Post # 1
Hi all! I have a question about the good old "plus-one" etiquette…
We’re getting married in the Caribbean in December and we sent save the dates in February. We’re going for a small, intimate wedding, to be followed by bigger at-home receptions in our two hometowns. Because of this, we decided that we didn’t want to invite any "plus-ones" to the wedding itself unless our single friends had been dating somone for at least six months and we knew them pretty well. We even took a cue from the Bees and are having our invitations designed with "___ of ___ attending" so that we can fill in the second blank with the exact number of people invited.
The other day, I got an email from our friend S, who is single, that she had booked her plane ticket and that she was bringing her friend A from work, who also already bought a plane ticket. Neither of us have met A and all we know about her is that she’s S’s drinking buddy.
I understand that our wedding is also a vacation for people, and I’m so happy that S was able to book a ticket to actually come. However, I’ve already told several single friends that we want to keep it small and our budget is already spiraling out of control. I know it’s just one more person, but because it’s on the small side, we’re doing a lot for our guests (welcome party, snorkel trip, etc).
Should I say something to our friend about us not wanting to have any strangers at our wedding? Fiance thinks we should just write "___ of 1 attending" on her RSVP card when the invitations go out and when she asks about it, we tell her that A can’t attend the wedding activities, but this seems mean to me.
My question is: Do I say anything at all, or just let it go? Will it seem unfair to our other single friends that S got to bring a random guest? I’m leaning toward just letting it go, but Fiance is steamed and thinks we need to let her know. I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you!
Post # 3
I think you need to contact her. If you don’t stand hard on this, what if someone else decides to bring a +1? Then that’s two extra people. What about a third? I just see it spiriling out of control. Just tell her that because of budgetary reasons you’re limiting the destination part, but she’s more than welcome to bring her drinking buddy to the at-home reception. Or that her friend can come, just not to any of the wedding-related activities! 🙂
Post # 4
jma19 covered everything I would’ve said, so I’ll just second that =)
Post # 5
On the other hand, its really hard to ask people to travel to a destination wedding and not allow them to bring a guest. Unless this friend knows a lot of other (single) friends of yours there, it is a bit unreasonable to expect her to come all the way there on her own. I would suggest being gracious as you feel inclined – the tickets are already booked, is it worth the money to upset someone who looks like a good friend (as they are willing to travel so far to celebrate your wedding with you)?
Post # 6
yuck! what an awkward position. give her the benefit of the doubt and assume since invitations haven’t gone out yet that she just doesn’t know how they work, and just automatically assumed she could bring somebody when she got the STD. i wouldn’t use this as a reason to make exceptions for other people, but i’d let the friend come. if anybody gives you a hard time about it, i’d shrug my shoulders and say something along the lines of, "the friend bought the plane ticket before we were asked about it. there was nothing we could do."
Post # 7
Because the friend already bought a plane ticket (which are usually expensive and nonrefundable), she’s probably coming to your destination whether you tell her she can come to the wedding stuff or not. So you have to decide, as long as she’s going to already be at the destination (and there’s nothing you can do about that), what can she reasonably be included in without breaking the bank? Could you invite your friend to the wedding things and ask her guest to entertain herself otherwise? That would work assuming that wedding stuff makes up only a small portion of the time they’ll spend there at the destination. As a way of preventing this from happening further, perhaps you could have a close friend or bridesmaid independently contact other single guests about the no guests at the wedding policy ("while you are welcome to bring whomever you want to location X, because we are keeping our wedding small and private we have reserved space for just you at the actual wedding activities"). Hope this helps!
Post # 8
I completely agree with chelseamorning.
Post # 9
I’m sorry, I’m having a destination wedding as well and haven’t come across this yet and hopefully will not! Having an intimate wedding is important to us as well, and we have also decided to only invite +1 for people we know well and are in a committed relationship. I think if I were in your shoes I would say that the friend is welcome since she’s already bought a ticket, but not to the ceremony or other wedding activities. Your friend will hopefully understand the situation. Good luck!
Post # 10
what if you befriended the other person? could you call your friend and explain the situation and ask if you could all hang out some so it’s not awkward? you have 5 months…
Post # 11
I think that you have every right to not invite A to wedding related activities and anything else you have to pay for. She was never invited in the first place and if only a handful of people are going to be making the destination part of the wedding do you really want her to be in all of your photos just because your friend didn’t ask before booking the flights. My conversation would go something like this. "S I am thrilled that you are coming and I hope you can attend all wedding related events during your stay. However, because our budget is spiraling out of control I’m not going to be able to include A or any other guest we haven’t included on our guest list in these events. I’m sorry, I wish I could have conveyed this to you before you both purchased tickets and I hope A can find other activities to entertain herself during the wedding."
Post # 12
I would say that you contact S just to clarify the reasons that A is coming. Maybe S doesn’t expect that A is invited to the actual wedding activities and just wanted someone to hang out with and share a room with. You might even want to phrase it like that, "It’s so great that A is willing to come with you even though she isn’t invited to the wedding! What a good friend!"
If, on the other hand, they think that A is invited to the wedding you will just have to explain the situation to her. I really think that people don’t realize how expensive weddings are. I know I was shocked when I first started planning and got price quotes from various vendors.