My hubby and I got married over two years ago at a beautiful destination about 4 hours away from our home city but I am still suffering from this faux pas. We had a smaller than normal wedding for our culture (our wedding was about 120 people, the guest list would have been 500+ if left to the parents). We invited our closest family (big families on both sides) and friends. And knowing that our older relatives could not make it, we also had a traditional ceremony (where his parents would have bought me off my parents for a few pigs, a goat and maybe a pair of chickens) at my parents home. No official invites went out for this event but there was ample notice, and was planned after our invites went out.
The above is the background information, here is where it will get a bit muddy. After the wedding invites went out, my then future SiL texted my fiance and asked if she can invite some friends she hadn’t seen in over ten years to our wedding since they lived in the city we were getting married in. Without batting a lash he told her no, the wedding venue is small and space is limited (he did not mention to her that he had no intention of paying for the dinner of people we don’t even know and felt it was really rude of her to even ask). When he told me her request I said that as a compromise, her friends were more than welcome to come after the dinner for some drinks and party with us. I also told him that I don’t mind her friends coming and it was met with a resounding no, he did not want them there. This was strike 1 with SiL.
So of all the guests there were only about 20 of our friends and their partners/children there and the single ones all knew that we weren’t including plus ones if it weren’t a serious relationship (I had an acquaintance assume an invite was coming her way and asked if there would be hot single fellows to hook up with and if not she was going to bring an escort lest she be alone which prompted conversations with other good friends). On that note, our invitations made it very clear who was included on the invite, our custom usually includes open ended invites where it is not uncommon for an invited family to RSVP for other people (example: their in laws) so this was necessary to prevent that. SiL married young so had two boys similar in age to my fiance, they were both invited but I verbally told both boys their girlfriends were not invited (my fiance’s decision but he’s not very tactful). The older nephew and his then girlfriend fought and broke up constantly and at the time I spoke to him about his plus one, he was calling her a “crazy donkey mother of a canine” so it was okay to not invite her. The younger nephew is notoriously anti-social with his family and until well after our wedding, his partner was nothing more than a “friend” (I met her briefly for about 5 minutes and still only see her max twice a year). I knew SiL was still miffed about her friends not being on the guest list and didn’t want any friction with her or anyone else in my fiance’s family so I consulted my family and my future MiL and she said don’t bother inviting the girfriend and “friend” because it’s a waste of money and the boys probably won’t go anyways. However, this was strike 2 with SiL.
As an answer to our strikes against her, SiL opted out of both of our celebrations. Her husband let slip that they had plans during the first celebration, they stayed home and watched T.V. SiL and her whole family opted out of our formal wedding celebrations at the later date, again to stay home and watch T.V., my hubby’s older nephew did send his regrets as he could not get time off, the younger nephew sent word via his mother that he didn’t feel like socializing so opted out. The day before we left for our wedding, SiL left a gift for us with MiL but never bothered to make contact. I felt uncomfortable accepting the gift but fiance said we’ll take her out to dinner at a later date as a thank you.
To this day, SiL is still mad at me and what was once a decently fun relationship is now awkward and I constantly get the cold shoulder. I still feel bad about not inviting her friends or her children’s girlfriends but hubby is adamant we did the right thing. We have yet to take her out to dinner because hubby is still upset his sister never showed up for the wedding and has treated me poorly since the whole wedding fiasco. I keep reminding him and he just says “oh yeah we’ll do it later” but never does.
On a brighter side, after a recent health scare where we went to the hospital to visit a couple times and I made food, the relationship seems to be thawing a bit! 1124-17
Wedding guests, usually extended family members, wanting to abuse your hospitality by inviting friends you or the parents have never met (or have no interest in meeting) is one of the more common yet annoying faux pas. Too lazy to extend their own personal hospitality, they want to steal your hospitality (and the money necessary to host such events) to feed and entertain friends they allege to like yet couldn’t be bothered to entertain on their own dime and time. My favorite is when in-laws want to turn your wedding into their family reunion and invite people you have no connection to other than some distant marriage. Dear OP, you need to strengthen your polite spine which means not feeling bad for declining to invite “guests” neither you nor your husband have any relationship with. Your Sil was (and probably still is ) primed to be offended by something else even if you had invited her friends. That’s what petty people do.