Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!

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communitynameis... Posts : 15 Registered: 5/13/10
Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 27, 2010 10:24 PM

My fiance and I are trying as much as possible to have a small wedding. I wanted to have 100 people, but my fiance has a big family, so we compromised at 125. Then when we made up invitation lists my FMIL had lots more people that HAD to be invited, so we invited 145. Our venue only seats 125 max, so I'm already really uncomfortable with this (I actually had to pare the list down to 145 from 165plus people). NOW, on top of that, we invited a family my fiance's family is friends with. A family of four. And they RSVP'd with SIX people, and for one of the names they put "unknown, to be determined at a later date."
I am. APALLED.

Again, I don't know these people, so I don't know what they were thinking, but what should I do to prevent this from FURTHER happening? Let me put this out there-because of costs, there are people who I know and would love to see at my wedding, and now people are RSVPING with guests that they haven't decided on, that neither the groom or I know. I will not tolerate people bringing STRANGERS to my wedding, sitting in the seats of people who I love. It's not OK.

So, I have people RSVPing on my website. Would it be acceptable to put something along the lines of:

Dear Friends and Family: As much as we would love to have a big wedding, budgetary and space constraints make it only possible to share our special day with those closest to us. Please RSVP only those invited. Thank you.

Or would that be completely rude? Because what's going to end up happening is I'm going to call these people, say, "Hello this is the LATEJULYBRIDE/Communitynameisdumb" and they'll say "who???" and I'll respond, "Exactly....please don't bring a stranger to my wedding. I understand you are a beloved family friend, but please know that I have beloved family friends who would also like to come, and now there are space constraints because your highschool aged daughter has rsvp'd her boyfriend, who neither the groom or I know."

I just don't know what to do! HELP!

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 27, 2010 11:12 PM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Call them. Or more exactly. Have your FH call them. Tell them that 'Hi so and so. I see that you RSVPd with 6 people while we have only invited 4. Please let me know the 4 that are attending.'

NO explanation is necessary.

I truly hope you do not get into trouble with inviting more people than you venue can fit, but that's a done deal now.

I wish you the best.

EDIT: If you don't stop it now, it will get worse!! And as these are FH's friends (I think from your post) HE has to handle it. Show him this if you need to. They have committed an etiquette 'felony' and need to be held to who's invited.




Edited by: PharmToxGirl on May 27, 2010 11:12 PM

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RyanandKelly2009 Posts : 32 Registered: 12/10/09
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 27, 2010 11:39 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Wow. I feel terrible about your situation. Do have FH call the offenders. He can say something along the lines of "Hey got your RSVP back. I'm sorry if the invitation was unclear but we only meant to invite (enter specific names here). Sorry we cant accomidate any more people, we've already had to make very hard guest lists cuts."
Hope this helps!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 27, 2010 11:49 PM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Dear Comm,

You are already skating on thin ice by inviting more people than the place can hold. You invited 145, but the venue can seat 125? I understand you are hoping 20 people decline, but what do you plan to do if only 15 decline? Make the final 5 stand in the rain outside?

You absolutely can not allow any "guests of guests" to attend. Depending on which side they come from, you or FH must call and pin down exactly the number of people attending.

You can be polite about it, but say "I'm sorry but additional guests cannot be accommodated." Period.

I'd even go so far as to have an exact guest list at the door with a "bouncer" who can turn away anyone not on the list. A nice way to do that is to tell them they have to wait until everyone has been seated, then give them seats for any no-shows. There are people who will accept, then just not show up.

The ideal bouncer would be a wedding planner employee, so they can handle it without you personally having to get involved.

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communitynameis... Posts : 15 Registered: 5/13/10
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 8:43 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I know I know! But I couldn't win with my FMIL. She basically thinks a wedding is that people can just invite as many people as they want and it will "work itself out." I cut as many people as I could, and the only solution was to say "well, I have to start cutting down on my friends and on my fiance's friends" which I will NOT do. The list went from 165 to 145 in my hands, and I couldn't cut my side down any more (63) and they wouldn't budge on their side (82). and I literally didn't know who was friends or family on their side, so what am I supposed to do? Not invite the grandmother?

If 15 extra people come we can manage with ONE extra table that will look terrible, but we can do it. If all 20 come, plus uninvited guests I'm going to point to my FMIL and be like "you're sitting at her table." OK, no, I won't really, but I will call her and tell her that she has to figure out where they are sitting, because she's the one who will refuse to deal with it, so if she won't deal with it til the day of, then she can deal with the guests that day.

Last night, when my fiance called my FMIL, she was just like "well, OK." Apparently she then called my mother and said "oh, we're going to need to get more tables and chairs at the venue, because families are coming." My mom was thinking "what does she mean....???" Only to get a call from me explaining the REAL situation. My mom said she will help me if my FMIL refuses to do the right thing. So I'm going to wait about two weeks when I get more rsvp's, and if the list is looking dangerously high, I'm going to start calling families who rsvp'd with more than were invited and say "i'm sorry, but we can't allow you to bring your unininvited dates. We hope that you will choose to attend and enjoy our day still, but we cannot accomodate uninvited guests."

