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Etiquette

Uninvited Guest with a Twist

So my wedding is in a little over two months from now, but I sent my invitations out a while ago. I've got a lot of friends and relatives that are traveling from all over the country, so I wanted to give them plenty of time to figure out travel plans if they wanted to make it.

Anyway, RSVPs have started coming in, and there's one situation that I have no idea how to address.

I invited my cousin, who would be traveling quite a distance to make it to the big day. On the invitation, I listed only her name, no "and guest" or anything like that.

She talked to me before sending in her RSVP, and gave no indication that she'd be adding someone to her response. But, lo and behold, there it was -- an extra name listed on her response!

Long story short, I don't know for sure if this is a boyfriend, but if it is, then I should have included him on the invitation! We've had some "no" RSVPs already, so we can definitely accommodate him, but I don't want to say nothing about it and encourage other family members to do the same with random plus ones.

I guess what I'm asking is: How do I kindly ask her if this is her boyfriend, and let her know that we weren't planning on having him, but can fit him in? 

Re: Uninvited Guest with a Twist

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I would call her up and see who she is bringing.  But I would still let her bring him/her.

    Then again I gave all my singles a plus one.  My wedding was OOT for everyone. Some a great distance.   I figured they would want a travel companion or some sort.  Some took me up on the offer, others didn't.     I also didn't have a budget and/or occupancy issues with the venue either.

    Like PP said, you sent out your invites so early it's very possible they are now in a relationship.  You should have contacted them to confirm.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Your invites should not have been sent out so early.  STDs would have served the same purpose, alerting people to your wedding when they live very far away. 

    If you can make an honest effort to attempt to identify any single guests who many now have a SO, please do so and extend the invite to the SOs.  We always say that when invites go out if you have a SO at that time, they should be invited, but you sent out your invites so early, you need to provide some wiggle room to allow single guests to have a SO from when your invites went out to around 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding.


    charlotte989875cowgirl8238InLoveInQueens
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Long story short, I don't know for sure if this is a boyfriend, but if it is, then I should have included him on the invitation! We've had some "no" RSVPs already, so we can definitely accommodate him, but I don't want to say nothing about it and encourage other family members to do the same with random plus ones.

    I wouldn't worry about this so much. News isn't going to spread like wildfire that you allowed someone a plus one and create a snowball effect. I'd just allow it. 
    image
  • edited December 2016
    I agree with STARMOON44 and find a conversation like that a bit weird. Sometimes the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life because in real life most people aren't sticklers for etiquette. You have to go with your gut sometimes. Honestly, if someone asked me when I was single if I was dating I would feel very self-conscious about it. I'd prefer to get a single invite then go through a conversation like that. If someone didn't know my dating status because I never mention it, people should take the hint. Etiquette is about putting people at ease and what is being suggested could easily be viewed as interrogating or at the very least force someone to talk about something they don't want too. I have single wedding guests who I know would hate to be asked directly about their dating status no matter how nicely you put it.
    STARMOON44
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Max_G said:
    I agree with STARMOON44 and find a conversation like that a bit weird. Sometimes the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life because in real life most people aren't sticklers for etiquette. You have to go with your gut sometimes. Honestly, if someone asked me when I was single if I was dating I would feel very self-conscious about it. I'd prefer to get a single invite then go through a conversation like that. If someone didn't know my dating status because I never mention it, people should take the hint. Etiquette is about putting people at ease and what is being suggested could easily be viewed as interrogating or at the very least force someone to talk about something they don't want too. I have single wedding guests who I know would hate to be asked directly about their dating status no matter how nicely you put it.
    It's not that the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life, it's that your own personal, emotional reaction causes you to feel awkward. 

    Again, you can view a simple question of "Hey, are you seeing anybody," or "Is there anybody you'd like me to invite" as an interrogation, or uncomfortable, or awkward, and you can be self conscious.  Or you can take it for what it's worth- a host just trying to be courteous to you, answer it, and move on.

    DH has a lot of 1st cousins that he didn't know their dating status because he doesn't keep in close touch with them.  The most reasonable way to find out if they had an SO was to ask. 

