(Closed) RSVP question – plus one substitute?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
43 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

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
1772 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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
4523 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@laurenm78:  Invitations are non-transferrible per etiquette. You could definitely say no.

Post # 6
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

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
11435 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009


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
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

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.

Yikes !!

— — —

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,


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