(Closed) Not sure how I feel about a "substitute guest" on a RSVP postcard

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should I allow the substitute guest?
    Yes, as she lives 3 hours away. : (38 votes)
    52 %
    No, you don't know her friend and she knows several guests already. : (28 votes)
    38 %
    Undecided, I'm on the fence just like you are. : (7 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 3
    3569 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I would give her phone call and explain we only want close friends and family there. I’m sorry your Fi can’t make it but I be sure to seat next to mutual friends. Some people do this without realizing that they are being rude. She is a bride and getting married soon enough so she should understand.

    Post # 4
    2580 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    We actually ran into almost the same situation–a friend of mine from out of town, she didn’t know many other people coming, and her husband was in the military and couldn’t make it. She did ask me, though, instead of assuming that she could bring a friend…I think in a situation like this, it is appropriate to ask you about it.

    I felt kind of weird about it at first (having a stranger at the wedding) but we told her it was no problem and I’m glad we did. Ultimately she was able to come and enjoy herself without having to travel/attend alone. We had already budgeted for two people. She and her friend both had a great time, so I think it ended up being a nice gesture.

    Post # 5
    2335 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    No subsitutes!  Its your wedding and you invite people you know/love/want there, not the next best person that’s free that night.

    Maybe just a phone call to explain that you’re sorry her Fiance can’t make it, but you don’t feel comfortable having guests who you don’t know at your wedding.  You look forward to seeing HER there.

    Post # 6
    104 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    We have a similar situation.  A cousin who I don’t really know that well, is actually divorced now.  I invited her and her EX because I had no idea that she was even divorced.  She asked if she could bring a new boyfriend instead.

    I explained that the venue is small and there are friends that we haven’t been able to invite yet so we’d have to wait and see if a seat opens up.  She said she doesn’t know if she’d feel comfortable attending without a guest.  I can definitely understand that feeling, but it’s not a formal event with dancing or anything like that and she’ll know plenty of other family members, so I’m torn as to what to do.

    We had a no guests rule for our single friends… so I hate to make an exception.  I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable, but I also don’t want strangers at my wedding.

    Please let us all know what you decide to do.  If I make a decision too, I will let you know!

    Post # 7
    424 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I vote let her bring her friend.  She’s traveling three hours, which is a fair distance, for you.  Having a travel buddy might defray her costs and make it easier to come.

    Post # 8
    28 posts

    For me, it would depend on how far they were travelling and if they’d know anyone else present. If it was a friend who lives in the city we are getting married in and knows other people attending the wedding I could seat them with, I’d politely explain no substitutes. But if it is someone travelling a few hours to the wedding or someone who won’t know any other guests, I’d allow it.


    I’d prefer they be polite and ask though, not just assume. 

    Post # 9
    2711 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Since she’s traveling, I think you should let her bring a guest.

    Post # 10
    547 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I say to politely decline her request and tell her that since John can’t make it, you can now invite someone off the B-list. 

    Guests swapping in guests is one of my personal pet peeves.  I don’t view a wedding as the same as a nightclub, where you can bring whomever you feel like.  Ok, that came off as kind of mean, but I didn’t intend it to be!  Weddings are important, special occasions, not events where people bring someone just to bring someone.  If the invitation is addressed to Jane and John Doe, then Jane and/or John should be attending, not Jane and her friend who happens to be in town that week, or John and his aunt because Jane couldn’t make it. 

    Post # 11
    635 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    She’s traveling 3 hours to be with you on your special day. I’d let her bring a friend to keep her company during her travels. It’s not like the fiance just doesn’t want to go – he had military obligations.

    Post # 13
    408 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Do I think it’s rude that she thought it would just be ok to bring someone else without asking you?  Yes.  Do I think you should let her bring her friend anyway?  Yes.  PPs make a great point – she’s traveling three hours to be there with you, some company for the trip will probably help.

    Post # 14
    1851 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I would let her bring the guest. I’ve been in that situation before once before and I was very grateful the bride let me subsitute my sister for my boyfriend. I hate attending weddings alone, especially when you are used to being part of a pair. You’ve already accounted that seat for her Fiance, so I think you should just let her bring a friend. I’m sure you wouldnt even notice him.

    Post # 15
    429 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I think you should let her bring the friend, I dont see what the big deal is if you were already accounting for her Fiance. Its not like she added a third person or something….Fiance and I are having a destination wedding and have a few people coming that we arent friends with, no big deal…..Three hours is a long drive, she might want the company for the drive and maybe she wants her friend there as a safety net incase she’s not with a lot of her other friends at a table…… 

    Post # 16
    3471 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

    6 hours round trip is a long drive to have to do alone– having her friend there will likely make it easier on her.  Plus, the only thing that’s changed is that in the 45 seconds you were going to be able to spend saying hello to friend and her Fiance, now you’ll spend getting introduced to her friend– I don’t think this is a huge deal, logistically, nothing has changed on your end. 

    The topic ‘Not sure how I feel about a "substitute guest" on a RSVP postcard’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors