Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Plus One Clarification

To read my original post about "Plus One Etiquette," please click here: http://www.ask-jocelyn.com/2010/07/plus-one-etiquette.html

Dear Jocelyn,
I am a little confused regarding the situation with plus ones. I understand that some acceptable reasons for brides/grooms to not allow for plus ones are budget, size of venue and a desire to keep the wedding intimate (in other words, family members and close friends only). The part where I get lost is if I were married, regardless of who the friend (of bride/groom) is, the invitation would be extended to both spouses. However, because I am not married and do not live with my boyfriend of 6 years, is it justified that only I am invited and not my boyfriend? That really is not sensible; just because people are married doesn't mean they both are close friends with the bride and groom and therefore "qualify" as close friends and family. Just because people have a piece of paper stating that they paid the fee for the marriage license required in the state where they reside, that does NOT justify excluding a couple who chooses not to be traditionally married. With the divorce rate in this country at 50% , I should think we might update our etiquette as it applies to excluding those of us who don't buy into the marriage propaganda.
Also, how is possible to delicately ask if this was an oversight? I'm at such a loss.
-Unmarried and Mad

Dear Unmarried,
Since this is not a philosophical blog, I cannot really expound on society's views of marriage or the divorce rate. However, I will offer two comments:

1) Marriage is more significant than just a piece of paper. Almost anyone who has stood in front of a judge or clergy will tell you that.

2) Married couples in society will always have more benefits than unmarried couples, whether those are tax breaks or automatic invitations to weddings. Etiquette typically reflects cultural values, and since our culture gives some privileges to the married , the rules of etiquette will also privilege marriage.

You may, of course, ask if this was an oversight. All you need to do is call or email the friend and ask in your kindest tone, "I received the invitation to your wedding and would love to come! Is there space for my boyfriend John to come? I would love it if he could join me." If she says no, simply say you understand and that you look forward to the wedding.
-Jocelyn

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