(Closed) Bridesmaid inviting guest to a “no guests” wedding! Help!

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

If he was on your b-list, and you know him, then I think you should let her bring him.  She is your Bridesmaid or Best Man, is it worth the confrontation and stress to not have him there? Its not like he is a total stranger.  Are you willing to risk your friendship over Kevin or the fact that she is wrong and you are right? Or can you accept that what she did was not right etiquette-wise, but that it isn’t unreasonable of her to want to use the money she is spending to travel to YOUR destination wedding into a bit of a vacation. ANd maybe she doesn’t want to be that single girl (are most of your BMs bringing dates??). 

I say, let her bring Kevin and stop putting so much energy into it.  Be happy your friend will have a date at your wedding!

Post # 4
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I think you have to let her bring him. This whole no guests thing is kind of silly – people who are dating can bring guests, but not just friends? How can you judge? It will save you a lot of stress to just let him come.

Post # 5
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

In my personal opinion, I think she should be allowed to bring this guy.  Here’s my reasoning:

1.  She is paying you the kindness to participate in the wedding.  The least you can do is provide her the opportunity to enjoy herself.  Yes you all will be busy, but what if she wants someone to chat with during your Father/Daughter Dance.

2.  Its a destination wedding, she is coming from far away, and you are attempting to make it a vacation opportunity.  Have you ever been on vacation by yourself? Not so fun!  The more the merrier (and cheaper especially on road trips).

3.  It is not like you do not know this guy, as he is on your B list.  Lets be honest, you are going to have declines, so its likely that he would get an invite.  You may think its unreasonable for her to request it, but you enjoy this guy’s company enough to put on the potential guest list.

4.  Is it worth your friendship?

I understand you believe its rude that she approached you via email, and that you hadn’t invited this guy (yet) and for her to assume that its a ok for her to bring someone.  If you are truely set on him not coming then speak to her about it, it is your wedding and your day so you call the shots.

 Good Luck!

Post # 6
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Is it a "space" issue or an ettiquette issue?

 If it’s a space issue, I would calmly explain to her, while you’d love to have kevin there, there just isn’t room- perhaps he can still go down and enjoy the "vacation" but you can’t squeeze him into the reception/ceremony venue.

If it’s an ettiquette issue, then i would just let him come and let it go. She is not married, has not planned a wedding, and obviously doesn’t realize what a huge inconvience it is to invite someone you weren’t expecting. It is bad taste but perhaps she just didn’t want to be alone at a wedding(because that’s really not fun).  

Good luck.


Post # 7
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

If its a space issue then tell her ‘no’ or if its because you don’t want him there. Why not reply back in an email? thats how she broke the news to you. That way things don’t get out of hand and you say something you don’t mean.

Post # 8
38 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

If your bm isn’t seriously dating this guy, then I don’t think you should feel obligated to bring him.  It sounds like your bm has other friends that will be attending the wedding, so she won’t feel alone.  You set the "rules" ahead of time because you were concerned with costs and I think she should respect that.  You could mention that you are planning to invite him if a few people decline.

Another thought…what if you explained that you can’t afford to pay for his dinner, but he is welcome to arrive after dinner for the rest of the reception.  That’s what I am planning on doing with a couple of my sister’s friends.

Post # 9
225 posts
Helper bee

I totally disaggree with many of these comments.  How can you ask this poor girl not to judge when you don’t know the situation she is in?  It could be space, or it could be that she doesn’t want a lot of random people at her wedding, or both. LB has the right to say no plus ones – it’s not even bad etiquette (no ring, no bring).  Everyone has the choice at his or her own wedding and they have the right to stick to their choices.  Similarly, guests have the right to choose not to attend if they don’t like it.

What I think is really bothering her right now is that though her bridesmaids all knew how she was planning her wedding this one girl chose to disregard her advice and tried to weasel her way into gettign what she wanted, hoping that LittleBear would cave to avoid confrontation.  I understand her annoyance.  It was a slimy move by her Bridesmaid or Best Man to create the weekend she wanted.

Ultimately, LB, you need to decide whether a disaggreement is worth it to you or not.  Personally, I wouldn’t want a mad bridesmaid so I would probably give in if you have space and money, but then again, if it is going to bother the heck out of you, then you need to say something so it doesn’t flare up later, say, the weekend of your wedding.  I would advise to put it in writing, walk away from it, and come back and reread it before sending it.  I find it much easier to be clear and remain calm when putting my thoughts to paper.

Post # 10
2640 posts
Sugar bee

It sounds like you get frustrated with her on some kind of regular basis.  On the one hand you say you value her friendship enough that you want her as a Bridesmaid or Best Man.  And you don’t want to confront her because she doesn’t handle that well.  Then you say that you don’t like her pulling  this stuff and refuse to let her date come.  Telling her no to bringing a date would basically be like a confrontation IMO.

It does sound like it’s easier to just let her bring him.  I can relate to being fed up with someone doing aggravating things, and wanting to put an end to them.  But I agree with the other posts.

