(Closed) Invitees Who Assume (Badly) That They Can Bring an Univited Guest

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

How long have they been dating?

Post # 4
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I know what you are asking.  You are asking us to provide this one great answer that will allow you to be nice, not be confrontational, and not allow him to come, all while not offending your friend.  Sorry.  If you are absolutely sure you can’t squeeze him in, you just need to tell her the truth, you did not budget for him and you want to wanted to keep this wedding small.  (I added that last part in case she offers to pay for him.)  She is probably going to get a little ticked and may even consider not coming, so be prepared.  But, hey, you could get lucky and she could just say, "OK, no problem!"  In her defense, she most likely doesn’t know what just one extra person will cost you.  If you were to tell her, which of course you wouldn’t, she would understand immediately.

Post # 5
Member
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

where is the wedding?  destination weddings are hard….if she doesn’t know anyone else, she may be uncomfortable there, and thus want to bring someone – it is most likely going to be her vacation too….and they may have already booked it!  you just need to talk to her about it.  be honest.  tell her its not really in the budget….there’s not much else you can do.

Post # 6
Member
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

sorry – just read that she knew everyone….well, like pp, just tell her the truth.

Post # 7
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I understand how you feel completely!!  Something similar happened to me.  We invited 60 guests — all people that we knew well.  It was semi-destination since 90% of our guests live far away.

My first and only "+1" was from my very close friend.  At first, I was seriously annoyed that she didn’t notice the invitation was only for her.  To make it worse, her guest was her latest internet-boyfriend (dating for 3 months).  She is typically a very independent gal and would have known several other people at our intimate wedding… she would have been fine to come alone.

The more I thought about it, I understood why they saw my "destination wedding" as their chance to take a quick vacation together.  I realized that I was already asking a lot for to pay for airfare/hotel to come to my wedding.  I worried that if I told her she couldn’t bring a guest she might not come at all.  The most important thing to me was having my friends there to support me.  If that meant having one very random guest there, so be it.  I decided to add her boyfriend to the guestlist.

We had so many people not be able to attend that this one extra dinner didn’t break the budget anyway.  His attendance proved to be fairly insignificant — he was a nice guy, kept my friend happy, and went basically unnoticed.  He actually gave me the biggest compliment of all by telling my friend that our wedding was exactly the kind he would want when he gets married.

 I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with my approach.  Of course I could have confronted her on principal.  In the end, it just didn’t matter that much to me.  My friend is still talking about what a great time they had at my wedding.

Post # 8
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

My husband’s aunt and uncle were invited with their two adult children (my husband’s cousins).  They RSVP’d for 4.  Then about 3 weeks before the wedding they said that their son couldn’t make it so their daughter (who was still coming) was bringing a friend in his place.  No kidding!! Not a boyfriend, just a friend.

Well, we had room, it wasn’t going to break the budget so we decided that although we thought it was really rude, we would just let it be.  And although I still think it was inappropriate, they did drive 4 hours for our wedding and I know the cousin had a LOT more fun because the friend was there.  And in the end, your guests being happy is important.

My guess is your friend knows her Boyfriend or Best Friend may not be invited and is trying to test it out with you.  Maybe she could have been more direct about it, but she was probably unsure how to do it. If she is travelling, consider finding room for her Boyfriend or Best Friend.  Yes, its presumptous.  But if she is among the 30-40 closest people to you guys, she must be pretty important to you and it might be worth letting this one go – and then telling her how happy you are that they are coming!!

Post # 9
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee

See, you’ve made your wedding sound like too much fun. 🙂

I agree w/ Mrs. Pom’s and Janna’s approach….I would definitely let it be, too…and, while you’re at it, be gracious about it….tell her you’re happy they’re coming and that you look forward to meeting him.  And put his name on the invitation, when it goes out.  Yes, $200+ is a lot of money, but, in the long run, it’s really not worth hurting her feelings or embarassing her over.

Post # 10
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I’d let her bring him.  It’s a lot to ask people to come to destination weddings, especially in the current economy, and if she is that important to you, let her bring someone who is important to her. 

I hardly ever see some of my friends anymore, except at weddings, and it may be that she wants to bring her new boy to show him off to all your mutual friends that she doesn’t get to see very often.  Quite frankly,  in all the weddings I’ve been to I hardly get to spend any time with the bride and groom, and it’s more of an opportunity to re-bond with my friends (and celebrate the wedding)

Post # 11
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I’d let her bring him also if you want her there.  She has to travel for your wedding, I know it’s not cheap- but you knew what you were getting yourself into when you decided to have your wedding at the location.   I don’t think the cost should be an issue if it was your doing. 

   If you really don’t want him there, I would just let her know- but expect her not to be real thrilled about attending and feeling a little slighted.  It’s costing her money to come to your wedding. 

Post # 12
Member
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

sucks, i think i am going to have a lot of problems like this… oh well, must deal with it when it comes… i was thinking of putting "you have x seats reserved for you" just so I won’t have my coworkers bringing their kids etc.

Post # 13
Member
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Oooh.  Putting his name on the invitation is a great idea.  Not only does it make you appear gracious when you’re really peeved, but it will also point out that it’s not acceptable to bring "just a friend" if they don’t happen to still be together when the date rolls around.  That’s awesome. 

Post # 14
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I think livvie has the best point of all.  Our biggest regret about our wedding is that we got to spend so little time with our guests.  And everyone tells me that is typical.  Even with a fairly small wedding, you are so occupied with actually getting married, having pictures taken, etc that it’s not at all like taking a vacation or having a great dinner party with your friends.  So you really have to hope that they have a great time with each other – because odds are they are not going to be spending much time with you.

Even though theoretically we’re all strong, independent, modern women (or men) the fact is that a whole lot of people just don’t like to travel alone.  And that goes for driving across the state – let alone flying across the country, or to another country.  Spending the time and money that it takes to get to a destination wedding can be significant for a lot of people – to the point that it may become the vacation they get this year.  In that case, you can sort of see why they might not want to take that vacation alone.

Anyway, the other piece of advice I have is this – in the beginning, I was pretty militant about the guest list.  I had really definate ideas about who should be on it and why, and while I’m not saying that those ideas were bad, by the time we got to a month before the wedding, I really cared a lot less.  One or two people more doesn’t really break the bank; people that you could have sworn were going to come bag for no good reason at the last minute.  It really all evens out.

Post # 15
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

This has happened to us with several guests.  We stood our ground mainly because if you give in to one, you will have to give in to them all.  And yes, there will be more after you send out the invitations — so if you don’t deal with this one right away it will only get worse.  If we had given in (like some others have suggested) we would have a guest list of 20 more than we do  — that would be almost $2000 more for guests we don’t know and would have put us over budget (I guess I don’t need a photographer…)

I found that one of two things happened when we explained that were were only inviting married and engaged couples (no boyfriends):

  1. The guest said, "oh, that makes sense, I know a lot of people there anyway and it will be fun to mingle".
  2. Or "I don’t feel comfortable coming without so and so"

In the second case our response was, "Well, we will miss you at the wedding".

Case #1 happened more often than Case #2 — In fact we only have one guest not attending because her boyfriend was not invited.

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