Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?

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ButterflyTiff Posts : 27 Registered: 12/7/09
Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 4:57 PM

+1 Question

Background - So - my fiancee and I are footing the entire bill for our wedding and have budgetary restraints. Even with these restraints the wedding is creeping up there. Our facility also has a space limitation - 125 max. We chose the smaller space thinking we would only have about 85 people, and budgeted for 100 max (but were hoping for closer to 85).

Now, most of my family is apparently coming (and they alone are about 86 people - not including friends) and it doesn't look like we are getting a lot of "no's". My fiancee has a very small list in comparison but we are already over 121 people who all "really want to come".

My cousin insists that you absolutely have to give a +1 to everyone. Now, if people aren't dating anyone, haven't been dating anyone etc. do I really have to do this? It seems ridiculous that I have to do that. Are single aunts and uncles and cousins really going to be insulted that I didn't invite them with a guest?

Ugh - what about a cousin who recently broke up with someone? Do I still have to give her a +1?

Please help me with this one. I just don't want to offend anyone, but also really can't afford all the extra people.
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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 6:02 PM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

Dear BT,

"My cousin insists that you absolutely have to give a +1 to everyone. Now, if people aren't dating anyone,"

Your cousin is incorrect. This is not a college kegger where the more the merrier. This is a hosted party with budgetary and space constraints.

Everyone has budgetary and space constraints. Everyone. Donald Trump did not invite me to his wedding. There were a gazillion other people ahead of me in his priority.

Now, what to do?

There is the ultimate bottom line on wedding guests: No Ring No Bring. That means that you must, repeat, must invite spouses and fiancé(e)s. Anyone married or engaged gets invited together. I also include any same-sex couples in committed relationships where there is no legal option of actual marriage.

Take your list and count how many people you have, assuming a strict application of No Ring No Bring.

Do you have any open slots?

If so, count your open slots and look for any one with a serious long-term relationship. Any living-togethers? Any long-time dating couples?

If so, fill your open slots with them.

Any more openings?

Call your single friends, starting with the "more close to you" single friends, and say "Are you seeing anyone? Would you like me to invite that person to the wedding?"

If so, get that person's name and address, and send them a separate invitation.

Once you get to your budget and space capacity, that's it. Stop. You have your list.

Do not put "Joe Blow And Guest" on invitations, as that leave it open for Joe to bring anyone. A girl he met in a bar last night. His grandmother. His college roommate who entertains people with farting sounds when he gets drunk. If you write "And Guest", you have lost control of your guest list.

Write invitations with the specific names of the specific invited guests.

****

What to tell people like your cousin?

Here's your script. Remember, you want to keep it short.

"We don't need to entertain guests of guests."

"There are budget and space contraints."

"I'm sorry, but additional guests cannot be accommodated."

"I'd love to meet your new boyfriend, so let's plan to get together after the wedding."

"There will be plenty of people for you to talk to. I will put you at the same table as my cousin, who just got back from Hawaii. I know you love Hawaii, so you'll have lots in common."

"With so many interesting people coming (namely my family and friends) how can you possibly be bored all night?"

***

Your cousin is being rude on several levels. First, she is wrong in saying you MUST allow guests to bring their own guests to your party. Second, she is wrong in insisting you do so. Third, she is wrong in telling you how to spend your limited money. Blow her off as nicely as you can.

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beachybride2011 Posts : 4 Registered: 6/2/10
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 9:33 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I actually have insisted that people who are married, engaged, or been with for a long time be invited. I don't want strangers there and you DON'T have to do the plus 1.

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KCI Posts : 150 Registered: 3/30/09
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 11:19 PM Go to message in response to: beachybride2011

Your cousin is very wrong. Spouses and fiances are the only required invites. And +1 is never a good idea as it gives the invited guest free reign to bring anyone they would like. If you have room for more than only spouses and fiances, move onto people in long-term or serious relationships.

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Emmac386 Posts : 2 Registered: 6/16/10
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 12:12 AM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

Hi BT,

I just used my own discretion as far as invitations. Especially because I have had several of my friends in relationships recently broken up and I just did not put "guest" on their invitations...hopefully they will get the point. Or consider the people that absolutely wont know anyone there those are the ones who I would allow to bring a guest just so they are more likely to stay and not feel so awkward. IF someone wants to tell you that rule you tell them they can foot the bill. WE have paid for every dime going into this wedding so i know EXACTLY how you feel!

Emma

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JBC123 Posts : 16 Registered: 6/1/10
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 12:32 AM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

You most certainly don't have to give "everyone" a plus 1. Especially if you have single guests that you know aren't engaged, etc. Most singles you know will know someone else and if not, they can make some new acquaintences at the party. And if anyone challenges you (and they have to be pretty rude to do so in the first place), it's also perfect acceptable to inform them that you're paying for the wedding yourself and you are tight on the guest list.

