Wedding-guest request blown out of proportion

Question: I am getting married in July. My fiancé and I at some point told my younger sister she would get a plus-one. She said she was going to bring her best friend from college, and I cautioned her at the time that she might want to wait in case she gets a serious boyfriend between then and the wedding.

Now my sister is in a serious relationship, and my parents are pressuring my fiancé and me to allow her to bring both the boyfriend and her best friend, saying I might regret not inviting him if my sister and her boyfriend get married.

My parents and fiancé already have a somewhat rocky relationship, and this is threatening to make it worse. Am I wrong for standing firm and saying she needs to still bring just one?

Answer: Probably, but not for the reason you might think.

A guest with a plus-one-plus-one is silly.

But the idea that a sister qualifies as merely a guest is silly, too.

And the idea that you'd either disinvite the best friend or exclude the serious boyfriend just because you don't, what, want one extra plate is silly. Especially as your parents could cover the cost, given how invested they are.

Of course, for the best friend not to just say, "Hey, bring Boyfriend in my place, I totally understand," is also silly. Unless there are airfares involved, I suppose.

That I'm now four contingencies into an analysis of one extra guest to a wedding is making the college degree I earned to qualify for this job feel silly.

The thing about silly expectations and silly concessions and silly rule-following, though, is that it's all so easy to fix. You add a guest, someone bows out, someone chips in extra - meaning, you figure it out and drama stays in its dressing room, oblivious to all the fuss.

Yet you've presented this as drama. As something that isn't silly and that you can't just figure out - and that's my problem with your "standing firm." It never should have mushroomed into a standing-firm-standoff kind of event.

So, why did it?

This: "My parents and fiancé already have a somewhat rocky relationship, and this is threatening to make it worse."

Assuming my between-line reading skills are sufficiently sharp, your fiancé is digging in, in part - if not entirely - based on resentment of your parents. Or sister. Or both. And your parents are pushing back hard.

Close enough?

If so, you need to stop treating this as a "My knucklehead sister invited her bestie" problem and see it for what it is: a power struggle between your family of origin and family of choice. One that has taken a turn for the petty.

A bigger problem still is that you're not calling it what is: You're neither agreeing with your fiancé and telling your parents to back off nor agreeing with your parents and telling your fiancé to back off. Instead, you're peacekeeping - backing your fiancé because it's harder not to and asking me whether that's right.

It's not, because "right" is about peace of mind: Consult your values and gut, do what those say, then take the heat for it.

Easier said than done, but easier done than dodged.

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