Thursday, January 24, 2008

Protocol

Here's a question for you:

When you have single friends on your wedding guest list, do you invite them to bring along a guest?

In America you absolutely would, and to invite an unmarried person and not give them the option to bring a date would be considered extremely rude, though it does happen.

Here, though, Pirate tells me that that is not normal, and single people usually do not bring dates to weddings. Case in point: when his cousin got married late last summer I was not invited, not did Pirate's invitation read "To Pirate and Guest," even though I'd met the family and everything.

Obviously not letting singles bring dates really helps keep the guest list down, but it seems rude to me. What do you guys think? What's the normal etiquette and protocol over here?

20 comments:

Hannah said...

I suppose it depends on how much space you have, and the bill you're prepared to foot.

I'd always prefer the option of taking a guest, personally, even if I don't use it. But it's definitely the case here that only the person named on the invitation is invited.

GreatSheElephant said...

I'd allow for guests - going to weddings by yourself is no fun whatsoever.

Delirium said...

In my experience I've had both*, so there doesn't seem to be any norm here - it's kind of up to you...

As Hannah says, it depends how restricted you are on cost and space (and how flexible your venue is). Generally some of the guests you invite won't be able to come, some of the +guest people will come, but you're not going to know 'till nearer the time.

What a couple of my friends have done is to give the "friend plus guest" card to the really important people (ie relatives, good friends, etc) and a single guest card to others, that may work for you??

*and I've been to so many weddings now with and without a guest that there doesn't seem to be much difference (with guest: talk to guest, other people you know, people you don't know... Without guest: talk to other people you know, people you don't know...)

Vicus Scurra said...

The only thing that I know is that it would be a waste of time to invite me.

Rimshot said...

I don't envy you one bit, C.B. It seems like (for the woman), everything leading up to the joyous event is as ARG! inducing as the happy day is YAY! inducing (if that makes any sense at all).

I would think that giving singles the option of bringing a 'plus one' would be the polite thing to do.

Dave said...

You'll have to find a guest for me to bring along.

helena said...

Weddings in our family have tended to be very much family affairs (but I think that's because there are so many of us). So, if I was invited singly to a family wedding then I'd attend as I'd know some (most) of the other people there.

If I was invited to a friends wedding without the option of bringing a guest then I probably wouldn't attend as the thought of being stuck on a table with a load of people I don't know doesn't really appeal. (I'd send a really nice present though).

So if I were inviting people I'd always go for the +1 option.

Besides which you never know - a single person could well have met someone in the space between receiving an invitation and the wedding.

From past experience when one of (my many)cousins got married my brother was invited + guest. Just do what feels most comfortable for you - after all it's your wedding and you can plan it how you want.

ZB said...

Yeah. That one. I've always been invited as +1.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

well this time you'll have your name on the invite. (but i still don't know if i can afford to let you bring a date. we're working on it. Incidently, i think you'll get on great with one of my bridesmaids. She's not your dating type, but i think you'll have a great time chatting with her. she's brilliant, hilarious, and sarcastic, and she's doing an MA in English.)

Geosomin said...

I'd say do it if you want...You could just ask your single friends if they'd want to bring someone.
It's really a $$ thing more than a rude thing I suppose. Most people would understand if they got a single invite...

Anonymous said...

You're rich right? Just invite everyone. It's only $$$$. :)

FirstNations said...

bring a guest. go back and read spinnys blog archives for abundant reasons why 'bring a friend' is a kindhearted gesture.

Rosie said...

give them the option of a plus one, definitely. i wouldn't feel comfotrable going alone to a wedding as a sad single...

jd said...

Go for single guest for daytime, because otherwise that *always* causes problems during the seat planning when people don't bring someone (note to cousin - there's a reason why i asked you who you were bringing for 5 months), and guest +1 for the evening do.

If people don't like it, or comfortable, then fuck them in the face with a drill. Unless they promise big presents. Like, really big.

ziggi said...

for what it's worth I think that if you can possibly afford it add in the date.

helena said...

Do what jd suggests. His wedding to mrs jd was the best wedding I've ever been to. Mind you, considering F did the music, herebe was best man (with a killer speech - now available in hardback) and I not only delivered an Oscar worthy performance of Corinthians but also wore one of the most fabulous dresses ever made (excepting mrs jd's dress obviously) that was only to be expected.

lawyerina said...

I have been to at least 20 weddings (in Canada). Most of the time I was single. Most of the time I got the plus one, and didn't bring anyone. Once my very close friends told me they weren't inviting plus ones unless they knew the plus one or the plus one was in a serious relationship with the guest. At the time, I was in a new relationship. It was fine. He didn't really want to go anyway.

Others have invited the plus one selectively, when they know that the guest will know no one at the wedding.

Frankly, it's not that big a deal. If the person doesn't want to come because they can't bring their friend who is not their partner, then stuff 'em.

Spinny said...

Yup.

Mostly I've recieved plus ones even though I'm always single - but I've never used it.

I wouldn't bring a new boyfriend or date along to a wedding if he didn't know the couple involved.

But i think it's still good to give single people the otion, especially if you're sending the invites out months in advance - otherwise it's a bit like saying "well YOU'RE not going to ever pull again!"

having said that, I've just received a single invite from a fairly close friend and i don't mind in the slightest. he knows me well.

ZB said...

She's not your dating type, but i think you'll have a great time chatting with her. she's brilliant, hilarious, and sarcastic, and she's doing an MA in English.)

What the f is my dating type? And why is the MA in English so important? I spend my daily life avoiding people who want to talk about Derrida and how, like, they really 'get' Murdoch's literature, it speaks, like, really directly to them. If I'm still single by September and alive, put me next to someone with a great body, dark hair, a good sense of humour, who can dance and who knows where the bar is...

Yes. I'm shallow.

llewtrah said...

It's not the usual thing to invite "and guest", at least not until the party in the evening. Traditionally, a wedding is a time relatives can eye up other singles and start with matchmaking plans.

Mind you, my relatives refused to invite my ex and my sister's partners because the relationships were common-law and not formal. It was a deliberate snub. So we refused to go.