    Maybe we made some of the singles feel awkward, but that wasn't the intention.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    charlotte989875
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Since we offered plus ones to all singles we didn't have to have a potentially awkward conversation.     As it turned out a lot of the singles didn't choose to bring anyone.  Cool, saved some money.   Those who choose to were accommodated without any stress.


    It should be noted that I got married older.  Most of our friends had SO's.  I get the younger you are the more singles you might have and thus more of an issue.  Our truly singles amounted to a about 10 people.  An extra 10 plus ones were not going to make or break us.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    charlotte989875STARMOON44kimmiinthemittencowgirl8238
  • edited December 2016
    Max_G said:
    I agree with STARMOON44 and find a conversation like that a bit weird. Sometimes the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life because in real life most people aren't sticklers for etiquette. You have to go with your gut sometimes. Honestly, if someone asked me when I was single if I was dating I would feel very self-conscious about it. I'd prefer to get a single invite then go through a conversation like that. If someone didn't know my dating status because I never mention it, people should take the hint. Etiquette is about putting people at ease and what is being suggested could easily be viewed as interrogating or at the very least force someone to talk about something they don't want too. I have single wedding guests who I know would hate to be asked directly about their dating status no matter how nicely you put it.
    It's not that the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life, it's that your own personal, emotional reaction causes you to feel awkward. 

    Again, you can view a simple question of "Hey, are you seeing anybody," or "Is there anybody you'd like me to invite" as an interrogation, or uncomfortable, or awkward, and you can be self conscious.  Or you can take it for what it's worth- a host just trying to be courteous to you, answer it, and move on.

    DH has a lot of 1st cousins that he didn't know their dating status because he doesn't keep in close touch with them.  The most reasonable way to find out if they had an SO was to ask. 

    Maybe we made some of the singles feel awkward, but that wasn't the intention.
    The point is, if I felt this way, so could other people (as shown by STARMOON saying the exact same thing). You cant decide how people would react based solely on how you feel. Humans have emotional reactions because we are emotional beings, and when you interact with others, you should normally take account of that. My friends and family are not clones, and I'm sure yours are not either. You take account of a person's feelings when you talk to them, (at least I do) because that's how you maintain friendships. Just because 'proper etiquette' dictates a particular course of action doesn't mean it is necessarily the best action to take. You may disagree with my 'emotional' reaction, but it is still within the realm of potential reactions people could have. As I said before good etiquette isn't about slavishly sticking to rules. It's about knowing how to make people feel comfortable or at least trying your best to do so. It appears that you are thinking of etiquette in terms of set of rigid rules. I would just give singles a plus one and see who responds (that's what I am doing).
  • Max_G said:
    Max_G said:
    I agree with STARMOON44 and find a conversation like that a bit weird. Sometimes the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life because in real life most people aren't sticklers for etiquette. You have to go with your gut sometimes. Honestly, if someone asked me when I was single if I was dating I would feel very self-conscious about it. I'd prefer to get a single invite then go through a conversation like that. If someone didn't know my dating status because I never mention it, people should take the hint. Etiquette is about putting people at ease and what is being suggested could easily be viewed as interrogating or at the very least force someone to talk about something they don't want too. I have single wedding guests who I know would hate to be asked directly about their dating status no matter how nicely you put it.
    It's not that the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life, it's that your own personal, emotional reaction causes you to feel awkward. 

    Again, you can view a simple question of "Hey, are you seeing anybody," or "Is there anybody you'd like me to invite" as an interrogation, or uncomfortable, or awkward, and you can be self conscious.  Or you can take it for what it's worth- a host just trying to be courteous to you, answer it, and move on.

    DH has a lot of 1st cousins that he didn't know their dating status because he doesn't keep in close touch with them.  The most reasonable way to find out if they had an SO was to ask. 

