Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Should We Allow a Drunk at Our Wedding?

Dear Jocelyn,
I have a dear friend, whom I adore, but her husband (who is working on his sobriety for the last 5 years) got drunk last time he was invited to a party we hosted. He broke a couple of glasses and made everyone feel uncomfortable. My problem is that I am getting married in the summer and my fiance said I can't invite my friend if her husband will come too. Help! They are always together. What do I do?
-Scared of a Scene

Dear Scared,
I'm afraid that there is no easy answer for your situation. You can either just invite your friend, and have a difficult conversation with her about why her husband isn't invited. Or, you can not invite both of them, and either have a difficult conversation with her about why, or just hope she never asks. (Although she will notice, rest assured.)

Do you agree with your future husband about this decision? You said your fiancé said you can't invite them both, so is this a unilateral decision made by him, or is it something you both agree on (but just wish you didn't have to do)? If you really disagree with him, you could try to reach a compromise where the husband is invited, but someone is assigned to be a "bouncer" and keep an eye on him. (This is, in general, a good idea for weddings where alcohol is served, and guests who may have difficulty controlling their intake are attending.) Or, you could not serve alcohol at the wedding, and hope this prevents any problems.

As far as the difficult conversation, here is a rough outline: "Susie, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't invite Bob to the wedding. I know he has been working on his sobriety - and we are happy for him - but given how he acted at the party we hosted, we can't risk him slipping up and causing a scene at the wedding. We would still love for you to come, but understand if you don't feel comfortable doing so."

I'm sorry for the situation you are in, and I hope you are able to find a good solution.
-Jocelyn

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