Post # 1
I am planning a small wedding. Very small. Well, I’m trying to. My fiance and I are paying for everything ourselves, so in order to keep costs down we are really trying to keep the invitation list limited to our very close family and friends. The problem i’m running into is with single friends, or friends who are in relationships, but with partners we’re not close with or in some cases haven’t even met. Is there always an assumption that an invitation includes a plus one? And if so, does anybody have suggestions for appropriate ways to keep the invitation list small without adding a ton of confusion or offending anyone?
Post # 3
This is tough. I too am having an intimate wedding and the guest list count has grown…
With my single friends I am putting +1 just like everyone else. I had a friend once ask me if it was ok that she was just inviting me and not FI ( bf at the time) and I said to her that if the cost is the issue I would pay for his plate. I just thought it was rude at the time… now I can understand where she was coming from.
Post # 4
so – my oppinion is if it’s somebody you really want at the wedding, you should grant them a +1. I once received an invite for just me, because even though i was in a relationship, i was living out of town at the time and the bride and groom hadn’t met him. I still attended the wedding, but really felt out of place around so many couples and spent most of the night wishing he was with me. I get that it wasn’t my wedding, so it wasn’t about me, and i also understand (now) how difficult it is to keep costs down. But i think you should want your guests to be comfortable so they can enjoy themselves and celebrate with you! That’s the whole point right? Seating is another crazy issue, and at least when everybody has a +1 they’ll end up with one other person at a table that they know and can talk to! Even the most phenomenal dinner in the world isn’t going to make for a good night if a guest ends up at a table full of people (especially couples) they don’t know very well.
Post # 5
I think FI & I just got lucky with our similar situation…since we’re one of the last of our friends to get married, most everyone at our intimate wedding is married. The ones who are single are not dating any one person, so the fact that their STD & invitation only has the single guest’s name on it is pretty CLEAR that a +1 is NOT an option. Since these guests have also gone to our other friends’ weddings w/out a date, they’re pretty used to the drill. Finally, in an effort to go green, our RSVPs will be via our website, so there is NO place to include a random date’s name on the RSVP…when our guests sign in to RSVP, they can only RSVP for those in their party – if only the guest is in the party, the guest can’t add anyone. (Note: some may think that digital RSVPs are tacky, but I’m not one of those people & since our wedding is intimate – just 68 guests – if any of our guests have difficulty using the RSVP page, we can easily help out/call them for their answer)
A way I’ve seen on these boards is to add a line to your RSVP card stating “We have reserved ___ of seats in your honor” & writing in “1” for your single guests. That should be clear & will only be thwarted by the rudest guests.
Post # 6
Your single friends shouldn’t be assuming that they will have a date, but lots of people who aren’t in the middle of planning a wedding may not realize this. People who are living together, engaged, or married are called “social units” and according to proper etiquette, they must be invited together, so if you have not invited these people’s partners they may be asking because they’re either genuinely confused since their partners are supposed to be invited, or they may understand completely what your intentions were and be peeved about the lack of invite, so they could be trying to offer you a way of correcting the situation. Your friends who are in relationships (dating) that don’t meet the standards of a “social unit” could either not realize that asking is rude, or realize that is is rude but not care.
If you want to politely answer these people, I would say to anyone who is not a part of a social unit (living together, engaged, or married) simply say “I’m so sorry, but we’re having a very small wedding and we can’t accommodate plus ones” They may be upset, but that’s not your fault. They aren’t entitled to a date. If the people who are asking are in a social unit and they want to bring their spouse or something, then the polite response would be to say “Oh, I’m so sorry I forgot to put him/her on the invite, of course your spouse is invited!”. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never even met the person, it is rude to break up social units. If you still want to refuse to allow people to bring their social unit partners, they will likely be upset and may opt not to come. I know some bees here will disagree with me on this point, but all I can say is that every etiquette book I have ever read has always said that it is rude not to invite both parts of a social unit, and this has always been the understanding for generations.
You don’t mention who specifically is asking to bring someone to your wedding, so I don’t know which of the above applies to your situation. Undoubtedly they are putting you in an awkward position, and all you can do is handle it with as much tact and grace as you can- their actions after the fact are up to them.
Post # 7
i agree with marymarie. I was once invited to a good friend’s wedding from out of town, and my boyfriend (of nearly a year, but she didn’t know him well) was not. I found this a a bit insensitive since she was expecting me to fly across the country to attend her wedding. I really did want to be there, so i attended alone – but had the same kind of awkward experience surrounded by couples and a lot of people i didn’t know very well. i think that especially if there is a cost expectation being placed on the guest (flying from out of town, therefore likely having to stay in a hotel, etc) it should be common courtesy to grant them the option of bringing a plus one.
Post # 8
Yeah, that was my situation as well. I felt kind of cheated that I had to spend money on flights and a hotel and then spend the day feeling out of place and uncomfortable. I think I would have even been happier paying for my boyfriend’s plate if it was a cost issue – just so he could have come!
Post # 9
My cousin didn’t invite my now-fiance when she had her wedding and I didn’t think anything of going alone, despite being the only family member from our side and not knowing anyone outside the bride and her parents. We only invited plus ones for the “social units,” as someone mentioned above and put simple “1” on the rest of the singles invites.
Now I’m appalled at how many of those people are RSVP-ing and leaving a comment that they’ll be bringing a date. It’s just like with my cousins adding in their kids to our all-adult wedding. People are so damn entitled and rude about the whole thing. It blows my mind. Not only does it put me in a really uncomfortable situation but now I have to find out if if our already small venue can even accommodate these univited guests–the whole reason why we didn’t include them in the first place!
Post # 10
I don’t know. I mean, etiquette wise I know you should invite “social units” but to me it’s just strange having people at your wedding that you don’t know and maybe don’t like. If someone will be that uncomfortable, then maybe they should work on their social skills or not come. I just don’t like the idea of paying for someone you don’t even know just so the person you did invite will enjoy themselves. And these days…everyone is “shacking up” so it’s even harder to just invite a single person. Idk just my thoughts.