Planning

Plus ones at the ceremony?

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New bride

Hello I'm new here!

 

I'm trying to plan my guestlist and I'm struggling with it at the moment. We are having a small ceremony, the venue allows a maximum of 50 people, so we've allowed ourselves 20 people each, plus our children, and this leaves us with 8 spare just in case we think of anyone else. (I should add we are nowhere near actually sending invites yet this is purely us writing a list)

 

My problem is about 12 of my guests have significant others, who I know but wouldn't consider myself friends with. I am happy for them to come along to the reception, which is in a different room at the same venue, but am I being unreasonable in not inviting them to the ceremony, especially seeing as almost all of them would probably be arriving with their other halves. I really like the idea of our ceremony being just immediate family and best friends, without partners whom I don't know very well. And with the venue capacity, that's pretty much all I can fit in, but I don't want to be causing issues by not inviting partners. Do I need to have a rethink and invite both halves of couples together? 

Wedding addict

I think it would be a bit awkward for me and my partner to either travel seperatly (2 lots of taxi fare) or arrive together then me go sit in a pub or something for an hour while he went to the ceremony. 

Although next year he’s invite to the whole day of a wedding and I’m just invited to the evening and that doesn’t bother me because then I’ve got the whole afternoon to do something else. 

Its the short turn around between when my partner would be invited and when I’d be arriving that makes it awkward 

Bridezilla

I don't really see how you can't not invite the partners, but that's just my view. It would be very weird for half of the couple to be invited to the ceremony then the other half arrive for the reception. 

Are these people that you are very close friends with? if not, can't you just invite them to the evening reception instead?

Wedding addict

I personally think that if you’re close enough to invite someone to your wedding then said person‘s invite should be extended to their partner. I’ve got a friend that I’ve invited to my wedding and out of courtesy I’ve invited her husband (who I’ve met once - as a matter of fact this was on their wedding day when my invite was extended to my other half). Obviously, I dont mean that you should invite your mates friend who he’s being seeing for 3 days, but if they’re in a long term relationship then I’d say you need to invite them. Or at least be prepared for them to ask if they can bring their partner as a plus one. 

‘I do think inviting partners just to the reception is a good compromise though. 

Oh, I also wanted to add that not everyone you invite will attend anyway. It’s always good to put a few extras on the list to fill spaces for those that decline the rsvp.

Bridezilla

Sorry but I think its rude n unfair to invite established couples then say the one u don't know so well has to wait outside during the ceremony.  A couple is a unit, the invite 2 everything should be 4 both of them together.

Wedding addict

For my wedding I will only be inviting partners that are engaged, married, or living together as nearly all my cousins have partners, but majority I’ve never met and they would double our capacity (we have a fixed number as part of our package). Im more than happy to invite any partners to evening reception  but for the ceremony and reception we’re being strict due to numbers and finances.

Bridezilla

It will not make for a happy relaxed atmosphere if some guests are excluded outside while the ceremony is on.  When they join in again I think it will be awkward and uncomfortable.  I would reduce the guest list so partners can be invited.     

http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-wedding-reports/our-castle-foody-boozy-wedding/442990.html

Bridezilla

I’m with the above, we probably would be less inclined to attend if one of us could go to the ceremony and one of us had to wait around for a bit. For one it’s logistics, two sets of taxi fares, finding something for that other person to do whilst the ceremony is on. And also I would feel a bit snubbed if I’m really honest. Inviting partners to the evening is a bit different, but I would still only do that if the relationship was fairly new, or we didn’t know the partner at all. For most of the established couples at our wedding we invited both people. 

I would either choose a different ceremony location or reduce numbers altogether and invite some couples to the evening celebration.

Wedding addict

Yes you do need to rethink. Plus ones aren’t about you and for your benefit - they are a courtesy to your guests. 

Bridezilla

If I'm honest if my partner was invited to the ceremony and I was expected to turn up later then I probably wouldnt bother.

You need to decide if you want a very small intimate ceremony followed by a big party or you want to go all in and have a bigger wedding. If you want the former, you can't not invite partners. 

Bridezilla

I also think that you need to rethink things. 

