Posts in the 'wedding guests' Category

{Ask Liz} Don’t Let Unwanted Plus Ones Blow Your Wedding Budget

Got a question for Liz? Go to the contact page and let us know what’s up!

Oy, with these things!

Dear Liz,

We are trying to keep our guest list small, but lots of people want to bring their other half, and if we say yes to one person, we’re going to have to say yes to others. How do we tell people that their invite is for them only? Is there a nice way to say don’t bring a friend? I just want family at the wedding, but my fiancé wants to have his friends,too, and that doubles the guest list from around 40 to 100! Please help, we don’t have enough money to feed 60 extra people!


Singles Only

Dear Singles,

You know, RSVPs are kind of the butt boil of wedding planning. There are the folks who RSVP right away, which is wonderful. The ones who RSVP but leave out some information like their name or what they want to eat, which is eye-roll inducing but ultimately harmless. I mean, which one of us has never locked their keys in their car before? You get busy, you get flustered, it happens. There are the ones that assume you already know they’re coming, and don’t bother to mail the card in.  There are the ones who just don’t bother to mail the card in, whether they are coming or not. And, then, THEN, there are the guests who look at an invite that is is obviously for a certain number of people, but they “misunderstand” and wedge extra guests into that tiny space on the card, without warning you. Yup. Of course, it’s not malice, it’s carelessness and presumption (“Oh, you meant me? I can’t bring a guest??). Consider yourself warned.

But, yes, before I went on a rant, you had a question: How to tell your guests that they can’t bring a plus one, and make it stick. Use all of these methods and somewhere around 85-90% of your guests will get it.

1. Technically, whoever you address the envelope to, is the only person invited. Address it to Miss Jane Smith, and she’s supposed to RSVP for herself. If Miss Smith is allowed to bring a plus one, then yo would address it to Miss. Jane Smith and Mr. Tobias Miller, or Miss. Jane Smith and Guest. For an entire family it would be addressed to  The Smith Family.
As I said above, that won’t completely do it.
2. The RSVP Cards. Instead of just having a line for guest’s  name, and meal selection, get specific. Write the invited guest(s)’s name on the card yourself, and add the line “__ of 1 (or however many are allowed) guests will attend.”
3. Personally spread the word: You’re having a very small wedding, and you can’t (don’t use the word “won’t” or “don’t want to”) let your guests bring a guest of their own.
4. Put #3 on your wedding website, using the nicest language possible.

When you have to talk to the guests that still didn’t get it, explain that no one else is bringing a plus one, so they can’t either. Use variations of whatever you used for #3 and #4. Try not to worry about it too much – you can only do what you can do, you know?


Yeah, this could be hard to say “No” to! (Courtesy of Dahl Shop)

Dear Liz,

As a big ol’ BAB, I had an inquiry that I haven’t seen covered here (though I could have easily missed it). What about “knockoff” wedding dresses, like on Etsy, or on other internet sites?  Now, obviously there are pros and cons, but I wonder if anyone has had personal experience with getting a custom ordered dress that way and whether it IS a big budget saver?  Or would regret going that route for, oh, forever? Thanks so much!


Impressed by The Dress?

Dear Impressed,

I have had a couple of brides that have bought “knock-off” dresses on the internet.  It went fine for them, for the most part. The only thing I can tell you is that if you are not completely comfortable with the idea, then don’t bother. All you’re going to do is worry about your dress from the time you order it to the time you get it, and it’s not worth the stress.  You can find beautiful, cost-effective dresses offline, too.

So, what are you doing to cut down the plus ones? And are any of you getting your dress online? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out a little bit more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,


{Ask Liz} Short Wedding Questions To End The Year

Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what’s up!

Inspiration! But, you know, outside.

Dear Liz:

Hi there! I am getting married in May at a stable. I want to have the ceremony on the inside and the reception outside (the views are amazing). Renting lights and paying for them to install them is pricey! Do you know of a cheaper way to provide cute lighting for outside (that actually does the job)?


