(Closed) Guest List Question

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
17 posts
  • Wedding: December 2009

What you have is a common problem.  There are so many different opinions on how to handle this.

I have been in four weddings this year.  I am in a very serious relationship and I live with my bf.  At every single wedding he has been annoyed and bored, because I was off tending to the bride and doing wedding party things for a lot of the night.

A wedding is not a social function such as prom or a deb ball – I think people seem to forget this.  It is a celebration of marriage.  It is not necessary to have a "date" to celebrate a good friends marriage.

Single friends are sometimes offended when they don’t get "and guest" but coming from my boyfriends point of view – he would have rather not been there.

I would talk to your friends, see who they have in mind to bring, are they going to need another person to feel comfortable, or are they just being fussy?

Do what you’ve gotta do, but my vote is NO AND GUEST.

Post # 4
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

The thing is, everybody you know will have an opinion about your guest list, and particularly about the policy of whether or not to invite "plus ones."  Some people will tell you that you HAVE to allow everybody to bring a date.  Others will point out that unless you have guests who are not going to know any other guests, or unless there is something like one single guest, people should be able to have a good time with each other without you buying an expensive meal for some random guy or girl that doesn’t know who you even are.

I’m in the second camp.  The point of your wedding is for your friends and family to celebrate with you, and each other, the joy of your marriage.  It’s not just a nice evening out at your expense.  Therefore allowing people to bring dates that you don’t even know, particularly when that means you can invite fewer people you do know and love, isn’t necessary at all.  In your case, where a lot of your bridal party are technically single, they should be able to dance with each other and have fun as a group – nobody should feel like a third wheel because they came alone. 

And honestly – the opinion of anybody who is not writing a check to help you pay for the event doesn’t matter that much.  Before it’s over you’ll have people tell you that it’s tacky not to have a live band; that you must have a full bar; that the centerpieces have to be hothouse orchids imported from Thailand or some such thing; that you must serve lobster… you get the point.  People with unlimited amounts of money can do whatever they like at their weddings.  You have picked a really reasonable way to limit your guest list to something you can afford.

Post # 5
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I don’t think that sounds unreasonable.  Having been in several weddings while single, and several after I started dating my fiance, I don’t really even understand why you’d want to bring a non-serious date to a wedding you were in.  There’s a lot going on.  Full disclosure, though, I plan to invite all my attendants with dates (three are unmarried with 1 not in a serious relationship, no cohabitataion amongst the unmarrieds) but since they’re all traveling I actually doubt they wil bring dates.  But given your guest list constraints, I don’t think it’s appalling not to allow it.  Of course others may differ on this.  Particularly if the guest list isn’t large to begin with, it doesn’t seem to me that it makes sense to sacrifice family members for casual dates. 

Of course, presumably the bridal party is all close friends and family.  So perhaps you could talk to them about this directly.  If any of the members is someone who won’t really know other people at your wedding, then you might change your mind.

Post # 6
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Most of our Bridal Party are married. Only three are single — my cousin and brother and FI’s sister– so we’re letting them bring a guest because they’ll be able to sit with the other spouses. (They each have long-term significant others.)

As for others, we’re only allowing people in serious relationships to bring a guest. By "serious," I mean engaged or living together, not to say others aren’t in serious relationships if they aren’t getting married. But if they are under one roof, that’s one invitation for two!

Post # 7
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I didn’t want to invite guests for all our single (ie, not dating anyone seriously or not) guests for all the reasons above, but my Fiance did to be most polite. He won, and we invited everyone over 20 with a guest (we specified the name for existing SO’s on the invite, but just put "and guest" for singles). None of the singles brought a guest. In fact, some were a little confused and asked "SHOULD I bring someone???" So I don’t see any reason that you have to invite guests for singles.

Post # 8
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Our home and the two acres it sits on

I want to jump in to say just one thing: if there’s dancing, it can kind of suck to go to a wedding reception alone.  I have a huge family, and went alone for the last wedding (it was Out of Town so bringing a date wasn’t an option) and I sat the whole time… unless a cousin had pity on me and asked me to dance.  If it doesn’t involve dancing, then it really shouldn’t matter whether you’re there with a date or not… but if it does….

Post # 9
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I would be sensitive to your bridal party’s wishes… maybe some girls wont care about not having a date, and some will… figure out who cares and consider letting them bring a date.  It would be horrible to have disgruntled bridesmaids and after all, they are traveling, buying dresses, throwing you parties, etc.  I think allowing them in particular guests is not the most horrible thing in the world.

I think it would be fine to have an honest convo with each one and say, "we are on a tight guest list, so I’m just trying to count heads… would you prefer to bring a guest?  If you would that will be okay, but let me know if you are comfortable coming alone." or something along those lines.  It sends the message that you are actually paying attention to their comfort while trying to work within your own budget, and that maybe it would be less than ideal for you to let them have a guest, but at the same time, lets them know that their happiness is important to you.

Post # 10
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I think your "and guest" selection policy makes perfect sense. It’s the same one we used. Is your friend one of the ones who doesn’t get "and guest" because she’s not in a serious relationship? If she’s so bent out of shape about it, why not give her an "and guest" and do the rest of the list your way? I would give the same deference to bridal party members—if they would be really upset by not getting and-guested, it would be nice to offer them one. I also gave "and guests" to people who wouldn’t know anyone else at the party besides the bride and groom so that they would have someone to hang out with.

Post # 12
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

That’s a tough call. Everyone has made such good points above. What my Fiance and I are doing is that we are inviting any significant others, fiances, etc. If the person we are inviting is in a relationship, their significant other is definitely invited. If our guests are single and don’t know many people (like college roommates, family friends that are our age but live far away), we are also inviting "and guest" for them so they aren’t showing up alone.

But, like you, I’m not planning on inviting guests for all of our local friends who know each other. They will have plenty of fun with each other, and beyond the cost, I want to know EVERYONE at my wedding. I want everyone who is there to want to be there- to want to support my Fiance and I as we start our marriage together.

Perhaps as a solution, you could call up your single friends before you are addressing the invites and simply say "I’m putting together my final list for the wedding, and although we don’t want people to feel like they have to find dates to fulfill the "and guest" portion, I’d like to know if there’s anyone special that you’d like to bring to the wedding. If so, I’d like to put their name on the invite too." And then if they are sort of seeing someone, or have a best friend that would make them feel more comfortable while at your wedding, then they’ll give you that person’s name and you can specifically invite THAT person, instead of just a random guest. Plus, that will also communicate to your friend how you feel about inviting random people. 

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