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Invites and Paper

Clarifying no "guests" invited

We're cutting costs by limiting the number of guests at our reception. In order to accommodate family and closest friends, we have chosen not to allow our guests to bring "a guest."  Engaged friends will be invited to bring a fiancé, but we don't want anyone bringing just a date.  We are not using inner envelopes with the invitations, however, so it's a bit tricky to decide how to be clear to the intended recipient that he/she is not to bring a guest. Any suggestions on how to handle this?  We're thinking just address the invitation to the guest alone (e.g. Ms. Jane Smith) and leave it at that.  Is that sufficient, or will she assume she can bring someone with her? 

Thanks!

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Re: Clarifying no "guests" invited

  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    We're cutting costs by limiting the number of guests at our reception. In order to accommodate family and closest friends, we have chosen not to allow our guests to bring "a guest."  Engaged friends will be invited to bring a fiancé, but we don't want anyone bringing just a date.  We are not using inner envelopes with the invitations, however, so it's a bit tricky to decide how to be clear to the intended recipient that he/she is not to bring a guest. Any suggestions on how to handle this?  We're thinking just address the invitation to the guest alone (e.g. Ms. Jane Smith) and leave it at that.  Is that sufficient, or will she assume she can bring someone with her? 

    Thanks!

    If you just address to Ms. Jane Smith as you suggest you will be fine. You could word your RSVP to say "____# attending" or "we have reserved ___seat(s) in your honor" to make it easier to follow up if people don't get it. Bit you can't say "no guests" or anything similar. Also, if someone considers themselves in a relationship, regardless if they are engaged to be married or just dating, their SO gets invited by name.
    This.



    melbelleupdoeydosouthernbelle0915
  • Since you're NOT using an inner envelope (nor am I) it would just be:

    Ms. Jane Doe

    Mr. Jack Frost

    Like others said, it's okay to not give your guests a plus one, BUT it is not okay if they consider themselves in a relationship and you don't invite their other half. Once invites are sent out though, you don't have to give new relationships a plus one. Before then, yes.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    doeydo
  • In regards to the SO issue. My FI and I have the same problem, we want to cut costs so we have also put the cut off on married and engaged relatives.  The reason we aren't inviting SO's is due to the large number of them. He has 40 first cousins that would be attending 15 of them are married so their SO would be invited but then there are 22 of them that have a SO that aren't married or engaged. So that adds another 22 people to the guest list, costing another $1650!!! As much as we would love to invite them that is a lot of money to add.  I think if people assume their SO is invited (which would be rude if not specifically written on the invite) telling them "sorry we can't accommodate guests" would not be a problem.  
    mrsjohnbarretswyatt2014
  • I'm going to echo PPs - it's very rude to leave out a SO.  It is not at all required to invite a blank "and guest" for a truly single person, but imagine how you would have felt before being engaged to your FI and not being invited to a family wedding.

    I would guess there are other ways to cut costs than being rude to your guests, especially your family.  Is there a cheaper meal option?  Wine/bar/signature drink versus full open bar?  

    I don't think everyone will remember your centerpieces/decor/food, but everyone that has their SO excluded will definitely remember that.  (They probably won't tell you that they're offended, but I promise they will be.)
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In regards to the SO issue. My FI and I have the same problem, we want to cut costs so we have also put the cut off on married and engaged relatives.  The reason we aren't inviting SO's is due to the large number of them. He has 40 first cousins that would be attending 15 of them are married so their SO would be invited but then there are 22 of them that have a SO that aren't married or engaged. So that adds another 22 people to the guest list, costing another $1650!!! As much as we would love to invite them that is a lot of money to add.  I think if people assume their SO is invited (which would be rude if not specifically written on the invite) telling them "sorry we can't accommodate guests" would not be a problem.  
    Well, you should've picked a venue that fit your budget and could accommodate everyone's significant other!  Instead, YOU picked the venue YOU wanted and said "screw my family's SO's.".  Nice.  No doubt they will be talking about how rude and inconsiderate you are being your back.