Bright and Shiny Night

Dear Bright,

Well, this is definitely the week to answer that question! Hit Target, Walmart, etc., and/or your local hardware store and pick up as many discounted Christmas lights as you can, and a few extension cords. It’s probably going to take a couple of trips to figure it out, but take them and a (step) ladder to the stable and see what you can do. Practice, practice. Ooh, and ask if you can use Hurricane lanterns outside.

Yeah. Untie the string.

Dear Liz,

What do you do if you have your guest list, send out Save the Dates, and then have a falling out with one of the guests?  Do you still have to invite them to the wedding?


Forget About It

Dear Forget,

No. If you aren’t speaking to them any more, and don’t want them at your wedding, you don’t have to invite them. You’re not tied to the Save the Date.

So, did you change your guest list when you changed your mind? And, how are you affording gorgeous lighting on your not-so-cute budget? Let us know in the comments below. And, you can find out more about me and my part of Wedding World at!

See you at the end of the aisle,

{Ask Liz} Bridesmaid Budgets & RSVP Lockdowns

Got a question of your own? Head to the contact page and let us know what’s up.

Pretty is everywhere…

Dear Liz:

I’m in the process of searching for the prefect dress for my bridesmaids.  I want the dresses to be stylish, but different from what you typically see at weddings.  Also, I do not want my bridesmaids to spend a lot of money on these dresses (no more than $200, and that’s pushing it!)  I think I’ve finally found some dresses that I’d like them to choose from, but they are all almost $300!!  I feel horrible asking them to pay that much money for a dress, but these are the only dresses that I’ve fallen in love with (besides my own!)  I haven’t been able to find anything that is similar yet cheaper.  Do I ask them to shell out that much money anyway, or keep looking?!


Dressed for Less?

Dear Dressed,

If you are not comfortable asking them to spend that much money on a dress that, odds are, they will not wear again, then don’t. I always say that your bridesmaids want to be there for you, but don’t make that harder for them than it has to be. For one thing, the dress is not even close to the only expense they’ll have to pay to be in your wedding.  Unless…can you can pay for their dresses? Some brides do that, either straight up or as a gift to their girls. That’s the only other option I could see working. If not, stick to your original budget and keep looking. Big sales are coming up in Wedding World in the next couple of months, too, so hang tough. And check out some of the posts we’ve done on bridesmaid dresses to get some more ideas.


Seriously, with these things!

Dear Liz,

I have an etiquette question.  There are several people that I have to invite to my wedding who I either know are single or who I don’t even know well enough to know if they are single or attached.  I really don’t want my wedding full of strangers.  I want to keep it as close and familiar as possible.  I’m also in a position that I have  friends I’d like to invite, but without a “plus one.” The question is, if there is a single person I’m inviting can I just invite them and not give the option of bringing an additional guest?  Or is that the worst of bad manners?  I still want to be a generous host but ultimately I want to look around and see faces of people who we know and love and who love us, not a bunch of strangers who don’t know us or care about us.


Single Guest-Minded

Dear Minded,

Yeah, people do that. The rule of etiquette is that the only person invited is the person the envelope is addressed to. So, if you were inviting Mia Smith and a guest, then you would write “Ms. Mia Smith and Guest,” if not, just “Ms. Mia Smith.” Now, do people always comply with that? Noooo. But,  make it a firm rule that your guests can’t bring a guest of their own and work from there. Spread the word, and cut off potential problem-makers where you can. Make sure the RSVP card asks for the name of the guest, NOT the number of guests – this is a good way to catch the non-compliant. If they do put an extra name in there, then you can shoot them an email or give them a call and regretfully inform them of the firm rule. Don’t back down, don’t engage. You can even blame something that’s true – there’s limited space, either in the venue or the guest list (“we can only have so many people”). It’s often not a huge problem, but I’ve seen it happen often enough to warn you that it might happen to you. Folks tend to assume they can bring a date. But you know what they say about assuming…

So, how did you handle the unknown guest dilemma? How much were your bridesmaid dresses, or how much did you have to spend as a bridesmaid on the other side of that question? Let us know in the comments below!

See you at the end of the aisle,