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| October 4, 2012

We Asked, You Answered: Wedding Woes

Editor’s Note: We recently turned to Facebook and Twitter to ask readers their advice about wedding etiquette. The response was so overwhelming we couldn’t possibly print each comment, but we’re publishing as many as we can. Share your view with us by sending an email to YourVoice@voice-tribune.com.

A single gal was invited to a wedding without the option of bringing a guest since she’s not dating anyone seriously and was told all other singles are being asked to come solo, too. She was also told all singles will be seated at the same table(s). The single gal is actually OK with the situation for a variety of reasons but several of her unattached pals are really upset. Your thoughts?

“Makes it sound like single people are lepers.” – Lou Robinson

“I did this at my wedding for financial reasons (weddings aren’t cheap). However, I didn’t sit all of the single people together. Most people that came solo ate at tables with other people they knew.” – Michelle Yeager Turner

“Maybe the intent is to encourage their single friends/family to mix and mingle with hopes they’ll meet their significant other?” – Rayshawn Mitchell

“As someone who just got engaged, I really feel like when it comes to having strong opinions about other people’s weddings –don’t! Everybody’s different, everyone has different expectations, just remember it’s NOT your wedding. When it’s your wedding, then by all means have an opinion. Not to mention, you’re not the one paying for the wedding. Weddings aren’t cheap, I completely understand not being able to afford an unknown friend’s friend. Single people, don’t be pissed, grab a drink and dance your a– off. Nobody stays seated at those tables for long anyway.” – Carly Johnson

“I think it’s tacky – At BEST.” – Martin Brummeler

“Never heard of this before. No need to arrange for singles to meet at a wedding, but I am sure they meant well.” – Phyllis Hildreth

“I had the same thing happen several years ago. First, I was stuck sitting in a pew by myself (as in, the ONLY person in the pew) during the wedding due to the seating arrangements they had for the ceremony. At the reception, I was the only person flying solo and instead of letting me sit with people I knew, or even near people I knew, I was seated with the grandparents and their friends. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t fun either. It’s always preferable to bring a date to a wedding, but if the couple asks you not to, then it’s time to decide if you want to attend or just send a gift. If I had it to do over, I’d send a gift.” – Katrina Ricker

“A wedding reception is costly and meant to share with the closest of family and friends. A guest should not take it personally and instead should understand that the Bride and Groom have a budget that needs to be respected. The guest will have the option to attend or not attend, but at least the invitation has been made. A wedding is day to witness the union of two people who want to share their lives together. The reception is a celebration of that union. Guests should not try to make it about themselves, but rather rejoice in their friend’s happiness.” – Yvette Cabrera Rojas

“Get a date and you’ll be permitted to sit at the ‘big people table.’” – Mark Dutrow

“I completely agree with Yvette and always thought that this was common practice (at least in the northeast where my family is from, maybe inviting everyone with a guest is a southern thing like groomscakes?). As a recent bride (last weekend), I did the same thing when inviting people to my wedding. It wasn’t necessarily about the cost, but that we wanted to be surrounded with our family and good friends. Only those who were married or in relationships were invited with a guest. I put a lot of time and effort into the seating chart and made sure that single/couples were mixed at the tables and everyone with people where they would be comfortable.” – Madelyn Anetrella Cerra

“As a parent of three daughters I certainly get the financial reasons of cutting the list short! However I strongly feel it is improper not to give the ‘single’ guest the same courtesy as you give your couple guests. Maybe those single guests (who the) bride or groom are really close to can be requested to attend solo, but should let them give you a preference as to their seating arrangements.” – Fariba Cox

“Actual etiquette states they are not obligated to play host to any single’s guests and that it’s OK to invite a single as solo attendee, only improper if they knowingly have (a) significant other or are engaged.” – Kelly Olsen Hutchinson

“If you brought someone, you could share a chair, a plate and a glass.” – Joanna Queenie Erickson

“My option – Don’t go.” – Sandra Doss 

“I find this request odd. It ostracizes the singles. If its about the money, the trimming could be done in other ways that don’t make anyone uncomfortable.” – Jazz Fodale