Best of luck!
JBC

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 8:48 AM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

BT,

AOTB gave good advice about a fair way to make up your guest list. After you invite the people that must be invited together, use your discretion for the others.

In our case, we gave a +1 to a few close friends coming from far away who don't really know other people at the wedding. And in some cases, we didn't give a +1 to some local friends who recently started dating someone. It wasn't a hard and fast rule obviously, we just made the decision on a case by case basis, keeping our budget in mind, thinking about guest comfort, and also our level of relationship with said guest (closer friends/family were more likely to get concessions other guests didn't).

Same thing goes for kids, another fun issue when deciding your guest list. The only kids invited to our wedding are those of immediate family. Children of friends, no matter how young/old, are not invited. Period. And I know people find it harsh (for example a friend whose baby will be 5mths old at the time of the wedding can't understand why baby isn't invited, or family friends whose kids aren't invited are a bit miffed) but it's not in our budget and our wedding isn't a daycare centre.

So that's my guestlist advice. It's not foolproof by any means (MIL just announced that she "must" invite 3 more people!!!) but it's a decent starting point.

 

 

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loveisjoy Posts : 85 Registered: 2/6/09
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 22, 2010 10:14 AM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

I agree with all the posters. I have my wedding planner, adding 1 or 2 on the # of guest line. So there won't be any indications. And if you cross it out and place another number, you will get a nice phone call, letting you know that you cannot bring anyone extra, per bride and groom.

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ElleNChuck Posts : 50 Registered: 6/10/10
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 23, 2010 8:01 PM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

Your cousin is WAY wrong. The only real rule is that you can't invite one half of a married or engaged (or committed same-sex) couple. Like AOTB said, start with the "twos" first and then work your way through the "long-term" relationships. And then, I'd tell my cousin to stuff it. :)

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ButterflyTiff Posts : 27 Registered: 12/7/09
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 30, 2010 4:13 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thank you. I keep getting these "you have to" and "we have been to so many weddings" etc.

I am getting overwhelmed. Now the thing is "you have to have a kids table and make up things for them to do". i was planning on having a small bag for each kid (there will only be a few. A month old baby, a two year old, a six year old, a seven year old and a 8 year old) Don't see how they need their own table? Plus the place said they won't babysit and an adult has to be at the table!

LOL.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jun 30, 2010 5:05 PM Go to message in response to: ButterflyTiff

Dear BT,

No, those kids don't NEED their own table. If the parents of these children are responsible parents and if you pretty much trust them to keep a close eye on their children, then just let them sit with their own parents.

Some people do have a separate kids party, which is fine. This usually happens when there is a large number of young children, and when the hosts suspect that some of the parents might be less than perfectly responsible for watching their precious little ones. They also have separate kids parties when they expect the party to go into the wee hours of the morning, and the kids will need someplace safe and quiet to sleep.

(We all know parents of Monster Children. "Junior has stuck his hands in the cake? Oh, he's so adorable. We don't want to squelch his natural curiosity by telling him to stop.")

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SpideyBridey Posts : 66 Registered: 5/17/09
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jul 1, 2010 3:08 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

This thread is so helpful since I am currently going through the same thing! But here is a question - what about a guest who has a child with someone (actually, will be giving birth this month), but has been with the father for less than a year and they are not married or engaged. Like a previous post said, I want to control my guest list and don't want someone attending who I don't know! What would be the etiquette on this? Should they definitely be in the +1 group since they have a child together?

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding Invitations and +1 Rule?
Posted: Jul 1, 2010 7:01 PM Go to message in response to: SpideyBridey

Dear SB,

" Should they definitely be in the +1 group since they have a child together?"

No, not necessarily.

If you have the room and the money, sure, squeeze the guy in. But if you really don't have the room nor the money, then you are on solid grounds to invite the female friend as a single person.

I guess my feelings on this go as follows. You are getting married, thus, you believe that getting married makes a difference. You are taking on the rights and reponsibilities of marriage by signing on the dotted line.

Other people live their lives as they see fit (great), but they are not taking on the rights and responsibilites of marriage. You are not in the business of telling other people how to run their lives, but you are in the business of planning and paying for your own party.

Since, obviously, the state of being married means something to you, then you may, at your option, draw that line and invite the lady by herself.

On the other hand, as I said before, if you have the space and the money, then go ahead and invite the guy. He might actually be nice.

Finally, I would make an exception for same-sex couples who do not have the legal option of marriage. If they are living in a marriage-like committed relationship, then I would invite them both without debate.

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