    YOU are the rude one for not including the SO's.  If I were that cousin, I wouldn't be attending, nor would I be sending a gift.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    JoanE2012 said:
    In regards to the SO issue. My FI and I have the same problem, we want to cut costs so we have also put the cut off on married and engaged relatives.  The reason we aren't inviting SO's is due to the large number of them. He has 40 first cousins that would be attending 15 of them are married so their SO would be invited but then there are 22 of them that have a SO that aren't married or engaged. So that adds another 22 people to the guest list, costing another $1650!!! As much as we would love to invite them that is a lot of money to add.  I think if people assume their SO is invited (which would be rude if not specifically written on the invite) telling them "sorry we can't accommodate guests" would not be a problem.  
    Well, you should've picked a venue that fit your budget and could accommodate everyone's significant other!  Instead, YOU picked the venue YOU wanted and said "screw my family's SO's.".  Nice.  No doubt they will be talking about how rude and inconsiderate you are being your back.

    YOU are the rude one for not including the SO's.  If I were that cousin, I wouldn't be attending, nor would I be sending a gift.
    This.  By not inviting the SO of someone, there is a strong chance that person will opt not to attend at all.  But since money matters more than family and friends, I am guessing that perhaps that decline will delight you.  Well done.  I prefer a deep heart to deep pockets.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2013
    I imagine that many of your guests will assume that they can bring their S/O, because they wouldn't dream that you would be so rude as to not invite them.  Be prepared to make a lot of phone calls, many of them emotional and friendship ending ones.
    You have planned your wedding backwards.  You have determined your venue BEFORE you made up your guest list.  You should make the guest list first, and then find a venue that suits both your budget and your guest list.
    Your have two options:  1.  Change your venue.  2.  Cut your guest list so that you can accommodate couples.
    What you are planning is known as "no ring, no bring".  It will be very unpopular with everybody.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • mrsjohnbarretmrsjohnbarret member
    First Comment
    edited January 2014
    it is not rude. you should only have people at your wedding if you want them there. this is a special occasion meant to be spent with family and loved ones, not a chance to cut corners and short yourself on what you want to make sure no one feels left out. i'm working with $3000 total for 60 people so i understand your frustration. only our aunts and uncles will be able to attend so your cousins should feel loved to have been invited. 
    mcgarci2swyatt2014JenLeighV
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Why would you not invite someone else's significant other, the person they love, to an event celebrating your love to your SO. Do you see why that makes no sense?  Oh please come celebrate my love- but you can't bring the person you love.
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    [Deleted User]
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    If you don't invite SOs, your guests in relationships will be talking about you and your wedding for a long time, and not in the way you would like. I guess everybody wants his or her wedding to be "memorable", though. Well, that's certainly one way to go about that!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    tabathafaye
  • mrsbananymrsbanany member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    So clearly my invite policy isn't popular here.  For clarification, I checked with my FI's family and none of them are living with their SO incase that mattered to anyone. Others have been together for only about 1 month and some are off and on.  Believe me when I say I understand the sentiment behind inviting people to celebrate love therefore you should invite the one they love.  I find it odd to invite SOs when they haven't been together long and then not inviting guests (a guest who may be a SO without the label). So lets say this new couple doesn't last to the wedding, this person gets a new SO it seems to me in that situation there is no difference between the SO and a guest. Before my FI and I were engaged I wasn't invited to a lot of weddings simply because of the huge amount of cousins (therefore a huge amount of SOs)

    I don't want to be rude, I want to be fair and it wouldn't be fair to invite the long term couples and not the other couples. Just like it isn't fair to invite one kid because the parents can't find a sitter but not invite the rest. Clearly there is a better way to do this so rather than being rude in response, constructive criticism is far more appreciated. 

    EDIT: I also wanted to add that we made the guest list before choosing the venue. We made several lists, some excluding cousins completely and only including aunts and uncles while other lists included cousin's SOs.  If we included every cousin's SO we would not have been able to afford a wedding and it meant a lot to my FI and his parents to include the cousins. It did not seem right to only pick some SOs when there are plenty of other cousins who "get around" and not invite their SO. 
    mcgarci2Mitch617
  • because my phone isn't cooperating by quoting....

    @amandaj424 - To be honest, I find it hard to believe your invite policy us popular anywhere.

