Self-Invited Guests?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
11604 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Practice saying something along these lines:

“I’m very sorry, we had limited space on our guest list and we are unable to accomodate all of the friends and family we would like to attend.  I trust you can understand!”

Post # 4
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

You have to firmly tell them that you’re very sorry, but you are working with tight space and just didn’t have the wiggle room to include them.  You can talk about how you were forced to leave off other people as well (these people can be imaginary).  If they persist, let them know that there won’t be a meal or a chair for them and that you’d really prefer they respect your limitations.  Do everything you can to keep them from knowing the details (i.e. the start times or the venue addresses).  Delegate one of FI’s reasonable relatives to run interference on the party crashers.

Post # 5
3661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

For the family showing up to the reception, have a seating chart. It’s a pain to make, but you’ll know that everyone has a seat and there aren’t any extras for uninvited guests.

For the friends inviting themselves to your wedding, unless you’ve verbally told them they’ll be invited, they’ll figure it out when they don’t get an invitation. If you feel like you have to give them a heads up, say what abbie posted above.

Post # 6
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@Wallapanich:  Unless they’re total boors, they *will* get the message when they don’t get the invitation. That said…

I (and several of my friends) were in this position when a close but comparatively new (a little over a year) friend got engaged. At first she was VERY excited and enthusiastic about the wedding and talked to us all about it a lot, and we were all very close with frequent socializing at that time, so we not unreasonably assumed we would be invited, and we would joke with her about the wedding in ways that assumed our attendence.

As the wedding drew closer, she got a little weird, and I started to suspect she wasn’t planning on inviting us. Then she told me (unprompted) in confidence that she couldn’t invite our other friends due to space but that I was invited, and to please just not tell them I was invited… and then in the end, without any further clarification, I found I wasn’t invited.

I suspect what happened was that she initially did plan to invite us, but then a combination of her genuinely not having enough money/space and her fiance not liking us (he made that very clear during their engagement) changed that, but her reluctance to be up front about it made it VERY awkward for everyone, and it put real distance between her and the rest of us. None of us threw a tantrum or anything, but not inviting someone to your wedding who has a reasonable expectation of being there, and then not womanning up enough to tell them so when it becomes clear they do expect it, makes it very clear how you view the friendship, and it may cool or even end it.

So at least be enough of an adult next time they mention it to say “I’m so sorry and I wish this wasn’t the case, but we’ve been finalizing the wedding plans and it looks like it just isn’t going to be possible to have everyone we want there. I had originally envisioned you there with us but it just isn’t possible. I wanted to tell you now and I hope you’ll understand.” Be apologetic but firm. There is nothing like the gut punch of hearing that someone you considered a close friend, who let you believe till a late date that you were invited to their wedding, has already sent out invites and you weren’t on the list.


Post # 7
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

First stop talking about your wedding planning. Changr the subject if theu bring it up.

Second don’t send and invite. They can’t come if they don’t know when and where.

Third just tell them it was hard pairing down your guest list to X number and you couldn not accommodate great friends like them.

Post # 8
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Wallapanich:  i have run into this a lot and have politely informed people that our venue is small and we reached capacity just by inviting our immediate family and friends.

people are so rude about this. ugh ive had to just grow some thick skin and ignore it.

Post # 10
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Wallapanich:  Great suggestions on what to say from other posters.  One thing I noticed is that you said you didn’t know anything about this until your FI told you about it, right?  Make sure HE is able to be polite yet firm about this if/when he runs into this guy again. 

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