Etiquette

Plus one?

When we selected our venue, we did not anticipate more than 40 people. The venue we booked will accommodate up to 50. Our guest list is currently at 54. I need thoughts one the plus one conundrum. I have a mash of some singles coming stag by choice, some married, and some in long term relationships.

My brother is acting as my Man of Honor and coming in from out of state for the wedding. He recently began dating and moved in with a girl that is under 21 and our weekend wedding festivities are in Las Vegas. Our wedding is in March 2016 and she wont be 21 by then. Should I let him bring her? They will have still known each other less than a year by the time the wedding is here and I dont know how much fun she would really have. The only other person under 21 going is my daughter and she gets to hang out with grandma while we do the bachelor/bacheloette thing on the night before the wedding. I'm at max capacity on the venue and I dont want to be a meanie but I also dont want to cut someone else for someone I have never met. My brother knows half the people who will be attending so he wont be completely isolated.

What are your thoughts on this situation?
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Re: Plus one?

  • My concern for her age is more the night before. The wedding party and a few others will be doing a joint last ha-ra that does require 21 and older so she would not be able to join in. The venue is pretty set on that 50 mark. Ceremony and reception are in different spaces. The ceremony location is the one that does not accommodate. 54 is everyone. I dont want him to feel im singling his SO out but this is his 3rd SO so far this year and i dont know how to handle it.
  • Canceling the venue isn't an option. Non refundable and we are on a budget.
  • My concern for her age is more the night before. The wedding party and a few others will be doing a joint last ha-ra that does require 21 and older so she would not be able to join in. The venue is pretty set on that 50 mark. Ceremony and reception are in different spaces. The ceremony location is the one that does not accommodate. 54 is everyone. I dont want him to feel im singling his SO out but this is his 3rd SO so far this year and i dont know how to handle it.
    At this point she must get an invite.  She can make decisions whether she wants to come, and if she does come then what she can also make decisions what to do while you guys are doing +21 activities the night before.

    It doesn't matter that this is his 3rd SO this year.  If they break up before the invites go out then this is a moot point, if they don't then she gets an invite.  I don't know what you do if they break up after the invites go out but before the wedding, but I assume you can also rescind the invite in some way.

    So, what is your plan if more than 50 RSVP yes?  Have you sent save the date cards to anyone?
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    InLoveInQueens
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    And if they break up and he's on his fourth SO by then, she must be invited as well. You can snark on him all you want for his dating choices (although dating 3 people exclusively in one year isn't that bad) but etiquette states that all guests with SOs are invited (jic you have other SOs excluded as well).

    Which means you're at 55 with a hard cut off at 50; how are you determining who to cut and have you contacted the ceremony space to see if they can budge on 5? I hope you're not planing on just showing up and expecting them to be accommodated.
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    OliveOilsMomInLoveInQueens
  • You shouldn't have selected a venue before you'd finished your guest list, but now that you have you must cut the list down to below 50 (including your vendors).

    When drawing it up, you must include everyone's SO and it is a smart idea to tally in a "buffer" +1 for any single guests in case they start a relationship by the time your invitations go out. If they are still single in January/February you do not need to give them +1s. But if they are in relationships their SO must be invited by name, no matter how new they are or whether you have personally met them.

    You absolutely cannot not invite your brother's girlfriend to your wedding just because she won't be able to go drinking with your bachelorette party. It's not up to you to decide how much fun she'd have or how isolated he'd feel.

    Good luck trimming the list! You don't want a bunch of sour guests at your wedding so do the kind thing and invite them with their partners!

    OliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]InLoveInQueens
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    If you can't change your venue you need to take a hard look at your guest list.  Any guest in a relationship needs to be invited together.  So even though you said certain guests will leave their SO at home to go to the DW wedding, you still need to invite them as a couple.

    As for your brother, you are being all sorts of judgy about his relationship.  He is living with this woman, he must think that something about their relationship is serious in order for him to move in.  So invite her.  Fill in your brother on the bachelor/ette party, so he can tell his GF that it is for 21 and over.  GF may be fine to do her own thing in Vegas or your brother may decide to not attend the party, so he can stay with his GF.  Neither of those choices are wrong, so if the latter is chosen, don't hold that against your brother in any way.  He is an adult and can choose to skip your joint party if he wants.

    InLoveInQueensSP29
  • As others have stated, all couples need to be invited by name, this includes your brother's gf, and your venue needs to be able to hold all guests.