    I would imagine PP's are having a hard time offering "constructive critism" because they offered all the advice they had: invite SO's. Find a venue that would have accommedated this list. No one else is going to cosign leaving off SO's of any length of time because it's rude. Regardless if they "get around" as you say.
  • And now it won't allow me to edit my typos. Sigh.
  • So clearly my invite policy isn't popular here.  For clarification, I checked with my FI's family and none of them are living with their SO incase that mattered to anyone. Others have been together for only about 1 month and some are off and on.  Believe me when I say I understand the sentiment behind inviting people to celebrate love therefore you should invite the one they love.  I find it odd to invite SOs when they haven't been together long and then not inviting guests (a guest who may be a SO without the label). So lets say this new couple doesn't last to the wedding, this person gets a new SO it seems to me in that situation there is no difference between the SO and a guest. Before my FI and I were engaged I wasn't invited to a lot of weddings simply because of the huge amount of cousins (therefore a huge amount of SOs)

    I don't want to be rude, I want to be fair and it wouldn't be fair to invite the long term couples and not the other couples. Just like it isn't fair to invite one kid because the parents can't find a sitter but not invite the rest. Clearly there is a better way to do this so rather than being rude in response, constructive criticism is far more appreciated. 

    EDIT: I also wanted to add that we made the guest list before choosing the venue. We made several lists, some excluding cousins completely and only including aunts and uncles while other lists included cousin's SOs.  If we included every cousin's SO we would not have been able to afford a wedding and it meant a lot to my FI and his parents to include the cousins. It did not seem right to only pick some SOs when there are plenty of other cousins who "get around" and not invite their SO. 




    So since I don't live with my fiance, who I have been with for nearly 5 years, I don't get an invite? Weren't you at the one month mark/not living together phase with your FI at some point? Every relationships starts somewhere, and it is not your place to judge the seriousness or worthiness of a proper social invitation. What if, heaven forbid, you get divorced from your FI? Should people just not come to your wedding since it's a possibility you wouldn't be together forever and ever. Come on, you know you're making lame excuses here. 

    What's fair is not judging couples based on your bizarre criteria and respecting their relationships, no matter the length.

    If you cannot afford to invite SO's, you should cut those guests from your list or you should find a new venue and scale back. Cutting out S/O's is not the way to go here. You don't pick "only some" S/O's - you invite them all.
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    Liatris2010
  • PDKH said:
    So clearly my invite policy isn't popular here.  For clarification, I checked with my FI's family and none of them are living with their SO incase that mattered to anyone. Others have been together for only about 1 month and some are off and on.  Believe me when I say I understand the sentiment behind inviting people to celebrate love therefore you should invite the one they love.  I find it odd to invite SOs when they haven't been together long and then not inviting guests (a guest who may be a SO without the label). So lets say this new couple doesn't last to the wedding, this person gets a new SO it seems to me in that situation there is no difference between the SO and a guest. Before my FI and I were engaged I wasn't invited to a lot of weddings simply because of the huge amount of cousins (therefore a huge amount of SOs)

    I don't want to be rude, I want to be fair and it wouldn't be fair to invite the long term couples and not the other couples. Just like it isn't fair to invite one kid because the parents can't find a sitter but not invite the rest. Clearly there is a better way to do this so rather than being rude in response, constructive criticism is far more appreciated. 

    EDIT: I also wanted to add that we made the guest list before choosing the venue. We made several lists, some excluding cousins completely and only including aunts and uncles while other lists included cousin's SOs.  If we included every cousin's SO we would not have been able to afford a wedding and it meant a lot to my FI and his parents to include the cousins. It did not seem right to only pick some SOs when there are plenty of other cousins who "get around" and not invite their SO. 




    So since I don't live with my fiance, who I have been with for nearly 5 years, I don't get an invite? Weren't you at the one month mark/not living together phase with your FI at some point? Every relationships starts somewhere, and it is not your place to judge the seriousness or worthiness of a proper social invitation. What if, heaven forbid, you get divorced from your FI? Should people just not come to your wedding since it's a possibility you wouldn't be together forever and ever. Come on, you know you're making lame excuses here. 

    What's fair is not judging couples based on your bizarre criteria and respecting their relationships, no matter the length.

    If you cannot afford to invite SO's, you should cut those guests from your list or you should find a new venue and scale back. Cutting out S/O's is not the way to go here. You don't pick "only some" S/O's - you invite them all.
    Regarding living together, someone else mentioned that. That was never a "criteria" for me. And I wouldn't call it criteria either.  My question here is if you have this couple that just starts dating how do you differentiate between that SO and a regular guest.  People date, should I invite all "dating" couples? This whole post is about how to avoid inviting guests, which seems to be no problem.  So this is where I don't get it, if we invite a SO who's been in the picture for a month how are they different from a regular guest - no one knows them, they don't know anyone the only difference is they have the label of SO. And then if you don't invite that SO because, who knows you might not even know about them until the week before, but you invite other SOs then you get into the dilemma of "you invited their SO but mine couldn't come." What I follow by this logic is that you should allow guests because who knows that guest could be the early beginnings of a long relationship.  
  • YES! You invite all couples who consider themselves to be in a relationship regardless of length of that relationship or perceived seriousness of that relationship.

