Post # 1
I’d love to hear everyone’s point of view on this because I have mixed feelings…
We have been giving everyone the courtesy of a +1 in case they have a significant other they’d like to bring. For Out of Town guests, it’s usually pretty safe to assume that unless they are pretty serious with someone (in which case we’d want to meet him/her) they wouldn’t fly that person all the way out for our wedding.
So I was really surprised when one of my bridesmaids who is out of town (and who is NOT dating anyone) RSVP’ed with 2 people and wrote “?” as the name of the guest. When I asked her if she was trying to keep it open in case she meets someone in these next 2-3 months, she said she wanted to bring this girl who already lives in NYC (who I sort of know as an acquaintance but actually don’t really like all that much).
SHe said, “well isn’t it better I take up an extra spot with my guest than you inviting a B-lister?” And actually…NO! Because there are tons of people on the B list I’d LOVE to invite but can’t because we have a small venue capacity.
I guess part of me feels like it shouldn’t matter because +1 is a +1 right? But I just feel at my wedding I want only people who truly care about me and want to celebrate that day. And I definitely know that person does not really know me, let alone care about me.
Fiance thinks I should confront my Bridesmaid or Best Man and just tell her I don’t feel comfortable for her to bring a random friend (vs a SO if she had one) because there are many other people we want to invite, but I feel like that may be a bit insensitive? (Context: all the other BMs have significant others so maybe she is feeling lonely and wants a buddy for support that day)?
I’m really struggling with this because it really bothers me but I DID give her a +1 opportunity, so isn’t it her right to exercise that? At the same time, I wish she was a bit more considerate and asked me first if I mind that she bring someone else even though she’s not dating anymore.
What does everyone think?
Post # 3
It all hinges on how you invited her.
If you invited her with either +1 or and guest, then she is free to bring whomever she sees fit. You have no say in it.
If on the other hand you invited friend and name of a specific person, then she either brings that specifc named person, or no one.
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I’m sorry to have to tell you this now that it’s too late, but by issuing a generic plus one, you invitied this situation. Formal etiquette advises against open plus ones because guests should be invited by name and because an invitation is not a ticket. You basically made your invitation a transferable ticket by not indicating a specific guest.
It sucks, but that’s the way it is. You left the choice of guest up to your guest. You cannot dictate whom she chooses.
Post # 5
The “right” thing to do is to allow her to bring a guest, and since she’s in the bridal party, I’d let her bring whoever she wants to.
However — what is her random girl friend going to do at your ceremony and reception? Is she going to know anybody there? That’s what I always think of when people ask questions like that. I’ve been the +1 of a bridal party member before, and it totally sucked.
Post # 6
If she’s close enough to you to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, I would just talk honestly with her about it. Maybe she just thinks that since she got a +1, she should try to fill it. Technically, since you gave her a +1, she can use it however she wants. But if you dont even like this aquaintance, and this aquaintance isnt invited in the first place, maybe tell her it’ll be awkward and you rather have that spot for someone else if its ok with her.
Post # 7
I feel it’s a bit discriminatory to think it’s fine for someone to be in a relationship and invite someone but for a Bridesmaid or Best Man to want to bring a buddy and that’s not ok. You even asked if she was keeping it open in case she meets someone. She was honest and told you no. She wants to bring a friend of her choosing.
How about your Bridesmaid or Best Man being comfortable?
I think the reason this is such a hot topic for me is because I was single for a really, really long time. Sure, I dated but not in a relationship for years. When I got invited to something it was really hurtful to see all these people in relationships get to bring their someone but here I was alone and had to be there alone. Sometimes I didn’t mind. But there were times when I questioned at what point does someone become valuable? And why does a man have to be more valuable than a good friend?
If you allowed her to invite someone, then it’s her choice. I don’t feel you get to decide who her plus 1 should be. However, if you explicity stated you are just keeping it as SO’s due to budget, then you need to speak up. But honestly, if someone made it to your B list and you would rather invite them than have your friend be comfortable, then I would examine your motives.
One of my BM’s is single, in that she’s in a relationship but it’s brand-new. When I asked her to be Bridesmaid or Best Man I had already decided she could bring +1 because she’s doing me the favor and it’s a Destination Wedding. At the time they were just dating but I made it clear to her if she wanted to bring a gf…that was fine with me. And then I told her how when I was single I always liked to go somewhere as a “pair” even if one part of my pair was a good gf. I think she appreciated that.
