(Closed) Avoiding +1's who aren't invited

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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newwbeesf :  The honest answer: you can’t.

I literally thought of everything when trying to make it clear to people exactly who was invited. Did the whole writing of the names so they knew who exactly was supposed to be coming. Put the “Two seats are reserved in your honor” as well as the “__/2 will be attending” and I STILL had people that tried to play dumb. When I contacted my cousin because she hadn’t sent her rsvp to see if she was coming she informed me “Her and her bf would be coming” Uhhhhh cool except he wasn’t invited and you’ve been dating for like 2.5 seconds. Then one couple we work with that 2 people had been inivted informed me that all 5 of their grown adult children (that we’ve NEVER met) would be there as well. I explained that their invitation said “two seats had been reserved in their honor” and they assumed that meant that their 5 grown children could sit on the ground. Uh what?

you can never make it clear enough for all your guests to get it and not be rude and invite people that aren’t invited. But you can do what you can and hope for the best.

Good luck!

Post # 32
29 posts
  • Wedding: June 2016

I am seconding what was said about significant others and plus ones being different. I invited significant others but their names were included on the invitation. I did not include plus ones. 

About the wording of the invites: I was told by a few people that it was pretty common knowledge that if there is no mention of “and guest,” or no spot to write in the number of people attending, that plus ones were not included, and people would know that. So this is what I did and let me tell you, it is not common knowledge. I had so many people try to bring plus ones. Someone who we had even told personally in advance about the no plus ones (who had plenty of friends at the wedding) showed up the day of with someone we had never met.  She ended up being kind of awful and making some of the other guests really angry.

I think the “—– of seats have been reserved for you” is a good idea, but is there a way to do it so that they don’t write in the number of people attending? That seems like some people could take it as an invitation to include additional people. 


Post # 33
149 posts
Blushing bee

Significant others and plus ones aren’t the same thing. 

Post # 34
1153 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Yeah, if your cousin has a girlfriend she should definitely be invited. I have a cousin who’s been dating the same guy for like 2 years and they live together. I’ve never met the guy but they seem to be super serious. I’m definitely inviting him to the wedding because they’re a couple. 

Even if your cousin hasn’t been dating this girl for 2 years and even if they don’t live together, they’re still dating. I think the “no ring, no bring” is very rude and offensive. 

Post # 35
13360 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Since this is in the “etiquette” forum both traditional and contemporary etiquette say hosts are obligated to invite only those who are married, engaged or living together. I’d add a mature couple of long duration who are a committed social unit, but for one reason or another don’t or can’t live together. GFs and BFs are a generous, but optional invitation.

Of course, it’s also the prerogative of any invited guest to decline and if threads like these are any indication, there’s a risk that those invited solo might do just that. That’s the chance a couple takes.  But according to etiquette, it’s not rude. Both H and I willingly attended weddings, plural, solo before getting engaged.

Unfortunately, the X seats reserved language is also considered rude. Actually, reply cards themselves are considered nothing more than crutches by the real sticklers.  As many people point out, rude people will be rude anyway. 

Even now though, it’s not flattering to imply that your guests don’t know how to read an invitation and would otherwise add extras. You should invite guests by name. If they are rude or ignorant enough to reply for extra people, then call and apologize for the “misunderstanding.” 


Post # 36
1183 posts
Bumble bee

People who are saying every girl/boyfriend should be invited? Nope. I’m with the OP on that one though their phrase no ring, no bring is quite rude.

If somebody is living together and aren’t married then sure they’d get an invite. But that doesn’t mean I should spend a small fortune onsomebody’s girl/boyfriend when there’s a new one every few months. Not a chance.

We invited a friend who’d only just started seeing somebody (not exclusive yet) but a year or so later when we realised some extended family weren’t coming and they were still together we explained the situation and said we’d love to invite him. Friend was very understanding that a year out you don’t just invite random people (shed done lots of online dating). Her boyfriend and her have just bought their first house and me and DH get on really well with him. 

Post # 37
14 posts

Call me rude but I do not have the cash to pay for people to attend that I’ve never met or barely know regardless of their relationship to the guest that I’d like to invite….I literally can’t afford the courtesy of it and I am ok with that.

It’s not about oh respect their love because they’ve come to celebrate yours. It’s more this is my family member/friend – I know and love this person, if I know and love their SO, regardless of their relationship status then they will also get an invite. If I barely know them then no – as long as noone is by themselves on the day and has friends/family there to spend it with I don’t see the problem.   

But that’s me, I am probably going to have a two piece crop and skirt, a bouncy castle, a pizza van as the main food with no seating chart and very little alcohol so call me alternative!  

Post # 38
1075 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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underthestars :  That’s your right and it’s also your guests right to decline because of it. Any wedding invite where my fiance isn’t also invited is an easy decline for me. It’s only happened once and from a friend who had the same reasoning as you. She hadn’t met him yet. He was in another country for two years and just moved back. I get her reasoning but I had no desire to travel to a wedding by myself and stay in a hotel and dance with somebody who isn’t my fiance so I declined. 

Post # 39
205 posts
Helper bee

I don’t care if I’ve met their significant others. I am going to meet a lot of new people at my wedding.  I would never invite someone and not their significant other if they had been together a while. If you can’t afford to include them, you need to change your venue/menu/etc. If you are not including them just because you don’t know them personally and intimately, then you’re just mean and selfish and I find it hard to believe you’re actually celebrating love that day. 


Edit: I figured my guests and their +1’s way before I chose a venue. 

Also, my earlier statement still holds true. If they’ve been together a while and I just never met them, they get an invite. If I know my friend is sleeping with a new guy ever week, she doesn’t get a +1.

Post # 40
3327 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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dandelionlou :   I figured my guests and their +1’s way before I chose a venue.

THIS! This is how people properly plan. When doing up your guest list after getting engaged, just include a spot for everyones SO. Then, plan for that list. If, when invites go out, Suzy and Joe don’t have bfs/gfs and are truly single, you can cut their +1. But at least you will have budgeted properly and not be over budget or over capacity!

Post # 41
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Etiquette calls for spouse and fiances of guest to be invites.  Some would add to that long term or live in partners.  NO, your 18YO cousin is not ENTITLED to his or her BF/GF.

My cousin took the time to write in invites that said


Mr John Smith     Will not attend      Will attend              Beef          Fish       Vega

Mrs John Smith    Will not Attend      Will attend             Beef          Fish        Vega


Yes, people tried to add names in.  Yes, she had to call and say, very sorry for any misunderstanding (total BS), but only you and the Mr. are invited, we really hope to see you. 

Post # 42
62 posts
Worker bee

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juanita.kelly.9 :  I think she nails it here!


And, nah, I don’t think you really have to invite them. They’ll survive. I went to a wedding with out my fi once, and I had a great time. 

Post # 43
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I hate the ‘no ring, no bring’ nonsense, it’s very rude to assume a non-married couples relationship is somehow less valid than a married one simply because they are not yet (or never plan to be) married.

That’s beside the point. Simply put on the invite exactly how many seats you have reserved for them and that’s that.

Post # 44
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Mississauga Convention Centre

We aren’t inviting any plus ones unless, they are in a long term committed relationship

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