I Don’t Have to Invite Anyone’s Boyfriend, Right?

If we don’t know my friends’ partners, can we skip ’em?

Couple standing in front of ombre blue-green-yellow-orange brick wall

Q: Dear Amy,

We are literally over fire code for our church wedding and reception, so we had to cut a lot of plus-ones from our guest list. We kept all the partners we’ve met or have a relationship with, but cut out the generic “plus-one” or people we’ve never met or even heard of. The paper invitations went out just a few days ago, and people are responding with their RSVPs for BOTH THEMSELVES AND THEIR PLUS-ONES. Can people not read invitations?! We’ve also gotten at least two, “Just confirming my boyfriend isn’t invited to your wedding,” messages. It wouldn’t be SUCH a big deal (we’re not doing sit down dinner or anything) except that we will literally have to have overflow seating in a different room in the church. Or people will be turned away at the door. Or it will be a thousand degrees in the church in July. Or the fire marshal will show up and fine us all. Or any other worst-case scenario you or I can think of.

Shut it down, APW!

Too Many Friends!

A: Dear Too Many Friends,

Sorry, can’t join you on this one.

People’s partners must be invited. I don’t care if you’ve met them or have a relationship with them—if your people have partners, they come in twos.

Yes, absolutely people should read their invitations! But honestly? You should be inviting their boyfriends, and I can see why they are texting you. Feel free to respond with, “Oh I’m so sorry I didn’t realize you had a boyfriend of course he can come,” or go with, “So sorry, we don’t have the space,” but your friends aren’t being CAPS WORTHY RUDE to be asking you about it.

Now, for people who are genuinely just adding someone they’d like to bring, who isn’t a partner—that is not okay. And you can go ahead and say no. But it sounds from your letter like this is more than just guests bringing guests. This is about guests bringing their partners who should have been invited to begin with.

If this means you literally have to have overflow seating in a different room in the church, then you literally need to do that. And maybe rent some industrial fans if it is hot.

Please, I implore everyone planning a wedding—assume every single person on your list comes as a pair. You’re probably making your initial guest list a year or so in advance. A lot can happen in a year! People can meet, fall in love, get married, and have a baby in a year. You will save yourselves a world of trouble if you pick a venue that is big enough to accommodate everyone you might need to invite, even if it turns out that most of your friends did not find love and are single and you’re off the hook. It’s just not okay to exclude your people’s people because you don’t know them. You wouldn’t cross husbands and wives you haven’t met off the guest list to save space (RIGHT?!?), and you shouldn’t do it with significant others either.

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