    Maybe we made some of the singles feel awkward, but that wasn't the intention.
    The point is, if I felt this way, so could other people (as shown by STARMOON saying the exact same thing). You cant decide how people would react based solely on how you feel. Humans have emotional reactions because we are emotional beings, and when you interact with others, you should normally take account of that. My friends and family are not clones, and I'm sure yours are not either. You take account of a person's feelings when you talk to them, (at least I do) because that's how you maintain friendships. Just because 'proper etiquette' dictates a particular course of action doesn't mean it is necessarily the best action to take. You may disagree with my reaction, but it is still within the realm of potential reactions people could have.
    Then this assume etiquette is relative to each individual person's interpretation of a question, and that isn't feasible or useful if you're using etiquette to set a standard for how to treat guests. Sure if you know someone will be offended by asking if they have someone they want to bring don't ask them, but inquiring as to a guests name is not something that is inherently rude or intended to make guests feel bad, it's intended to do the opposite-- make sure their guests are invited by name. 
    PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238MyNameIsNot
  • STARMOON44STARMOON44 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2016
    So my wedding is in a little over two months from now, but I sent my invitations out a while ago. I've got a lot of friends and relatives that are traveling from all over the country, so I wanted to give them plenty of time to figure out travel plans if they wanted to make it.

    Anyway, RSVPs have started coming in, and there's one situation that I have no idea how to address.

    I invited my cousin, who would be traveling quite a distance to make it to the big day. On the invitation, I listed only her name, no "and guest" or anything like that.

    She talked to me before sending in her RSVP, and gave no indication that she'd be adding someone to her response. But, lo and behold, there it was -- an extra name listed on her response!

    Long story short, I don't know for sure if this is a boyfriend, but if it is, then I should have included him on the invitation! We've had some "no" RSVPs already, so we can definitely accommodate him, but I don't want to say nothing about it and encourage other family members to do the same with random plus ones.

    I guess what I'm asking is: How do I kindly ask her if this is her boyfriend, and let her know that we weren't planning on having him, but can fit him in? 

    You ask her if that is her BF, and if it is you apologize for the oversight and invite him.  Don't mention anything about not planning on inviting him blah blah blah.

    This is why 1. you should have a buffer in your budget and guest list assuming all single guests get into a relationship by the time your wedding happens, 2. you contact your single guests prior to sending out invitations and ASK them if they have an SO, and 3. you don't send invitation out more than 8 weeks prior to your RSVP deadline.

    And as a heads up, if other family members now have SO's that you didn't know about because you didn't ask prior to sending out invites, you should really find a way to accommodate them as well.

    I think this is overkill, as a single lady. Don't call me and have a forced awkward convo in which I have to explain to yet another person that nope, I'm still single. If I have a person, I'll make it known. If I have a person and you have no way of knowing that, I'll just let you know and ask. 
    I see your POV, but I don't think it *has* to be an awkward conversation.  I think it's better to check than be in OP'S situation.


    We contacted our single family members and friends and it went something like this:

    Me- "Hey Starmoon, I'm about to send out my invitations and I was just wondering if you're seeing anybody?  If so, I'd love to invite them!"

    Then they answered either yes or no, no big deal.

    Don't think of it in terms of "yet another conversation in which you have to explain you're still single". . .think of it as your family and friends trying to be courteous hosts.  
    "Nope. Still single! But I def want to bring a date thanks so much for checking!!"

    if if I don't know you well enough that you know whether or not I am seeing anyone, I don't want to talk to you about it. If you really just want me to be comfortable, skip the convo and just give me a plus one. 
    MobKazCasadenaphotokittyahoywedding
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Max_G said:
    Max_G said:
    I agree with STARMOON44 and find a conversation like that a bit weird. Sometimes the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life because in real life most people aren't sticklers for etiquette. You have to go with your gut sometimes. Honestly, if someone asked me when I was single if I was dating I would feel very self-conscious about it. I'd prefer to get a single invite then go through a conversation like that. If someone didn't know my dating status because I never mention it, people should take the hint. Etiquette is about putting people at ease and what is being suggested could easily be viewed as interrogating or at the very least force someone to talk about something they don't want too. I have single wedding guests who I know would hate to be asked directly about their dating status no matter how nicely you put it.
    It's not that the etiquette on this board would cause awkward problems in real life, it's that your own personal, emotional reaction causes you to feel awkward. 

