Does everyone invited to a wedding get to bring a guest? If there is a guest who does not have a significant other, are they allowed to invite someone else? What about a guest who wants to bring their child? -- Maureen, via email
When a bride and groom are planning a wedding, they have to make some very tough decisions — especially when it comes to the guest list. Even though they’d love to invite everyone in their phone book, sometimes budgetary constraints or their venue’s maximum occupancy just won’t allow that.
The general rule is that only the person or people addressed on the invitation are invited to attend the wedding. If both you and your significant other’s names are on the envelope, then the invitation is extended to both of you. If it just has your name addressed, it is not in good taste to ask if your husband, boyfriend, or anyone else for that matter, can come along.
This rule also applies when a guest wants to bring a child to the wedding. If the name of the child is not on the invitation, it means the child is not invited. Some couples prefer having an adults-only wedding — which is their prerogative — so asking to bring a child along is simply off-limits. If you don’t feel comfortable hiring a baby-sitter or inviting a family member to watch the child while you’re at the event, then let the couple know that you simply won’t be able to make it to the wedding.
Remember that the guest is not in charge of the guest list — the couple is. Respecting their choice of who they’d like to invite is important. As a friend or family member, a guest should be mindful of that.