Post # 1
So I am having my wedding in CA, but most of my family is on the East Coast. We sent out invites several weeks ago and RSVP’s are trickling in. We THINK we will be ok space wise, but we realized we over-invited and if everyone actually comes, then space for the ceremony will be VERY tight– but we’ll be fine for the reception.
Well, my Uncle’s Wife just emailed me and asked if her son could be invited since he lives in CA and she hasn’t seen him in years, and would like to take the opportunity to visit with him as well while she’s in CA. That’s fine with me on principle, but I don’t know if there’s space for him at the ceremony (though he’d fit fine at the reception). I didn’t invite him in the first place because I’ve only met him a couple times. The thing is, I don’t feel ok about inviting anyone else to the ceremony until I know whether the guests we have already invited will fit. (Plus I already promised my MIL-to-be that we’d invite her boss’s family if the list gets low enough in the next week or two– she didn’t tell us she wanted them to come until after we’d sent out the invites). ANYway, my uncle’s wife wants to know my answer soon so she can book travel. I know it’s not really OK to invite someone to the reception but not the ceremony, but does that rule apply when someone is ASKING you for an invite for their own personal reasons? What would you do?
Post # 3
@Mickeydk: Um. She can’t just book her trip for two days and visit her son on the day that ISN’T your wedding? Weird.
I would tell her the truth- there isn’t room at the ceremony and you’ve already promised Mother-In-Law the first grab at any extra seats. If you really don’t care if he comes to the reception you can certainly give her that option. I mean, she’s already being kinda rude asking for an invite, so I don’t think you have to be strict on the etiquette when responding to the request.
Post # 4
@Mickeydk: I think you should just be honest with her. Maybe he can come for the reception. Tell her that space is limited at the ceremony and hopefully she’ll get it. If she throws a fit, too bad. It’s your wedding, not hers.
Post # 5
@Mickeydk: Is your uncle attending? If he isn’t, you could make an exception on the basis that her son is her “+1”. (Perhaps she’s uncomfortable driving alone in a strange city, for instance).
If uncle is attending, then I agree with PP that it’s weird. I mean, using your wedding to meet up with her son? Also, the son is obviously an adult so next thing you know you’re up for his +1.
Post # 6
I’d be half-honest and let her know there’s no room at the ceremony for him and let it be assumed there’s no room at the reception either.
If she wants to spend time with him that badly, she can either stay another day or visit him more often, or he could go visit her some other time.
This is your wedding and she shouldn’t be using it as a means to spend time with her son. She can do that any other time, and if face-to-face visits are difficult for them, there’s also the phone, and skype, and facebook (I could go on).
Post # 7
The more I think about it, the weirder this is. Aunt is quite happy to book travel for her niece’s wedding, but she hasn’t seen her son in years??
I’m wondering if there’s a hidden agenda, like they’re estranged and she wants to “accidentally” bump into her son at your wedding. EDIT: Or father and son are estranged, so the only way she can visit him is under the pretense of going to CA for another reason.
Post # 8
A lot of people asked me for a plus-one when there wasnt room. I was honest, and told them that if enough people that I had already invited rsvp’d no that I would let them know. Otherwise, it just wasn’t possible due to space restraints.
Post # 9
I don’t see the harm in telling her/him that he is welcome at the reception, but not the ceremony due to space. I don’t think that it’s totally uncommon and I think they will likely understand and it won’t be an issue.
Post # 10
If there isn’t a problem with him coming to the reception, then tell her he can come to the reception, but not the ceremony because of the space constraint…or just tell her no!
That’s very rude for someone to ask…
Post # 11
@Mickeydk: Your Uncle’s wife is really rude, nervy and pushy. I will never understand people who think its acceptable to try to invite extra guests to someone else’s wedding!
Since she is pushing you for a quick answer and you have space concerns, write her back and say that you’re terribly sorry, but it won’t be possible to invite her son.
No further explanation or apology is nessary.
Post # 12
I’d simply tell her the truth and that it will likely be a last mintue decision…
Post # 13
@paula1248: I agree, it’s very weird. I would just straight up tell her no, that you’re sorry but you are at max capacity with the venue, you actually kind of over-invited as it is and just cannot accomodate any more guests. She sounds pushy enough she might try to get the same arrangement going that your Mother-In-Law did and ask if he can come if you get enough ‘no’ RSVPs. And again, I’d just tell her the truth – that there’s already some people you promised your Mother-In-Law you’d invite if that happens, and you know there won’t be enough space for everyone, sorry.
Post # 14
Thanks for the advice everyone! I ended up just being honest, like many of you suggested, and saying he was welcome to come to the reception, but that I couldn’t promise a ceremony invitation. Hopefully it didn’t ruffle her feathers too much, but if so, that’s her choice! And I can’t worry about whether he’ll be offended– since he’s not coming to witness my wedding, he’s coming to hang out with his mom!
I don’t think she was trying to be rude. She comes from a culture where weddings are more like block parties… everyone and their cousin is invited. It’s possible that she just didn’t realize the space constraints I was working with.