Post # 1
Hello, I’m hoping to get some advice on how to proceed with an RSVP question I recieved about substituting a guest.
Background: My Fiance and I taught a non-profit team (which required us driving 4 hours every weekend between December and April to spend the entire weekend there) for several years, and we really wanted to try and invite as many of our former “students” as we could. It’s really like a family, and they are important to us. The oldest are about 25 years old, and the youngest are around 20 years old. For 2 of the years, we stayed almost every weekend at the home of one of the girls – and we are inviting her parents as well, who were big supporters and whom we consider good friends.
We decided that we would not do “plus ones” for any of the students so that we could try and invite as many of them as possible. Also – they would mostly all know each other, so we didn’t feel like they would be “alone.” We did put “___ seat(s) have been reserved in your honour” on the invite. Well, today I found out that the Dad of the house where we stayed will be away on business and won’t be able to make it, but Mom and daughter are a go. I was asked if it was OK if the daughter brings her longtime bf instead. They’re being very gracious and saying they totally understand if no, but I understand their asking since it says “3 seats have been reserved….”
My dilemma is that I don’t want any hard feelings from any of the other members (some of whom already asked if they could bring their SO, just to double check – we said if we had a lot of “no’s” come back we would let them know later if we could accommodate them), and I don’t want it to look like we singled her out as being “special” and “allowed” to bring her SO.
What would you do?
Post # 3
Say no! I had this happen last week. My FIs cousin cannot make it and his mom asked if her other son could bring his girlfriend that no one knows…also, he is like 19 or 20.
I told them its not about replacing 1 for 1, it’s about family that we want and know and love there with us forour special day…not someone that we will look back in pics and be like WTF in 10 years.
The cousin rsvpd no, lol, I was happy that they learned their rude lesson…if your name isn’t on the envelope, you’re not invited.
Post # 4
This is interesting. Makes me wonder if we need to list invitees’ names on inner envelope or belly band in addition to saying “__ seats have been reserved in your honor” just to drive the point home because some guests might just try to substitute ppl w/o asking first. hmmm
Post # 5
@laurenm78: Invitations are non-transferrible per etiquette. You could definitely say no.
Post # 6
I would politely say no as you have a ‘reserve list’ (even if you don’t!) and will be inviting people from that if any invited guests decline.
Post # 7
I highly encourage you to use inner envelopes — and to avoid using the non-traditional “we have reserved _______ seats in your honor” for this exact reason.
I have never heard of or seen this practice except on these boards, and, although I understand what people are hoping to avoid and accomplish by adding that unconventional language, they fail to realize that it makes no sense to tell people that you are reserving seats for them before they respond that they have accepted your invitation. Unfortunately, to do so indicates your commitment to giving them that number of seats, regardless of whether or not all those actually being invited are able to attend, thus allowing guests to feel welcome to suggest filling those promised, reserved seats with alternate guests.
Post # 8
TO @Brielle: I agree… BUT it really is a matter of being between a rock and a hard place
I understand WHY Brides here choose to put that “reserved seat” line on their Response Cards it is because no one seems to read or understand what is written on either the Outer or Inner Envelopes any more in modern society…
IF YOUR NAME isn’t there… you aren’t invited
Without the “reserved seats” part folks were just writing in BIG numbers on the Reply Cards where it said
OR writing in additional names on the Name Line
OR worse yet, just showing up at the Wedding… unannounced.
— — —
TO @laurenm78: The answer is NO.
NO substitutions… If your name isn’t on the Invite… then you aren’t invited
(altho it was considerate of the Mom to phone and ask vs just make the substition… I have certainly seen that while being a member of the Bee)
8-} *rolls eyes*
It is perfectly fine to have a B-List. As the NO Replies come in you can certainly add more people. Just remember the rule of thumb in these situations for every 4 NOs you send out an Invite for 2 persons… in this way you have some “wiggle room” if someone at the last minute has a change of plans and can switch from a NO to a YES from your Original List of Invites.
Hope this helps,
Post # 9
Thanks for all the suggestions. We actually DID use inner envelopes, but I wanted to be sure we avoided as much drama as possible since at least 20 of the guests will be attending their first or second wedding. There is also the M______ line on the RSVP card where they write in their names.
The mom is super sweet, and very understanding (and so nice that she ASKED!!). I think I’ll just keep to the party line – which is if we have room after a lot of No’s we can always go back and add him in. We do also have a reserve list, as LadyKM said, so we’d rather have more of our friends there first if we need to invite more people.