to not invite her. So in case if you invite her and she comes , you won’t be interacting her for long as its gonna be your big day , you will have lot more other things to focus on. And how she interacts with guest should not at all bother you.

    • KPM

      Gotta say I agree with this. The exception being, you’ve realized that you really, truly don’t want this person in your life AND are willing to deal with additional fallout from your friend group over ending the friendship with this person.

  • A.

    We had a couple come to our wedding who we actively can’t stand. They were former co-workers of my husband’s and we were all happy hour buddies together. At the beginning of our two year engagement, we liked them fine and they ran in the same crowd as us, so we told them that we were excited to see them at the wedding. It actually solidified our friendship for a short time, until…

    We realized they were AWFUL.

    Just…the worst people. Boorish, insensitive, selfish, liberal-racist (you know the type), and rude. Over the course of two years, they really proved themselves to be pieces of work and made all of our oldest friends raise their eyebrows, confused at our choices. We were embarrassed to introduce them to our families at the wedding even and seriously considered rescinding our STD.

    But you know what? We were really glad that we didn’t. Sure, we saw them more at our wedding than we hoped to and I even snapped at the female half of the couple at the end of our after party when she said to me, “And now you’re going to come get a drink with me because I barely got to talk to you at the reception” and I snarled, “No, I’m *actually* going to bed because this is my wedding night.” But overall, they were fine and they danced and they reacted at the right places, and the stress of worrying about their reaction to getting snubbed (as well as the reaction of our larger mutual friend group joining us at the wedding) wouldn’t have been worth the small blip they made on the day. AND we were able to pat ourselves on the back for being inclusive and polite. It feels better than you might think it is!

    [Note: Their presence didn’t make or break our budget either, so there was no resentment on that end of things]

  • Melissa

    You sent her a save the date, so you can’t not invite her. Ok, I suppose you COULD not invite her…but prepare for it to be seen as a dramatic snub. This is not quietly letting a friendship fizzle, this is blowing it up in a way that may well cause her to see you as an enemy. So if you do this, prepare for her to see it that way, and prepare for mutual friends to see it that way.
    Now. The tricky issue. It sounds like you’re worried she’ll do the same things to your other guests that she’s been doing to you, baiting, goading, or insulting them because of their political beliefs. Do you have a table where you can seat her where she’s likely to find political allies? A table of older relatives maybe? High school friends who you don’t talk to regularly anymore, but you can tell from their FB what their political beliefs are? Then you can avoid drama. Failing that, seat her with someone who’s a close friend of yours who’s very understanding, and who you can explain the situation to and apologize profusely in advance. I have a good friend who talks about sex a lot, often in inappropriate settings. I couldn’t seat him with any of our mutual friends, because he’d slept with (or tried to sleep with) most of them. My husband didn’t want this friend sitting with aaaany of his friends and ruining their night with it. But I did have one bright shiny table of friends who are really nice and they were totally understanding when I told them in advance “Look. This guy might say some inappropriate things and I am soooo sorry.” Do you have that table of friends? Seat her with them.
    And don’t worry about her goading you at the wedding. You don’t need to talk to her for any longer than 2 seconds. She’ll say “Congratulations,” you’ll say “thanks,” and you’ll spend the rest of the evening with people whose company you actually enjoy. You’re unlikely to be spending actual quality time with anyone at the wedding except your nearest and dearest.

  • Scissors

    Withholding the invitation just kicks the problem down the road – she will just assume her invitation got lost. I noticed when I didn’t get an invitation after a save the date (the wedding was cancelled) and she will too. So either you invite her now or you tell her later that you were passively-aggressively excluding her from the wedding and kinda hoping she wouldn’t notice – and you look like complete jerks to all your friends, because, well, that’s a coward’s move.

  • rg223

    Given that this person “assumed she was invited” and then LW was “guilted” into giving her one because LW is a “people pleaser,” I think if LW didn’t send her an invite she would either a) ask where it is or b) show up anyway. I’m guessing Person pressed LW on her invite status in the first place. Even if she didn’t, it’s very likely she would bring it up, and then you have to have the awkward conversation of uninviting her. Better to just invite her and ignore her as much as possible. As the bride, she’ll most likely not see much of her. And no one will think ill of the LW if someone at her wedding is spouting political nonsense/obnoxious/strange (spoiler alert: there’s people like that at every wedding!)

    • emmers

      Yep. Always the drunk uncle or whoever! :)

      • Danielle

        Yeah. Sit this one *next to* the drunk uncle!

  • Lily

    I think the advice here is actually kind of off-base. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think if you send a save-the-date to someone, you have committed to then sending an invitation. If you decide that not inviting this person is something you must do for your mental health, I think you have to actually have a conversation with her. Ignoring the issue and hoping it will go away (by simply not sending an invite) or trying to figure out whether she is planning to come to the wedding by gathering intel from mutual friends seem like not the adult way of handling this situation. (And, as a practical matter, this will likely prolong your stress and worry by leaving the situation unresolved for a lot longer than necessary.)

    • Jess

      The only people I didn’t send invitations to who I sent Save The Dates to were guests who had already let me know that they wouldn’t be able to make it (they lived in another country, were in the wedding party at another wedding, was someone we barely knew and who had broken up with our friend who was still invited, etc.) and only then after I checked to make sure they didn’t still want an invite for funzies (not for the breakup situation).

    • gonzalesbeach

      totally! I disagreed with this sentence in the response: “you can never be totally sure that a save the date means the same thing that it has before.” Nope- a save the date still means, SAVE THE DATE, I want you to come to the wedding/you’re invited, hold on for further details but it’s X day’. And just not sending an invite or communicating to the person that they are no longer invited- is poor form.

  • Mrrpaderp

    A save the date is a functional, if not formal, invitation. It puts the recipient on notice that they’re invited to the wedding. Failing to send a formal invitation isn’t “not inviting” the person because you’ve already invited them. Well intentioned guests are more likely to assume assume you didn’t do formal invitations or that their invitation got lost in the mail than that you chose to exclude them after sending them a save the date.

    LW is certainly free to rescind the invitation if she wants, but she has to own the fact that that’s what she’s doing. And no, there is not a non-confrontational people-pleaser way to tell someone she is uninvited from your wedding. It requires a (likely very painful) conversation. And there will be fallout from mutual friends and acquaintances.

  • JenC

    I have a friend and our political opinions differ quite a bit. She’s very far left, I’m more a little from the left, a little from the right and just for good measure a little from the underdog party. She’s very opinionated and talking politics can be a real struggle with her. We want completely different things from our life. At our wedding she was the one who shrieked the loudest congratulations after the ceremony. Sometimes politics clouds things and it might seem like there isn’t much left of your friendship at the minute but that could just be the intensity of politics (especially at the minute as the candidates seem to be as polar opposite as you can get – UK based so this opinion is based very much on the media portrayal).

    I’ve got the opinion that for the two places she’ll take up at the wedding, sometimes it’s easier to invite her. Especially if you have mutual friends. As others have said ghost her after if you need to. Also, you never know but if the friendship is as dead as you say, she might not turn up. If she does, there will be so many people to see that honestly you will not spend an awful lot of time with her.

  • Sarah

    This is why you only send save-the-dates to people who you really want to come to your wedding. The people you’re like “meh” about don’t need one, because you really don’t care whether they save the date or not, and you can decide later whether you want to invite them.

    I actually had this happen to me. A friend of mine sent a save the date to me but then I never got an invite. I didn’t ask or follow up. I assume she just thought she wanted to invite me and then changed her mind. We weren’t good friends; I would have expected to be a “b-list” person or not invited at all. I wasn’t offended. I can totally see how someone could be though, especially if they really did set the date aside and wanted to be there. In my case, it was a couple who I like well enough and would have gone if I was free, but I didn’t feel like I missed out by not being there. They probably had less room in their budget than they hoped, or ended up with more guests than they could handle, and I, being not that close of a friend, was the one who got the cut. I understood and pretended like it never happened.

    Assuming LW doesn’t want to mend this friendship, I think either 1. not inviting her and just letting her assume what she wants or 2. not inviting her and telling a white lie like “I’m so sorry. We ended up having to cut our guest list because our venue only allows X# of people and well fiance and I have X family members we HAD to invite” are both semi-ok options. Or she can just invite her and deal. That’s probably what I would do unless the friend is really, really obnoxious and cant’ be trusted to act like an adult. LW might not even notice she’s there.

  • Rebekah

    Here’s another thought: On your wedding day, you will see her for all of 3 minutes in your receiving line or as you make the rounds at the reception. There will also be other people in attendance whose views you do not totally agree with. This is not the venue to make a statement about how little you like or value her friendship. Invite her, thank her for coming, then party on.

  • Lisa

    I really think, if you’ve sent this woman an STD, you need to send her an invitation, especially if you don’t want to torpedo the relationship. You worry about drama on your wedding day–don’t you think there might be drama prior to it instead? (At the very least, you’re now expending a lot of emotional energy on the hand-wringing over whether you did the right thing or not.)

    If you’re not as close as you say, there’s a really good chance she won’t come. If she does, then you’ll probably only see her a maximum of 5 minutes that entire day, most of which will be spent gushing over how amazing you look and what a beautiful ceremony you had. Is that really so much to save yourself the stomach-turning guilt you’re experiencing now?

