Miss Manners: Her sister-in-law thinks wedding invitations are transferable

My sister-in-law (a named guest) is invited to bring her granddaughter (also a named guest), but the former daughter-in-law is a stranger to both the bride and me. We clearly told my sister-in-law that this was unacceptable. She has now asked for a second time, and I’m afraid she’ll invite her anyway.

The reception is a seated dinner with a seating plan. It will be embarrassing, and my daughter will be very angry at being ridiculed. (I don’t blame the ex-wife, and I doubt she would knowingly crash a stranger’s wedding. I’ll do my best to avoid embarrassing her if she shows up.) Rather than arguing with her aunt , my daughter asked me to manage it.

How offline is my sister in law? Are we disconnected from modern standards? Is this a clear social violation warranting a firm, preemptive phone call, or is it too insignificant to worry about?

Kinda like most airline tickets, wedding invitations are not transferable. Unfortunately, there are no monetary penalties for enforcing it, only social penalties. And as you point out, the ex-wife is probably not at fault.

Your letter indicates, however, that there might be a bigger problem – a 7-year-old child on the loose – for which Miss Manners has a modicum of sympathy. You may have to choose between inviting the mother, getting help, and having a restless child at the wedding. There will likely be disruption with any of these options.

If you choose hired help over an uninvited guest, you can politely phrase it like this: “If you’re concerned about Gigi’s care, we understand. We may be able to provide outside supervision for children. But otherwise, we limit the guest list to only people we know.

Dear Miss Manners: When we have vegetarians for dinner in our house, our menu is always completely vegetarian. When dining out with vegetarians, should we refrain from eating fish or meat out of consideration for their culinary preferences?

Unless your companions If you have an airborne allergy to fish or meat, a restaurant is a place where all diners have the right to order what they like, without fear of judgment or reprimand.

That said, Miss Manners and your fellow vegetarians would find it gracious if you didn’t order a huge slice of rare cow, or choose a restaurant called “Meat Meat”. Although she hears it, there is an excellent salad bar.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday at washingtonpost.com/board. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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