    A S/O is different than a regular guest because they are an S/O. It's seriously that simple. They are the S/O of someone you do know. Once someone says, "we are in a relationship," they become a social unit which you should not separate because of poor planning. It's not the label, it's the fact that two people no consider themselves to be together. 

     It's not about whether you or anyone else knows them, it's about the fact that they are the S/O of someone else. You realize not knowing every single person who walks in the door at your wedding is just fine right? I would imagine most of us will have/had that experience. 

    If you want to invite someone and don't know if they have an S/O, you pick up your phone or computer and you ask. If someone starts dating someone after the RSVP deadline has passed, you technically aren't required to host them, but should probably make a huge effort to include them. 


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    vt&dt[Deleted User]
  • PDKH said:
    YES! You invite all couples who consider themselves to be in a relationship regardless of length of that relationship or perceived seriousness of that relationship.

    A S/O is different than a regular guest because they are an S/O. It's seriously that simple. They are the S/O of someone you do know. Once someone says, "we are in a relationship," they become a social unit which you should not separate because of poor planning. It's not the label, it's the fact that two people no consider themselves to be together. 

     It's not about whether you or anyone else knows them, it's about the fact that they are the S/O of someone else. You realize not knowing every single person who walks in the door at your wedding is just fine right? I would imagine most of us will have/had that experience. 

    If you want to invite someone and don't know if they have an S/O, you pick up your phone or computer and you ask. If someone starts dating someone after the RSVP deadline has passed, you technically aren't required to host them, but should probably make a huge effort to include them. 


    The bolded part is so right on.  If I wasn't invited to a family wedding of my FI - even before we got engaged - I'd be really offended - and he likely wouldn't go based on that oversight, and absolutely vice versa.  OP, if any of your cousins gets married to their SO that you excluded, I bet this will be a point of tension in your family for a long time.  Is that worth it?


  • I wrote the original post about how to address the invitation when not inviting a person's date/guest. I appreciate everyone's time in responding, but I have to say this turned into a dogpile on Amandaj424 that I certainly didn't see coming. Amanda, I'm sorry.

    I appreciate the collaboration here, but it would be so much nicer if folks could give their opinion without turning mean, calling names, etc.  Planning the wedding is stressful enough, isn't it? We brides-to-be certainly don't need to make it worse by launching personal attacks on total strangers.

    Opinions are nice, but in the future I'd ask everyone to think about the tone you use to deliver yours.

    Thanks.

    swyatt2014LacyHolly
  • Plenty of people posted that just inviting engaged couples, and not all couples, is rude...which was part of the original post (Engaged friends are invited to bring a fiance...).

    Unfortunately Amanda gave bad advice, etiquette wise, by endorsing not inviting couples as a unit. This is not a personal attack on her, as ANY time bad advice is given on these boards, it does not go unnoticed. Really, how helpful would it be to come here looking for answers, and be given ones that will guaranteed to offend your guests?

    Besides not seeing any personal attacks, I don't see being mean or name calling. Saying that someone is being rude by not respecting couples not yet engaged isn't really attacking and name calling.

    Just my thoughts. I may be wrong.
    MyNameIsNotLiatris2010
  • if your so has cousin and they are in relationships and you have been to gatherings with them and you have been invited to there parties and events you need to invite them its rude and tacky not to include them..


    all of my cousins i have a lot 20 cousins with the majority of them having so or being married and they are all invited.

    i cut my guest list to include only close family and friends, my moms 1st cousins who i am close to are also invited and my dad gets to invite his first cousins but only them and not there adult children.
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    If my cousin invited me without my FI when he was my boyfriend (a few short weeks ago), I would be extremely offended. We have been planning on being married for two years and just decided not to get engaged until we were within two years of our wedding (we were both in school and long distance). 

    If my friends just started dating someone, I wouldn't snub that person by not inviting them. Who are you to judge the seriousness of someone else's relationship. 