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 9:11 AM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Call them now. Have your FH call them. Where is he in all this?

 

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 9:41 AM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Dear Comm,

" and I literally didn't know who was friends or family on their side, so what am I supposed to do? Not invite the grandmother? "

In hindsight, you should have taken FMIL's list to your FH, who would know his own grandmother's name. Then, tell him to prioritize the list, and lop off the bottom.

By letting FMIL add in so many people, you lost control of your guest list. Who will look bad if invited guests cannot be seated? You.

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communitynameis... Posts : 15 Registered: 5/13/10
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 10:01 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Well there's nothing I can do about the extra guests now, I"m a big girl, so I feel that if extra people who were actually INVITED come, I can deal.

What I can't deal/tolerate is people rsvping uninvited guests, because I don't have the space, AND because it's rude. This all went down yesterday and I am still seeing red.

My fiance felt very unsure about what was appropriate etiquette wise, so he googled "Calling uninvited guests" and he said he will help me with calling them and then dealing with his mother when she (and I know she will) flips out about me calling her friends and giving them a reality check.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 10:48 AM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Glad to hear that your FH is on the same page with you. You'll need him to be. And I would not put off calling them to 'give them that reality check'. It is BEYOND rude to just 'bring more people'.

 

 

 

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KCI Posts : 150 Registered: 3/30/09
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 10:57 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Don't wait until you get more RSVPs. You and your FH should start calling people that RSVP'd with now. Get control of this before it gets worse. Maybe one person RSVP'd with an extra, then said something to someone else who (mistakenly) thought it was a good idea. If people get away with it you may have more people who try.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 10:58 AM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Dear Comm,

Here is your script.

"Hi, Marge, this is Ned Flanders, and I'm calling about the wedding. We just got your RSVP card back, and I am very happy that you and Homer will be able to attend. We are looking forward to seeing you. However, there's a problem. We invited you and Homer, but you indicted '5' people on the RSVP card. Who are those other three people?"

"We will bring Bart, Lisa and Maggie."

"I'm sorry, but Bart, Lisa and Maggie cannot be accommodated. We can only host you and Homer. Can you get a sitter for your kids that evening?"

(1)

"OK, I understand. We'll get a sitter and Homer and I will come by ourselves."

"Great. I'll put you and Homer down has having accepted. We are looking forward to seeing you, and we hope to see your lovely children at another time."

or

(2)

"We always take our children everywhere. If Bart and Lisa can't come, then we won't be there."

"I'm sorry to hear that. In that case, I will have to note that you have 'declined'. We will miss seeing you at the wedding and hope to see you, and your lovely children, at another time."

"Oh, but we are not 'declining'. We will be there, but we have to bring our kids. We never leave them with sitters.

"I'm sorry, but your children are not invited and cannot be accommodated at the wedding. If you cannot leave them with a sitter, then I will have to assume you will not be there at all."

You must be crystal clear on the fact that uninvited guests cannot attend. Be as polite as possible, but make sure that point is communicated when you talk to your invited guests.

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 12:32 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Yay for AOTB and her scripts! I've used at least a couple of them.

preview image

 

 

 

 

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RyanandKelly2009 Posts : 32 Registered: 12/10/09
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 28, 2010 10:52 PM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

My FMIL tried the "I don't want to offend anyone by not inviting them" card as well. FH and I told her that if anyone gives her a hard time she can tell them that she put them on her list and FH and I must of cut them. FH and I thankfully didn't cut anyone we see even once a year (that was our guideline). FH and I agree that if we have to offend people that neither FH nor I would recognize and see only at other weddings and funerals then we can deal with it at weddings and funerals and not care at all.

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MikaylaK Posts : 53 Registered: 5/23/10
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: May 29, 2010 1:17 PM Go to message in response to: RyanandKelly2009

Like they have said, do call. And have FH really talk to his mum about how unacceptable it is to just keep adding people.

Clarify there is no +guest in your invitations as soon as possible, to avoid them turning up with more people. Who knows? They might RSVP 2 extra en show up with 3 more.

Good luck to you!

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PAuLMA Posts : 9 Registered: 6/9/10
Re: Uninvited wedding guests! Need input please!
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 10:04 AM Go to message in response to: communitynameis...

Despite the invitations saying "RSVP for 1 or 2 guests" we actually had guests doing this same thing. We contacted the person who was mailed the invitation and simply explained that the venue is putting a limit on us regarding seating/capacity, etc.

That way, you're not the bad guy, it's "the venue" imposing this limit, etc. etc. People will be victims so deflect it. Bottom line is it's true. The building can only seat so many.

Another reply of ours was "well if we add your cousin and his friend then we'd have to drop our aunt and uncle from the list." It helps them get that there is a pecking order and that they're nowhere close to being in it.

They reply with: "but we really want to hang out"

Us: "That's cool, let's meet up somewhere."

For many, a wedding means free champagne, dinner, dessert, dancing. The spongers aren't planning to hang out with you.

We did it!  Pics of our Wedding Day and Honeymoon in Paris.

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