    Brother's gf can decide if she wants to come or not, she's an adult. She may decide to stay home due to her age or due to expense, or she may come and do something else that night since she can't participate. It's not your place to tell her or your brother what to do.

    Sounds like you need to cut down your guest list if you want to keep the same venue.
    ******************************************************

  • When we selected our venue, we did not anticipate more than 40 people. The venue we booked will accommodate up to 50. Our guest list is currently at 54. I need thoughts one the plus one conundrum. I have a mash of some singles coming stag by choice, some married, and some in long term relationships.

    My brother is acting as my Man of Honor and coming in from out of state for the wedding. He recently began dating and moved in with a girl that is under 21 and our weekend wedding festivities are in Las Vegas. Our wedding is in March 2016 and she wont be 21 by then. Should I let him bring her? They will have still known each other less than a year by the time the wedding is here and I dont know how much fun she would really have. The only other person under 21 going is my daughter and she gets to hang out with grandma while we do the bachelor/bacheloette thing on the night before the wedding. I'm at max capacity on the venue and I dont want to be a meanie but I also dont want to cut someone else for someone I have never met. My brother knows half the people who will be attending so he wont be completely isolated.

    What are your thoughts on this situation?


    The bolded concerns me.  You're inviting the SOs of everyone in a relationship, correct? Even if it's not "long term" ? Aka if someone has been only dating 1 month prior to when your wedding invites go out, but they say they are in a relationship, you do plan on inviting that SO too, correct?

    Also...

    Have invitations gone out yet?
    If not, have Save the Dates and/or verbal invitations gone out yet?


    Your wedding is a ways off. There is plenty of time for the singles you mention to get SOs. (I mean, back in 2003, I was getting over a boyfriend in September. Met my now-husband in October... dated a DIFFERENT boy in October and November... then started dating now-husband in February. A lot can happen in just a few months.

    If you have not already sent out STDs and/or told people they will be invited, you really might want to cut your guest list deeper or see if there's anything at all the venue will let you do to be flexible. Because there's a good chance people that are single now will have SOs come invitation time.


    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLost
  • 1) Yes, he gets a "plus one".

    2) There is PLENTY to do in Vegas if someone is under 21 or a teetotaler!  She'll be fine, she's an adult, she can figure out what to do if you don't want her at your bach party, or, you can go into your wedding day without a hangover and go to places that are 18+ out there with her, you're only obligated to invite her to the actual wedding festivities, not the surrounding unless your brother is also invited to those festivities.  They are a social unit. 

    3) Stop being so judgy about their relationship.  It's not like she's 12 or 17 for that matter.  He obviously thinks something of her because he is living with her.  Heck, they could be married the day before you in Vegas at this point.  It's not how long they've known eachother that matters.  Many couples have huge gaps in age, it happens, and many people get married within the span of a year of being in a dating relationship. 

    4) You've got essentially two to three couples to cut from your guest list.  Otherwise, call your venue to see what options they have if for some reason every one of the 55 guests RSVP "attending".  If they're "Nope, can't wedge 5 more people in there" or "If you don't have a head table or cake table, we can add one more person to each table, but that's pushing it, but you'll be o.k. but do not invite more than that"... 

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  • I'm not trying to judge or be disrespectful to anyone. Save the dates have gone out I am aware that all this may be a moot point. I'm not one to drop bomb shells on people at the last minute either. We book a venue based on the 40 people we had on our list that we specifically wanted there. Our list has grown due to people we initially thought would be a definite no have become a yes. Again I understand that may change. I am aware that she may elect to not come at all. My goal in all this is to not make her feel alienated but there really is no good solution. Leaving her at home will possibly definitely make her feel this way. Should she decide to attend, and if my brother follows through with the initial plan before he met her, then she would be left sitting in her room or wandering by herself (ya, that is always fun). For  the night before, the rehearsal itself is only for those actually in the wedding due to the fact that the venue wants us in and out with out a bunch of spectators because it is a museum that is open for business during the hours we would be there. After the rehearsal, we will all meet with all who want to come and do a scavenger hunt down Fremont street. This includes bars and casinos so she would be left behind again. Then there is the ceremony head count. I have a message in to my venue coordinator but I dont know how much wiggle room there will be so I am preparing for the worst.

    There is also the option that my brother ducks out of the friday night festivities, which is ok too if he wants to. But given the fact that he is supposed to be part of the wedding party, I sort of need to know this soon. I was hoping someone might have some suggestions on how to approach the subject or if anyone else had been in a similar circumstance.

    For now, I'll wait to hear back from the venue and talk to my brother. Here's to hoping for the best.
  • Have save the dates gone out to everyone, or just VIPs?

