Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to Avoid Added Guests to RSVP

Is there a way to word the RSVP card that people cannot or will not add in guests who are not invited.

I am still a few months away from sending out invites and this part is giving me the most anxiety.  I really don't want to have to call anyone to inform them that the guest they wrote in is not invited to the wedding.

What has worked for you?
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Re: How to Avoid Added Guests to RSVP

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Is there a way to word the RSVP card that people cannot or will not add in guests who are not invited.

    I am still a few months away from sending out invites and this part is giving me the most anxiety.  I really don't want to have to call anyone to inform them that the guest they wrote in is not invited to the wedding.

    What has worked for you?


    In addition to what Thisismynickname says above, I hope that you aren't asking for a way to NOT invite SOs.  That is rude and if someone is in a relationship with another person, they should be invited together by name on the invitation. 

    And if Aunt Sally thinks that her MIL's brother should also attend your wedding and write in that persons' name on your invitation.  Simply call Aunt Sally and say that you are sorry for the confusion but the invitation was only for Aunt Sally and Uncle Gus.  You are unable to accommodate any other guests.  If they threaten to not come, then say that they will be missed at the wedding.

    cowgirl8238
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Is there a way to word the RSVP card that people cannot or will not add in guests who are not invited.

    I am still a few months away from sending out invites and this part is giving me the most anxiety.  I really don't want to have to call anyone to inform them that the guest they wrote in is not invited to the wedding.

    What has worked for you?
    Unfortunately, there's no way to prevent anyone from writing in extra guests in advance and calling them to tell them that the invitation includes only those persons listed on the envelope is the only etiquette-approved way of letting them know that. And unless you are planning to turn away uninvited guests at the door, it is also the only effective way to deal with it (although you run the risk that people will throw temper tantrums and/or show up with uninvited guests anyway).
    OliveOilsMomInLoveInQueens
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited September 2016

    "Two seats have been reserved in _____ and _____'s honor" (yes, no avoiding inviting SO's)..  Listing the names of those invited on the RSVP card avoids the most conflict of added uninvited guests when there are those true situations involved of "no way are we inviting..."

    No anxiety - it's o.k. to set boundaries and start to learn the artful form of confrontation without confronting if it does happen "Just wanted to call and say unfortunately we can't accommodate Tony the Terror at the wedding, will you and Bobby still be able to make it or not?"

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    DrillSergeantCatOurWildKingdomRedSolo34cowgirl8238
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As others have said, there is NO foolproof way to avoid the arrogance of a guest including additional, non-invited guests.  I think it happens more often with children.  We had a nephew include his daughter on the invitation with the notation, "She will not require a seat nor food as we will share ours with her". 

    It is better to prepare yourself with calm and objective statements for your rebuttal. 
  • We did "____ seats have been reserved for you".

    We didn't have any issues with un-invited guests, but a poster on here recently did (as mentioned above).

    There is no fool proof way, but either including something like "___seats have been reserved" or writing in your guests name on the RSVP already can help.
    cowgirl8238
  • Thank you all for your help!

    For those of you who mentioned writing. "____ seats have been reserved in your honor."


    Did you write in the number or is that where they write in the number?

    For instance, if you invite uncle Jim and Aunt Dana, did you write in "2 seats have been reserved in your honor". Or did you let them fill it in.....


    If you did write it in, what if Aunt Dana can come, but Uncle Jim cannot but you already wrote in the number?


    I hope that wasn't too confusing...
  • Most people write their rsvp cards like this if they are writing in a number 
    Image result for rsvp wording with number of guests
    image
    SP29InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Unfortunately, writing in guests' names and the number of seats reserved on RSVP cards doesn't stop guests from adding extra guests of their own to their RSVPs. You still have to call them and explain that their extra guests can't be accommodated - and be prepared for them to show up anyway.
    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueens
  • We had 2 people RSVP with a +1 that wasn't invited. We tried to be as specific as possible with our invites but people sometimes graze past the details. We felt bad because we didn't know that the guests were in a relationship to begin with, and we had never met their SOs (not married).  We ended up telling them they couldn't bring a date, which was an uncomfortable conversation but they were understanding about it.  We also had a couple RSVP for them and all of their kids (despite it being an adult only reception).  They RSVP'd NO so we were saved from having the awkward conversation on that one.  It happens, and yes, no one wants to be in that position but hopefully your guests will understand. 
  • Good etiquette calls for inviting SOs that are married, engaged, living together, in a serious relationship, or have a close relationship to the couple.  Any guests in a less committed relationship do not require a +1, but it is up to the couple.  Nonetheless, the couple should be fair and even with all the couples that fall into the "less committed" category.  Etiquette is- to some degree- a matter of opinion, but I personally have not read anything that says otherwise.
  • That "less committed" couple's wedding could be the next one you're invited to. You can't make those judgments which is why you don't apply any kind of filter on the seriousness of anyone relationship.
    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueensbluebell42cowgirl8238
  • I have to admit that I did a lot of research on +1's before sending out invites. Every thing I read said something along the line of it being okay to limit +1's to those in relationships. Some even went as far as saying only those who are married/engaged or only the SO's you've met. 

    I just assumed that those who were dating someone would bring them. Although I did have instances where someone I thought was single RSVPed for two. They totally ignored the wording on the invitation, but I'm happy they did. I didn't intend to leave out anyone's date. 


  • Etiquette is pretty simple here as the purpose of etiquette is to avoid offending your invited guests. Will planning for and extending an invitation to a couple in a relationship at the time of your wedding possibly offend that couple? Not likely. Will not inviting the SO of a guest possibly offend that guest? More than likely yes, so just don't do it.
    InLoveInQueensSP29bluebell42
  • My question was not whether or not to invite significant other.  I said that all significant others were invited.  My question was how to word the invite to avoid that weren't invited getting written in.  Thank you to those who answered my question.
  • KnottieNumbers, you keep conflating SOs and +1s. They are different things, as several people have helpfully explained above. So don't be surprised if Googling +1 isn't giving you accurate info re: inviting significant others. Apples and oranges.

    How do you know how serious a couple is? Are you a mind reader, or do you plan to implement some sort of questionnaire, essay, and personal interview to help you make the final call?

    Significant others get an invitation, full stop. True plus-ones are your call. (IMO, it's a nice thing to do, but that's a personal preference.)
    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueensSP29cowgirl8238
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited September 2016
    My question was not whether or not to invite significant other.  I said that all significant others were invited.  My question was how to word the invite to avoid that weren't invited getting written in.  Thank you to those who answered my question.
    It doesn't matter what your question was.  If you post something in this forum, it's available for anyone to respond to as they see fit. You do not get to control how others respond to your posts any more than you get to control who is or isn't in a "committed relationship."
    OurWildKingdom
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