Wedding Guest Etiquette?

Lounge By LittleLinda Updated 12 Aug 2008 , 6:00pm by LNW

LittleLinda Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 5:42pm
post #1 of 26

Our friends' of over 30 years daughter is getting married. Our son and daughter are her age and they grew up as close friends. We were invited to the wedding .. My husband and I and our daughter and a date. We were surprised that our son wasn't invited and we didn't tell him. We all determined right away that her "date" should be our son as he really wants to go the wedding since they are all old friends. We talked to the bride and her parents at the shower and told her that our son was going to go, so please don't make a place card that indicates him as a "guest" of our daughters but with his own name. No problem.

So what's the problem? My daughter really wants to bring her finace. I don't blame her; but we couldn't ask for another guest as we know how expensive it is. Now she wants to ask if her fiancee can just come; but disappear during the meal so they don't have to feed him; but be around for the dancing.

Do you think it's ok to ask that? I'm hoping to hear your opinion especially if you are a recent bride or mother of the bride. I need to hear how it sounds from their point of view.

25 replies
dailey Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 5:54pm
post #2 of 26

nope, i don't think its okay to ask. i think that puts the bride in a very uncomfortable situation, she'd probably feel obligated to invite your daughters finace as well.

i was in this situation a while back, my family got invited to a wedding, but not my fiance. its really no big deal...its only one night, just go and have fun.

Amia Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 6:00pm
post #3 of 26

Yeah, I don't think it's okay to ask b/c the bride may feel pressured to say yes when she really wants to say no. I'm more curious as to why your son wasn't invited in the first place! That seems awfully rude to me.

ccr03 Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 6:14pm
post #4 of 26

Yeah, personally I think it would be pretty tacky to ask. It's a wedding, not a house party.

I don't mean that in a mean way or anything, but how dailey said - it's one night/not a big deal.

LittleLinda Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 6:37pm
post #5 of 26

As to why my son wasn't invited; I have three children. So, I think they didn't want to invite a family of five and they probably didn't want to leave out one child either (the youngest). So, I figure they just wanted to pick my daughter because the girls were closer. Also, I do think it's wedding etiquette to invite a date for each guest ... so if they invited the both of them, they would feel obliged to allow a date for each.

Shucks, I was hoping somebody would think it was OK; and further thinking of it, I was going to ask who should be approached about it ... the mother or father being asked by me (so they wouldn't feel they are hurting my daughter's feelings) or should my daughter ask the bride? I'm getting the strong urge to tell the mother of the bride what's going on.

I understand where you're coming from because if the shoes were on the other foot, I'd probably say "go ahead and bring him AND eat too!" But we all know that the meals have already been ordered, so there is no chance for add-ons!

True, it's only one night ... but it's a night of dressing up, dancing and fun that you can ONLY get at a wedding reception!

Please keep your opinions coming!

taxnerd Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 7:32pm
post #6 of 26

When I got married (about 7 years ago now - where does the time go?), one of my soon-to-be-husband's cousins called to ask if her fiance could attend. I had no problem with it - she just gotten engaged and word hadn't even reached me yet. I also called a friend of mine who got married about a year before us to ask if my then-fiance could attend her wedding because she also had no idea that we were engaged. She also had no problem with this, and I would not have had a problem with her telling me no. I know alot of people probably think this is rude, but in my family we usually don't address invitations as "and guest." Boyfriends/girlfriends of guests are typically not invited, but fiances usually are.

aswartzw Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 8:42pm
post #7 of 26

Sorry, but I agree that you shouldn't ask about another guest. They graciously invited her, by name, and a guest. By that, they have already allowed her to choose her fiance but you all decided the son should go in his place.

It was your choice who the guest was. I'm sure you can switch but I wouldn't not add. The fiance might be okay with not eating but the bride and family will feel they would need to feed him if he did come. It would just be weird.

indydebi Posted 5 Aug 2008 , 10:35pm
post #8 of 26

It is completely and totally improper etiquette to ask to bring another guest. While I understand and recognize the difference between a boyfriend and a fiance, it's really just simple to say to him that it's a family wedding and invites are restricted.

He's always been her brother and always will be her brother.

Some may view it as "oh it's only one more" and an extra plate for $18 isn't much.......but what if 50 of the invited guests did this? $18 x 50 is an extra $900 the family would be putting out .... assuming the place can hold an extra 50 people.

The fiance shouldn't feel put out ... he should understand it's a special-circumstance event and if he's a stand up guy, he'd actually insist that the brother go.

lisad1 Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 12:37am
post #9 of 26

Hate to say it, (because I know it's not what you want to hear) but I agree with ASWARTZW...they gave your daughter the chance to bring her fiance. Your family chose your son.