Post # 8
Thanks Everyone! I think I’ll just let her do whatever she wants because I do want her to feel comfortable. I guess it’s just because whenever I was single, I would always rather attend weddings alone because it’s more fun. Plus usually I know tons of people there and it’s actually easier not having to “babysit” my +1. But I think if this will make her feel more comfortable, it really is her +1 to use however she wants and you’re right -by issuing that nonspecific invite out, I invited this situation myself!
I do agree with @UberClaire that the random girl will be SO bored at the wedding – I’m fairly certain she doesn’t really know anyone else, and being a +1 of a BM/GM really can be boring (even if you are their SO sometimes!).
But in any case, I think I’ll just let her do whatever she wants – she is my Bridesmaid or Best Man and one of my closest buds so I want her to feel happy attending!
Post # 9
You said she could bring a +1 so she has every right to bring her friend. Some single people don’t like being alone at weddings, why does her guest have to be a boyfriend? You’re not really being fair to her simply because she’s not in a relationship.
Post # 10
My best friend in college asked me to go to the wedding of some of his high school friends. I had never met the bride or groom before. He has some social anxiety, and was really nervous about being around so many new people and people he hadn’t talked to in a long time. We ended up having a really lovely night. I actually got a card from the bride after the wedding thanking me for attending, and saying how nice it was to have had my friend be so engaged. I know this is a different circumstance, but I think if it makes your Bridesmaid or Best Man happier and/or more comfortable for the evening, why not? Good luck!
Post # 11
@pinkshoes: I agree. She will truly understand once she plans her own wedding and realizes the cost of things involved. Talk to her. Especially if your venue is small and there are other people you would like to invite.
We had a couple where the wife came and brought her friend instead of her husband. I was like WTF?!?! And than we had an aunt write in her girlfriend instead of her husband. At that point I did not care anymore but yes, it’s rude.
Post # 12
@lilcshelli: I think that’s a very kind thing to do. You sound like a good friend and bride. 🙂
Post # 13
If you give a plus one rather than inviting each guest by name, that will happen. I have plenty of single guests bringing friends, and even one friend IN a serious relationship whose girlfriend is out of town the day of my wedding who is bringing another friend instead. Three of my bridespeople are single – one is coming alone, one is bringing a date, and one is bringing a friend (both people I know). Whatever. If I had space issues, I would not have given plus ones to single people.
Post # 14
@baletrina: I agree with you. At some point, people have to realize that it’s a wedding, not a birthday party or a 4th of July barbeque. Besides being ridiculously expensive per head, it’s a celebration of the joining of two lives.
Couples are invited together because they’re part of a “social unit.” If somebody can’t spend one night “alone” in the company of friends/family to celebrate a wedding, no one is forcing them to attend. I was single for a good, long time, and I never would have considered bringing a friend as my date, especially one who didn’t even know the couple.
Post # 15
@cmbr: I think you hit the nail on the head! I was having trouble articulating out loud and in my head WHY for some reason I wouldn’t think twice about her bringing a SO (even one I didn’t know) but it weirded me out a little bit when she said she is bring a random friend. It’s because a couple is a SOCIAL UNIT!
But that being said, she is one of my BFFs and she’s actually a pretty independent girl (i know she went to her cousin’s wedding where she was a Bridesmaid or Best Man solo), so I think if she wants to utilize her +1 privilege, it must be for a good reason. I’m suspecting that it’s because another one of my BMs was originally going to go solo as well, but recently became serious with the guy she’s dating, so this particular Bridesmaid or Best Man doesn’t want to feel like she is the only one left alone without a partner.
In any case, it really is just 1 extra random person. And how knows? Maybe she won’t be free or won’t like the idea of not knowing anyone at this random wedding and might not come, and then all this would’ve been a non-issue!
Thanks everyone though for letting me talk this out. I feel much more internally resolved and am keeping perspective that at the end of the day, our wedding day is about love and this Bridesmaid or Best Man is one of the people I love so I want her to be happy!
Post # 16
@lilcshelli: Glad this convo has helped you! Just one more voice to say — I know you aren’t the biggest fan of your BM’s +1, but maybe she’ll surprise you. We had a few randoms (we were fine with it), and some of those people actually turned out to be really fantastic — great conversationalists, generous gifters, let us know how much they enjoyed the evening and how happy they were for us, etc.