As much as I am against obligation guests, I don't think you can invite only one half of an established couple for the entire ceremony. Thats just super akward.

We are not inviting the partners if the relationship is recent. But if the couple have been together for a while, they are a package deal. See it as an occasion to get to know the important people in your friends life.

If I were you I would review the guest list. Invite the people you are closest to with their partners to the ceremony. Then invite the other couples together to the reception. I think that's the only way to be fair.

Imagine you were in the same situation. I am sure you'd expect your husband to be invited. Or for you to be invited if one of his friends got married.

Bridezilla

I think it depends on a few things, I'm not all for 'inviting someone because everyone tells you that you should' or I'd be inviting my dad ;)

1) It depends on whether these people are local to the wedding. If H2B were invited to the ceremony and myself only to the evening, I'd go if it were close to me but probably wouldn't bother if we had to travel some distance which I think is fair. 

2) It depends on whether these are established couples. It's a lot harder if these people are living together/engaged/married. It's slightly different if they've only been together a short time.

I think the idea of inviting them to the evening is a nice compromise. 

TL;DR - if the wedding is local and/or they're not a long-standing couple, don't feel the need to invite. But do be prepared for people to potentially decline.

Bridezilla

I agree with MrsRendall. I think it depends on how established the couple is, and how much travelling is involved, and so absolutely disagree that you need to change your venue or plans. It's your day and people will get on board with your decisions or not go. I know of a couple who prioritised their honeymoon to the point where they couldnt afford catering, so they told guests that there would not be any food. Everyone just got on with it, went into the town for fish and chips or whatever. 

I'm sure they are all grown ups and can deal with occupying themselves for a while during ceremony! If there is any kick back then just explain your venue is very restricted on numbers

Bridezilla

I honestly would not attend a wedding (or part of one) with the expectation that my significant other can come along to only part of it.  He wouldn't either. I'm sorry to disagree with Samantha above (nothing personal I promise) but I wouldn't be interested in entertaining myself elsewhere (or having my OH do so) whilst one of us is excluded from the ceremony.  Couples are couples, they come as a package deal. I'd prefer to just be invited to the evening if it's an issue of space.

I also have never understood the idea that brides can make the judgement call on "how serious" a relationship is and make guest list decisions from there, excluding partners they don't think of as "serious" ones. How many planning threads on here include the statement "when you know, you know" referring to how the b2b "just knew" this man/woman was the right one for her in a short period of time. I don't think it's for us to judge (and thereby exclude) the partners of friends and family based upon our perception of someone else's relationship.

Bridezilla

Whereas I would be more than happy to entertain myself for a while during the ceremony, if I was in a casual relationship. Now I am married, I may have more of an issue with it but I would still appreciate venue restrictions, particularly if I'd never met the bride or groom. Having organised a wedding I have sympathy for the decisions that need to be made. I think the seriousness of a relationship is simple and not a matter of judgement at all. To me it's married, engaged or living together, as has been said above. In my opinion that makes a couple a unit as referred to above also. I wouldnt, and didnt, invite a plus one for a casual date, not even evening. We had a small wedding and I wasn't willing to feed and entertain a random whom I'd never met.

Obviously there are different opinions here but wanted to give OP both sides.

Bridezilla

I don’t think it’s ideal. That said, if it was really important that one of us saw our friend get married, I’m sure we’d cope with entertaining ourselves for the 30 odd minutes a ceremony lasts. It would be a bit awkward and I would expect for The people left out to still be hosted in some way with drinks or nibbles close to the ceremony. I wouldn’t let it stop us attending the wedding of a good friend but I don’t think it’s a very nice way to organise it. You could just invite these people to the wedding breakfast onwards and have the ceremony only as family and bridal party - you don’t get some friends attend the ceremony but at least you’re not splitting couples up and therefore probably increasing the likelihood they won’t come anyway.

Bridezilla

KittyFiennes wrote (see post):

I honestly would not attend a wedding (or part of one) with the expectation that my significant other can come along to only part of it.  He wouldn't either. I'm sorry to disagree with Samantha above (nothing personal I promise) but I wouldn't be interested in entertaining myself elsewhere (or having my OH do so) whilst one of us is excluded from the ceremony.  Couples are couples, they come as a package deal. I'd prefer to just be invited to the evening if it's an issue of space.