1.  Your BMs are going above and beyond spending extra time and money on your Destination Wedding.  While you can have a no guests policy, making an exception for your BM’s would be kind.

2.  You mentioned she might be jealous. What of?  Is it that you are getting married and she doesn’t have anyone?  It can be difficult to go to or be in someone’s wedding without anyone.  Also  if she feels that way, having a date with her, might diffuse those felings that might come up.

You said she is always doing things to make her look good or you look bad.  What did you mean by that?  Was she talking about you that you’re inconsiderate for not allowing guests??  Just not sure what that was about.  And if she really does those things, why do you want her in the wedding?


Post # 11
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I wouldn’t call her while you are still angry.   I know you have a lot stress and lots of  things on your plate right now and in a few weeks, you may think differently, so don’t do anything right now. 

On to the core of this.  Though email wasn’t the nicest way to do this, she may not have had the time to call you or thought maybe you would be able to get to her email when you had the time rather than bothering you while you were in the middle of something.  I hate to call people for that very reason.  Unless it is something really important, I email. 

Now, I know you told her no guests and the other bridesmaids are honoring this and she should to.  Before you tell her yes or no, remind her of the girls only events you have planned and make sure she understands that he might be left alone during those times and he understands that he cannot tag along on those.  If she is a close friend and you have the venue space, you might want to consider letting her bring him.  However, you are going to get some backlash from the other people who you have told no too.  If you honestly still feel this strongly in a few days, tell her nicely that not only has your venue has put a cap on your people and you can’t go over without significant penalty but you’ve already said no to several people and it would not be right to allow her to bring someone.

Post # 12
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I totally understand your position.  It’s really annoying that you set up rules, which seem quite reasonable, and people either ignore them or try to get around them. However, I also think (and this coming from a bride who was completely militant about the guest list for the first several months of wedding planning) that it just doesn’t really matter.  I came to that conclusion about a 8 weeks before our wedding, when we were assembling and stamping and mailing invitations, and both my mom and my husband kept thinking of one more person who had to get one.  I became more convinced two weeks later, when we started getting RSVPs, most of which were fine, but more than a couple of which included kids or dates or sisters who weren’t invited.  But you know what? By that time I has so many more pressing things to worry about that I realized that a few people more or less just didn’t matter.  Between our "extra" guests and our "surprise" last minute declines, it all worked our just fine from a numbers perspective.  And the actual wedding week and weekend were such a great time, and at the same time went by so fast, both my husband and I have had to look through the photos to see if some people were actually there ("Really?  Are you sure?  Did anybody talk to her?  Oh, okay, my sister did.")  When you start planning, it’s a huge big deal.  I would bet that by two weeks before the wedding, you won’t care at all.  From that perspective, it’s probably just not worth making a stink about.

Post # 13
2 posts
  • Wedding: July 2009

I understand your frustration. When planning a wedding, there are guidelines that are decided upon, but then when life starts to happen and multiple family members are involved, those guidelines need to bend and even be broken in some circumstances.

That’s what wedding planning is all about! You gotta roll with these small things that come up, and keep it in perspective. A similar thing is happening with me, with one of our groomsmen. And you know what, you can complain and be angry, but at the end of the day you just have to accept it. It’s easier than making a big scene and starting drama where it doesn’t belong. Just let this bridesmaid bring a date and call it a day. The wedding weekend will still be about you, and now you’ll be surrounded by happy bridesmaids. You can let yourself be angry about it, but after a day or so, let it go!

Post # 14
248 posts
Helper bee

It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind, but just my $.02 – I think even when it’s a “no guest” wedding, exceptions should be made for members of the bridal party. Even if they have no SO, it’s a very gracious gesture to allow them to add to the fun with a wedding date. After all, most BMs incur some expense for the honor so why not lighten up and let her bring a date? She should have asked rather than told you what she wants to do – but is this extra guest going to break the budget? You can still keep your no guest rule when it comes to all the invited guests.

Post # 15
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

At our wedding we had a "no guest" policy unless someone was in a serious relationship…. with the exception of one of my bridesmaids.  She is single but she was spending a lot of money to be a part of our day, and I wanted to give her the option of bringing a guest.  She ended up not bringing someone because she said she’d have more fun solo, but I thought extending the invitation was the least I could do for all that she was doing to be there for us.

You need to do what feels best for your situation, but I just wanted to share my experience with you.

Post # 16
2640 posts
Sugar bee

See I don’t think this is exactly the same situation as a local wedding that stipulates no guests.  I think brides should be a little more lenient when they are having a Destination Wedding.  DW’s are an inconvenience for people.  Yes they might have a good time, and it be fun and different.  But who says they want to spend that kind of money, and time off work for a wedding, in a location maybe they never otherwise would have vacationed in?  Sure they can say no, but it’s not always that easy for guests, particularly ones who are that close to you, and/or in your bridal party.

Again, I understand she is being annoying.  However, if her only request (to make a "vacation" which she didn’t initiate or choose, a good time) is to bring a guest, I say let her have it.  Just explain that’s why you’re doing it, and consessions in other areas (ie shoes, hair) will not be made.

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