when an invited guest asks if they can bring someone other than their spouse

posted 10 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
2826 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Does John know a lot of people coming (not counting the bride and groom)? I let guests bring friends as +1’s if they didn’t know many of the other guests. But if he knows and is close to a ton of people I would probably say no. 

Post # 3
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

Did you and your Fiance expand your guestlist to include more guests before the RSVP deadline? Anyway, personally I would tell John that I would like to keep the wedding intimate and hope he understands my decision not to invite someone I’ve never met.

But are you sure Pat is just a friend?

Post # 4
12309 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

John has nerve and was incredibly rude to ask you to add Pat. The invitation was specific to his wife, not some kind of transferable ticket to an event. 

Needless to say, you are under absolutely no obligation to invite her, and unless there are very extenuating circumstances, such as John needing an aide for some kind of disability, I would not consider it. 

Post # 5
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I think it makes sense for John to want a friend at the wedding. If it is a larger wedding and your wife can’t attend it could kind of suck to go. I’d say yes. He probably views it as a plus one, not as though he is transferring his ticket. But if you don’t want Pat, then say no. 

Post # 6
1288 posts
Bumble bee

I was minorly upset at my first wedding when a woman brought her daughter (who I’m about the same age as but not at all close to) instead of attending with her husband, and that was without asking. At the very least, your guest asked if they could bring someone else. 

I agree with PPs… in the absence of a good reason (difficulty traveling, not knowing anyone else at all, etc), I would tell John you’re keeping things to people you know well only for the sake of an intimate wedding, so you’d prefer not to have strangers attend. 

Post # 7
2900 posts
Sugar bee

It really boils down to how many people John will know at the wedding.  If he doesn’t know many people, I would let him bring Pat.  It’s more about his comfort, that whether or not you know Pat.  You already budgeting for the plus one, so I don’t see the big deal.

I got invited to a wedding with no plus 1, which was completely fine since I wasn’t in a relationship.  But I didn’t know anyone besides the bride and groom and didn’t feel like spending an awkward Saturday night out at a wedding with strangers.  So I declined.  

Post # 8
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State

I find it quite strange that he would ask – it’s not a birthday party! The etiquette from his end seems to be a bit off. If I were invited to a wedding where I knew almost no one, and my spouse couldn’t attend, I would decline and send a gift.

Post # 9
2781 posts
Sugar bee

It depends on how many people he’ll know at the wedding and how badly you want him there. 

Going to a wedding solo with a group of friends or with family is one thing, but actually going to a wedding alone where you only have acquaintances sounds like an uncomfortable nightmare. Personally I’d just decline in that situation, but maybe he thought it was less rude to bring another person than to decline. 

Post # 10
1618 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

It would weird me out but we had a small intimate wedding only with people we’re super close to. I don’t get why people need to bring a friend around with them.

Post # 11
4990 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I’d let him bring Pat. No one wants to go to a wedding alone. I’d rather bring a friend too if my husband couldn’t attend.

Post # 12
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I, too, would let him bring Pat. I was really concerned about my guests’ comfort. If Pat will me he will enjoy himself, it would be no question for me. 

Post # 13
9799 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I wouldn’t have a problem at all with this. We had a guest switch out her husband for someone else (her daughter I think) and I really couldn’t have cared less. 

Post # 14
2900 posts
Sugar bee

And sure, I understand it’s rude to even ask, but he probably assumes since you’ve already set aside the spot for his wife, that it wouldn’t be a huge inconvenience.  


Post # 15
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I had a friend who did that, I didn’t mind at all.  I rather him be at the wedding then not, and seeing as his girlfriend was unavailable, he asked me if he could bring a friend and it was completely fine by me. It comes down to how badly you want that friend at your wedding.

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