How Do I Address My Invites for Our Polyamorous Wedding Guests?


When three is not a crowd

Letters stating Wedding Advice 2 cents with confetti on white background

Q: Between various wedding blogs, I have yet to find any solid advice for extending invitations to polyamorous wedding guests while maximizing the respect factor. Two or three of the people we’ve invited to our wedding are in polyamorous relationships in which 1) we are not close with any of their partners, and 2) we have never noted our friend to spend time with both partners at once in social gatherings.

I went with the format of, “Bob and Beloved Guest,” as a nod that we know our friend will bring a special someone, and leaving the RSVP form completely open-ended, but I feel like I could have done better by my people. I do know the names of the partners, and it feels rude to reduce their attendance to “guest” when I’ve played games with them and like them just fine. But writing, “Bob and Susan and/or Monique,” doesn’t feel respectful either, especially if I wouldn’t particularly care if Bob would possibly rather bring someone else I haven’t met yet.

How do we better show our polyamorous wedding guests the love they deserve and not go smearing our monogamous matrimonial privilege all over the place? Of course, just plain calling or texting these friends has gone a long way, but I’d love to hear from some poly perspectives.

—Mail On Nuptial Observations

Answer From the Editor:

Dear MONO,

Just plain calling may in fact, be the best way around this. Since you were wondering, Etiquette says one invite per household. People with the same last name go on the same line of the invite; anyone with a different last name goes on a different line. Also the same as any other couple: if they live together they all get an invite. Generally “live together” is somewhat out-dated code for long term/live in. Essentially, strong commitment means they get an invite.  If your married friend’s husband has a casual girlfriend they don’t live with, that’s not really your business, and you don’t have to invite her.

If you aren’t sure about the commitment level? That’s where the phone call comes in.

How do you show your polyamorous friends the love (and respect) they deserve? Is it okay to just ask your friends how they’d like to be addressed?

If you want the APW community’s two cents, send it to QUESTIONS AT APRACTICALWEDDING DOT COM, and we’ll do our best to crowd source you some answers!

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • sofar

    We invited one poly person to our wedding.

    It was our friend, who has two significant others (they don’t live together). We knew she usually would bring one or the other to events, never both. But we felt weird addressing it to “Friend and Boyfriend A or Boyfriend B.”

    So we just called her and asked (and emphasized that both men in her life were welcome). She told us the one she planned on bringing, and we addressed it to their names.

    I think people tie themselves up in knots a lot about how to invite non-traditional couples to weddings. Or which gendered honorific to use, etc. Hardly anyone gets mad if you just ASK what they’d prefer. Honestly, I think they’d rather you ask than get it wrong.

    • CMT

      “Just ask” is the answer to, like, 80% of life’s problems.

    • Zoya

      Yeah, in retrospect we whiffed one of our invites because we didn’t “just ask.” (Good friend is poly and dating a married couple, we gave said person a generic +1 instead of asking who they wanted to bring, they RSVPed +2 and I felt like a doofus.)

      • Bethany

        I mean… when you are given a +1, RSVP-ing a +2 isn’t exactly correct either. Am I the only one who would have been annoyed at that?

        • Zoya

          I mean, I was a bit annoyed at the time, but we also set ourselves up for it. Not a perfect situation for anyone.

  • Sigh

    “If your married friend’s husband has a random girlfriend they don’t live with, that’s not really your business, and you don’t have to invite her.”

    Way to immediately invalidate people’s relationships based on heteronormativity in response to a letter asking for a POLY perspective.

    “Random girlfriend”? What makes her “random”? Are you familiar with their relationship? Do you know for SURE that it is secondary to his marriage (which may be primary, or may be there plutonically as a method of raising children, or any other of number of reasons or situations).

    Etiquette is based on heteronormativity and is generally quite patriarchical. Part of being respectful to poly people, or people who are in open relationships, etc, is to not force heteronormative rules on them which means etiquette in its traditional form is NOT the answer. Lots of couples live apart for various reasons (“husband’s random girlfriend” doesn’t get an invite but I assume “friend’s boyfriend who lives 5 years away due to work and visits only on the long weekend” does because they’ve been dating for 5 years and seem to be a solid devoted couple?) and that should not be the litmus test – some people are more independent or have different situations.

    Cmon APW you’re usually better than this.

    • I hear you, sigh.

      I think “random” girlfriend wasn’t meant as “that very committed girlfriend is random” but more like “a casual date”- I’ll clarify above.

