Wedding Etiquette Forum

Limited seating

I have family that never RSVP and end up showing up with friends that we don't know. How do I let them know on the wedding invitation that they can only bring a certain number of guests and if they don't RSVP, they will not have a seat.

Re: Limited seating

  • While naming people on the invitation should be sufficient to indicate that those named are the ones invited, if you don't think they can handle that the easiest way is to say you've reserved X seats in their honor.

    If/when they don't reply by the response date (which should be 1-1.5 weeks before your final headcount is due to the venue), let a few days pass to make sure it hasn't been put in the mail on the due date, and then call to see if they can make it.  If you get voicemail, or they aren't sure, give them the date your headcount is due (or one day before) and say that if you don't hear from them by then you will have to assume they can't make it and will unfortunately have to mark them as declines.

    If they don't respond and you worry they'll show up, that's a chat for your venue coordinator with regards to how you want to handle it.
    lovesclimbingOliveOilsMomperdonami
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    I have family that never RSVP and end up showing up with friends that we don't know. How do I let them know on the wedding invitation that they can only bring a certain number of guests and if they don't RSVP, they will not have a seat.
    I wouldn't do anything special. Send out your invites with the RSVP. If they don't RSVP, then call whoever doesn't RSVP and say you need an answer by X date or you cannot accommodate them.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image
    luckysnorkel
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I have family that never RSVP and end up showing up with friends that we don't know. How do I let them know on the wedding invitation that they can only bring a certain number of guests and if they don't RSVP, they will not have a seat.
    When they don't RSVP, you wait until your deadline and you call them.

    If they show up without RSVPing and/or bring additional guests, you won't have extra seating for them because you'll have assigned seating and there won't be a seat for them.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Unfortunately, you have to call people who don't RSVP by the deadline you gave them and ask them directly if they're coming and how many of the actually invited guests will be attending, and if anyone indicates that they want to bring someone you didn't invite, you have to tell them that only the invited guests can be accommodated. 

    And if someone you have to call still doesn't tell you that yes, they're coming or no, they're not, you either have to plan for them as though they are or tell them that you're going to assume that they are not and will plan accordingly, and then treat them as uninvited guests if they show up without giving you a "yes" answer.

    And still more unfortunately, you have to decide what to do with uninvited guests who show up anyway.  You do have the right to refuse admittance to these persons (they are rude for showing up when you didn't invite them), but you have to decide if exercising it is worth any consequences of doing so.
  • OP, something I have recommended before for people who are worried about uninvited guests, is to make sure you have a DOC and if anyone shows up with an uninvited guest, have the DOC tell them:

    "I'm sorry, but you are not able to take your seat until the all other guests are seated, as we do not have accommodations for your child/date/rando. If, after everyone else is sat, it is clear that someone who RSVPed yes was unable to attend, your child/date/rando can have that seat. Unfortunately, if all invited guests are in attendance, there is no where for us to accommodate your child/date/rando, no food for him/her, and his/her presence does put the venue over contract capacity, so you will need to make offsite arrangements for him/her. You can then return to the reception and chow and party down! We apologize, but due to venue/contract policies, we can only accommodate invited guests"

    Maybe I'm crazy, but this seems less "get the hell out"-ish, allows for the appearance of trying to accommodate the invited guest's rudeness (even if it is nothing more than the appearance), and does put the blame squarely on the guest for bringing an uninvited guest. But I would never bring an uninvited guest to a wedding, so I can't speak knowingly on what rude people themselves find rude.


    Definitely follow up hardcore with folks after the RSVP date.  One of my friends made sure to do the "___ of ____ will be attending" on the RSVP cards. She had to go in and write the "of 2, of 3 , of 1" on each RSVP, but she thought it was worth it to show that who was listed on the invite was who was invited and no one else. 

    So, if you have to call and follow up with people, say "how many of the 2 will be attending?" and if they say "Oh 2? We are coming but there will be 4 of us," then you can say, "sorry, but the invite is only for you and mr. you, no one else can be accommodated." If they then say "well then we aren't coming," you respond "We are very sorry to hear that and you will be missed.  I will mark you down as a decline."
    My reaction to most everything on the internet today:
    image
    scb2471luckysnorkel
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    OP, something I have recommended before for people who are worried about uninvited guests, is to make sure you have a DOC and if anyone shows up with an uninvited guest, have the DOC tell them:

    "I'm sorry, but you are not able to take your seat until the all other guests are seated, as we do not have accommodations for your child/date/rando. If, after everyone else is sat, it is clear that someone who RSVPed yes was unable to attend, your child/date/rando can have that seat. Unfortunately, if all invited guests are in attendance, there is no where for us to accommodate your child/date/rando, no food for him/her, and his/her presence does put the venue over contract capacity, so you will need to make offsite arrangements for him/her. You can then return to the reception and chow and party down! We apologize, but due to venue/contract policies, we can only accommodate invited guests"

    Maybe I'm crazy, but this seems less "get the hell out"-ish, allows for the appearance of trying to accommodate the invited guest's rudeness (even if it is nothing more than the appearance), and does put the blame squarely on the guest for bringing an uninvited guest. But I would never bring an uninvited guest to a wedding, so I can't speak knowingly on what rude people themselves find rude.


    Definitely follow up hardcore with folks after the RSVP date.  One of my friends made sure to do the "___ of ____ will be attending" on the RSVP cards. She had to go in and write the "of 2, of 3 , of 1" on each RSVP, but she thought it was worth it to show that who was listed on the invite was who was invited and no one else. 