  • emmers

    I feel like Stephanie’s advice is pretty accurate. Since you’ve sent the save the date, she’s probably going to assume that she’s getting an invitation. If I were her, and didn’t get one, I’d guess that it was lost in the mail & would probably either come or follow up. I wouldn’t assume I wasn’t invited. If you realllly don’t want her to come, you can either hope she has other plans that day and won’t follow up, or you can head it off and send her an awkward email about how she’s no longer invited. I’d probably just invite her, to avoid the awkward “actually you’re not invited” conversation that may happen.

    In our wedding, around 130 people came, and there were plenty of people we didn’t talk to at all, and plenty who we just did a basic “hi, thanks for coming.” There were some people I wasn’t wild about who came (like a certain +1 of a groomsman), and I’m sure they said awkward things to other guests. But our guests were adults, and they dealt with it, as I’m sure yours would.

  • anon

    From experience, I can say that sometimes it is really not so bad to invite someone you don’t really want to invite. We did so with my partner’s father, who we initially discussed not inviting at all because of his pretty much total failure to be a decent parent over my partner’s lifetime. But then dad assumed he was invited and we decided to just let it slide rather than make a giant relationship-ending statement. The relationship has since deteriorated even further and he is no longer in our lives, but the fact that he is in some photos of the wedding and we can remember him being there is really not a big deal. His role was limited (by design) and that was that. You don’t need to be close with or even like all your wedding guests to have a smashingly good time at your wedding.

  • gonzalesbeach

    is it just me that feels like APW is having an off week?

    • Teresa

      No, I thought so too.

    • Lisa

      I’ve been feeling that the past couple of weeks.

    • Maggie

      It’s not just you.

  • Sure as hell not logging in

    Getting really tired of certain very opinionated, very unwilling to see things in shades of grey, voices around here in the comments. I’m over it.

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  • Varenna

    Does this mean my Save the Date SHOULD say “formal invitation to follow”? I took that line out to allow for a line with our wedding website. I figured people know what a save-the-date is and that an invitation is to follow. Is this not common knowledge?

    We are only sending them to folks we will definitely be sending invitations (and there are a couple of my parents friends who I know will appreciate an invitation but wouldn’t really enjoy the wedding, so they aren’t getting save the dates)

    I haven’t officially ordered them yet so someone please tell me if this is somehow a terrible mistake that I should fix!

    • Dude. It’s not a “terrible mistake”. No one’s feelings are gonna get hurt if you drop that line, so there’s nothing terrible about it.

      Maybe it’ll introduce some confusion, maybe not. Who knows! So long as the details on your Save the Date are correct, you’re probably in the clear :)

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  • notracistnc

    Send the invite. People don’t talk politics at a wedding. Not sure why yall think conservatives would do that anyway? This was the worst wedding post I’ve ever read. Should have just given advice on wedding etiquette and not put your political opinion into it.

  • neil5

    I understand that people have different political beliefs, but why does the author seem to assume that something is wrong with someone who supports Trump? I don’t understand the mentality. Regardless of which political party you support, Trump is not a fringe candidate and is currently leading the Republican candidates.

    • Amy March

      Because he is overtly racist, and the fact that he isn’t a fringe candidate is disturbing, not reassuring.

  • Kate Aitch

    I have a similar situation, although we didn’t send a save the date. My fiance is an atheist, I’m “other,” my parents are pagan, and the rest of my family are assorted flavors of Christian (my fiance is estranged from his abusive mother and doesn’t know if he even has any other family because part of her abuse was keeping him super isolated). We’re getting married on June 26, the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, and our officiant is a defrocked minister–defrocked because, following last June’s righteous decision, her church elders asked everyone to denounce the ruling, and my friend proclaimed her support for it instead.

    I have a cousin on my mom’s side who (my mom tells me; I unfollowed the guy years ago) regularly posts racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. stuff on Facebook. Apparently he feels it’s his duty as a Christian to tell gay people not to get married. My mom feels it would be her duty as a mom to deck him if he tried that with my man of honor. In the interest of avoiding fisticuffs, she decided not to invite him and thus we did not send him a save the date. But then my mom started to worry that her brother and sister in law would get upset if we didn’t invite my cousin, so we revised our guest list to include him. THEN there was some more Facebook drama and my mom came to the conclusion that it’s not worth inviting my cousin out of courtesy to his parents when my cousin has no compunction about being rude to my parents. (I know how convoluted and immature all of this sounds–I have recommended to my mother several times that she should unfollow my cousin / stop interacting with him, and have a conversation with her brother–who is very cool–ahead of the wedding to clear the air.)