    Etiquette wise everyone who received a save the date must receive an invitation (with a few exceptions, e.g. Someone receives a save the date because they were a SO of one of your guests but are no longer.). If save the dates went to everyone then you're in a tight spot, if not then take a hard look at your guest list.

    All SOs must be invited to the RD. If the venue you have chosen for that is unaccomodating then you need to find a new venue, and one that will allow under 21. I would get on the phone with them, if they do rehearsal dinners normally then this shouldn't be news to them.

    All SOs must be invited to the wedding. So have a look and make sure that your brother's SO is the only one excluded at the moment.

    If your ceremony venue cannot squeeze in the extra five people, and if you care about following etiquette for your guests, then you need to start thinking of other options. Other posters can help you think of solutions that work with your budget, but you need to be open to losing your ceremony site. I seriously doubt you're going to get support from anyone who believes it's okay to exclude your brother's SO, and this should tell you that it's really not okay.

    Good luck!
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    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueensSP29
  • I agree that this is not proper etiquette. She is welcome at rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal portion is not going to be available to any SO that isnt in the wedding. The venue for ceremony is a Museum. The museum is blocking off the area the ceremony will be in to do a quick run through. Therefore it will only be wedding party and parents. She can attend dinner. And then we are all off to festivities that are in place. His lady is the only guest that is under 21 aside from my teenage daughter. Im waiting to hear back from the venue on the extra guests.
  • Don't be surprised if your brother skips the scavenger hunt to stay with his girlfriend. 

    And if youre worried about what your brothers gf is going to do during that time, aren't you at all concerned with what your teenage daughter is going to be doing during this time?


    Maggie0829PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    Also, 20 year olds are allowed in casinos. They may even be allowed in bars if they're over 18. The Friday night festivities are a non issue & sound like a thinly veiled excuse OP is trying to use to exclude brother's gf b/c she invited more people to the wedding than her venue could accommodate.
    This.  I've not been to Vegas, so I don't know if its different there.  But typically any person is allowed in a bar before 10 PM, if they also serve food and have seating away from the actual bar area.  After 10 PM she may not be allowed in.  So it's possible that brother's GF can attend at least a portion of the after dinner festivities.
    InLoveInQueens
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    edited October 2015
    Also, 20 year olds are allowed in casinos. They may even be allowed in bars if they're over 18. The Friday night festivities are a non issue & sound like a thinly veiled excuse OP is trying to use to exclude brother's gf b/c she invited more people to the wedding than her venue could accommodate.
    This.  I've not been to Vegas, so I don't know if its different there.  But typically any person is allowed in a bar before 10 PM, if they also serve food and have seating away from the actual bar area.  After 10 PM she may not be allowed in.  So it's possible that brother's GF can attend at least a portion of the after dinner festivities.
    Actually under 21s cannot be in the casino area unless they are crossing through to get to another part of the hotel (which is pretty normal seeing as how you have to go through casino areas to even get to the reception desk).  But they can't loiter even if they are with people who are older and are gambling.  And they are allowed in restaurants/bars that serve food but only in the dining areas.  So any nightclubs or just bars are a no.

  • Also, 20 year olds are allowed in casinos. They may even be allowed in bars if they're over 18. The Friday night festivities are a non issue & sound like a thinly veiled excuse OP is trying to use to exclude brother's gf b/c she invited more people to the wedding than her venue could accommodate.
    This.  I've not been to Vegas, so I don't know if its different there.  But typically any person is allowed in a bar before 10 PM, if they also serve food and have seating away from the actual bar area.  After 10 PM she may not be allowed in.  So it's possible that brother's GF can attend at least a portion of the after dinner festivities.
    Actually under 21s cannot be in the casino area unless they are crossing through to get to another part of the hotel (which is pretty normal seeing as how you have to go through casino areas to even get to the reception desk).  But they can't loiter even if they are with people who are older and are gambling.  And they are allowed in restaurants/bars that serve food but only in the dining areas.  So any nightclubs or just bars are a no.
    Yes, but it sounds like a scavenger hunt is probably a lot of "just walking through" so anybody should be able to participate.
    PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • I'm not trying to judge or be disrespectful to anyone. Save the dates have gone out I am aware that all this may be a moot point. I'm not one to drop bomb shells on people at the last minute either. We book a venue based on the 40 people we had on our list that we specifically wanted there. Our list has grown due to people we initially thought would be a definite no have become a yes. Again I understand that may change. I am aware that she may elect to not come at all. My goal in all this is to not make her feel alienated but there really is no good solution. Leaving her at home will possibly definitely make her feel this way. Should she decide to attend, and if my brother follows through with the initial plan before he met her, then she would be left sitting in her room or wandering by herself (ya, that is always fun). For  the night before, the rehearsal itself is only for those actually in the wedding due to the fact that the venue wants us in and out with out a bunch of spectators because it is a museum that is open for business during the hours we would be there. After the rehearsal, we will all meet with all who want to come and do a scavenger hunt down Fremont street. This includes bars and casinos so she would be left behind again. Then there is the ceremony head count. I have a message in to my venue coordinator but I dont know how much wiggle room there will be so I am preparing for the worst.

