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cousin's unwanted +1

I need some advice: RSVPs are coming in, and a distant cousin that we haven't spoken to in years was invited along with her long-term boyfriend. This cousin JUST broke up with the boyfriend, yet rsvp'd that she will bring a guest instead (we don't even know this person's name).   Because of budget, we can only invite +1s that are in a serious relationship with our guests-- single people don't have the option to bring a +1 to our wedding.  My fiancée and I are insistent that we only invite people to our small wedding that we have actually met before.  How do we tell cousin that the +1 isn't welcome?

Re: cousin's unwanted +1

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    You have been rude to your guests by not allowing their SOs. Your logic is offensive.

    Your cousin can't assume she can replace her boyfriend with someone else. However, I suggest letting it go.

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    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
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    I second itzMS and would also like to know your definition of "serious relationship".

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    I agree with previous posters that the OP shouldn't be deciding what a "serious" relationship is.

    However, the invitation was sent to the cousin and her boyfriend, not to the cousin "and guest." Invitations are not tickets; they're not transferrable. The OP is not being rude if she calls up the cousin, apologizes for the misunderstanding, and clarifies that while the ex-boyfriend is not expected to attend anymore, the invitation was for her and him, not for her and a guest of her choosing. Blame it on the budget and venue, and let her know that you will understand if she chooses not to attend.

    In your shoes, though, I might make an exception and let her bring the guest. It's easier, and I can guarantee you that your wedding will not be ruined by having ONE guest there you've never met before. You will not notice.
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    You have been rude to your guests by not allowing their SOs. Your logic is offensive.

    Your cousin can't assume she can replace her boyfriend with someone else. However, I suggest letting it go.

    I don't think that is what the OP was saying. . . correct me if I am wrong Bdiddy.

    I read her post that she is not giving +1s to truly single guests, which is ok by etiquette standards, right?  But now that her friend is single, she doesn't want to extend a +1 to her.

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


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    You have been rude to your guests by not allowing their SOs. Your logic is offensive.

    Your cousin can't assume she can replace her boyfriend with someone else. However, I suggest letting it go.

    I don't think that is what the OP was saying. . . correct me if I am wrong Bdiddy.

    I read her post that she is not giving +1s to truly single guests, which is ok by etiquette standards, right?  But now that her friend is single, she doesn't want to extend a +1 to her.

    I'm thinking along the lines of Muppet. If the OP and her FI haven't met your boyfriend/girlfriend...that means you aren't in a serious relationship. Therefore *BAM* your SO may not be invited.

    I always have to laugh and shake my head at people like the OP who think they can define what a relationship is and its seriousness. DH and I were living together by 6 months of dating and engaged after less than a year...there were still plenty of my friends and relatives who hadn't "met" him.

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    bdiddy215 said:
    I need some advice: RSVPs are coming in, and a distant cousin that we haven't spoken to in years was invited along with her long-term boyfriend. This cousin JUST broke up with the boyfriend, yet rsvp'd that she will bring a guest instead (we don't even know this person's name).   Because of budget, we can only invite +1s that are in a serious relationship with our guests-- single people don't have the option to bring a +1 to our wedding.  My fiancée and I are insistent that we only invite people to our small wedding that we have actually met before.  How do we tell cousin that the +1 isn't welcome?
    Yeah, these two statements are contradictory.

    It's fine to not give single guests a guest, but SO's should be invited regardless of whether or not you have personally met them.

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


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    lc07lc07 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    From an etiquette standpoint you're not required to allow her to bring someone instead of the ex-boyfriend. But I would personally let her. You already budgeted for this person. Breakups are hard. She's likely going through a very difficult time and I'd personally feel like a jerk for saying now that you're not in a relationship you have to come alone or not at all. She could probably use the support of having a friend along with her.

    On a side-note, I've never understood the "we don't want anyone at our wedding we haven't met before" thing. It's about the comfort and happiness of your guests, too. It's not all about you. (general you).
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    So, you already budgeted for this person to bring a +1 (her ex boyfriend) but now that she's just gone through a breakup...you're going to call her up and say 'gee, I'm sorry, just got your RSVP.  It was ok for you to bring a guest when you were with your ex...but now that you aren't...we're going to use that money we budgeted on someone else...so sorry, you can't bring a guest with you"


    Yeah...that's not going to go over well.  At all.

    Say NOTHING to her. 
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    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited August 2013

    lc07 said:

    On a side-note, I've never understood the "we don't want anyone at our wedding we haven't met before" thing. It's about the comfort and happiness of your guests, too. It's not all about you. (general you).
    Not that I endorse this, because I don't, but...

