(Closed) Strict +1 rule for guests – what to do with sister’s date dilema?

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What is your +1 rule for limited guest list?

    Flavor of the weeks included & can attend

    Serious relationships only

    Live-ins, engaged & married significant others only

    Depends on the guests relation to us

  • Post # 3
    1276 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    Hmmm…that’s a tough one.  I’m of the opinion that it’s okay to make exceptions for immediate family.  And for your sister, going through a divorce around the time of her sister’s wedding could be very difficult.  This was happening for my BIL’s brother (and best man) at my sister’s wedding…he chose not to bring the woman he was seeing (now his wife) b/c he didn’t want to deal with what other family might say about it.  I could also see it going the other way.

    I think you might have a serious talk with her about it.  Has she considered the fact that everyone will notice if she brings a date and possibly talk about it afterward?  If yes, and she still would feel more comfortable bringing one, I say let her.  She’s your sister and she’s already going through a rough time in her life.  Watching her sibling get married isn’t going to help.  I would indulge her.  OTOH, she might have made the comment b/c she feels pressured to bring a date even though she doesn’t want to.  Again, only a frank discussion can clear this up.

    Post # 4
    908 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    For us, bridal party and immidiate family get dates even if they aren’t "dating" anyone.  All of our siblings are in the bridal party and all but one of them are married or in relationships.  FH’s brother is single and he is bringing a female friend (she could be a flavor of the week for all I know LOL).  I just think that the bridal party deserve to be able to bring dates because of all the work they’ve done for us.

    Among our friends, anyone in a relationship gets a date.  For the most part, we know which of our friends are in relationship but for a few I checked facebook.  A few single people have asked about dates and I told them that if we get enough "no" RSVPs, they can bring a date.

    I see what you mean about wanting to invite more of your friends but it may not work out like that.  If your RSVP date is just a few weeks before the wedding, it will be too late for you to send out more invites.  You can, however let people who are already invited know that they can bring a date at that point.

    Post # 5
    3331 posts
    Sugar bee

    I think because this situation is so specific, if I were you, I’d have a conversation with your sister.  You could reference her comment and explain that you weren’t expecting her to bring anyone with the divorce being so recent.  Just something like "Oh, I didn’t know you if you were planning to bring anyone since the divorce…" and see what she says.  Depending on her response when you say something, you may be able to bring up your financial situation with respect to bringing guests.  Because she’s your sister, she may be responsive to helping you out by not bringing someone, especially if her kids and whole family will be there for company.  However, if it were me, I wouldn’t suggest her not bringing a date if she seems to have her heart set on it.  She may be offended by your suggestion.  I know my sister was kind of odd about it.  Even though she wasn’t seeing someone, she kept insisting that she thought it would be rude if we didn’t address her invitation with an "and guest".  

    I will say that we allowed everyone over 21 a plus-one with our guest list.  We were keeping the wedding pretty small (invited 119, 86 attended), but still felt like we should allow people to make their own call on if they wanted to bring a date or not.  Luckily for our guest list/budget, no one who wasn’t already married/engaged/living together brought a date, but we wanted people to have the option. 

    I guess I’d start by talking to your sister and checking on what her feelings are about bringing someone, and then go from there. 

    Post # 6
    3162 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Why don’t you just wait and see if you get back some No RSVPs and if so then problem solved and you don’t even need to address the issue with her. I do think that it may be hard and painful for her if you don’t let her bring a date – flavor of the month or not – just because I think being at your wedding while going through a divorce, she may feel that much more alone. And she’s your SISTER and there are extenuating circumstances here, so anyone who you said couldn’t bring a date needs to suck it up – not that they would have the audacity to complain to you on your wedding day! At least I would hope not…

    Post # 7
    61 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2010
    Post # 9
    17 posts
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We are adding "& guest" to all invites for the singles or not serious relationships.  We took a stand on no children at our wedding, so we felt that having the extra people at the wedding to allow our friend/family member have fun with a date was a must do.  I am still hopeful that not all of them will bring a guest!  🙂

    Your sister’s situation is a tough one.  If it were my sister I would just let it be and let her bring a guest if she wants one.  It’s inevitable that someone else being invited won’t be able to come and it’s also possible that she won’t end up having a date.  It could just be making her feel better to talk about having one.  I don’t think it’s worth the potential family conflict for just one person. 

    Post # 10
    2640 posts
    Sugar bee

    To cut to the chase, I would let her bring a date.  First, if it’s a matter of someone currently on the guest list declining, I would think you’ll get at least a handful of those.  So problem solved.  But also, if she was still married you would find a way to scrounge up the money for her husband.(And while I don’t think you’re intending to be mean spirited or anything, it might come across like you’re taking advantage of her divorce to find a way to save $100.)

    I do think as your sister, she deserves a different set of rules than normal guests, particularly with this divorce.  If she was your 18 yr old baby sister, who isn’t dating anyone, and will be busy as your Maid/Matron of Honor, OK maybe.  But this day will be hard on your sister, as happy as she is (or wants to be) for you.  If bringing someone helps her a bit, then I think ultimately, you’d want that too.

    I can understand you couldn’t invite some friends you want to be there, but might have someone you never met get in.  (Sigh) Life’s about who you know, Aye? 

    Good luck.

    Post # 11
    88 posts
    Worker bee

    Hey, I just wanted to chime in and say please cut your sister some slack! I don’t know her situation, but I bet she is having a tough time, getting divorced, dealing with kids, etc. Going to your wedding might be hard for her. After her divorce, one of my friends had to leave her brother’s ceremony because she was so upset. This could bring up a lot of yucky feelings for her. If she wants to have some guy there, I say let her do what she wants. Not everyone (especially those of us over 30) think it’s great fun just to dance with relatives and girlfriends — especially under the circumstances. Just my $.02 – try to put yourself in her position.

    Post # 12
    4479 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

    Our rule is serious relationships only (and if they are people we’re not close to, FIs and spouses only), but for immediate family (siblings only), we’re allowing a date regardless.

    Post # 13
    1509 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    She is your immediate family and with going through all the sadness and drama it sounds like she has had to deal with recently, it might help to allow her to bring a date and not be alone at a wedding being reminded that hers failed. Besides, she is your immediate family.  I can see not inviting +1 for guests or non-immediate family members, but not giving a +1 to your own sister going through something like that may really harm your relationship with her.  I can see that being very hurtful and as a punishment because she isn’t still with her husband or with a serious boyfriend.  If you are worried about the extra cost, delete her old husband from the guest list. 

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