Post # 1
My fiancee and I are footing most of the finances of our wedding and we are meticulously planning every single aspect of it. We have put a lot of thought into everything including and especially the guest list. In order to save some money and cut back a little with the guest list, we have decided not to include a +1 option for our single guests. Our problem is that we cannot really apply this rule to all our guests because some of our guests are currently in a long-term relationship with someone that my fiancee and I know as more than just an acquaintance. For these people, we are willing to make an exception, however we feel that if we allow some and not all of our guests to bring a date, some feelings might get hurt. And on top of that we would hate to have anyone feel so "single" at our wedding and not be able to have fun just because they weren’t able to bring their current significant other. My fiancee and I both feel that we’d rather extend an invitation to a friend that had to be cut from the list instead of a stranger that is just going for the food. How would we explain or word the invitation to our single guests? Are we being fair to them?
Post # 3
We did exactly that. Invite those married, engaged, or in relationships, especially long term.
We didn’t really "word or explain" anything directly to them outside of putting "X seats have been reserved in your honour".
We haven’t had single people decline to come because of them not having a date. In addition, we haven’t had people invite more people by RSVPing more than we intended to invite, either.
Post # 4
I’m just a little nervous about how you worded that. It seems like you lumped those in long-term relationships who are not married or engaged into the "single" category. I think as long as those who are in long-term relationships (been together over a year or so) are allowed to bring their partners, you shouldn’t have too much trouble and won’t need to explain.
We’re not doing the +1 option either. But everyone in a serious relationship will have their sig. other invited.
Post # 5
We extended "and guest" to our single guests, and none of them brought anyone. I wouldn’t worry about it expanding your guest list.
You should definitely invite significant others. Those guests aren’t "single."
Post # 6
Our invites are addressed specifically to the people who are invited. There is no "Jane & Guest" invite, it’s either "Jane", or "Jane & John". This way we are making it clear who is invited.
As I am DIYing the invitations I am customizing each one so on the top of the RSVP card it says:
"Jane, will you be attending?" yes ____ Jane No ____ Jane
For guests with a date:
"Jane & John will you be attending?"
YES ____ Jane ___ John
NO ____ Jane ____ John
(It’s obviously much nicer looking than this but I’m sure this will give you an idea!)
Post # 7
I had friend of mine decline to come himself after I told him his girlfriend (of about 8 months to a year?, whom I’ve never met) might not be able to come. I told him if enough people rsvp’d no (don’t know how many, not terribly many) then she could come.
Well, even after extending this offer he told me that she would be "too hurt" if he went without her so neither of them were going to come. How she could be hurt by his going without her when I am the one who didn’t extend her an invitation? I told him that I respected his decision. The moral is, even if you try to work with people, sometimes they are just going to be weird.
Post # 8
I’ve gone back and forth with this decision, and decided to go with just serious relationships, engaged, or married. Instead of including it on the inviation, I’ve had my mom, mother in-law, maid of honor, and best man let everyone know it’s for singles only. Any that don’t fall in that category? I just weighed out the liklihood of them inviting a date, and decided that if a few did, I would have to live with it.
Good luck! I felt badly too, at first, but then I just reminded myself, that’s $50 a person towards someone I don’t know. Ultimately, I think most people understand, and it’s not that big of a deal!
Post # 9
We were in the same situation when it came time for invites. We are footing the bill for our wedding and due to very small families, the vast majority of our guests are our friends. We decided that we would provide a +1 to those couples that are engaged, traveling extremely far or are in a long term relationship that we are aware of.
We realized that we cannot please everyone and that ultimately those that truely would like to support us on our wedding day will show up +1 or no +1.
Post # 10
The guest or no guest situation was a disaster for us. For whatever reason, my mother in law insisted on inviting EVERYONE with a guest, and I do mean everyone. She thought all the cousins should be allowed to bring a date, which I thought was absurd but tried to work with. They have 30+ cousins that might be considered of an age that they would have a ‘date’ invite.
Our guest list was over 300 and we wanted to keep it under 200, so I suggested we only invite cousins over 16 with dates. (To me this seemed more than reasonable, I mean, they are in high school for goodness sake). She said she thought it would be offensive to invite an older sibling with a date and a younger sibling without and instead said she’d rather cut family friends and make the family feel welcome… I think that was there way of trying to be flexible and make sacrifice but in the end I think they only cut one couple.