    Again, you can view a simple question of "Hey, are you seeing anybody," or "Is there anybody you'd like me to invite" as an interrogation, or uncomfortable, or awkward, and you can be self conscious.  Or you can take it for what it's worth- a host just trying to be courteous to you, answer it, and move on.

    DH has a lot of 1st cousins that he didn't know their dating status because he doesn't keep in close touch with them.  The most reasonable way to find out if they had an SO was to ask. 

    Maybe we made some of the singles feel awkward, but that wasn't the intention.
    The point is, if I felt this way, so could other people (as shown by STARMOON saying the exact same thing). You cant decide how people would react based solely on how you feel. I know that. . . that's my point.  Only YOU can control your reaction to things, no one else can.  YOU choose how YOU react to things.  I'm not trying to decide how you feel- I'm leaving that to you to deal with.  I'm just asking a question.

    Humans have emotional reactions because we are emotional beings, and when you interact with others, you should normally take account of that.   I get that, and I do.  I don't go out of my way to say things I know would make a person uncomfortable, but at the same time I don't worry about or avoid asking a reasonable question in a reasonable context.

    My friends and family are not clones, and I'm sure yours are not either. You take account of a person's feelings when you talk to them, (at least I do) because that's how you maintain friendships. 
    Just because 'proper etiquette' dictates a particular course of action doesn't mean it is necessarily the best action to take. This has nothing to do with etiquette, other than you should invite people's SOs.  This has to do with gathering information, and the most rational, simplest way is to just ask.

    You may disagree with my 'emotional' reaction, but it is still within the realm of potential reactions people could have.   I never said that it wasn't a possibility. 

     I said before good etiquette isn't about slavishly sticking to rules. It's about knowing how to make people feel comfortable or at least trying your best to do so. It appears that you are thinking of etiquette in terms of set of rigid rules. No I'm not, I'm thinking of common sense and normal adult interactions ><  When adults need to know something related to another person, they typically ask that person.  I would just give singles a plus one and see who responds (that's what I am doing).

    So my wedding is in a little over two months from now, but I sent my invitations out a while ago. I've got a lot of friends and relatives that are traveling from all over the country, so I wanted to give them plenty of time to figure out travel plans if they wanted to make it.

    Anyway, RSVPs have started coming in, and there's one situation that I have no idea how to address.

    I invited my cousin, who would be traveling quite a distance to make it to the big day. On the invitation, I listed only her name, no "and guest" or anything like that.

    She talked to me before sending in her RSVP, and gave no indication that she'd be adding someone to her response. But, lo and behold, there it was -- an extra name listed on her response!

    Long story short, I don't know for sure if this is a boyfriend, but if it is, then I should have included him on the invitation! We've had some "no" RSVPs already, so we can definitely accommodate him, but I don't want to say nothing about it and encourage other family members to do the same with random plus ones.

    I guess what I'm asking is: How do I kindly ask her if this is her boyfriend, and let her know that we weren't planning on having him, but can fit him in? 

    You ask her if that is her BF, and if it is you apologize for the oversight and invite him.  Don't mention anything about not planning on inviting him blah blah blah.

    This is why 1. you should have a buffer in your budget and guest list assuming all single guests get into a relationship by the time your wedding happens, 2. you contact your single guests prior to sending out invitations and ASK them if they have an SO, and 3. you don't send invitation out more than 8 weeks prior to your RSVP deadline.

    And as a heads up, if other family members now have SO's that you didn't know about because you didn't ask prior to sending out invites, you should really find a way to accommodate them as well.

    I think this is overkill, as a single lady. Don't call me and have a forced awkward convo in which I have to explain to yet another person that nope, I'm still single. If I have a person, I'll make it known. If I have a person and you have no way of knowing that, I'll just let you know and ask. 
    I see your POV, but I don't think it *has* to be an awkward conversation.  I think it's better to check than be in OP'S situation.


    We contacted our single family members and friends and it went something like this:

    Me- "Hey Starmoon, I'm about to send out my invitations and I was just wondering if you're seeing anybody?  If so, I'd love to invite them!"

    Then they answered either yes or no, no big deal.

