I just received my first two reply cards - from my 19 year old brother, who is a freshman in college. He is dating a girl, but I have not met her, and he said that 2 are attending my March wedding. I had not planned on him bringing a date, and I figured later on, I would tell him that in the future it is not proper etiquette to bring a guest, unless it specifically states on the invitation. I figured this is the first wedding that he has gotten his own invite, as he normally just attends with my parents. When I talked to my mom and my fiance, they agreed, his girlfriend can come, but to let him know of the proper etiquette.
Well, now I received a reply card from my sister, who just turned 30. She also said that 2 will be attending, and I feel that she should know better than to add an extra guest.
I don't know what to do about these situations. I did not even really realize that my sister was dating this guy until she showed up at Thanksgiving with him. She will be driving 8 hours to come to my wedding, so I don't blame her for wanting to bring her boyfriend because the drive is long, but I had expected her to come alone because I did not think that her relationship was that serious.
My fiance and I had basically decided that we would not invite "and guests" because of space and finances. Most of the people we invited are married or are engaged, and we know each person in the couple.
Any advice that you can give me would be great - I don't think it's a huge deal that 2 extra people were added, since typically about 25-30% of the invited guests will respond no, but what if my wedding is different and I only have a few people that say no? I just am more concerned about their lack of wedding etiquette knowledge.
My first question for you is why did you send out the invites so early?
Now onto your question. Yes, they should have asked you first, but they are family, and sometimes with immediate family, we don't worry about following all of the rules to the T. Maybe they just assumed you were inviting their significant others regardless of what was on the invitation. You don't mind if they bring someone, so I would let it go at that. I wouldn't give them a lecture on it, that's something for your parents to do.
I have to agree that if you don't mind if another attends, then it's a non-issue. Bringing up etiquette will only bring up bad feelings, resentment, and bad blood. There's really no need to get into that with family when it isn't necessary. Good luck!
People who are in relationships really should be invited with their significant other. I suppose that the "official" etiquette stance might not agree with this, but it really sucks to have to attend the wedding without your significant other. Besides, he's your brother. This girl might be around for a long time.
Proper Etiquette says that only the people invited may attend. You did not invite the "plus ones", so they are officially party crashers.
If this was someone other than siblings, you would phone them up and say something like "Hello, Marge? I got your RSVP and am somewhat confused. We invited you and Homer, but you responded that 5 would be attending. Who are these other three people?" "Bart, Lisa and Maggie." "I'm sorry, but your lovely children are not invited. Can I expect you and Homer alone? If not, I'll have to consider you as having declined entirely."
However... Proper Etiquette does not really pertain to intimate family circles. By Intimate Family Circle, I'm talking about your nuclear family, people who have shared the same roof, who giggle at loud burps and who have seen you naked. Husbands, wives, parents, children and siblings form the intimate family circle.
Within the intimate family circle, people just decide between themselves what's what. It seems strange to me that you would hear via a formal RSVP card that your brother and sister wish to bring significant others to your wedding. It seems to me they should have just phoned you and said "Hey, Sis, I've been seeing this person and am wondering if you would be OK inviting him/her to the wedding. If not, that's fine, but I thought I'd just ask."
My suggestion to you would be to be the one to get on the phone for a good yak with your sibs and say, during the conversation, "Hey, Bro, Hey, Sis, what's up with adding people to the guest list? Tell me about what's going on in your love life..."