Weddings today are out of hand....Prices per plate are different around the country, but I've seen weddings were it was up to/over $100 a person...Only the bride and her family know what they can afford, and most couples agonize over chopping their list to fit their budget. It's really not fair to them. I'd let it go, there will be other weddings in their future... icon_wink.gif

michellenj Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 1:07am
post #10 of 26

Please don't ask. They were obviously chopping the wedding list, otherwise they would all be invited with guests. Plus, trying to do a seating chart is a PITA, and adding another person makes it an odd number.

I had a family of 5 that was not invited show up at my reception-and let their middle school kid bring a friend. icon_mad.gif

Aliwis000 Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 5:04am
post #11 of 26

I agree with the above posts, asking would be rude, and as was stated above its just one night. icon_smile.gif

I agree with you about why they didnt invite the whole family, because then they would have had to let all your kids bring dates, that takes a family of 5 up to a family of 8. A few weeks ago my boyfriend was in a wedding, the groom (his friend) told him that groomsman didnt get to bring a date lol. Obviously someone set him straight as & guest was included on his invite and I got to go, super fun!

My mom always said that if you dont know what to do listen to your gut lol.

Have a great time at the wedding, and let us know about the cake!!!

icon_smile.gif

~Alicia

plustwo Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 12:31am
post #12 of 26

When my husband and I got married, my husband's father was very unhappy with our guest list. While they have a large family, we had done the best we could to invite the people we had the closest relationships with. However, with our budget limitations, it wasn't perfect, especially in cases where there were many cousins.

While we had discussed this with him, my father-in-law proceeded to invite family members that he wanted to, and we ended up without enough chairs (and food and liquor...).

As a bride, it was really stressful. I was sad about how it turned out. It just is never possible to invite everyone.

indydebi Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:16am
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by plustwo

While we had discussed this with him, my father-in-law proceeded to invite family members that he wanted to, and we ended up without enough chairs (and food and liquor...).



I'll never understand why people like this think it will just work out. That the food will just magically appear! Was there ever a "discussion" about "....see how you screwed up our wedding?" icon_confused.gificon_lol.gif

plustwo Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:42am
post #14 of 26

Nah, we never talked about it. I figured any type of confrontation would be hurtful to my husband (who was already embarassed about how his father had acted). Once it was over, there was really going to be no way to fix it.

I just wanted to share that in my experience it was very stressful prior to the wedding to hear the complains about the guest list how whoever was going to be 'so hurt' that they weren't invited. It was a significant effort to compromise on the guest list to keep within our budget. I didn't like being made to feel bad about who had to be left out. We really didn't mean to hurt anyone, and assumed that everyone would realize that weddings are expensive, two sets of family and friends had to be sorted through and narrowed down, and hopefully everyone else would just wish us well.

indydebi Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:57am
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by plustwo

Nah, we never talked about it. I figured any type of confrontation would be hurtful to my husband (who was already embarassed about how his father had acted). Once it was over, there was really going to be no way to fix it.




A very good way to look at it! thumbs_up.gif

Amia Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 3:13am
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by plustwo

Nah, we never talked about it. I figured any type of confrontation would be hurtful to my husband (who was already embarassed about how his father had acted). Once it was over, there was really going to be no way to fix it.

I just wanted to share that in my experience it was very stressful prior to the wedding to hear the complains about the guest list how whoever was going to be 'so hurt' that they weren't invited. It was a significant effort to compromise on the guest list to keep within our budget. I didn't like being made to feel bad about who had to be left out. We really didn't mean to hurt anyone, and assumed that everyone would realize that weddings are expensive, two sets of family and friends had to be sorted through and narrowed down, and hopefully everyone else would just wish us well.




I am in your same situation! My grandma wants me to invite ALL her friends, or NONE of them! There are some that I have known my entire life, and others I don't know at all. She's not helping pay (so she gets no say icon_evil.gif) and I'm inviting the ones I'm close to. There is no reason that I shouldn't have people, who are important to me, at my wedding. If her friends can't understand that and are going to be hurt and give her a hard time, they're not good friends to begin with. Fortunately, my wedding will be held at an air force base Officer's Club so if you're not on the list, the MP's are not letting you in. So no one will be ruining my day! icon_twisted.gif I'm also not allowing single people to bring a guest unless it's a very significant other (that I know and like). I'm such a bridezilla. icon_lol.gif

Sorry to hijack the thread. icon_sad.gif

Pookie59 Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 8:54pm
post #17 of 26

I would have to agree that it is not appropriate to call the bride and ask to bring another person. A wedding is about the bride and groom and what they want - it's their party. The B&G should not be asked (or forced) to invite people they don't know and don't give a rat's patootie about.