      That being said, I think there’s probably no one size fits all type of etiquette.The issue isn’t measuring and comparing the devotion of poly vs monogs partners but the number of invites. Remember many people are trying to figure out if by inviting you they now need to invite your entire poly family, which can sometimes extend beyond just 2 partners!

      • Amy March

        Yes I think that’s a different and more interesting question! How many people do I have to invite? Can I cap it at 2 and let you decide? Do I have to let you bring two people if you have two significant others? I don’t have these answers’

        • I feel like you HAVE to ask because there are so, so many variations of polyamorous relationships that unless you already know (in which case you wouldn’t be asking the question) you have even odds of offending someone no matter how well you ‘guess’ at a solution.

        • Abs

          Yeah while all the comments totally solve the issue in practice, I’m interested in the etiquette principle that we should take from it.

    • I know it’s just a common colloquialism, but I really dislike the trend of calling potential wedding dates in our friends’ lives who we may not know “random.” It just always comes across as either potentially disrespecting a relationship (romantic or not) or as not trusting their date-bringing judgement.

      • Pickle

        . . .I kinda don’t trust some of my friends’ date-bringing judgement. I still love them, though!

        • Haha fair enough. I’d still say the solution there is just avoiding blanket +1’s, not dismissing friends of friends as randoms ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Pickle

            But can I not invite my bridesmaid’s long-term live-in boyfriend because he’s a jackass? Please?

          • Amy March

            Nope.

          • Jessica

            Well, yes, but it’d be super rude and have lasting consequences.

          • Amy March

            Right. So nope. Like literally otherwise the answer to every question is “yes but there are consequences” and that’s way too much typing :)

          • Jessica

            If only there could be a form reply with some pre-selected consequences: 1. You’ll offend friend, who will give you a crappy gift that you will have to return at a very inconvenient store, or have to carry it around with you with every move until one day you decide you don’t want it anymore and finally throw it away, thus ending an unknown curse. 2. You’ll have to have an unnecessary conversation with your friend, who will stay with her jackass bf for several more months than she originally wishes in an attempt to prove everyone wrong.

          • Pickle

            Haha don’t worry, I’m not going to not invite him but I dooo really hope she dumps him before the wedding.

          • Leah

            Imagine how Thrilled I was when friend’s jackass husband finally got himself dumped a few months before our wedding. Prior to that there was no way I could not invite her husband of 20+ years (I was inviting her And her parents), but then he fixed it for me!

          • Pickle

            Oh how wonderful! Praying for a similar outcome!

      • Katharine Parker

        I don’t know of anyone who has literally chosen their date to a wedding at random (“I’m just going to pick whichever of my 1900 facebook friends comes up first!”). It’s not a random choice to bring a friend or a newish person you’re dating even if the bride and groom haven’t met them.

        • savannnah

          I mean I did have a close friend bring her rando cousin to the wedding instead of her boyfriend- He couldn’t make it I guess and she just showed up with her day of and cousin is in all of our aisle pictures.

          • But a cousin isn’t random! Like, suuuper rude of her assuming that you invited her boyfriend by name instead of by open plus-one, but a blood relative is literally the opposite of a random human? (But really, that is super rude and I will try to stop dying on this particular semantic hill now)

          • savannnah

            haha fair enough- I think people use random because most people meticulous work on their guest lists and look at these names over and over and then when you send out invitations all hell kinda breaks loose and often within a week of the wedding and it feels like they just decided to do whatever they want and you are like who the f is this person? and you just gotta roll with it.

        • NW

          At a wedding of a friend of mine one guest brought her waiter from TGIFridays that she met the night before

          • Lexipedia

            See, I want this to happen just for the story. Even better is if he comes wearing his flair!

          • Katharine Parker

            Lol ok, that is the one case of random plus one I will allow

          • Cathi

            I would bet very good money that random TGIF waiter was an old coworker of mine, ha. Dude was charismatic AF and I’m 95% sure this happened to him on multiple occasions.

            This is the same dude who informed me a week before my wedding he was going to bring his flavor of the week and was very taken aback when I told him he hadn’t been given a +1. Was this new flavor a girlfriend? No? Sorry!

        • Diverkat

          I have a friend that did this too, because his original +1 backed out – literally did a FB call out. This friend did not get a +1 to our wedding.