I also have never understood the idea that brides can make the judgement call on "how serious" a relationship is and make guest list decisions from there, excluding partners they don't think of as "serious" ones. How many planning threads on here include the statement "when you know, you know" referring to how the b2b "just knew" this man/woman was the right one for her in a short period of time. I don't think it's for us to judge (and thereby exclude) the partners of friends and family based upon our perception of someone else's relationship.

I agree that the seriousness of a couple can be hard to determine sometimes. However, surely if you know the couple you know at what stage they're at? We have friends who met someone and moved in and we're madly in love after a few months, and others who we know aren't as serious. I agree that time doesn't really come into it though. We've assessed it on what stage the couple if at rather than the length of time they've been together. 

Bridezilla

This is a really useful thread and I'm now wondering if I've got it all wrong.

We are getting married abroad and are having an intimate wedding at a villa - we have invited immediate family and only a few friends. 

We have invited 1 couple who we are both friends with and then I have invited my 3 best girl friends but not their partners. One isn't coming as she works in a school and can't get the time off; one is coming on her own and can't wait for a break; one is planning on coming with her family for a holiday and attending the wedding on her own. Should I have invited partners & children? I would hate to think that someone would be upset or offended. I have said to the friend who is coming with family that her family can join us for the evening do. None of them seem upset but maybe behind closed doors they are?

Ahhhhh - I'm glad this has been brought up and I can read people's opinions/views.

Thanks for sharing your concerns SpiderBride xx

http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/intimate-villa-cyprus-wedding---october-2018/432750.html

https://uk.pinterest.com/ruththomas1979/here-comes-the-bride/

Bridezilla

ruthie1979SpiderBride wrote (see post):

This is a really useful thread and I'm now wondering if I've got it all wrong.

We are getting married abroad and are having an intimate wedding at a villa - we have invited immediate family and only a few friends. 

We have invited 1 couple who we are both friends with and then I have invited my 3 best girl friends but not their partners. One isn't coming as she works in a school and can't get the time off; one is coming on her own and can't wait for a break; one is planning on coming with her family for a holiday and attending the wedding on her own. Should I have invited partners & children? I would hate to think that someone would be upset or offended. I have said to the friend who is coming with family that her family can join us for the evening do. None of them seem upset but maybe behind closed doors they are?

Ahhhhh - I'm glad this has been brought up and I can read people's opinions/views.

Thanks for sharing your concerns SpiderBride xx

I have to be really honest, if my partner was invited to a destination wedding and I wasn't I'd be feeling really upset. I think as well because we try and make any destination weddings into a bit of a holiday for us too. I wouldn't think it's the done thing to invite children though (I don't know as I'm not a parent!) but I would assume partners would be invited. Having said that though, you know your friends better than anyone here, and if they're fine with it then there's no problem! 

Bridezilla

Agree that for us, a destination wedding is an excuse to make a holiday of it. I’d be disappointed to have to go to one alone and would equally feel a bit miffed if I didn’t get invited to my fiance‘s friends’. There’s a good chance I’d still want to make the trip and have a weekend away anyway as we do enjoy a weekend away at any chance we get. Everyone that’s coming to ours in Italy is getting a plus one for that very reason because I assume most people would prefer to travel and have a long weekend with someone they know and the time I’m able to spend with them is naturally limited so knowing they have a friend/partner makes me feel less like I’m pressured to ”make sure they’re ok” which I would if I knew someone was on their own. We aren’t having a super intimate wedding though with around 120 likely guests so the odd extra person here and  isn’t going to upset the apple cart too much. 

If my partner couldn’t make it, or a few of the other girls didn’t want to bring theirs, I might decide to make it a bit of a girls trip but if one or more are taking their family too then I think I’d like the option to have my fiancé there and maybe just join for the evening since they’re in the country anyway and the cost of them coming to the evening is likely negligible. I think you know your friends best but if you’re doubting it then just have an honest conversation with them and ask!