OK. For those of you that didn’t read it, the gist of it is Ms. Fisk, who apparently is divorced, is sometimes invited without a guest to weddings. She rants about being the single person, sitting at the “loser” table, forced to make conversation with other singles. Halfway through the article I thought, “Jeeze, if you’re going to be bitter about it, don’t go to the wedding.”
I was relieved when I read the last paragraph.
“So whenever I get invited to a wedding and can’t bring a guest, I send a generous present, show up at the church and then go home to a nice glass of chardonnay. I toast the happy couple, and perhaps do my own version of the hokeypokey in my living room. ’Cause that’s what it’s all about.”
I see her point and don’t really disagree with her, but as someone who is planning a wedding this is a decision that we often agonize over. It’s not a decision we make without knowing that it will hurt some people. It’s not a decision that’s often made lightly.
I’ve been to some weddings that invited everyone with a guest regardless of their status. I’ve also been to weddings that didn’t invite guests with a plus one unless that you were married or engaged to that plus one.
Not for nothing but being that this woman lives in New York I can bet that adding a guest so she has someone to talk to would set the couple back a good $200. She does make this point in her piece, but it doesn’t sound like she’s really given the financial implications of inviting guests much thought. $200 per plus one can quickly add up. Just five additional guests adds another grand to the bill.
While our venue isn’t charging us $200 a plate, we decided to keep costs and our guest list down by only adding a plus one for guests who were already in long-term relationships. We also have a limit to the amount of guests our venue can hold so this was a way to keep our guest list down. We made an exception for one guest who wouldn’t know anyone at the wedding aside from Chuck. The rest of our single guests know enough other guests that finding someone to buddy up with shouldn’t be an issue. I think it is common courtesy to make an exception if your guest won’t know anyone else at the wedding, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite everyone with a guest if you can’t afford it.
I’ve told a few of our guests who are in causal relationships that once we find out how many No’s we have, we can open the party up to guests. For a planning bride and groom, this isn’t an easy decision. It’s often an awkward conversation and there is no way you’re going to make everyone happy. If money or space were no object, sure you can bring that guy from accounting that you’ve been chatting up in the lunch room, but money and space is often and object. A line has to be drawn and guests and children are often the first to go.
So, to be blunt, if you’re cranky about being invited sans guest do your friend a favor and check that little “No” box and stay home.