(Closed) Should I ask about bringing a guest?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

To be very honest, I got kind of annoyed when people asked to bring guests.  We didn’t tell people to in the first place because it was an added expense and especially because we just seriously had no more room.  And since you don’t have a SO, I honestly think that you either attend the wedding alone or decide not to go.  Maybe someone can go on the road trip with you and just hang back at the hotel or something so the two of you can head out for drinks after you make your appearance at the wedding.

Post # 4
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Sure! I would ask. I’m of the opinion that it doens’t hurt anyone to ask a question. If the answer is, “sorry, we’ve already maxed out,” you can think about it afterwards if you want to go. I don’t think you should feel like you’re not supposed/allowed to ask at all. People talk more once the invitations are out, it’s like a conversation starter. I’m sure she and her mom would love to talk to you more about the wedding and catch up with you in the process.

If you just showed up with a guest without their being informed, then that would be a problem. People just don’t want last minute surprises. I have definitely experienced the etiquette oversight and asked if I could bring a guest to a wedding. And, people have already asked me if they can bring a guest to mine.

By the way, I hope you do decide to go, whether or not you can bring a guest. Seven months is not a long time to not speak to someone who has moved away. Also, she will absolutely appreciate your making the trip, whether she expresses it or not. I would love to be in touch with someone since kindergarten, but it’s too far in the past for that now. I promise you, the older you get, the more you will cherish your friends who knew you when you were young. Plus, the older you get, seeing an old friend once a year is pretty often!

Post # 5
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

yah, if the invitation does not say AND GUEST, it usually means that they are just inviting you

Post # 6
29 posts
  • Wedding: August 2009

Yes, it is rude to ask about bringing a guest.  No one just forgets to put “and guest” on an invitation.  Perhaps there is just not room for one more person.  And for those who think it is “just one more person”………..well, there are situations where if you invite one more, you have to invite ten more.  So don’t assume!

I agree with the Lillindy……..maybe a friend can take the road trip and just hang back at the hotel for a bit.  It doesn’t sound like Breanna was all that concerned with asking you.  It sounds like you are closer with her mom (you said you are still close with her parents and siblings), so maybe her mom really feels like you should be there.  And maybe her mom is hoping you and Breanna can reconnect.  You said you don’t want to miss it.  Use this as an opportunity to focus on her.  It sounds like she really might need you.  Good luck!

Post # 7
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I actually don’t think it’s totally rude to ask.  It all depends on how it’s done and your expectations.  I think if you go into it fully expecting that they will say no and don’t feel “entitled” to bring a guest then go ahead and ask politely.

We had a couple people ask and we had a small space so we said we’d let them know once people had RSVPd.  Some invited people sent regrets so we had some spare seats and let them know they could bring their Plus one. We already budgeted for a set number of people and yeah maybe we could have saved a couple hundred dollars but honestly after the wedding was over I am SO happy we allowed them to bring their plus one.  Those people stayed all night, stayed out on the dance floor, and really seemed happy to be there and were having a great time with their plus one.   We even have some really nice pictures of them. It would be worse to me to have someone at the wedding who seemed awkward/miserable/left early/didn’t dance/sat alone at the table, etc. because that affects the mood of the space.

I think sometimes brides get so wrapped up in the day and the money that they forget much of the point of the wedding is enjoying your friends and family and seeing them have a good time.

All they can do is say no, and if you ask in a nice way and without a sense of entitlement or a pissed off attitude if they say it’s just not possible b/c of size/money, etc.  Then I think it’s FINE.

Post # 8
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

It definitely is not okay to ask, especially when this is someone that you do not have a close relationship with any more…It sounds like you don’t talk to her very often so to call to just ask I think would be taken badly. Wedding invitations are very deliberate.  And I’m sure that there are other people in your situation. If she allows you to bring a guest, she’d have to to do the same for all…previous posters are right–you can either RSVP no, go alone, or take a friend as a travel companion to hang back at the room. 

