How should I respond on a wedding invite if I do not have a date yet?
April 26, 2011 9:41 AM   Subscribe

How should I respond on a wedding invite if I do not have a date yet?

So, a lot of my friends are getting married. I hit my mid 20's and they are dropping like flies. One invite in particular invites me and a guest. Going stag may prove to be a problem because it seems everyone is in a relationship, and I don't want to be standing in the corner by myself.

I don't have a date yet, and the RSVP date is coming up. Problem is that it asks for my guests name. What should I put if I don't have a date yet, but plan on having someone at the wedding?
posted by *lostatsea* to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You should go stag if you don't have anyone to go with. See this recent Miss Manners article:

The most common is from single people who complain that they wouldn’t enjoy themselves if they are not allowed to bring their own guests, because they won’t know anyone there. Miss Manners is not sympathetic, as she believes that wedding guests should be people who are invited, and who want to attend, because they actually care about the families being joined. And while the established partners of such people— meaning spouses, affianced spouses and para-spouses—must be included, caring or not, a wedding is not a dating opportunity.

She does, however, feel sorry for people who feel incapable of socializing with the friends of their friends.

posted by brainmouse at 9:44 AM on April 26, 2011 [11 favorites]

"and guest."

Or just go alone, since maybe they want to know who you're bringing and if you don't know, you might have to decide to go alone rather than keep them waiting.

You know, if you go alone, chances are, you won't just hang out alone. People don't go to weddings or any other sociable affair with their date or partner in order to just hang out with them. They go to interact with other people they know.

You might even meet someone.
posted by entropone at 9:45 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you want to be very polite, you don't bring a date if you don't know who you're bringing by the RSVP. Or you bring a friend who isn't a date who'd be good company. (I've brought my mom as my date once, since she was very friendly with my friend and her family.)

Remember that a wedding may just be another event to you, but it's a really special occasion to your friends and having just some random dude/gal there that they don't know and doesn't mean anything to you is more than a little awkward--especially if that person turns out to be obnoxious.

If you think this is a casual wedding and they don't care, let them know you're hedging your bets, but you promise you'll bring someone--and then bring someone! But only do this if you're absolutely certain they're casual, loose people and you have this kind of friendship with them.
posted by Gucky at 9:47 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Rumour has it that going stag to weddings is a self-limiting condition ;)
posted by cromagnon at 9:47 AM on April 26, 2011

The reason they're asking for a name is so that they can do seating charts, and maybe have a nice fancy placeholder of one kind or another. You can probably get them a name later, but the longer you delay, the more inconvenience you are causing to your already-stressed friends.

IMO, either ask someone by the RSVP deadline or don't bring an "and guest."
posted by muddgirl at 9:57 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Going stag may prove to be a problem because it seems everyone is in a relationship, and I don't want to be standing in the corner by myself.

I've been to a bunch of weddings lately, and never with a date. The thing is, outside of a handful of sappy-romantic dances, couples usually aren't all that coupley at weddings. I've spent those weddings hanging out with my friends, in pairs and singly because their partners were somewhere else at the moment; I've danced with my friends and those friends' partners. Bringing a friendly date is a good idea if you're stuck at a wedding where you don't know anyone, but if it's within your social circle and you'll know the people present, it shouldn't be any different than any other party where most of the people are paired - it's a social event, and people are happy to socialize.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Don't put down "and guest" if you don't have "and guest" because if you don't get "and guest" and have to go stag anyway, you've cost the bride and groom dough and throw off their seating arrangements.

If you don't have a date, either get one ASAP or RSVP minus a plus one.
posted by inturnaround at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bringing a new relationship to a wedding as a date can be bad.
I made that mistake once - then when the relationship fizzled out a few weeks later, for years after, auntie so-and-so was like, how is that nice girl.

Go stag - and be confident about yourself.

If you bring a girl you don't really know - it will weigh down the night.
posted by Flood at 10:02 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

No shame in going stag! I went solo to my cousin's wedding last summer, met a lovely couple (David and Jason, I believe) and the three of us ended up having a fantastic time talking about the tacky music choices the DJ was making. (He actually played "Paradise By The Dashboard Light". At a wedding. Think about it a sec.)

The only drawback is that you may end up at the "singles' table" at the dinner portion, which at times be a sort of catch-all table for "we don't know where else to put them", but dinner is comparatively short, and you may end up bonding with everyone over it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:09 AM on April 26, 2011

Oh, just go stag. Seriously. It'll be just fine.
posted by Windigo at 10:13 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's not a makeout party where all the couples pair off and you'll be left alone; you can socialize with them. You'll be fine going stag.