    • Irena Belaqua

      THANK YOU! I commented on a sham-ey, really invalidating “random person met on Tindr” dig in a response written by Meg last week, and never got a satisfactory answer or acknowledgement that it was hella invalidating to dismiss others’ relationships based on your own, personally biased, highly subjective judgement of its commitment level. I’m seeing now that this attitude was not a one-off. Increasingly disappointed, APW. Even more so week, as a poly person. :(

  • toomanybooks

    We had some poly guests, but none in a situation of being serious with multiple people. (Some were actually just single, one was poly but in a serious primary relationship and we weren’t aware of any other relationships, and she’s close, so we’d know?)

    Do you know someone who’s in a triad? Invite all three. I think it’s fairly clear there.

    But certainly not all the people one poly guest is dating want to be on one big date with each other – some people may be comfortable with that, and some may not. And I suppose someone could be in a serious relationship with two or more people – but those people aren’t dating each other – and you aren’t sure which to invite. I think in that case you can leave it up to your guest by putting “and guest” on the invitation, or asking them. Or, idk, just make a decision with how you do your invites and send them out and see who says something. Whether monogamous or polyamorous, people invited to weddings tend not to be all that shy about asking if they can bring a certain person as their date, in my experience.

    Think about it the way you’d normally think of invites for guests in your wedding – maybe you’re giving everyone a “plus one” or maybe you’re not, but the reasoning for who has a named, invited date would still hold: are they married? Engaged? Living together? Have they been together long enough that you’d consider them just as serious? Are they not just “dating” but in a relationship? Everybody kind of had a different cutoff when figuring out how to dole out date invitations for their wedding (because the traditional etiquette doesn’t always quite work).

    We were totally out of space to invite more guests when we were sending out invites, and that’s just your standard wedding planning drama – you’ll always have people adamant that they should be able to bring someone because everyone in TV and movie weddings gets to bring a date to all weddings all the time, even if they just met said date the day before the wedding, etc. I’m imagining you’ll run into the usual issues with that here too.

    • I think the following your general cut-off is as a good a general rule as you can get here, and if nothing else is a good starting point if you aren’t sure how to have a conversation with your friends.

  • Pickle

    Also disappointed by the APW response here, both by the “random girlfriend” dismissiveness and that it doesn’t actually answer their question. This person seems to be inviting partners regardless of whether or not they live together. So if friend A has a serious girlfriend they don’t live with and she’s invited, but friend B has two serious girlfriends they don’t live with, who gets invited?

    I think the “Beloved Guest” solution is quite nice, though it doesn’t cover scenarios where the person might want to bring both partners. So I’d recommend asking your friends! Call or email and say ‘hey, we want to invite you to our wedding in a way that’s equal to monogamous couples, so we’re happy to invite you plus either partner, or you and both partners, or you with a nonspecific plus one that you can fill in with either: what do you prefer?”

    • Amy March

      Yeah also since when is the rule if they don’t live together it’s open season?

      • Pickle

        I can sort of see what they mean by that, if what they mean by “open season” is “it’s up to you”. I wouldn’t make that rule because it would exclude people in serious long distance relationships or people in very serious relationships who just choose not to live together Goldie-Hawn-and-Kurt-Russell style. But, when we sent save-the-dates everyone who lives together got their name on the invitation, whereas some people who are in relationships that are serious but not so serious that I can’t imagine them being single by our wedding just got their own name on the envelope and will get their partner named on the invite if they’re still together then.

        • Amy March

          Right but on an invite, you can’t exclude a significant other just because they don’t live together!

          • Pickle

            You CAN, I wouldn’t argue that you SHOULD. Some people have the “no ring, no bring” rule or “only people who live together rule”.

          • Amy March

            And those people are rude.

          • Pickle

            Eh, I dunno. I think ‘no ring no bring’ is stupid, but it can be hard to quantify what qualifies as “serious” enough to be invited so I understand that people feel the need for there to be a cut off. The reason I didn’t include the less-serious people’s SO’s on the save-the-date was that if they break up with their current partners and have a new relationship that’s only a few months old, I don’t really want to invite the new person unless we have extra room.

    • I feel like maybe “beloved guests” would cover the either/and/or/both. “Plus one” isn’t a decree forcing you to find someone or not come, and I assume that logic would carry to “plus some” not being a demand to bring all currently available partners whether they normally date that way or not.

      • Pickle

        Good point! Though I would then worry about people interpreting that as “I can bring anyone beloved! My partner AND my cousin!”

  • Amy March

    I think that this situation is fundamentally incompatible with a one size fits all rule. If your friends have decided to live outside society’s rules, then you just need to call them and ask.