    Even though we didn’t send a save the date, my cousin knows I’m getting married. Also, he lives pretty far away from his parents, so I’m sure they’re looking forward to seeing him at the wedding and will probably ask him if he thinks he’ll be able to make it the next time they talk to him after they get their invitation (my mom is not planning to give my aunt and uncle a heads up).

    So, in my situation as in the LW’s, there’s going to be some awkwardness no matter what. If we do invite him and he does come (which is actually doubtful–my mom is making a deliberate statement by not even sending him a courtesy invite), he would probably upset at least a couple of other guests. If we don’t invite him and my mom does give my aunt and uncle a heads up, they might be upset (and I wouldn’t really blame them). If we don’t invite him and my mom doesn’t give my aunt and uncle a heads up, they’ll probably end up calling her to ask some version of WTF Peggy? and she’ll have to explain herself to a more hostile audience. I think option B (don’t invite, give heads up) is the least volatile choice, but it’s not up to me to manage my mom’s relationship with her brother, so I can’t do more than I already have by suggesting it.

    I got to it circuitously, but my advice to LW is the same as my advice to my mom: when all of your options involve someone(s) getting hurt, you have to be a triage nurse. Which relationship(s) do you most want to preserve, and what course is most likely to achieve that preservation? Can you do anything to mitigate the disappointment of the person(s) you determine you’re most willing to disappoint? Maybe not. People pleasers have a tough time with that, but it’ll come up again and again in myriad contexts, so now is as good a time as any to practice.

  • Christine D

    Oh how timely this is for me…. and I think I’ve successfully dodged this bullet and have a good strategy to offer (similar to what Stephanie’s response was).

    My old college roommate and I have remained friends for years, but rarely see each other. She tells me I’m one of her BF’s, but yet we *never talk*. Sometime around when she and I moved on from college, I noticed that phone calls were rarely returned…. unless she needed something from me. On the flip side, she’d get dramatic and upset if I did the same. One night a few years ago, she invited me to a trivia night with her then-new boyfriend. She treated him SO poorly, I decided I never wanted to go out in public with her and other people again. I mean, she was just mean and horrible, belittled him. They broke up, she met her husband. I did reluctantly agree to a lunch date with just she, her beau, and me and mine. It went fine. But she is a person who has always exhibited the “Bridezilla” attitude years before she was engaged.

    When we both got engaged, I was the first, and she came 3 months later. She asked if I would be a bridesmaid! I knee-jerk reacted and said ok. Then I immediately thought, OMG, I’m a bride myself. How can I do both?? She opened it up a few days later and asked me if I was sure, and that she had someone else she could ask, but preferred me. I told her, I was glad she brought it up and that I was concerned how I could do it from a timing perspective and a financials perspective — I couldn’t both be a bride and maid of her wedding, commit what she would need me to, and be able to commit the same time and energy to my own. Silent treatment for days….. When the wedding came, I realized it was on a Friday, and I had started a new job. I would have to take time off work and fly 4 states away. Being literally one month into my job, I apologized and told her there was no way I could go. I had thought it was a Saturday, and I could fly in and fly out. Silent treatment. Meanwhile, my family all advised me that if this is a friend who truly is not someone I value, I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about it. I barely sent a gift — I sent two items I got that were hand made which I felt reflected her very much, but ultimately didn’t cost a lot because I am truly feeling some type of way about this person, and didn’t want to sock a ton of money into a gift. She never sent a thank you…. I feel like I would have thanked anyone for any sort of acknowledgement of the day, whether they showed up or spent a lot of money or not.

    When it came to sending my own wedding invitations out, I seriously re-thought our entire friendship. This is a person who apparently values me enough to ask me to be a BM, but I’m at the point where we very rarely speak, at least two of our get togethers in the last 5 years (which has been a grand total of 4 get togethers) were miserable…. and I’m ready to let the friendship just die.

    I ultimately decided to send her an invitation, and just poked for an answer on Facebook. I messaged and asked her if she thought she’d be coming, and that there are hotel rooms blocked if she needs — I was mostly just phishing for the answer, to know what to expect. Thankfully, she is ironically in the same exact situation that I was with a new job. Except mine is a Saturday wedding, and she could certainly fly in and fly out. But I’m thankful that she gave me literally the same line I gave her…. I don’t think she’s mocking me, though it did cross my mind. But mostly, I am happy to know that she won’t be there, and with both of our wedding awkwardness out of the way, we can let the friendship fade as it should.

    It’s a really tough question, I totally get it! And yes, politically that would stop me too haha. I really was torn with how to handle my situation, and ultimately, I realize that I don’t want someone there who treats people like dog crap, and who doesn’t care for me except for what I can do for her. That sort of toxic vibe is not needed on your wedding day. I hope you find peace in your decision, whatever it may be!