I had a relative show up to a dinner party with two extra people in tow. Luckily there was plenty of food, but I thought it downright rude for him to force extra guests on me. If I had wanted them there, I would have invited them myself.

Honeydukes Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 9:36pm
post #18 of 26

I'm afraid I have to agree with the others, sorry. You said your son wants to go, does the fiance feel the same way or does he feel obligated? I'd take your son.

I don't know if this would be o.k., but could the fiance show up well after dinner for the dancing? Does anyone think that would be inappropriate?

juledcakes Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 2:54am
post #19 of 26

I agree that everyone is right and i dont know about this b&g but maybe the fiance could just come to the dance after the meal is over this happens alot around here when people are on a budget its family and close friends only for the wedding and dinner and than just a big party for the dance since they arent going to have to feed people and they should buy their own alchol if they really find it necessary to get drunk


julia

KatieTaylor77 Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 7:50pm
post #20 of 26

Tell your daughter that is tacky and to just go with the flow. Your son has been a friend for so long, he deserves to go. Plus, sometimes its nice to just have your family go to events like this.

Its kind of odd that they didn't invite your son in the first place, but I think your solution was a wonderful way to make everyone happy. Your daughter should stop being a pill.

indydebi Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 8:48pm
post #21 of 26

Hubby sent me this link last week on wedding guest etiquette. I'm not sure about the "don't bring gifts to the wedding" (I guess you're suppose to mail them to the couple ahead of time? icon_confused.gif I've only seen that done in that black-n-white movie "Father of the Bride" with Spencer Tracy.)

http://food.yahoo.com/blog/foxyfestivities/4998/10-things-to-never-do-at-a-wedding

ceshell Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 1:33am
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisad1

and most couples agonize over chopping their list to fit their budget. It's really not fair to them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by plustwo

in my experience it was very stressful prior to the wedding to hear the complains about the guest list how whoever was going to be 'so hurt' that they weren't invited. It was a significant effort to compromise on the guest list to keep within our budget.



Please read and reread these posts before making your decision! It's so important to remember. This wedding is about them, not your future son in law, and it's a celebration of their new start together, not just a great big fun party. Please don't make them feel bad about their choice, they surely already went thru h#ll making the decision to only invite 4 from your family, and they surely have many other dear friends to whom they also had to extend "limited" invites.

I do hope you have a wonderful time at the wedding!

ceshell Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 7:29am
post #23 of 26

ps. I just reread my post and sheesh I sure came off cranky - sorry, did not mean it that way at ALL. Think of it more as an "imploring" tone rather than a "chastising" or "preachy" tone. I can totally respect your enthusiasm for the bride and her wedding and understand why you wish more members of your family could share this special event with her. Anyway just wanted to add that, I didn't intend for my message to sound so snarky. icon_redface.gif

Amia Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 4:03pm
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceshell

ps. I just reread my post and sheesh I sure came off cranky - sorry, did not mean it that way at ALL. Think of it more as an "imploring" tone rather than a "chastising" or "preachy" tone. I can totally respect your enthusiasm for the bride and her wedding and understand why you wish more members of your family could share this special event with her. Anyway just wanted to add that, I didn't intend for my message to sound so snarky. icon_redface.gif




I didn't think you sounded snarky at all. As a bride-to-be, I can say I wish everyone thought like you did. Especially my grandmother! I would certainly have a lot fewer headaches and cranky days.

Monkess Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 5:31pm
post #25 of 26

Its just one night your DD and her future husband have alot of weddings to go to in their life!

LNW Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 6:00pm
post #26 of 26

I wouldnât bother them anymore about the issue. At this point it would be rude to ask them for anything more. She was given a guest and she is bringing her brother. And really I think its better that way. It seems from your OP that your whole family was close to the B&G so I bet your son will enjoy the wedding a whole lot more than your ddâs fiancé would have. I think itâs pretty obvious from the way the invitations were sent out that they are probably struggling with their guest list as it is. And I can guarantee you arenât the only people to contact them about tacking on new guests. All those unplanned guests add up.

The plan to have him sneak out during the meal isnât going to work either. I would feel super weird having people come to my party but not feed them while I was feeding everyone else. Youâre putting the bride and groom in an awkward situation doing that.

Itâs really just one night. Your kids will have a great time together and your daughter will have her chance to dance and hang all over her fiancé soon enough.

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