    • S

      I don’t know, I agree 1000% that you should just ask them, but this came off a little judgemental or like poly people are making life harder for everyone on purpose. Yes, “deciding” to be in a poly relationship is a choice, but for many poly people it’s the difference between being in authentic and happy relationships, or being unhappy. People don’t choose how their hearts work. I’m sure that’s not what you meant but I just wanted to reiterate that, for any poly people who may have read this comment and felt othered. Yes, your living or loving situation might be unique, but you’re not a rogue group of societal outcasts! You’re not the other evil pride in the Lion King 2, you know? You’re part of society as much as anyone else, and you’re not breaking any rules.

      • Amy March

        No that’s not at all what I meant, and it’s also not at allwhat I said. Etiquette rules were designed for monogamy and fail at providing good solutions for people living outside that norm. I don’t think at all they are trying to make life harder for everyone on purpose and I don’t think there is anything hard about calling a friend and asking them how they would like a wedding invite addressed and to whom.

        • S

          Like I said, I agree with you about just asking, and it’s not about what you might have meant – it’s about how it might have come across to people in the APW community who are vulnerable and used to being seen as outsiders and who may be sensitive to that. :) If I could have read it as possibly coming across that way, I’m sure there are others who could, too.

    • I had a similar reaction to S, and unpacking it, and I think it’s because “outside society’s rules” is very similar to some dog whistle descriptions of poly relationships. Rules are something you get punished for breaking, and I’ve seen similar phrases used to suggest poly people deserve it when their relationships breakdown. The language was more loaded than you intended, and it’s even more jarring because it’s in conflict with your message.

      • Amy March

        It’s not a dog whistle I’m blowing. The post is about rules.

        • S

          I think the thing is that we’re not talking about rules, or there wouldn’t be any issue – we’d all know what to do. We’re talking guidelines, not rules. And I think what we’re trying to get at is that it feels like you’re (inadvertently!) suggesting that poly people aren’t part of society. Of course poly people haven’t “decided to live outside society’s rules”. Language can be really othering when you’re part of marginalised communities or communities that commonly face discrimination or judgement, is all I’m, and I assume all @mssolo:disqus is saying. Now that we’ve established you didn’t mean it that way, we can move on :) It was just really important to me to put that out there for anyone poly reading this that we make that point clear.

        • I know that (you wouldn’t be here if you were the sort of person who used dogwhistling language on purpose) but I thought you’d want to know that the phrase you used is also commonly used as a dogwhistle anti-poly phrase, because that’s not your intent.

  • AmandaBee

    So this is NOT the main point of the article, but sofar and Amy March pretty much summed up my thoughts on like (when in doubt, ask your people).

    But can I just suggest that the bit about different last names going on different lines is one of those pieces of etiquette that needs to die sooner rather than later? If people are in a committed relationship, different last names doesn’t make them any less attached than couples who have matching names. I’m not sure I’d notice if someone put my husband and I on different lines because our last names are different – but if I did notice it, I’d be pretty miffed.

    • BSM

      Oh I completely skipped over that in the article, did not know that that was standard etiquette, and do not follow it. I would go so far as to say that that is an absurdly antiquated, impractical, and stupid rule. Nope.

      • Amy March

        It’s also no longer a rule already according to many sources, so it seems odd to be bringing it up particularly about a situation not covered by antiquated rules.

        • BSM

          Irony!

          I’m just picturing how freaking long invitations could get if you’re inviting a family where everyone has different last names:

          Ms. Jane Doe
          Mr. John Smith
          Jack Smith Doe
          123 45th Street
          Apt #6A
          New York, NY 10003

          That is a long-ass invitation.

          • Ros

            That’s our family! We mostly get things addressed to “The Doe-Smith family” if it’s for all of us.

          • BSM

            That makes sense! I was probably thinking of myself (lol) because our kid is getting a combination of both our last names for his, while we’re each keeping our own. We kind of go by Comboname anyways, but so far we’ve gotten no mail addressed to us that way (unfortunately).

    • Lisa

      I agree that people don’t need to be on different lines for the sake of the last names, but I can think of at least one couple where I had to put there names on different lines because Mr. Greek Longlastnamepoulis and Mr. Thai Superlonglastnameitorn were never going to fit together. There are legitimate reasons that names might need to be on separate lines but “doesn’t share the same last name” isn’t one of them.

      • BSM

        Well, yeah. Same goes for people’s addresses. I’d say that’s not the same thing at all and not something to be concerned about.