So we invited 13/14 year old kids with dates, some of them who’d never had a boy/girlfriend in their lives. Obviously a lot didn’t bring someone, but I could see a whole parade of dates and it really caused us to have to cut back on people we’d really have liked to invited and other details, just in case.
It was so frustrating…
Post # 11
We invited singles with a date on a case by case basis. If we knew they were serious or living together then we invited the sig. other. However, we made the mistake of not expliciting telling the other single invites that a date were not allowed. For instance, we invited a neighbor who is single who invited another neighbor whom we didn’t like to the wedding. Now I have the onerous task of telling him that he can’t bring a date. We’ve invited him over to dinners in the past and he’s always asked whether he can bring someone. Now for our wedding, he just assumes that he can bring someone?!!! I’m really mad about it.
Post # 12
We also addressed our invitations (inner envelope) as "Jane Smith and John Doe" to include SOs. In only one case did we invite anyone that we hadn’t met – this for a dear friend who lives in another state – but we had certainly heard all about her. I think you really have to ask yourself: If you have friends who have been dating someone 8 months and you know nothing about this person, are you really that friendly with them? We agreed that we might not have met an SO (only in the case of Out of Town guests, certainly not for locals) but we would absolutely have heard about them. Interestingly enough, this approach might solve your guest list problem as well. If you cross off your list all those "friends" to whom you’re actually not close enough to have met their SO, you’ll have room to invite those friends WITH their SO who are friendly enough to have introduced you.
@chelseamorning: I do understand your guest’s position (or his girlfriend’s position). After all, she might be a little offended that you didn’t invite her. But clearly, if she’s not welcome, he doesn’t have to go. A personal choice, to be sure. But I know in our relationship, even before we were married, Darling Husband and I didn’t go everywhere together. But we really didn’t go anywhere that the other person simply wasn’t welcome. Coming without the SO and coming when the SO isn’t welcome are two very different things, at least to some people.
Post # 13
we invited anyone in a serious relationship to bring their significant other. If this person is important to them, they were important to us. And given that everyone had to travel a bit, and our wedding was on a Saturday night, we wouldn’t want to ask anyone to leave significant other behind.
Only singles who traveled from another country got +1 guest if they were truly single. However, as the date approached, we realized we would have space and budget so extended the +1 to our truly single attendees. The only people who took us up on the offer were people who got into relationships since we drew up the invite list, so maybe not yet serious, but who knows….no one brought a random, all the other singles declined! I was quite happy to have all the dates there….
Full disclosure, before being engaged I was subjected to "No ring, No Bring" and went dateless to the wedding. I was really offended to be honest and they knew my boyfriend well, asked him for favors, etc. etc. I went because it was local, but probably would not have travelled for it otherwise.
Post # 14
Yeah, the "no ring no bring" rule can be truly insulting. Particularly when you and your partner have been living together longer than the wedding couple have even known each other. There are a lot of good reasons not to rush into marriage. But those reasons don’t make your relationship any less significant. Anyone can get married, as long as they’re straight and not related and don’t live in MA or CA.
Post # 15
+1s are a sticky subject and most people won’t understand not bringing a date unless they’ve planned a wedding or been close to someone who has. we’re having a very small wedding, so each spot counts. so far, only one person has declined because we couldn’t guarantee room for her SO (whom we’ve never met and didn’t even know about). life goes on…
Post # 16
I think it depends on the age of the couple getting married and their friends. I attended several weddings fresh out of college, where there were groups of people invited without a +1 and not a single person thought twice about it. It’s much easier to attend a wedding solo, if you already know there will plenty of friends or family to catch up with. Now that my friends and I are older, (30+, eek!) It seems to be the standard that ALL are invited with a guest. Especially since most guests are already paired up w/ S.O’s, Fiance’s, or spouses. No one wants to be sitting at their table dateless, constantly being reminded that they are still single. We have several single friends (some in the bridal party) and they will all be invited to bring a guest. Some will and some won’t, but it will be there choice. We decided to same $$ somewhere else to make our friends and their guests feel welcome.
@chelseamorning: I don’t think it’s weird for your friend to simply decline your invitation, rather then to explain to his significant other that he’s been invited to a friends wedding, but that she will only be invited if other invitees decline. I must admit, I would have the same response if I were him. What if he and his S.O become serious and eventually get married themselves. Will she then be forced to invite you and your husband, just because you got married before them? I undertand that weddings are expensive and it puts you in a tough spot in terms of the guest list, but it’s really putting your friend in a tough spot as well….