Wedding Etiquette Forum

Step Sister +1 question

We are  inviting my fiance's step sister to the wedding, but I feel like she has no proper etiquette! 

A family friend had invited said step sister to her wedding a couple weeks back and gave her a +1 on the invite. This step sister has been dating the same person for over a year and instead, chose to bring her grandmother to this wedding as her guest, she informed the bride and we all thought it was a little odd, but it was whatever. The wedding comes around and this step sister shows up with a friend that no one had ever met!!! I was astounded that she thought this was acceptable! How can I avoid this happening at my wedding!? My fiance and I are not too close to her, so I think asking her flat out would be awkward. Thanks! 

Re: Step Sister +1 question

  • Invite the boyfriend by name. It's not a plus one since they are a social unit. 

    Blue_Birdcoopergirl15southernbelle0915[Deleted User]
  • Wow, thank you! Such a simple solution, I am embarrassed I did not think of it myself!!! 

    Blue_Birdcoopergirl15harper0813
  • Technically if the invitation just said "plus one" she was fine, etiquette-wise, to bring whomever she wanted. If it said her SO's name, then she was out of line.
  • mlg78mlg78 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers

    Yep, if the invite said "and guest" she can bring whoever she darn well pleases.  Quite likely, the stepsister was NOT in the wrong if that is the case.  If you invite by name, the problem is solved.  The invitation is "non-transferable", if that makes sense. :)


  • If the family friend invited them "Your stepsister and guest" then actually the friend was the one with the incorrect etiquette. Her boyfriend should have been invited by name. He's not a random, nameless plus one; he's the other half of her social unit.

    Now... if he was invited by name and she brought someone else... That's not cool and it's hard to stop sometimes. What we did was had the guests write their name next to their meal choice. It helped with place cards (they had different ribbons for chicken, beef or veggie for the waiters), but it was also able to tip me off if people planned to bring someone other than their SO.
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    PPs have got it right. "And guest" means your fiance's step-sister can bring a guest of her choosing. "And [boyfriend]" means she AND her boyfriend are both invited.

    Invitations are not tickets; they're non-transferable. So if you invite the step-sister and her boyfriend, and she shows up with a friend, then there's a problem.
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