    There is also the option that my brother ducks out of the friday night festivities, which is ok too if he wants to. But given the fact that he is supposed to be part of the wedding party, I sort of need to know this soon. I was hoping someone might have some suggestions on how to approach the subject or if anyone else had been in a similar circumstance.

    For now, I'll wait to hear back from the venue and talk to my brother. Here's to hoping for the best.

    Why did you not just ONLY invite the 40 people you really wanted there?

    You make it sound like you have 54 people who are already telling you that yes, they are coming.

    If all 54 that you say have become yeses are indeed yeses, or if any of your other guests get SOs before 6-8 weeks before your wedding, you are already over capacity.

    Even if you cut your brother's girlfriend (which you can't), you're still over capacity.

    You need a new venue.


    These are your options:

    1. Start cutting people you've already told that are invited and risk ruining friendships (I would not advise this). But if you are going to do it (which you should not), do it ASAP so they don't spend money on plane tickets.
    2. Get a different venue.
    3. Cancel your wedding as is. Send notices out that it will not happen as planned. Contact your venue and see if they will let you change the date to a few months later without too much additional cost. Make a new, smaller guest list.




    mollybarker11SP29
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    Regarding OP's daughter.  She mentioned at one point in here that OP's grandmother will be staying with her daughter after the RD.
  • Save the dates have gone out I am aware that all this may be a moot point. I'm not one to drop bomb shells on people at the last minute either. We book a venue based on the 40 people we had on our list that we specifically wanted there. Our list has grown due to people we initially thought would be a definite no have become a yes. Again I understand that may change.
    You are right that this all may change. You do not know how many people actually will attend until your RSVPs come back, after your invitations go out. You only need to send invitations to people you sent Save The Dates to or verbally invited. Is that number higher than your venue's capacity? (They're not likely able to stretch the limit they told you but I wish you luck in your talks with them.)

    Stop mentally separating your guest list into people you assume will come / people you assume will decline and, as mentioned, don't assume people will stay single. Determine the number of people you now must invite, and find a venue that can fit them all. The alternative is to spend the rest of the time leading up to your wedding praying for declines.

    Postponing or changing the location might seem like a "bombshell" to you, but I think it'd be an even bigger bombshell to fly in to a destination wedding only be told I can't attend because the room's filled up.

    SP29[Deleted User]
  • mollybarker11mollybarker11
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    edited October 2015
    My goal in all this is to not make her feel alienated but there really is no good solution. Leaving her at home will possibly definitely make her feel this way. Should she decide to attend, and if my brother follows through with the initial plan before he met her, then she would be left sitting in her room or wandering by herself (ya, that is always fun). For  the night before, the rehearsal itself is only for those actually in the wedding due to the fact that the venue wants us in and out with out a bunch of spectators because it is a museum that is open for business during the hours we would be there. After the rehearsal, we will all meet with all who want to come and do a scavenger hunt down Fremont street. This includes bars and casinos so she would be left behind again.

    [...] There is also the option that my brother ducks out of the friday night festivities, which is ok too if he wants to. But given the fact that he is supposed to be part of the wedding party, I sort of need to know this soon. I was hoping someone might have some suggestions on how to approach the subject or if anyone else had been in a similar circumstance.
    The good solution is to invite her and let her make her own decisions! I really think you're overthinking this one. If your brothers initial plan involved a lot of clubbing or gambling and he'd still like to stick to it, I'm sure he'll discuss that with her so she can factor it into her decision. Other than that, she'll only be by herself during the rehearsal and the post-dinner scavenger hunt. She's a big girl, this won't be the first time people partied without her, most people know the night before a wedding traditionally involves bars.

    As for approaching him about the scavenger hunt, just figure out the date you need to know by (why so soon?) and say "Hey I'm finalizing the scavenger hunt thing, please confirm if you'll be joining us by [date]".

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