Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!

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SqueakyBroncoLi... Posts : 5 Registered: 9/7/09
Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 7, 2009 9:33 PM

Hey fellow brides,

I suppose this is more of a rant than anything, but I was wondering if anyone else is having a problem similar to mine. Our invitations went out about a week ago and ever since then I have been absolutely bombarded with text messages, Facebook messages, etc. from guests asking me if they can bring a date to the wedding! We have a strict 200-person limit and are just simply not able to allow every single guest to bring a date to the wedding. Of course, I made sure to include husbands, wives, fiancees, and long term SOs for our guests, but allowing everyone to bring a random date or SO that we have never met is simply not an option! Now I feel terrible having to say no when someone asks me, and most people have been very understanding, but other have been very pushy. On top of that, there have been several casual acquaintances (ones who were not on the guest list) who have flat out asked me to please invite them! I am appalled! I really don't think I am being unreasonable here. In fact, I had always thought that it was common knowledge that it is rude to ask the bride or groom if you can bring a date...and even more unspeakable to beg a casual acquaintance to invite you to their wedding. Is anyone else experiencing anything to this effect?

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 7, 2009 9:50 PM Go to message in response to: SqueakyBroncoLi...

Yes, it's common. Yes, it's considered an imposition on the host to ask whether you can bring a guest, so yes, you're within your rights to politely tell people it's not possible for them to bring a date. It sounds like you've invited all the SO's etc. that you're supposed to, so you haven't done anything wrong.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 12:05 AM Go to message in response to: SqueakyBroncoLi...

Dear SBL,

Yes, it's very common. And yes it is very rude. You are not in the business of entertaining the guests of guests.

You've covered your ground with spouses, engaged couples, SOs, etc. Now you need to stand put on the random hookups.

This kind of thing is best delivered in the passive voice. Avoid "I" and "We" type phrases.

It's quite impossible to accomodate your request.
I'm sorry, but the guest list has been finalized.
The guest list was finalized before the invitations were mailed.
Guests of guests cannot be accomodated.
There will be an exact seating chart, so it will be impossible to just "squeeze" someone in.
No, your new boyfriend of one day (um night) cannot be invited.

You need to be assertive, yet polite. The questioner must be clear that you will not permit gate crashing. Keep phrases such as "You Imbecile" within the privacy of your own thoughts.

You might want to have some bouncers who check each person against an approved guest list to prevent gate crashers from getting in. That can easily be done with table cards. "Your name please? I need to give you your table card. Hmmm... you're not on the list. Take a hike."


(A tip of the chapeau to Myra, the English teacher, a/k/a Ms Passive Voice)

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 6:34 AM Go to message in response to: SqueakyBroncoLi...

No, I didn't have this problem. We invited everyone's SO, even those we hadn't met, and we invited all single guests to bring a date. Honestly, I was really surprised that a lot of people that were invited with a date RSVP'd without one.

As for random acquaintances asking to be invited, we didn't have that problem, either. We made it clear to everyone we knew that our wedding was going to be on the small side and that we were only inviting close friends and family. Most random acquaintances took the hint graciously. The only person who was pushy, oddly enough, was a random college friend that we ran into at the bar in our hometown around Xmas the year before the wedding. When she found out we were getting married in a few months, she INSISTED that we invite her. Keep in mind that we hadn't even seen this girl in 5 years or so. Oh well - too bad we 'forgot' to get her address.

Anyway, that one totally random person was the only person who made a scene about not being invited. The rest of our general acquaintances behaved remarkably well and nobody (not even truly close friends) assumed that they would be invited.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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AmandaJ0 Posts : 34 Registered: 3/1/09
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 9:20 AM Go to message in response to: SqueakyBroncoLi...

I am getting a lot of that as well. It is coming from my mother though! My wedding is in 11 days and she keeps telling me that I still need to invite persons X, Y and Z. I calmly explain to her again that we want a small wedding and that we are not sending any more invitations. We bought only 40 invitations for a reason! We wanted to stay within our budget. My mother keeps bringing up the subject. To get her to stop I finally told her that if she would have helped to pay for the wedding we could have invited more people. That put an end to it! Good luck!

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His4life Posts : 117 Registered: 4/7/09
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 11:02 AM Go to message in response to: SqueakyBroncoLi...

You just need to tell them no. I would simply say that because of your budget that you cannot allow them to bring a guest. They should understand...weddings are so expensive!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 12:03 PM Go to message in response to: His4life

Dear H4L,

"You just need to tell them no. I would simply say that because of your budget that you cannot allow them to bring a guest. "

That can work for many people, but I think it best in situations like that to not offer any reason nor explanation.

The problem is that pushy people will argue with your reason. Then you have to come up with something else.

"We cannot invite your boyfriend. We have a tight budget."
"I'll pay for his plate."

"We cannot invite your boyfriend. We have a restriction on the number of people in the room."
"I heard that Joe isn't coming. That means there will be room for my boyfriend."

"We cannot invite your boyfriend. We don't even know him."
"I'll have you over for dinner next Friday so you can meet him."
"You are inviting Sally's husband, and you don't know him either."

"We cannot invite your boyfriend. We told Susie that no boyfriends were invited because we hate that guy. Thus, we cannot invite anyone's boyfriend."
"Susie will never notice. Besides, if she says anything I'll tel her we are living together."

Better to just say: "Your boyfriend is not invited, and that decision is final."

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SqueakyBroncoLi... Posts : 5 Registered: 9/7/09
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 2:06 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Great advice...thanks so much!
We are fortunate that our venue (where we are having the ceremony as well as the reception) is a reception hall that specializes in weddings so they provide staff at the door. All I have to do is tell the woman in charge that we want a name check and she'll make it happen. I hate to have to "bounce" people but what with all of the assumptions going on, I really don't have a choice. I guess what's bothering me is constantly being put in the awkward position of having to answer to these people. Survivable, yes, but uncomfortable nonetheless.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Guests constantly asking to bring dates!!
Posted: Sep 8, 2009 4:12 PM Go to message in response to: SqueakyBroncoLi...

Dear SBL,

" I guess what's bothering me is constantly being put in the awkward position of having to answer to these people."

Consider this good practice for your Future Life.

"I need to take vacation over Christmas."
"I'm sorry, but in the retail gift business there is no vacation over Christmas."

"Mommy, all the other kids get to jump off a cliff."
"Sorry, no, and that's my final answer."

"I want to work at home."
"No, working at home is not allowed."


" All I have to do is tell the woman in charge that we want a name check and she'll make it happen. I hate to have to "bounce" people but what with all of the assumptions going on, I really don't have a choice."

True. Sad but true.

I'd suggest you let word get out over The Grapevine that there will be a name check at the door. That might discourage people from trying to crash even after you've told them they cannot be invited.

Get some trusted friend to help.

Facebook:

Trusted Friend: "I heard that you are going to have bouncers at your wedding? Is that real?" (She already knows it's real because you told her.)

You: "Yes, sadly, I've heard that some people plan on bringing uninvited dates. The Sales and Catering Manager at the NoTell Hotel banquet room will have a name check at the door. Only invited and RSVP-d guests will be accomodated."

Trusted Friend: "Uninvited gate crashers? Wow, how tacky. I can't believe anyone would be so crass."

You: "How true."

Then find the biggest blabbermouth you know.

You: "I'd like your help. We have a problem with people wanting to bring uninvited dates to our wedding. Those people cannot be accomodated. Could you help me spread the word that only invited and RSVP-d guests will be allowed in the reception hall?"

Blabbermouth: (drooling at the prospect of new gossip) "Sure, you can count on me."

Rinse, lather, repeat.

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