      • lamarsh

        Agreed! I tried to put couples on one line, but some of my friends have hyphenated last names and there was just no way that was all fitting on the top line of a printed label.

      • rg223

        Maybe the original intent behind the same last name on one line thing is meant to be a space saver, so you could write “John and Elise Gray”? I have never heard of this one-line rule at all before, so just a thought.

        • AmandaBee

          I made the mistake of googling invitation etiquette when I was writing out ours and there’s still some REALLY outdated advice out there (which I promptly ignored). I just usually don’t see it on APW.

      • Katharine Parker

        Yeah, we had calligraphed invitations and two full names would rarely fit on the same line. It wasn’t a judgment, just a space issue!

      • AmandaBee

        Yeah, we dealt with this, in part because my handwriting is giant. So I wouldn’t inherently assume that separate lines was a dig at the last names. But when there’s space, they should be on the same line just like everyone else.

      • Lexipedia

        I <3 your examples.

      • Amandalikeshummus

        I was gonna say the same thing. My name alone barely fits on one line, so it would never occur to me that someone is making a judgement on our relationship.

        Seriously, I’ve run out of room on self addressed envelopes. My handwriting is also large and terrible.

        But since it’s what I’m used to, I don’t think twice about splitting up names into two lines when I’m addressing things.

      • GotMarried!

        Agreed. My husband’s first name has 7 characters, my first name has 8 and our last name has 11. Ain’t gonna happen. I’d much prefer being on seperate lines than being Mr. and Mrs. His First Our Last.

      • guest

        I am Ms doublelastnamebeforemarriage. We have to have separate lines. The killer is that our kids are hyphens, so we have three different last names and we’re not even a “blended” or poly or otherwise “complicated” family. I do not judge anyone for whatever they do with our names, and I think people need to cut their friends more slack on these issues.

    • Another Meg

      Honestly, I’d be so happy they actually got my name right. It’s a sad world.

      • AmandaBee

        Well there’s always that.

    • Jenni

      Agreed. I was very surprised to see this on a site that normally supports women choosing to keep their own name after marriage.

  • BSM

    Like others have said, call and ask your friend.

    We didn’t have any poly guests (that I know of), but this advice holds true in so many situations. For example, I invited my group of friends from high school, and a few of them were in newer relationships/beginning to date one person more exclusively when we were putting the guest list together. I wasn’t sure if they were going to want to bring their new significant other or if they’d prefer to go solo and catch up with old friends, so… I just called and asked them. One did, and I included her name on the invite, and two did not, so we didn’t.

    • Lexipedia

      You separated child and parent with the same last name? I wouldn’t have thought to do that, but maybe that’s better?

      • BSM

        I followed the same (made up?) rule that I used for wedding invitations: the person I know best goes first, then their partner, then any children. So since I’m primarily friends with John, he went first, though I put them all on one line (or tried to – John and Jack’s last name is pretty long). So it looked like:

        John Smith, Jane Doe, and Jack Smith

        I think it would be weirder to have:

        John and Jack Smith and Jane Doe
        or
        John and Jack Smith
        Jane Doe

        To me, that makes it look like John and Jack are a unit, but Jane is just like on her own. YMMV!

        • Lexipedia

          This makes sense! Ugh – invitation addressing,

        • suchbrightlights

          I did the same thing. I did not know there was etiquette around it. There wasn’t enough room on the envelope for Elizabeth LongGermanLastName and Jonathan McDouble-Barrel to be listed on the same line. If I knew Elizabeth better than Jonathan I listed her first; if I knew Jonathan better I listed him first.

          For entire families I just did not bother and invited The Goldsteinbergkowitz Family, listing individual names on the invitation directly to make it clear that the kids were included.

          Many opinions have been expressed about our invitations, but no one has brought up the way they were addressed.

      • MTM

        I think it’s common to put kids by first name on the inner envelope (and not include or put Smith Family on outside)? I might also be making this up.

        • Amy March

          It is common, but only if you are using inner envelopes and most people don’t.

    • Eh

      Children’s last names were a sensitive issue for a few of our guests. We had a few friends who were going through adoptions (for example, all my BIL/SIL’s kids had different last names at the time, post-adoption they all have chosen the same last name). So we just didn’t use last names for any kids. The kids were all likes on a separate line. Most of our family and friends had at least two kids so it didn’t look like a random name on a line.

      • BSM

        That sounds like a good solution!

        Kids’ last names will probably be something I’m going to be sensitive about since everyone in our house will have different last names (because that’s what we’ve picked), so I totally understand there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this kind of thing.