“What I find odd is not the fact that the single people were invited sans guest but the fact that they are grouped together at a table.” – Kayla Yates

“I had the same situation at my wedding. It was a small (80 people) wedding for just our family and close friends.” – Joyce Inman

“Go have fun and celebrate the couples committment to marriage! Nothing else matters.”  – David Carlisle Rasner 

“I did attend a wedding like this several years back, but our entire circle of friends was invited. So, the single people didn’t really have to attend alone, and everything worked out well. I really hate the concept of putting all the singles together at a table. I also hate the fact that you can’t decide whether or not to bring someone with you. What if you were dating someone? So, I’m still in the ‘don’t go and be sure to explain why’ category.” – Melissa L. Williams

“Sounds odd, but exciting if there are a few good single men to meet!” – Matthew Porter

“Once (the bride and groom) knew who was coming alone, they could do table arrangement to put singles together. Maybe they thought this was a great meet and greet opportunity for male and female singles?” – Janine Linder 

“At many venues you’re paying per head, so while I don’t think it’s common place to deny a +1 to your single friends, the seating them together seems like more of a set up.” – Sammi Pry

“It sounds cheap and tacky. I don’t blame them for trying to save some money on food as it’s the biggest expense. However, the first thing I tell prospective brides that are considering my services for their special day is that people are coming and they will be bringing you expensive gifts and money, the least you could do is provide them with a decent meal. The only thing worse is a cash bar. In my experience … the things that people remember the most are what the bride looked like in her dress, what the cake looked and tasted like and what they got to eat. No one ever remembers the flowers, DJ or band unless they were horrible. They could save some money elsewhere.” – Dan Thomas

“I have a slightly different take on this. Being a single guy (not seriously involved) I cringe at the thought of being invited to weddings because there is a social EXPECTATION that you’ll bring a date. What’s more, inviting someone to be your wedding date is a pretty significant invitation (at least in paranoid guy thinking). So ‘forcing me’ to go solo allows me to celebrate with my friends. If it were a normal plus-1 invitation, more often than not, I’d decline.” – Patrick Migliore

“The website I found ‘The Knot’ says: ‘If a guest isn’t married or in a serious relationship, it’s perfectly acceptable to invite them solo. Most guests will understand that without ‘and Guest’ or another name on the invitation means they aren’t invited with a plus-one. While it’s always nice to invite everyone with a guest, if you’re having a small wedding, your family and friends should understand your reasoning … But if you realize that nearly everyone will be coupled up, extend a plus-one invitation to your few single friends and family.’” – Tim Schooler 

“I understand them not wanting single people to bring a guest in some cases; when people bring guests they don’t always act appropriately. Their wedding is their day and I wouldn’t want someone I knew to bring someone that could ruin my day or offend my family or friends in any way.” – Becky Means

“I think it sounds kind of like being stuck at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving.” – Michelle Webb Reckner

“I decline any solo invitation. Always assume I’m a plus one. I’ll decide if I bring someone or not. I’ve earned that right. P.S. So have you.” – David Cain

“From the wedding planner: you should always assume that the person is bringing someone unless you get the response card back and it only says ‘one.’ Rarely does anyone want to attend alone. You should be able to bring a friend!” – Jamie Johnson Lott

“Who needs a ‘plus one’? If the other solo guests are your friends you will have a blast! Just think of it as a girls night out – free food, open bar, dancing. Sounds like a good time to me!” – Paige Scurlock Dominion Homes

“In this day in age everyone seems to be single and those who are embrace it and have fun. I do not agree on there being a money or head count because of the situation. On the etiquette side how well do you know the bride and groom? I can see other singles being upset by the fact for not being allowed to bring a ‘date,’ but in my opinion you’re at the fun table – enjoy!” – Christina Collins

“I met my husband at my brother’s wedding! Just hope that they seat you with some hot single guys. Nothing like a wedding to get a man in the mood for marriage or dating.” – Allen Matlin

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