    And you wouldn't put "and guest" if they are in a relationship. You would name them by name, so if they break up before the wedding they wouldn't be able to substitute someone else in for their ex-SO. 

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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    rushnspkr said:

    I wrote the original post about how to address the invitation when not inviting a person's date/guest. I appreciate everyone's time in responding, but I have to say this turned into a dogpile on Amandaj424 that I certainly didn't see coming. Amanda, I'm sorry.

    I appreciate the collaboration here, but it would be so much nicer if folks could give their opinion without turning mean, calling names, etc.  Planning the wedding is stressful enough, isn't it? We brides-to-be certainly don't need to make it worse by launching personal attacks on total strangers.

    Opinions are nice, but in the future I'd ask everyone to think about the tone you use to deliver yours.

    Thanks.

    No thanks, we're good.



    AddieCakeSKPMMarzipan13
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    rushnspkr said:

    I wrote the original post about how to address the invitation when not inviting a person's date/guest. I appreciate everyone's time in responding, but I have to say this turned into a dogpile on Amandaj424 that I certainly didn't see coming. Amanda, I'm sorry.

    I appreciate the collaboration here, but it would be so much nicer if folks could give their opinion without turning mean, calling names, etc.  Planning the wedding is stressful enough, isn't it? We brides-to-be certainly don't need to make it worse by launching personal attacks on total strangers.

    Opinions are nice, but in the future I'd ask everyone to think about the tone you use to deliver yours.

    Thanks.

    Nobody was name calling or making personal attacks. I was recently called a moron by another poster. THAT was name calling. Someone on here once called my wedding ugly. THAT was a personal attack. So if you think being told an idea someone has is rude so that they won't do it and potentially offend their guests equals name calling and a personal attack, you should probably get out more. 



    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • I would be in a real pickle if I were you. Two of my brothers have been in 5 year relationships and aren't engaged yet. I've only KNOWN my FI for 3 years so I would feel really bad about not inviting their girlfriends. Just remember not everyone paces relationships the same and they are a couple regardless of the time together. :) Friendly advice
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited January 2014
    I recently turned down an invitation because it only included me and not my BF of two years.  We aren't yet engaged but do talk about getting married, so as far as we're concerned it's a "serious" relationship.

    As things turned out, they did B-list invite him along with me, and he turned it down.  I ended up not going anyway.

    Truth is, people have different degrees of "relationships" and "seriousness," and trying to set guest list limits based on how "serious" you think someone's relationship is is going to piss people off immensely.  It's not your place to decide how "serious" a non-married or non-engaged couple's relationship is.

    The only persons you can clarify are not entitled to bring guests are those who aren't in relationships, and you can only do this by listing only their name on the invitation envelope, and then only if they RSVP for someone you didn't invite, can you let them know that the invitation is only for them.
  • OP, anyone who considers themselves in a relationship needs to be invited with their SO - by name.  Not all truly single guests need a "+1" or "and guest".

    I would decline invitations that included my fiancé, even before we were engaged.  I wouldn't feel great about spending time and money to go honor someone's relationship who did not respect mine.

    For truly single guests, just write their name on the invitation.  If they RSVP with more than just themselves, you need to call them and tell them that the invite was only for that person and you can't accommodate extra people.
  • As someone who was invited to a wedding without my bf at the time (who also happens to now be my FI) it is extremely hurtful and causes unnecessary stress for both parties. If you are adamant about not wanting to extend this courtesy to your cousin's SO, then you should not invite that cousin. It is not up to you to determine the seriousness of anyone else's relationships...people get married after 3 months together. 
  • hmmmmm this one is tough as I've heard opinions on both sides. I personally did not give single guests (not dating, not engaged, no BF/GF) a plus 1 for the wedding. I only ran into an issue because one of my close male friends changes women like he changes socks. He was upset that he was not given a plus one, but he never keeps a mate long enough for me to remembver her name, so I put him in the single category. He told me that he wanted to bring his newest fling, but I had never even knew she existed until he noticed that he didnt have a plus 1 ... but my decision still stands. I guess this falls into the "they don't consider themselves in a relationship so its ok" category?

    The only advice I can give is to tread carefully on this one. If you are going to "set a rule" about what guests in relationships get a plus one or not, be prepared for some pushback and attitude. If you are ok with that, then I guess do what you gotta do? Good luck. I know how stressful this can be.

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