    I think the reasons people want to maintain tight control of their guest lists, besides cost and space reasons, is to make sure that the comfort and happiness of the guests they really want there isn't compromised by someone who can't be counted upon to refrain from substance abuse, violence, hitting on people, and expressing views that could lead to violence and property of the venue being damaged. 

    The etiquette rule that SOs have to be invited often means that people you don't know, whose character you have never witnessed for yourself and don't know what they can be counted upon to do or not do, still have to be invited.  So people try to set limits where etiquette still allows it by not inviting singles to bring dates.  The problem is that nobody really knows if someone is single or not, but have to take their word for it.  And when significant percentages of your budget and space, or more, has to go to entertaining all these people you don't know, it can be stressful and nerve-wracking to hope that everyone who comes really does wish you well and will behave themselves properly.

    As I noted, I do not endorse not inviting SOs....I just think the above illustrates why people have trouble with inviting dates for singles and why guest list issues can stress them out.
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    You didn't invite your cousin with a +1. You invited your cousin and her boyfriend. Invites aren't transferable to other people so if her now ex-boyfriend isn't coming she doesn't just get to give his invitation to someone else. I wouldn't use the wording above that it's about space or budget though because clearly it's not since you had room for her boyfriend. If you really don't want her to bring this extra guest that you don't know then I think you need to tell her the truth as to why.
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    Technically you could tell her that the invite wasn't transferable and the friend can't attend but I wouldn't. Citing space or budget as the reason won't work- you've already budgeted for the extra person and you obviously have the space since it's still the 2 original seats. Nixing her guest will probably just rub the fact that she's newly single in her face and just isn't that nice in this situation

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

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    Invites aren't transferable, so you COULD call her up and say, "I'm sorry, the invite was for you and Bobby. If you don't want to bring Bobby, you can come alone". 

    Which probably wouldn't go over well.

    So. I would probably let her bring the guest, just to avoid causing issues. If you don't mind causing issues, go ahead.
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    scribe95 said:

    Etiquette wise you are in the clear, technically, to not let her bring the other guest.

    But as a common courtesy and as a decent human being, I wouldn't fight it. She just broke up with a boyfriend, doesn't want to come alone and by you calling up denying her you will simply rub her nose in it. You budgeted for two. Let it go.

    I also don't get the "I must know everyone at my wedding" thing. Seems like something that just isn't that big of a deal.

    It could be a big deal if someone might bring someone who poses a safety risk.
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    scribe95 said:
    I just think planning a wedding is full of real worries. Wondering if so and so's friend has an arrest record isn't one of them. Also, if you don't trust your friends or family members to associate with others of good character maybe you shouldn't be inviting them in the first place. 
    Depending on who's paying you might not have a choice.
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    scribe95 said:
    You always have a choice. You don't have to accept the money. Pay for yourself. Make all the decisions.
    Easy answer here, scribe95.  Not always so easy in the real world.
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    Thanks, all.  I appreciate your feedback.  She and her guest will remain on the guest list.
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    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    You always have a choice. You don't have to accept the money. Pay for yourself. Make all the decisions.
    Easy answer here, scribe95.  Not always so easy in the real world.
    Regardless, it's a choice.



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    OP I'm curious if you invited her "with guest" or her bf by name.



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    mblittle12mblittle12 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited August 2013
    itzMS said: PrettyGirlLost said: MuppetOverlord said: You have been rude to your guests by not allowing their SOs. Your logic is offensive. Your cousin can't assume she can replace her boyfriend with someone else. However, I suggest letting it go. I don't think that is what the OP was saying. . . correct me if I am wrong Bdiddy.

    I read her post that she is not giving +1s to truly single guests, which is ok by etiquette standards, right?  But now that her friend is single, she doesn't want to extend a +1 to her.
    I'm thinking along the lines of Muppet. If the OP and her FI haven't met your boyfriend/girlfriend...that means you aren't in a serious relationship. Therefore *BAM* your SO may not be invited.I always have to laugh and shake my head at people like the OP who think they can define what a relationship is and its seriousness. DH and I were living together by 6 months of dating and engaged after less than a year...there were still plenty of my friends and relatives who hadn't "met" him.




    I don't think she was trying to define what "serious" is.  I think her point was that the cousin WAS in a serious relationship when the invites went out....then they broke up.  They
    just broke up.  Therefore her cousin is now single!  Pretty sure broken up means single ;)  But cousin went ahead and put mystery guest on the rsvp even though she's single now.  

    She's probably feeling lonely and crummy...so I'd let her have it.  You already budgeted for it anyway.
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