    Don't think of it in terms of "yet another conversation in which you have to explain you're still single". . .think of it as your family and friends trying to be courteous hosts.  
    "Nope. Still single! But I def want to bring a date thanks so much for checking!!"  Simple answer!

    if if I don't know you well enough that you know whether or not I am seeing anyone, I don't want to talk to you about it. If you really just want me to be comfortable, skip the convo and just give me a plus one. 



    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @futuremrsmalick I'm curious. If you call your cousin to ask if her +1 is her boyfriend and she says he's just a friend, are you going to say she can't bring him? That would be awkward. You have her guests name so you can fill in his place card or whatever else you might put names on. There's really no need to call her.


                
    cowgirl8238eileenrob
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    @futuremrsmalick I'm curious. If you call your cousin to ask if her +1 is her boyfriend and she says he's just a friend, are you going to say she can't bring him? That would be awkward. You have her guests name so you can fill in his place card or whatever else you might put names on. There's really no need to call her.


    This is a good point, and I thought of that too, but if no one else was given a +1 and she shows up with one, everyone else will be pissed at the OP.

    We tell ppl on the boards all the time that if a guest writes in a person you didn't intend to invite, and you don't want to accommodate them, you call the guest up and have that awkward conversation.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2016
    @futuremrsmalick I'm curious. If you call your cousin to ask if her +1 is her boyfriend and she says he's just a friend, are you going to say she can't bring him? That would be awkward. You have her guests name so you can fill in his place card or whatever else you might put names on. There's really no need to call her.


    This is a good point, and I thought of that too, but if no one else was given a +1 and she shows up with one, everyone else will be pissed at the OP.

    We tell ppl on the boards all the time that if a guest writes in a person you didn't intend to invite, and you don't want to accommodate them, you call the guest up and have that awkward conversation.
    Yes, but usually we're referring to someone adding their 3 kids. 

    We also tell brides it's not the host's place to judge whether a relationship is serious enough to warrant a +1. What difference does it make to the host if someone is bringing a sweetheart or a best friend? If I was the host, I'd just let it go. But you're right, other guests might feel slighted when they see that one guest was allowed a courtesy that wasn't extended to them. 
                
  • I know that if you're on a strict budget this is hard but it's among the reasons why I'm happy that we just gave everyone who didn't announce any official relationship an 'and guest'.

    Those single could bring a friend.   Those in relationships brought a SO.   I think we had ONE person out of all the random 'and guests' who brought a platonic friend.   Everyone else was a true SO.


    charlotte989875MairePoppy
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    OP, as the host, I think you should just let it go. I wouldn't bother to call her. I doubt this will then cause others to bring random people as guests.  Agree.

    Also, I think it's super awkward (and maybe even a little rude?) to call up your guests and ask if they're single or not. Agree. In the days of social media, this seems like something you could easily find out yourself. Agree. And if your guest does have an SO, trust that they'll contact you to ask about bringing them. Here's where I disagree. Many years ago my boyfriend of 2+ years was invited to a wedding by a college friend of his that lived out of state and had never met me. His name only was on the invite. No plus one, no and guest, certainly not my name. Knowing enough about invites, I assumed I wasn't invited. He didn't ask them, and went alone, and turned out the B&G were really embarrassed about not inviting me. Granted, I wasn't aware that not inviting me as a social unit was actually rude. Had I known, I would have encouraged boyfriend to ask. 
    There were times when I was single and I was not happy about it. To have a bride or groom call me up and ask me point blank if I was dating anyone, I can definitely say I would have felt put on the spot, and maybe even embarrassed at having to say no. 

    A couple solutions I see to avoid awkwardness. A) Hopefully people you invite to your wedding are 1. friends you know well enough to know full well who is dating and who is truly single; 2. family where even if you don't want to embarrass someone with a point-blank conversation, you could find out on social media or by asking Aunt Susie if cousin Marie is dating anyone. B) Always have room in the budget to have plus-ones for those new relationships or people to bring someone so they don't come alone. 
    For me, being as introverted as I am and wanting a small wedding, guests were people we were actually close to to know this information. No obligation invites, no "haven't seen this girl in 5 years but we grew up together so...." invites, none of that. 

    ________________________________


    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostSP29
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