Post # 1
My fiancee and I are having a small, intimate ceremony and have only invited 50 of our closest friends and family. We really want to limit our guests to those we have invited directly and would like to ask our guests not to bring anyone along with them. I know it sounds horrible, but our guest list has already grown larger than we wanted it to, so we have to draw the line somewhere. And honestly, we are paying for everything on our own, so our funds are limited. Is there any way we can politely explain this to our guests? I thought about printing that on the invitation somewhere. We are also going to ask that our guests not bring children either, as it will be an adult-only ceremony and reception. Any ideas?
Post # 3
By no guests are you including spouses and long term relationships? If yes, I think you’re going to have a hard time. Regardless of whether you know the spouse/significant other, I think you pretty much *have* to invite them. As for guests/dates, I think it’s perfectly reasonable. And etiquette actually says that if a person does not receive an invitation that specificies +1 in some way, then they should not bring a guest. Are you worried people will break this rule? There are ways aroudn this…like putting "_ out of 1 attending" on the RSVP card.
Post # 4
Oh, I hear you. You could be telling my story except I haven’t had any kid issues. One bit of advice: please make sure your groom agrees with you! Here’s why:
I originally wanted an immediate-family only wedding. Then it became plus close aunts and uncles, or a friend here or there, and with the wedding this weekend we have 32 guests. Two are tag-alongs; they are not dating our guests but are just coming as a guest (uninvited). I let my FI know this upsets me because it’s already doubled from 15 to 30 people, but becuase these two extra folks are going to make his guests more comfortable (bleh) I’m dealing with it and hoping I don’t notice. If they were my friends or family wanting to bring a tag along, I’d talk to them. Also, this is a trip and weekend wedding, so I feel like it’s reasonable to make those exceptions as much as I don’t want to.
Back to you: I think with your guest list as small as it is, you should try to include the partners of your guests, but if they want to bring someone else, or children, you can explain what you want to them. You can put their names on the reply cards so they get the idea not to pencil in someone else. Present it from the angle of why it’s important that they share your intimate wedding. You can post things like that on your invitaiton or website — a small wedding with those closest to us.
Post # 5
I am including guests’ spouses/partners in the invitation. This is a destination wedding, so I am feeling a bit guilty about asking people not to bring tag-a-longs because I know people are having to drive two hours at the bare minimum just to come. I hate driving alone…especially when I don’t know where I am going. I wish we could let everyone come, but that just isn’t our reality. Has anyone had issues where guests were offended?
Post # 6
So you’re saying you just don’t want to let singles have a date, right? There’s nothing wrong with that – a lot of people do that who want to have smaller weddings. All of my guests who are married or engaged have their spouse invited but those who are just casually dating someone didn’t get a "+1". I don’t think you have to say anything on the invites – just clearly address your invites for those you want to invite and plan a polite way of explaining your situation to anyone who calls asking if they can bring a date. I think most people understand that their gf/bf isn’t automatically get invited.
Post # 7
As long as you’re not excluding spouses or truly significant others, you’re fine. Driving alone isn’t the worst fate in the world. Some people may be offended, but you are absolutely not violating etiquette to decline to allow people to bring a +1. Anyone who gets offended would have gotten offended at something else. 🙂 And weddings can be a good place to meet new people – I have a few friends who met their spouses at weddings.
Are you having a sit-down dinner, or something that will involve assigned tables/seating? I’ve been to a couple of weddings where I knew no one, and having assigned seating was a HUGE boon – I started talking to my table neighbors because, well, they were sitting next to me!
As for the no kids – I’m doing that too. Unless you’re holding your wedding at Sesame Street World, most kids are going to have a better time staying home and doing their own thing, whatever their parents may claim.
I think you’re fine as long as you’re consistent with each policy – no exceptions. If you get crashers, thank your cooperative friends profusely for being cooperative. And while you certainly don’t have to take my advice, I’d stop feeling guilty, if I were you. 🙂 Most etiquette mavens HATE the +1 thing – if people are bringing guests, they should be people that you also know. You’re doing nothing wrong.
Post # 8
We are having a private ceremony on the beach and then we are having a private reception at a local restaurant. We’ve rented out the entire restaurant because we really just want to focus on our family–both blood and adopted family (friends). It will be a sit-down dinner, but I had not thought about assigned seating. The main dining room is split by a gorgeous double sided fireplace, so our guests will be divided in a sense. I didn’t want to assign seating because the wedding party and half of our guests will be seated on one side of the fireplace, and the other guests will be seated on the other side of the fireplace. I thought if I assigned seating, those who sat on the opposite side of the fireplace from the wedding party would feel slighted. I just want to have a great time and I want everyone to be happy. I worry too much…I know.
Post # 9
Here’s a wacky suggestion: Have the non-wedding-party guests switch places halfway through the dinner. I’m serious. I’ve been at a few parties at which this was done; as long as there’s just ONE switch, it’s do-able (at least with the number of guests I am guessing that you’re having). Just a thought. I’m a fan of assigned seating if you’re going to have a sit-down dinner – things run more smoothly that way. OR, you and your new husband could switch sides halfway through the dinner. Just throwing out offbeat ideas here to give you something to think about…
Post # 10
just say you’re hoping to keep it special and intimate.
Post # 11
it sounds like you are trying to make sure people don’t just bring along a date for the sake of bringing a date. In which case, the envelope is the key…just invite only the person you want to be at the event and don’t include ‘and guest’. Sadly, people will write people in, in which case you call them up and explain IN PERSON that it is an intimate event and since you have already arranged with all of your other guests to not have add-on’s that you would expect the same from this guest as well.
Same goes for kids.
However, you really do need to include spouses. To not do so is realllllly pushing the line of manners.
Post # 12
If you are including SO’s/spouses you’re golden. But i wouldn’t want random dates/tag-alongs eiether. If you find out people are doing this, let your actual guests know they aren’t welcome at the ceremony/reception for costs and intimacy reasons (everyone respects the "we really want it to be JUST family/super close friends and ti’s soooo small) but maybe you can throw together a "margarita hour" for the tag alongs at a bar and make sure you cover a couple of appetizers so they can socialize.
i’d have a hard time excluding dates, though..i mean if they were serious and all. But i see what you mean, you don’t want your girlfriends going "hey road trip!" and bringing 2 friends with her to "split the cost" of everything like a hotel room and stuff. at least that’s how i’m interpreting it. it’s hard to tell parents not to bring their kids, but I"d totally find a way to do it. I’m not having kids at mine and I’ve made it perfectly clear that the only kids under like 18 allowed is our nephew.