Not only can bringing a random plus-one to a wedding be uncomfortable for the bride and groom (they might be like "shit, is that your cousin or mine??" or they may have had to limit their guest list for financial/space reasons and might not be thrilled to be hosting some whatsisface in place of a family friend), but it might not be much fun for And Guest, either. Strangers' weddings can be really boring, plus if you're just starting to date someone and you ask them to go to a wedding with you, it might send a weird message that you're eager to get serious.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:32 AM on April 26, 2011

I've been a best man for two weddings, and both times the groom complained voluminously to me about guests bringing flavors of the month.
posted by deadweightloss at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2011

Having just done this, your friend put "plus guest" because they have to send out invites way in advance, and if they left it out, they're essentially saying "your single now and I don't expect you to meet anyone good in the next 6 months before the wedding". They are trying to be polite.

If you have someone you actually care about, bring them. The couple won't be offended if you come alone though.
posted by dripdripdrop at 10:39 AM on April 26, 2011

Response by poster: So, it sounds like a unanimous 'Go stag'. Guess I will just buy a new blazer and go for it. Thanks for the responses guys.
posted by *lostatsea* at 10:41 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

I agree with the 'go stag,' people, but if you want an answer to how to rsvp, I'd say you wait until the latest date you can RSVP and if you have a date, write his/her name in, and if you don't, then you leave it blank and you don't bring a date.
posted by semacd at 10:42 AM on April 26, 2011

Mod note: leave the sarcasm home please, thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:48 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I agree with others that you having no one to talk to is an unlikely scenario. I would suggest going alone because that's a valuable skill to cultivate. You're not always going to be in a relationship and even if you are, your partner might not be able to make x event. May as well get used to it!
posted by cranberrymonger at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2011

This whole "special day" thing is overdone. Unless it's a wedding with six or fewer guests, the bride and groom wouldn't notice if you brought Elton John or Elton John's mother. Heck, at my wedding, my grandma was so run off her feet she didn't notice the massive salmon served for dinner and missed out. I didn't notice who got drunk, barely had time to say hi to anyone, only know who was there for sure because I editted all the photos - on the day it was basically all a whirlwind. And this was at a small wedding of 85 people. It will be a special day for them because they are swearing vows of marriage to someone else for the rest of their lives. Just don't stand up and interrupt those vows, and everything else will go swimmingly.

If you were invited with a guest, that means that the couple want you to bring a date if you want to, and they don't care who or they would have invited a specific significant other. When we did our invitations, we didn't have room for lots of people to bring guests, but there were specific people whom I wanted to feel free to (because they weren't coming with their two roommates or best friends from college already), and those people received "and guest" invitations. If they didn't want you to bring a date, they wouldn't have invited you "with guest". That said, you don't HAVE to bring a date - it would be rude of them to insist. But just rsvp for now saying that you intend to bring a guest, but don't have a name for them.
posted by jb at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

By the way - my now brother-in-law brought a woman he had just met to our wedding. And we didn't mind; we only tease him about it because his next girlfriend (his now wife) was so much cooler that we regretted he hadn't met her a year or two earlier and brought her.
posted by jb at 3:18 PM on April 26, 2011

The most fun I ever had at a wedding was the time I went solo.
posted by min at 3:53 PM on April 26, 2011

As I just said in another thread, I maintain that the guest slot on a wedding invitation is there in case the guest has an SO the host doesn't know about, and that people who aren't actually in a relationship, or whose SO is unavailable, should go alone.

Hosts shouldn't be expected to provide for unknown wedding guests without a good reason. (And "so some perfectly competent adult guest gets out of having to talk to strangers at dinner" does not, IMO, count.)

Also, it's better when social events aren't all Noah's Ark.
posted by tangerine at 4:03 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I accept all the arguments in favor of going stag.

But wanted to add that if you go by Miss Manners (and I can't think of who better to go by) inviting someone "and guest" is already a faux pas. Host should learn the names of their friends' significant others. Or else they can't act snotty about having people whose names they don't know at their wedding.

So I think that when invited "and guest" it is fine to RSVP for "and guest".
posted by Salamandrous at 4:33 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am a socially-anxious person who recently went to a wedding, alone. I didn't know anyone but the bride. I had a fantastic time.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:08 PM on April 26, 2011

I've been to 2 weddings in the last month, stag. It was fine. For one thing, there were quite a few others there in the same boat, who were looking for people to chat to. Also, being at a wedding is one of the best ice-breakers in the world. "So, how are you connected to the lucky couple?" is pretty easy to say to a complete stranger when you're standing next to each other at the dessert table.
posted by Diag at 10:11 PM on April 26, 2011

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