Post # 1
This past week, I received an RSVP from “Kay”, an aunt who lives out of town. Kay has two kids and is married. I received her RSVP that had a 2 marked down, and I texted her to ask who was coming (assuming it would be her son, daughter, or husband, as she had told me that not all of them would make it).
She told me that her good childhood friend Amy is coming with her. Amy lives in town,so Kay would be traveling alone regardless. Kay’s entire family will be present at the wedding and she will be seated with them- parents, cousins, etc. Therefore, it is not like she is coming alone to a wedding where she won’t know anyone. I did let it slide as I was caught off-guard and wasn’t entirely sure about the proper etiquette of the situation.
Was it okay for Kay to decide to bring a friend to the wedding, even though the invitation was addressed to her immediate family? Should she have asked me first?
Post # 2
If it was ‘plus one’ it’s ok. If it’s named invitation it’s not OK and she should ask not assume.
Post # 3
Invitations are not open– they’re only for the people to whom it’s addressed. Kay definitely overstepped here, and should not be bringing a random friend without first asking you if it’s ok.
Post # 4
Did you give her a plus 1 or specifically stated just her family? If her whole family was anticipated to be there anyways, there shouldn’t be a problem with her only bringing one guest, even if it is just a friend. You would’ve paid to feed 4 mouths instead of 2 anyways, right?
Post # 5
Not okay. Invitations are supposed to be addressed by name. Adding an uninvited guest is rude. She doesn’t get to substitute for family members who are not attending. That’s beyond presumptuous and not her prerogative.
Feel free to call and tell her there must have been a “misunderstanding.”
Post # 6
SmittenintheMitten : UK-bee : is right–this would only be acceptable if the invitation was issued to “Aunt Kay and Guest” or “Uncle Bob, Aunt Kay, Family and Guest” or some other combination that included “and Guest.” If the invitation was “Aunt Kay and Uncle Bob” or “Aunt Kay, Uncle Bob, and Family,” or anything similar, then adding Amy’s name is not OK because invitations are not transferrable!
Post # 8
if the invitation was addressed to specific people, then no definitely not okay that she put down a random person’s name without asking you. however if you gave her a plus one or just like simply stated “and guest” then that leaves it open-ended for who she wants to bring even if she does have children, a partner, etc.
Post # 9
Maybe Amy had some sort of need that Kay felt would be addressed by getting her out and attending a wedding? Like a loss or something bad, depression, just over an illness, etc? I can’t say how bad this is on etiquette – I agree if the invite was marked “plus one” it’s not the most polite thing to do but also not something that’s totally wrong either, but I also have to admit I’m guilty of inviting a grieving or sad friend out to distract them from whatever’s going on making them sad, and remembering to tell the host just before (I’ve gotten lots better, realizing that it was not good to be a bad friend to one person while trying to o be a good friend to another)/
Post # 10
Depends what the invite said. If it said Kay and guest, it is completely her call to bring the guest of her choice. If you specificaly invited Kay, her husband and kids by name, this is very rude but there’s nothing you can really do.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2016 - Hunting Hill Mansion
I think there’s a major difference between incorrect etiquette and “rudeness” — while PPs are right (invitations are only to those addressed), she probably just figured that subbing in a friend in light of her family not being able to make it wouldn’t be a big deal because you had already offered a spot for up to three guests to join her. Again, not proper, but in this situation I think it’s harmless. What would be the difference if she was able to bring her husband/child? I can understand a budget concern, but you were willing to invite the rest of her family, so that’s not the strongest argument. I say let it slide. People make etiquette mistakes and this is not a major one.
Post # 12
SmittenintheMitten : if her invitation was addressed specifically by name to Kay, Kay’s Darling Husband, Kay’s Kid 1, and Kay’s Kid 2, then she can pick who out of those 4 people will be attending. If it was addressed to Kay and Guest(s), then the guest is her call.
In general I think it’s rude, especially since I assume you addressed to KDH, KK1, and KK2. We had a few guests who, despite the extremely specific invitations and RSVP cards, still scratched it out and WROTE IN who they were bringing. I called them. “Hey, I got your RSVP and I’m so glad you can make it! There must have been a little confusion with the response card, as I see a couple of names that aren’t on our guest list. We have space for (originally invited persons), but if they can’t make it we can’t accommodate other guests. I’m so sorry, we totally understand if that means you can’t be there.”
Most took it well! Stand your ground, if you invited specific people on her invite, then that’s who is allowed to RSVP on her card.
Post # 13
UK-bee : The invite was specifically addressed to the family. Thank you for responding:)
concordbee : Thank you- I was wondering if my annoyance was justified.
msbr : Thanks for responding! True, we would have paid for 4 spots anyway, but we are now paying $100 for someone who was not even invited. While we budgeted for our entire guest list to come, we don’t mind saving the money on people who do not come.
weddingmaven : Thanks for your input! Unfortunately, I think I missed my window to say something:(
MarriedToMyWork : Thank you! Was addressed to the family.
Beegritte : Yep. I am starting to agree:)
amylynn6172017 : Thank you- it was specifically addressed to the family.
Isilme : I really don’t think so. It is more of a childhood-friend reunion type thing.
pickles325 : Thanks! And yup, I am stuck with it now.
Post # 14
SmittenintheMitten : How did you miss your window to say something if the reply just arrived this past week?
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I had this happen at my wedding in two different ways.
INSTANCE ONE: DH’s female cousin broke up with her SO and still asked for a plus one to bring her guyfriend who I had met a handful of times (which I was ok with), but then he couldn’t make it so she brought a female friend I had never met. I bit my tongue because this was annoying but harmless.
DH’s male cousin broke up with his SO that I HATED (so I was happy about that) but he insisted on bringing her anyways because they broke up so close to the wedding…then she caused a scene during dinner and was ejected from the venue between the second and third course. Then the cousin proceeded to spend half the night on his phone to her and get HAMMERED. I kept my cool that day…but I made it VERY clear to DH’s cousin after that this wasn’t ok, and if they got together again she would NOT be invited to anything I was hosting.