(Closed) How do I tell people they can’t bring dates to my wedding?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
900 posts
Busy bee

I think the best way is just through the invitation.  And prior to that, casual conversation.  “Wedding…blah…blah…have to keep the numbers down so not inviting people with guests…yada yada yada…not having kids…blah blah wedding.”

Post # 4
7174 posts
Busy Beekeeper

re: single guests – when addressing their invite, you only put their name.  If you want to take it a step further, word your RSVP card where it says something like”  We have reserved ___ seats in your honor.  Then, fill in the blank with “1” for your single guests.   If they ask, simply tell them that you and Fiance made a decision to try to keep the guest list as small as possible, thus no invites.  Do some searches on the boards – you will find a lot of discussion on this topic.

re: kids:  You can also put “Adult Only Reception” or some other such wording on the invitation.  Address the envelope only to the couple.  And, if you use the RSVP card format as mentioned above, you can put the number of adult guests on the blank line.

Good luck – and welcome! 

Post # 5
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I agree with oracle, just put their name on the invitation. We also took the next step and made personalized RSVP cards with the name(s) of those invited, so no one was confused.
If you think anyone will have a problem with this (which is silly since it is your wedding and you get to make the decisions), have a personal conversation with them and tell them you are making a clear cut across the board and not leaving just their guest/kids off.

Post # 6
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Write it on your invitation “Adult only Reception” and We have reserved 1 seat in your honor. Also, if I were you I would inform someone working at your reception venue not to let anyone with kids in and to make sure people don’t bring dates. That way you aren’t the bad guy and you don’t get charged for extra people.

Post # 7
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I just went ahead and told me friends that because of the venu size we could not invite dates. They were completely understanding about it

Post # 8
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

You just write their names on the invite.  The names on the invitation are the people invited.

Post # 9
4567 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

The “we have reserved __ seats in your honor” does the trick. Doesn’t give people much wiggle room unless they want to have the gumption to call and ask you.

Post # 10
2641 posts
Sugar bee

Are you concerned some guests will buck the system?  Some folks get that insight from prior family weddings etc.  If you are not concerned, I think the pps sugesstions are perefect.  Most folks, I would think, know this etiquette.

if you think that you’ll face some people who will complain or igonre invitation etiquette, I would make sure your go to ppl (ie. mom, Bridesmaid or Best Man, close aunts etc.) know to casually spread the news (to potential offenders.)

Post # 11
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

The general rule I’ve seen is that if you’re trying to keep your guest list down, address the envelope to “Mr. John Smith.” Not “Mr. John Smith and Guest.”  I’ve also read that in general, it’s okay not to allow a guest for single people who will know other people at the wedding, but if you have a single person who would not know anyone at the wedding it is courteous to allow them a guest. 

Post # 12
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Good luck!  A few of our friends are single and not dating anyone seriously and they RSVP’d a guest anyway!!  Another friend just got married last month and took it upon herself to invite her 14 year old stepson.

Post # 13
4485 posts
Honey bee

Honestly, I wouldn’t say anything until you get rsvp cards back. It’s rude for them to even say anything. Then when you send out the invites, don’t address it to any “and guests”. If they can’t figure it out from that, then there’s a problem. As far as kids go, if you invite one, you have to invite them all since you can’t play favorites wiithout offending people. 

Post # 14
2 posts

So what do you do when you address the invitation to the (one) invited person and the person responds that he and girlfriend will be attending? I thought that NOT saying ‘and guest’ would have been enough of a hint but it wasn’t. It’s a very small wedding with only immediate family and closest friends.

Post # 15
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@lexib – That depends on how comfortable you are with the situation.  You either have to call up the person and tell them that unfortunately due to your wedding size (you could say venue restriction if that works) you have only reserved one seat for them.  Or, add another person to your guest list.

We’re inviting long-term boyfriends and girlfriends for our wedding and a few “dates” for people who won’t know anyone else.  Our singles who know other people will not get a date.  We’re putting just the names of those invited on the invitation and I’m thinking of doing the “X” amount of seats reserved in your honour.

Post # 16
165 posts
Blushing bee

Go with Oracle’s advice.  Seems like the only people who know wedding ettiquette are those throwing the wedding…you have to spell it out for people otherwise you’ll be stuck with unexpected guests and kids.

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