        • Eh

          We all have different names. People get it wrong all the time.

          • BSM

            That sucks.

  • Lexipedia

    Other invitation addressing question – I’m just doing the save the dates and we want to give a family friend of FI’s, who is a single mom, the opportunity to bring someone if she would like to. She and her daughter also do not share a last name. Is the following appropriate?

    Ms. Suzie Creamcheese and Guest
    Miss Daughter Notacreamcheese

    • Jessica

      Looks creamcheesiegood to me

    • BSM

      I think this is what I would do. You could also ask her if she has a preference!

  • Lexipedia

    Oh, also, if you are doing Mr/Ms for adults, do you do Miss/Master for the kids? Master makes me feel squidgy.

    • Jessica

      I think you can do “family” instead of the individual children.

      • Lisa

        Great minds! We posted at the same time.

    • Lisa

      You could always use the catchall “and Family” for kids if you’re not distinguishing by age.

      • Lexipedia

        Haha, this works if “and family” isn’t taken too liberally.

        • Jessica

          Are they adult children? For my wedding I actually sent my tween and teenage cousins their own invite, just to make sure their mother (messy divorced from my uncle) wouldn’t try to weasel her way in.

          • Lexipedia

            Nope, one is seven and one is nine.

        • Lisa

          True! If you’re doing a response card with listed names or an on-line RSVP, you could limit the number of children/write the first names there.

          If they can’t be trusted to know that doesn’t mean second cousin once removed and brother-in-law’s parents, then I would definitely not use it.

    • I like “and family,” I think you can do Mr/Ms for kids too. I personally would also feel comfortable skipping honorifics for the kids and just doing their names, but the area I live in is not intense on formal etiquette so ymmv.

      • Lexipedia

        I’ll totally skip the honorifics for children, much easier.

        • I’m actually pretty sure we didn’t do honorifics for anyone, and if anyone was grumpy about it they were grumpy behind our backs ;)

          • Eh

            We didn’t use them for anyone. We didn’t hear any complaints.

    • quiet000001

      I usually do whatever I think the kid would get the most enjoyment out of as long as it isn’t offensive. Like my younger cousin REALLY liked it when stuff was addressed to Mr. Younger Cousin even when he was pretty young, because it seemed more grown up and official, so that’s what I did on all of his birthday cards and so on.

  • Katharine Parker

    “If your married friend’s husband has a casual girlfriend they don’t live with, that’s not really your business, and you don’t have to invite her.” I agree that you probably wouldn’t invite this girlfriend, but I think it’s not because they don’t live together, but because that sounds like a relationship that doesn’t function as a primary social unit, if that makes sense. (The “it’s not really your business” bit feels almost backhanded judgey–like, duh, let other people manage their own relationships.) Would you invite this couple and the husband’s girlfriend as a social unit to a dinner party? Would they expect you to invite all three of them? Are they a triad, or a couple who also dates other people? You have an obligation to respect people’s relationships in the same way that you would want them to respect yours, so you invite people with their partners, but not every relationship is a social partnership, living together or not.

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  • Nell

    I think this particular poster solved her own problem in terms of Bob and his 2 partners – “and beloved guest” works if she already knows that he is NOT in a triad, and wants him to bring 1 guest.

    In my mind, the purpose of sending a personalized invitation is to (a) make sure it gets to the right person in the mail, (b) to acknowledge the humans who you specifically want to be present at your event. What this poster did was create an honest description of what they wanted to have happen at the wedding: Named friend comes to wedding with beloved guest of his choosing.

    I think it is actually very problematic that our culture privileges people with a single partner over everyone else. And hey, I was guilty of this at my own wedding! We didn’t give plus ones to anyone who wasn’t in a serious, long-term relationship. But looking back, what harm would it have done to let a few more people into the party?

    “No randos” is something I’ve seen on a lot of invitations to regular house parties in my circle of friends — and that makes life really tough on my single friends, who inevitably never meet anyone new at these parties. It makes it tough on anyone who is trying to make new friends. I get that weddings are special, and different, but I think that (at least my generation) has become extremely insular. The fear of bringing a strange person into a social situation seems to outweigh the potential benefit of having someone new bring joy to a gathering.

    I know this is a little off from the subject of polyamory – but I think it relates. What would happen if we really made our weddings friendly to poly people? Wouldn’t that require that we be a little bit more flexible in thinking about what constitutes a “serious” relationship, or why we let some people bring dates and not others?

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