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Etiquette

Swapping Out Date?

My step-sister, who I'm not particularly close with, lives out of state and is planning on coming into town for the wedding with her two children.  Her husband won't be joining her, for no reason in particular other than that he will avoid being around her family at all costs.  

We in no way anticipated that he'd be coming to the wedding, but we obviously included him on the invitation.  My dad has since called and informed me that my step-sister was wondering if she could bring a cousin of hers in her husband's place.  I know this cousin and like him a lot (he's my step-cousin, if that's a real thing, and with my big family, is a bit too far removed to be invited).   But the idea of giving her a "replacement" date is rubbing me the wrong way.  Her older sister is single and will not be bringing anyone.  Only our bridal party and guests that are married and/or in serious relationships have been given a plus-one.   We have a handful of guests who can attend but, for one reason or another, whose spouses or SO's cannot -- and of course they're not expecting to bring someone in their place.  

While initially telling my dad that it probably wouldn't be a problem but I'd have to check with my fiance  first, (I'm a softy and always cave on the spot), after I thought about it for a few minutes I called him back and told him that I'd really rather wait until the rest of the RSVP's rolled in before committing either way.  Our responses are due in 2 weeks and with about 75% of them already in, we've had an overwhelming percentage of yes responses.  We planned ahead and made our budget flexible to accommodate a head count higher than what we anticipated, but we're probably going to have at least 20 more people attending than we expected, and obviously don't want that number to continue to grow.   So it seems a little unfair to me to let my step-sister bring someone that wasn't invited, especially when we're certainly not in the position to lend that luxury to anyone else.  

I'm just wondering what other people's thoughts are on this.  Is it fair of me to want to wait and see?  Or should I just let it slide?

Re: Swapping Out Date?

  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Just say no. It is not rude to do so. Say "I'm sorry, but the invite was for SS and SS-H, we can not accommodate SC" 

    Invites are not tickets, exchanging people is generally not done.

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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I'm in the camp that doesn't care if someone brings a replacement "date."
    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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    indianaalumbethsmiles
  • AddieCake said:
    I'm in the camp that doesn't care if someone brings a replacement "date."
    Me too but it's totally up to you.  However, your budget should have been based on 100% attendance so you wouldn't need to worry about too many people saying "Yes".  
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    cowgirl8238
  • jnissajnissa member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I'm also in that camp, especially because she has kids and may be bringing him so that she has some eyes/eart. But it's within your rights to stick to the invite list. There'd be an argument that it's kind of rude for her to even ask. 
    MairePoppy
  • If the invitation was specifically to him, you have every right to say no without a reason! I personally feel like if I invited a couple where one couldn't make it a substitution would be fine because I already anticipated paying for the total number invited...but that's me!
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There are arguments to be made on both sides. She was rude. It's not like she won't know a bunch of people. It's your call to accommodate her or not.
    MairePoppy
  • Dizzy13 said:
    My step-sister, who I'm not particularly close with, lives out of state and is planning on coming into town for the wedding with her two children.  Her husband won't be joining her, for no reason in particular other than that he will avoid being around her family at all costs.  

    We in no way anticipated that he'd be coming to the wedding, but we obviously included him on the invitation.  My dad has since called and informed me that my step-sister was wondering if she could bring a cousin of hers in her husband's place.  I know this cousin and like him a lot (he's my step-cousin, if that's a real thing, and with my big family, is a bit too far removed to be invited).   But the idea of giving her a "replacement" date is rubbing me the wrong way.  Her older sister is single and will not be bringing anyone.  Only our bridal party and guests that are married and/or in serious relationships have been given a plus-one.   We have a handful of guests who can attend but, for one reason or another, whose spouses or SO's cannot -- and of course they're not expecting to bring someone in their place.  

    While initially telling my dad that it probably wouldn't be a problem but I'd have to check with my fiance  first, (I'm a softy and always cave on the spot), after I thought about it for a few minutes I called him back and told him that I'd really rather wait until the rest of the RSVP's rolled in before committing either way.  Our responses are due in 2 weeks and with about 75% of them already in, we've had an overwhelming percentage of yes responses.  We planned ahead and made our budget flexible to accommodate a head count higher than what we anticipated, but we're probably going to have at least 20 more people attending than we expected, and obviously don't want that number to continue to grow.   So it seems a little unfair to me to let my step-sister bring someone that wasn't invited, especially when we're certainly not in the position to lend that luxury to anyone else.  

    I'm just wondering what other people's thoughts are on this.  Is it fair of me to want to wait and see?  Or should I just let it slide?


    To answer your question, if you wrote the invitation with his name on it (as in Jane and John Doe) then you can choose wether or not to subsitute.  I really don't consider it a big deal and personally would accept any subsitute that wasn't physically abusive/dangerous.  You even said you really like this cousin that she is asking to bring!

    Now what I don't understand are the two things in bold above.  Why wouldn't you budget for 100% attendance???  That does happen, and more often than you think.  I know when I was looking for a venue, some people would say "oh you'll have a 20% decline rate" and even more if it is destination.  Those were the venues I skipped.  I wanted to have plenty of space in case everyone shows up.

    I would also like to know what you defined as a serious relationship?  I really hope that meant anyone who considered themselves a couple, not just those engaged or married.  The only people who you can skip the plus ones for are single guests. 

    Note the second half is more for lurkers than anything, but I wanted to point it out.

     

    indianaalum
  • To be clear, we definitely had room in our budget for 100% attendance. We wouldn't have invited more than we could afford to cover.  But with more than 50% of our guests being OOT, and some with small children, we certainly didn't anticipate such a high acceptance rate, and really are thrilled at how many people are travelling to attend!  

    I totally understand the view that "swapping" doesn't really make a difference since he'd just be taking the place of another guest. But because we knew all along her husband wouldn't be coming, I guess I've been looking at this as more of an "addition.  Just because we have "room" in our budget for an added guest didn't automatically translate in my head to it being a no-brainer to include him. There are plenty of other additions that we technically have "room" in our budget for (for example a photo booth, which I'm finally letting go) but have decided to forego just to keep ourselves in check.  

    At the end of the day, I'll probably just include him because I do like the guy, and it probably is worth it to just pay for an extra plate in order to avoid hard feelings.  This just isn't the first time my dad has tried to interpose additions into our guest list, many of which we conceded (it's been tricky because all three sets of our parents are contributing to the wedding, but FI and I are also footing as much, if not more of the bill than each set of parents), so I was especially frustrated that instead of asking me herself, she had my dad do it for her.  I appreciate everyone's input and rational point of view!

    And don't worry, everyone who we knew to have a significant other at the time the invites went out got an invite with their SO, regardless of the length of their relationship.  By "serious" I really only meant "established" relationship, and we went out of our way to double check with those we were unsure about.  :)
  • I had someone bring a replacement date (because at the lats min her SO couldnt come) but I don't think I would care much. Especially since you know him and like him. Either way it's up to you. Would she be upset if you said no? And if so, do you care?
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