Post # 1
We recently recieved an R.S.V.P. from an invited guest and his wife. On our rsvp card, we stated that we reserved 2 seats in their honour and also wrote both their names on the return card to identify exactly which guests were invited so that there will be no confusion or room to “add” univited guests.
Today we received the R.S.V.P. in the mail and we were offended at their response. The husband crossed out his wife’s name and wrote in the name of another girl. Both my fiance and I DO NOT know who this girl is.
To give a little background about our guest list, we were very selective of who we wanted to invite. In fact, the list was extremely exclusive to those we felt were the closest to us. When we recieved this R.S.V.P., we actually felt really offended that the husband would invite someone else other than his wife.
My question to everyone is, are we upset over nothing? Our R.S.V.P. did state that we reserved 2 seats for the couple. When we sent out the cards, I thought we were perfectly clear on who was invited. Now I feel as though we could have done more to prevent this. What would everyone do if they were in this predicament? Would you tell the husband that if his wife can’t go, we do not want an unknown guest to show up? Is that being rude since we DID reserve 2 seats for them? Has this happened to anyone else? *sigh*
Post # 3
@greenfishie: I would first ask him why he’s not bringing his wife… cause that’s bizarre.
Post # 4
I’d also talk to the guest, not to find out deets but just to clarify that the wife was invited and to make sure she was declining her invite…and that the husband was asking to bring a guest. If that was in fact the case I’d just adjust the guest list.
Post # 5
Did he and his wife separate? This happened with my brother’s wedding – a cousin had literally just separated from his wife less than a week beforehand, so when he brought his daughter instead, he secretly told us his marital issues (which were not yet public).
Post # 6
A daughter maybe??? Strange. Are they your aquaintences or your parents? I would have whoever knows them best find out who she is first.
Post # 7
OP, the bigger issue here is that a married man is considering bringing a mystery woman to a wedding. I might would check that out first before I wonder about what is or is not offensive.
Post # 8
@greenfishie: You reserved two seats for Mr. and Mrs. Mean Husband. Not for Mr. Mean Husband and Possible Mistress (?). (Sorry I’m getting creative with names here)
I wouldn’t like it either and would contact him saying something like “We recieved your RSVP and just want to let you know that although “two seat were reserved in your honor”, we invited you and your wife. If you’re wife is not going to attend I’m sorry to say that we would rather you not bring someone else. We are keeping the reception intimate in where we know everyone attending and have a personal relationship with them.”
I’m not sure how to be polite in that situation.
Post # 9
@greenfishie: I wouldn’t want to start possible issues with opinion here, but may I ask if you know this couple as a item equally or do you know the husband and the wife through him?
Secondly, I would be wary in allowing a possible mistress to your wedding if you are friends with the wife, she could be hurt that you had the mistress at your wedding and you could be brought into their issues.
Post # 10
The invited gentleman absolutely is wrong for having done what he did.
However, you did not do yourself any favors by using the “we have reserved two seats in your honor” language.
Unfortunately, that sword cuts both ways, and someone could — and did — obviously misconstrue it to mean that you literally had reserved two seats for him, and he now would like to bring this other person instead of his wife to fill the other seat. I strongly dislike this language, because it doesn’t make sense to reserve seats for people who are not going to accept your invitation. I do understand why couples insist upon doing this, but, based on a number of posts I’ve seen on WB, it seems to do little or nothing to prevent the type of activity which it clearly is intended to prevent.
Fortunately, etiquette does permit you to call the gentleman in question and politely clarify that he and guest ____________ were invited but you’re afraid that you are unable to accommodate any extra guests. Unfortunately, the fact that you have already assured him in writing that you had reserved two seats for him may complicate this explanation.
Post # 11
@greenfishie: Phone and clarify. If the husband is the main guest (i.e. the husband not the wife is the blood relative or closer friend, which sounds like the case), and if he has separated, then (a) his wife should certainly not be invited, and (b) in my opinion he can bring his new partner.
(Unless you are inviting married and long term partners only. Bottom line is you treat him like any other guest: if you are inviting partners, then you invite his partner whoever she is. If you are not inviting recent partners, then he goes solo like all the other people who are single or with new partners).
Post # 13
@greenfishie: Since you named the 2 specefic guests that were invited, I’m going to go ahead and say HELL NO.
Call him and see what the situation is. if you are not comfortable with his substitute, say so and tell him he can’t bring whoever this chick is.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the responses! I do realize now that stating how many seats have been reserved leaves a margin of error for misinterpretation.
The husband is actually a close friend of mine. I am pretty familiar with who is in his family and nobody in his family has this mystery person’s name. He actually got married last year and I am not aware of any issues they may be having at the moment. To our knowledge, they are still a happily married couple. They also do not have any kids together either. This mystery guest caught us off guard!
Our guest lists only includes family members and close friends. We both agreed that if the friend is married, we will invite their significant other. We did not invite any boyfriends/girlfriends or small children either. The reason we chose this is because we will be having a destination wedding so we wanted only close family and friends.
Post # 15
I should have been more specific in my last post. Every couple we invited, we made sure both of us knew both the husband and wife very well.
We feel like it will be very weird to have a complete stranger at the wedding, especially without any explanation to us as to why he isn’t bringing his wife. He put us in a awkward position and it will be uncomfortable for us to have to bring up this mystery guest to him.
Post # 16
He obviously is hoping you won’t call him on this. Is it more uncomfortable to call him and ask about it or have this random girl at your wedding?