Nicest way to respond to people who RSVP with extra guests?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@dplusc2014:  We had a few people do this and we honestly just rolled over and let them come. I didn’t want to make a fuss about a few extra people. Mind you two of those extra people didn’t even show up!!! Makes me so angry.

I guess it would depend on how many extra we are talking about and how tight the budget is. If you are concerned about finances or capacity you could explain to those people that you have limitations and unfortunately you cannot accomodate everyone.

Post # 4
1249 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@dplusc2014:  “While we are excited at the prospect of seeing _____ & _____ at our reception, budget simply will not allow for it. I’m sure you understand.”

Post # 5
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@dplusc2014:  I feel like the scenario in which this is most likely to happen is with people who have children. If they ask me about it, I plan to say “well it’s a Saturday night, formal wedding. We’d like it to be a grown-up evening”

Post # 6
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Ugh sorry you are already experience that!  I would just call them and explain that the invitation was for the parents only, not the children, but that you are okay with them coming to the cermony if the parents want to bring them.

I hope you don’t experience any push-back from them, but best to be prepared for it, and for the fact that they might choose not to attend without their children. 

Post # 7
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@dplusc2014:  Call (or if it’s FI’s side of the family, have him call) and clarify that you are only able to accommodate so many people, and while you’d love it if everyone could come, it just isn’t possible.  Tell them you hope to see them there after all, but you completely understand if they can’t make it without the little ones.


Also, if they are breastfeeding infants or if the parents are travelling very far to get there, they obviously CAN’T come without the kids, so maybe look into a “kid’s area” with an adult or two to supervise?

Post # 8
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@dplusc2014:  I don’t care who it is, I don’t want peopel who were NOT invited to the wedding.

Nicest way to respond is just say “I am sorry, but we are limited on space” and if you want you can even say that you are on a budget (as is everyone who is planning a wedding, weddings are not a free-for-all!)

Post # 9
1926 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@dplusc2014:  I would NOT roll over and let them come, personally. But I am not that type of person.

I would call/write them and just say “Hey I just got your RSVP and I am so excited that you are coming! I am afraid that there might have been a small confusion, however, because our reception is an Adults Only affair. We would love to see little Johnny at the Ceremony if you chose to bring him, however we are holding firm about the adults only reception that will follow. Thank you so much for your understanding!”

Post # 10
1193 posts
Bumble bee

I am anticipating problems with this too. We aren’t inviting kids (besides my BF’s 3 month old breastfeeding baby), and my FI’s parents have a million friends they want to invite, so some of our friends (not in relationships) are not getting +1 guests. 

We have already discussed that our parents will handle their friends/family members and we will address the issue with our friends. We are super tight on space, so we can’t have people bringing extras, although we would if we could! Its unfortunately a firm no, and I plan to cite spacing/fire code issues if pressed.

We hope to alleviate this by using inner envelopes, but we are still expecting some people to not understand etiquette. It will be awkward, and I’m not looking forward to it.

Post # 12
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

I would say, ” While we would love to see (child’s name) at our wedding, unfortuntely we just don’t have the space at our reception site. We hope this doesn’t change you & (their spouse’s name) being able to attend, but we understand if it does.

Post # 13
42166 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@dplusc2014:  Don’t make any excuses.People just go into their problem solving mode.

Budget won’t allow? “I’ll pay for the extra plate.”

no room ? – “It’s ok- she can sit on my lap.”

Just be polite and tell them they can’t come “I’m sorry. There must have been a misunderstanding. We are not able to accomodate any extra guests. I’m sure you will understand. If that means you cannot attend, we will miss you.”

Most of these people with kids had to draw the line somewhere for their own wedding, but are now conveniently forgetting that.

Post # 15
2047 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@dplusc2014:  Well this may be a bit much lol…. but honestly with these people you need to be a bit over the top.

Tell them your sorry but the invitation was for Mr and Mrs.___ only. Tell them you literally have a max capacity and right now your at it. Your venue has strict rules on the number of people (no matter how big or small they are, children count) and will only be setting out the exact number of place settings … per your signed contract if the staff see’s any “extra” seats such as strollers with children in them the venue has told you/in your contract that the party in question will be asked to leave because its breaking the firecode. So…”since we would never want that to happen to any of our guests we do need to be diligent on our guest list…..We’re terribly sorry for any inconvenience but we look forward to seeing you two at the wedding!”

Post # 16
2896 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

omg, we had to deal with this a lot! we could not have been more clear about who was/wasn’t invited. we mentioned that it was an adult reception on our website and on our reception cards. we listed the names on the inner envelopes and on our rsvp cards, we wrote in how many seats were reserved for each family. and people were still trying to bring extra people!

we didn’t cave in to anyone’s reqests/assumptions and we told them nicely, but firmly, that we couldn’t accomodate extra people, it was an adult reception, etc.

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