It’s Wedding Wednesday!
At Twin Ponds, we pride ourselves in our elegant event venue for weddings and banquets. With our experienced background we know that planning can become stressful for the bride or the banquet planner. So every Wednesday we’ll be posting a little bit more about ourselves as well as some tips and tricks for your special occasion!
How to handle that awkward “Can I bring a date?” question
By Elizabeth Cavine
Nobody wants to deal with the uninvited guest situation, whether that’s someone asking if they can attend or the dreaded “can I bring a date” question. Chances are, you didn’t give that person a plus one for a reason and are now figuring out how to gently tell them no. If that sounds like your current dilemma, read on for how you can smoothly handle this awkward situation.
How Opposed Are You to Letting Their Date Attend?
When someone asks to bring a date, which isn’t really proper etiquette unless their date is a long-term partner or fiancé/spouse, I would recommend considering how opposed you are to their date attending. If you have room in the budget and venue and genuinely don’t mind having their plus one attend, then by all means add them to the guest list.
Chances are, though, if you’re reading this article then you likely don’t want them attending. If you don’t want them there for any reason (personality, budget, capacity, etc.), you are NOT in the wrong. This is your wedding and you and your significant other are well within your rights to control the guest list.
Gently Turning Them Down
When letting a guest know they can’t bring their uninvited date, always turn them down with tact and kindness. There are two methods I recommend for telling them their date cannot attend.
The first will include giving them the true reason or something close to the truth for why it’s a no. For example, you can say, “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to add them to our guest list because of our [budget constraints/seating limitations/desire to not have guests we don’t know/etc.]. Choose whatever reason you are comfortable with telling them. Although you don’t owe them an explanation, sometimes people appreciate learning the why behind your decision.
If you think your guest might push back on your excuses (i.e. “oh I don’t mind paying for their meal”), then I recommend giving a simple “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to add them to the guest list.” Leave it as a firm no with zero wiggle room for them to be pushy. It’s not rude to say no, even if they seem upset.
In the end, you want to be delighted with your wedding and the people in attendance. If you don’t want their date to attend for any reason, you’ll be happy that you declined their request even if it was a little uncomfortable telling them no.