Post # 1
I’ve seen a lot of places that it is OK to invite single guests alone if they are not in a "serious" relationship. Do you think it is fine if we define "serious" as at least engaged? We don’t have enough money in the budget to invite every one with a guest, and I was looking for a clear cut off (you know, I don’t want to have a discussion where I’m like, no you can’t bring so and so because in my opinion 4 months together is not serious enough). But is only inviting fiances too harsh?
By the way, for the guests who don’t know anybody else at the wedding, we are inviting them with a guest even if they are not in a serious relationship (or any relationship). But there won’t be too many of these.
Also, once we decide our cut off, should I talk to all our single guests beforehand and explain things? Our wedding will be a destination wedding for most of them, so I don’t want them to assume they can bring a guest and have that guest make travel arrangements (only for me to find out about it last minute), because then I would feel really bad about saying that they can’t bring that guest.
Post # 3
i don’t know… what would you do about people who lived together? i know a bunch of people who have chosen not to get married for many reasons, though they’ve been very serious for years. or what about gay couples who can’t get married, and thus can’t be engaged? or what about people who are THIS close to being engaged, and they just haven’t made it official yet?
Post # 4
i think it’s a bit harsh especially since it is a destination wedding. i don’t know about you, but i’m less likely to get on a plane, stay in a hotel and travel hundreds of miles by myself to a wedding. i would want to go with my SO. also, for destination weddings, a lot of guests like to make a wknd or mini vacation out of it. not sure how "destination" the wedding is so maybe what i said doesn’t apply.
Post # 5
I personally think its a bit harsh, how about couples who have been together for a year or more and couples who live together? That way you avoid having so and sos current fling being invited, while not leaving out good friends who are in stable, secure relationships
Post # 6
Thanks for your comments! I think maybe we’ll go with letting people bring guests if they have been dating for more than a year.
Post # 7
that sounds like a fairer way of establishing who’s "serious" without alienating those not yet ready to take the plunge!
Post # 8
We were thinking of doing something similar — singles who are not in a serious relationship will not be given the option of bringing a date. Singles who are dating can bring their date if we’ve met them. I don’t want people I don’t know at my wedding.
Post # 9
i’m thinking about inviting SO’s if I know them well enough to know their name (I am terrible with names, so I have to have met the person at least a few times – okay several times- to remember their name).
Post # 10
I am having a similar dilemma.
I emailed all my unmarried friends a little after we started planning our wedding about not being able to accommodate a guest for them because of our budget (since our parents are paying for the reception).
4 months later .. I don’t think they got the memo.. =X
I was talking to a friend last night and he kept saying how excited he was about our wedding. I told him how happy I was that he was excited. Then he says "my girlfriend will be there" .. I was in awe. It was like .. excuse me? what did you just say? First off, I didn’t know that he has a new girlfriend. Secondly, I haven’t met her. Third, I don’t even know the girl’s name! Of course I was upset and I said "oh .. she’s going to wait outside until after dinner? or are you gonna pay $150 to have her join the reception?" Sorry, it was a semi-bridezilla moment, but I did explain the $$ situation. He totally understood (what a nice friend) and said he was willing to pay for her (wow?!).
I personally think, do what you have to do, say what you have to say.
I am thinking about renting one room for those who do want to bring a guest and have them hang out there until after dinner or as a place for those who are going alone (since they all know each other) to just crash in and have their own little party after the reception.
Like you, for guests who really don’t know anyone, we have made an exception.
Post # 11
We don’t actually have any guests who don’t know anyone, although we have guests coming from (at last count) seven states. I do make a point, when friends come to visit, of getting them out to meet my other friends – I like everyone to know who I’m talking about! Our cut-off for "serious" relationships isn’t time related – but since we have pretty regular contact, by email or telephone or in person with all our guests, we are assuming if you have a SO we will know about it. I mean really, even if we live in different states, if I talk to you or we email several times a month, how would you have a serious relationship (or break-up) without mentioning it? Just doesn’t happen in our crowd. We are inviting a number of folks as singles – because they either aren’t really dating at this time, or because they are serial daters (never anybody serious). I really don’t think that is going to be a problem for anyone, although I could be surprised. In general our single friends are a pretty self-assured group – who are single by choice, and don’t feel intimidated in a crowd of couples.
Post # 12
I feel like the couples who live together thing isn’t really fair. A lot of people choose not to live together before marriage, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t as serious or committed as those who do.
Post # 13
This is how we dealt with the situation:
Anyone who has to travel to attend the wedding automatically gets a +1 regardless of how long they’ve been together – it’s unfair to make someone travel alone.
Our close circle of friends who have boyfriends/girlfriends that are more than just a fling are invited. We are addressed the invites as Melissa & Mark – to make it clear that it’s for just that person only and if they break up it doesn’t mean they can bring a random 🙂
Anyone who is outside of our close circle of friends and is single and is NOT friends with atleast a few others at the wedding is allowed to bring a +1 if they want.
It’s a tricky situation. But you need to consider whether people will be ok on their own, or if they’ll be more comfortable with a date. I would suggest cutting out a few people, or increasing the budget so that all your guests with partners can have a good time.
Post # 14
I also don’t think couples are only "serious" at a year or more.
It’s fine to invite only those in a relationship with a guest, but it’s really not up to us to determine how serious couples are. I think if any of your guests are in a relationship when you send invitations, their significant other should be invited.
Post # 15
I think everyone just has to solve this in their own way. Certainly if you think about your friends on a case-by-case basis, you know who is in a serious relationship and who is just sleeping around. Even if, as in the case of a divorced friend of ours, those pseudo-relationships tend to last a couple of months… in his case, we figure that when he introduces his latest fling to his kids, we’ll call it serious. But you get my point – one set of criteria probably doesn’t work for all your friends – and what works for my friends doesn’t necessarily work for yours. You just need to come up with something that seems reasonable to both you and your FI, and fits your budgetary and space constraints. It is interesting and informative to see what everybody else is doing, even if it doesn’t change what you decide to do.
Post # 16
In my ideal world, I would invite everyone i know and their SO’s. Unfortunately, I have a strict budget and I have decided to invite my immediate family and their fiances/husbands/wives. It is a bit different when it comes to my friends. I am going to invite my friends’ SO’s if I personally know him/her and if they have been together for over a year. A girl I know has a new bf. They’ve been together for almost three years and I never met him. I plan to invite her without a plus one. I thought it was a bit harsh but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. She’ll know other people there (her entire family is invited) and I wouldn’t feel comfortable inviting someone that I’ve never met before.