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The Last Minute and Unexpected

Issues That Weren't in the Plans: Simple solutions to three sticky issues that may arise unexpectedly

Several of our friends have not responded to our wedding invitations. Plus, some who have responded have returned their RSVPs with additional names written in-even though their invitations did not include "and guest." What should we do?
Refined-White-WOThe first important obligation a guest has upon receiving a wedding invitation is to respond immediately. If your invited friends and family don't have the courtesy to complete this simple task, you'll have to no choice but to get on the telephone (or to solicit the help of your mother-in-law) and politely ask the slackers if they plan to attend your nuptials. As for your friends who are expecting to bring uninvited guests, it is impolite of a guest to ask, or even worse, assume that he or she can bring a date. You're not rude in saying no. The reality is that weddings are expensive; they usually can't be dating events. Who is traditionally included? Partners of invited guests should be included in a wedding invitation, whether they are married, engaged or living together and whether or not anyone in the wedding party knows them. Allowing single guests who aren't attached to a significant other to bring a date is a thoughtful gesture but not required.
One of my attendants had to back out of my bridal party because of her job. My wedding is in less than three weeks. Should I find a replacement?

If this happens before you announce your attendants' names, you may ask someone else. It is incorrect to ask anyone to fill in at the last minute, but there are exceptions. You might ask a close friend who would be honored to help out.

Friends returned their reply card with their children's names written in. I'm not having children at my wedding, which was made perfectly clear on the invitation. What do I do?

There are those parents who go right ahead and write their children's names on the response card, some doing it intentionally, believing they can bully the bride into having them; others truly believe the children are included. Whoever is hosting the wedding may call immediately and explain in kind terms that the children are indeed not invited. If this results in an angry, "then I'm not coming either," so be it. The breach of etiquette is theirs, not yours.

Find more suggestions for a variety of issues on our Etipedia wedding page.



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