Telling Guests to Leave Tag-a-Longs at Home

When Guests Bring Guests…

Picture of Wedding Ceremony Seating
Question:  We have found the perfect site for our wedding reception. We only have room for 150 guests maximum. Family members are not the problem, friends are. How do we word our wedding invitation and/or response card to ask them to limit their guests to just one person? Thanks for your help.

Answer: In accordance with proper wedding etiquette, no notation to this effect should be made on the invitation. However, you can call in the help of close friends and family to help spread the word that you are extremely limited on space, and therefore it is important that your invited guests each limit their guests to just one. According to etiquette, an invitation is only intended for those to whom it is addressed. Therefore, you will either list the names of your all of your intended guests from every household on the inner envelope, or where appropriate you can do the following: Mary and Guest.

Hopefully your guests will have a proper understanding of the correct guest etiquette to know that this means that they are only to bring one guest. The truth is, however, that in this day and age, many people are NOT up on their etiquette. Our society no longer puts a priority on teaching the rules of etiquette, and so it is understandable that many people are prone to unintentional social blunders. Take special note of my use of the word unintentional. Be patient and kind with guests who err in this area – I can personally guarantee that most mean absolutely no harm, and therefore are deserving of your tolerance.

Should an invited guest return a response card indicating that they wish to bring more than one guest, you have the option of calling them to graciously and politely say, “I am so very sorry, but due to space limitations we are just not able to accommodate more than one guest per person. I do hope that you will understand”.

This is what is considered to be the ‘proper’ way of handling the situation you have described.

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