By Invitation Only: Can I bring a guest?

March 4th, 2010 in invited guest, wedding etiquette


Does my invitation include a guest?  This is a question that I get over and over again.  I’m positive that every single bride has dealt with this issue, By Invitation Only.   The answer is yes only and I mean ONLY if your invitation is addressed as follows, Ms. Jane Smith & Guest.  If your invitation to addressed to only you as follows, Ms. Jane Smith, you are the only guest invited.  This can be a really touchy subject for both the invited guest and happy couple getting married.  

Couples understand that no one wants to attend a wedding alone, however sometimes there are circumstances that influence this decision. Budget being the main reason.  Often times couples have to cut their guest list do to budget or venue restrictions. These cuts may include friends and family. So extending an invitation for you to bring a guest is not a priority on their list.  Ensuring that the friends and family that they love are invited is most important.  Besides, couples shouldn’t have to pay for your boyfriend or girlfriend that may or may not be around in a few months, especially when they have to remove people from the list that they would love to invite.  In addition, if the couple doesn’t know the name of your significant other to address it on the envelope, chances are they don’t need to be invited anyway. 

What do you do if this happens to you as a guest?  Be very grateful that your friend has invited you to witness and participate in what could be one of the most important days of their lives.  Show up and have a wonderful time!  If you can’t put hurt feelings aside, you should send a gift and not attend. 

What do you DON’T DO:
  1. ASK THE COUPLE TO BRING A DATE.  I realize that this is a hard one but under no circumstances should you ask the couple to bring a date.  This is rude and causes the couple additional stress that they don’t need.  Managing the guest list is one of the hardest aspects of planning a wedding.  Couples, of course, want to invite everyone that they can to the wedding but most times, this is just not possible.  Asking them to bring a date only makes it more difficult and awkward when they have to deny your request.  
  2. ASK THE COUPLE AGAIN.  You obviously didn’t read #1.  
  3. ASK A FAMILY MEMBER.  Read #1.  
  4. TALK ABOUT THEM TO OTHER FRIENDS/FAMILY.  Again, most couples want to be able to invite everyone to their wedding, talking negatively about the fact that you can’t bring a date, only makes YOU look bad and is bound to cause issues with your friendship should the happy couple find out. 
  5. SHOW UP WITH A GUEST. Last but not certainly not least.  Please don’t just show up with a guest and think that it will be OK.  It is NOT.  Not only does this cost the couple money it may also cause issues with other guest that were not given the option to bring a date.   Weddings are such a wonderful life changing event, go and have a wonderful time.  Plus you might meet someone special. đź™‚

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hello lovely

Welcome to the blog! I’m Ebony Sparkes and I am southern belle wedding and event planner serving the DMV. I love LOVE and celebrating all of life’s special occasions and this is why I became an event planner. I have been fortunate to plan amazing celebrations in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New York, Georgia, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic!

Our work has been featured by several industry icons like Preston Bailey, Amy Atlas, Hostess with the Mostess and Munaluchi Bridal.  Sparkling Events & Designs, LLC is also a recipient of Wedding Wire’s 2011 & 2012 Bride’s Choice Award, The Knot’sTM Best of Wedding Vendors for 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 and an active member of the Association of Wedding Professionals.

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Founded in 2010, our mission was to celebrate life's special occasions, all of them. Today, we love working on all events big and small. We have a passion for designing events and stationery that are truly reflective of who you are. Contact us today to get started.