Post # 9
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I think it is okay to ask, especially if you talk to her mom on a regular basis. I am a firm believer in a case by case basis and if she allows your guest it does NOT mean she has to say yes to everyone else. Besides, if she says yes to your guest, you know she really wants you to be there and it was more than just a polite gesture. If you would like to restart this friendship, I think asking is actually a great excuse to call her. Maybe call and congratulate her on the upcoming wedding, start chatting and then casually mention that you really want to come but don’t feel comfortable making the drive alone and see if she suggests a carpool friend or ask if it would be okay if you brought a guest. I think as long as you do not put her on the spot or demand a guest, ther is no harm in asking. The worst she could do is say no. Besides, as RSVPs come back negative, it gives the bride more room ot be flexible.

Post # 10
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

If you’re that close with the family, (particularly the mom), you could subtetly mention something along the lines of, “is there anyone there that I’m going to know? my parents are really concerned about me driving 8 hours all by myself…” and her mom might say something like, “oh honey we figured you’d bring someone! it’s much too scary to come all by yourself” etc. Or she might just say, “oh, it’s really no big deal, tell your parents not to worry” etc.

I’d like to say that yes, usually people don’t jsut forget to add “and guest” but a friend of mine just received an invitation that didn’t include her fiance becasue the bride-to-be’s fiance took it upon himself to “take care” of the invitations as a “surprise” and Im SURE he’s just clueless as to the etiquette.So maybe this girl is young (20, like you?) and simply doesn’t know any better. Unless Mom is in charge and took care of that…hmm.

Post # 11
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with ejs! Casually mention it to her mom addressing your concerns specifically.

Other than that, I would not ask specifically – it seems pretty clear that it is an invite just to you. Keep in mind that it is likely that you won’t be the only single person there and the couple should be aware of that, if they were concerned of you not knowing ANYONE they prob. would have included a guest.

Post # 12
1956 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

I honestly think etiquette-wise, you’re not supposed to ask and I think you probably shouldn’t…I know that if someone asked me if they could bring a guest to our wedding, I would feel really bad and probably say yes just because that’s my personality and any time someone asks me for something, I almost always say yes…As well-intentioned and polite as I’m sure you would be if you did ask, I think it puts the bride in an uncomfortable position because if she say no, then she comes off looking like the bad guy and if she says yes. it may push her guest list up and put her over budget or whatever…Sorry!

Post # 13
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Don’t ask the bride! Maybe casual mention to the mother, like EJS suggested. However, invitations invite those whom they are addressed to – nobody else. It’s really not so bad going to a wedding or any other event by yourself! When I was single, I regularly went to the movies or theater by myself and it was still fun – much better than not going simply because I didn’t know in advance who would be sitting next to me. 

Post # 14
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

If I were in the same situation I would just ask.  It may be rude, but whatever, you are the one that is driving 8 hours thru sand to get there.  Maybe just talk with her mom and see if you bring a driving buddy will they be ok to come to the wedding, or do you need to bring someone that would find something to do while you are at the wedding/someone who wants to go there for another reason anyways. 

Post # 15
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Honestly, as a bride, I would advise you don’t ask, especially since you guys aren’t as close these days. If she didn’t put “and guest” on the invitation, it most likely means she either can’t afford to host people at her wedding that she’s never met, or the venue has limited seating, or both (which is the case for us).

If it were me, I certainly wouldn’t want to go by myself on a long trip, either, and therefore, would decline the invitation.

As a bride, I would be slightly annoyed by people calling up to ask if they could bring a guest, only because we of course thought about that before sending the invitations.

Post # 16
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

If I were the bride (I invited you only, without a guest) and then you asked to bring a  guest, I’d say no to you, to be honest.  For me, it would be for $ reasons. But, if I knew you had an SO, I’d have invited him, as well.  I am not too big on inviting someone without a guest, unless I know they don’t have a somewhat serious SO.

Also, I think that not inviting you to bring a guest means that she’d prefer you not to bring one. 

With all that said, I think it doesn’t hurt to just ask.  She might not be as annoyed because you do have a good concern.  Maybe she didn’t think about how difficult it would be for you to travel alone to her wedding and might even sympathize and say yes.  Just don’t expect a “yes”, and be prepared for the likelihood that she might decline your request. 

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