    So, if you have to call and follow up with people, say "how many of the 2 will be attending?" and if they say "Oh 2? We are coming but there will be 4 of us," then you can say, "sorry, but the invite is only for you and mr. you, no one else can be accommodated." If they then say "well then we aren't coming," you respond "We are very sorry to hear that and you will be missed.  I will mark you down as a decline."
    I highly recommend the bolded if you haven't yet purchased/made/printed/what-have-you your response cards. It's extra effort, but it really makes it crystal clear that only the people on in the invitation are invited. If you have mostly guests who are good about RSVPs (who RSVP by the deadline and don't add extra guests), then this step might not be worth it just to deal with this one family. But if you come from a family or you have lots of friends who frequently don't RSVP and/or bring extra people, it's worth it.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • When my stepdd got married we had to print individual names on the actual RSVP cards.  Her biomom and stepdad's families are legendary for bringing extra guests and not RSVPing.  DD was very worried about it as she grew up watching these people pull this crap.  They are an extreme example of people who just don't get it.  We almost had WWIII when they saw the invitations.  Like I said, extreme example.

    OP, I recommend putting the ___ of ____ on your invitations and then fill out the second number, "____of __2___   will attend".

    I think most people are pretty decent about this stuff but if you know your crowd and know they are like DD's other side of the family, then take a precautionary measure.

  • gmcr78gmcr78 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    We nipped this in the bud by creating our own RSVP cards that said the following (bare bones version, ours were a little more eloquent): 2 seats have been reserved in your honor. Guest 1: John Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 2: Jane Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 1 meal choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian Guest 2 mail choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian If we were inviting a single person with a guest, the Guest 2 line was a blank with a space to write in a name. It worked perfectly for us and eliminated any confusion about who was invited.
    pinkshorts27annathy03
  • gmcr78gmcr78 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    Wow, line spacing no longer works on TK. I even tried to edit it to no avail.
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    gmcr78 said:
    Wow, line spacing no longer works on TK. I even tried to edit it to no avail.
    TK's been eating a ton of formatting lately. I wonder if it's something that came with that really messy update we had last month.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • edited June 2014
    Nevermind lol. Was a formatting commt but can't get it to work.

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

  • gmcr78 said:
    We nipped this in the bud by creating our own RSVP cards that said the following (bare bones version, ours were a little more eloquent): 2 seats have been reserved in your honor. Guest 1: John Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 2: Jane Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 1 meal choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian Guest 2 mail choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian If we were inviting a single person with a guest, the Guest 2 line was a blank with a space to write in a name. It worked perfectly for us and eliminated any confusion about who was invited.
    We did that also.  Got the message through to stepdd's biomom and stepdad's family loud and clear.  And I do mean LOUD.  They were not happy
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    kmmssg said:
    gmcr78 said:
    We nipped this in the bud by creating our own RSVP cards that said the following (bare bones version, ours were a little more eloquent): 2 seats have been reserved in your honor. Guest 1: John Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 2: Jane Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 1 meal choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian Guest 2 mail choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian If we were inviting a single person with a guest, the Guest 2 line was a blank with a space to write in a name. It worked perfectly for us and eliminated any confusion about who was invited.
    We did that also.  Got the message through to stepdd's biomom and stepdad's family loud and clear.  And I do mean LOUD.  They were not happy
    What were they not happy about? That they couldn't bring uninvited guests? Too bad, so sad. Sorry not sorry.
    image
    image

    image


    pinkshorts27OliveOilsMom
  • kmmssg said:
    gmcr78 said:
    We nipped this in the bud by creating our own RSVP cards that said the following (bare bones version, ours were a little more eloquent): 2 seats have been reserved in your honor. Guest 1: John Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 2: Jane Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 1 meal choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian Guest 2 mail choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian If we were inviting a single person with a guest, the Guest 2 line was a blank with a space to write in a name. It worked perfectly for us and eliminated any confusion about who was invited.
    We did that also.  Got the message through to stepdd's biomom and stepdad's family loud and clear.  And I do mean LOUD.  They were not happy
    What were they not happy about? That they couldn't bring uninvited guests? Too bad, so sad. Sorry not sorry.
    @huskypuppy - you nailed it with the bold.  They were pissed they were being so restricted and beyond pissed it was a no kid wedding!  They were not paying a dime either.
  • gmcr78 said:
    We nipped this in the bud by creating our own RSVP cards that said the following (bare bones version, ours were a little more eloquent): 2 seats have been reserved in your honor. Guest 1: John Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 2: Jane Doe __Accepts __Declines Guest 1 meal choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian Guest 2 mail choice _Chicken _Beef _Vegetarian If we were inviting a single person with a guest, the Guest 2 line was a blank with a space to write in a name. It worked perfectly for us and eliminated any confusion about who was invited.
    Ours was similar, we didn't mention "2 seats in your honor" but had two M_____________ lines that I filled out before sending them with the names of the invited guests and __Beef ___Fish ___Regrets as the options under each name line.  I highly recommend it, while it is a little more work you have to number the RSVP cards if you don't, and it didn't take me much longer to write names than it would have to number cards and organize that in excel.  

    Some of our family was less than thrilled about us not inviting kids (only my infant niece, who is the daughter of my MOH), but most understood that with the sheer number of them in our families it just wasn't feasible for us even if we wanted to invite them.  Only one of my cousins was pissed and I heard it through her parents, not her.  I haven't seen or talked to her in about 3 years anyways (we invited all first cousins to avoid family drama), so she can be pissed all she wants.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards