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The Etiquette of Attending a Wedding Without Your Invited Date

Are there unspoken rules you're supposed to follow?

Contributing Writer
fall wedding guests attire classic gray
Photography by: The Edges

Talk about awkward! Your boyfriend's family has been close to the Davis family since forever. Their daughter, Isabelle, is getting married in a few months. When your boyfriend got an invitation to her wedding, your name was listed, too—not just plus-one. It's not surprising since you've been in a serious relationship with him for a few years, but here's the problem: You met Mrs. Davis only once and the bride, never. The wedding is several hours away and you don't really want to travel that far to celebrate someone you've never met. Your boyfriend's siblings' significant others were also invited and want to opt out. What's the etiquette on this sticky situation? Is it ever okay for someone to attend a wedding without their invited guest? Here are answers to questions you may have.


Related: Do I Have to Use My Plus-One?


Am I obligated to go?

Not at all. An invitation isn't an order but a request. Since the bride knew your boyfriend has been dating you for a long time, she did the correct thing by addressing the invitation to both of you. But that doesn't mean there's any obligation for you to attend her wedding.


Can my boyfriend bring someone else?

Like his other girlfriend? Just kidding. The answer is no. Since your name was on the invite—and not just "plus one," which would allow your boyfriend to choose whomever he wanted as his date—it's you or it's no one.


Should he give a larger gift, since we were both invited?

For anyone invited to a wedding, the most important factor to consider when deciding how much to spend on a gift is how close you are to the bride or groom. The closer you are, the more you'd want to spend. In this case, it sounds like your boyfriend and the bride aren't that close (if they were, you'd probably want to go to the wedding). Another consideration is personal finances—how much can he afford? No one would expect him to buy something that'll be hanging on his credit card, piling on interest, for months.


Will my boyfriend's mom be mad at me for not going?

No comment.