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You Asked: Can I Ask to Bring a Date to Their Wedding?

Dear Sugar,

I need some advice on the correct and most gracious protocol on asking about a plus-one to a wedding. I am a bridesmaid in one of my dear friend's wedding. It's a destination wedding so I would love to bring my boyfriend as my date, however it's a very intimate wedding (family and close friends only), with a large reception to follow afterwards, back here at home. While the engaged couple has met my boyfriend, he travels often and hasn't had a chance to get particularly close to them (though they get along very well).

I absolutely understand that this is my friend's day and I will go along with whatever she prefers, even if that means that I go solo, but do you think it's even worth asking her if I'm allowed a plus-one date or should I assume that it's out of the question? I love my friend and I don't want to create any awkwardness or have her feel like she must say yes, but it would mean so much to me to have my boyfriend there with me for the long weekend. — He Wasn't Invited Ingrid

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear He Wasn't Invited Ingrid,

This is a toughie! It sounds as though you haven't been dating your boyfriend long so since they don't know him well, it's possible that they really do want to keep their wedding as intimate as possible, but the only way you'll know for sure is by asking.

Since you say you'll be fine if she says no, I'd preface your conversation by saying just that. Be as honest as possible, let her know that you understand that they want to keep their guest list to a minimum, but if there was space for just one more, you'd love to have your boyfriend come help celebrate their special day. I'm sure she'll understand your desire to have him there, but as we all know, weddings are expensive and they take a lot of time and energy to plan, so if adding one more will cause too much trouble, try not to be disappointed if her answer is in fact no. And remember, if he can't attend the actual ceremony, he will be able to celebrate with everyone at the reception back home!

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Join The Conversation
Aurora-87 Aurora-87 8 years
I wouldn't ask. If she wanted him there the bride would have invited him. She said that is was a intimate wedding with only family and close friends. And destination weddings are expensive too. I think she can handle a weekend without her boyfriend.
lilren lilren 9 years
I disagree. I think it would be rude to ask -- surprisingly, a lot of people assume that they get a guest or ask to bring someone but if you were supposed to bring someone, you would have been given a "and Guest" on your invitation. To even ask about it is rude.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
in short...NO
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
You should totally ask if it's okay. I'm pretty sure we had this one a couple weeks ago.
rosey_y rosey_y 9 years
No, please just suck it up. I'm planning a very intimate wedding and so every one of the 15 guests on the list has been carefully chosen as someone who we want there to share this day of our lives with - people who love us, support us, and who'll always play a big part in our lives. It'd put me in an uncomfortable position to have someone ask to bring a guest along that I barely knew. I'd want to say yes out of politeness, but I really would prefer they just didn't ask at all. Even bringing him along but leaving him out of the wedding activities is a bit dodgy IMO. I'd feel bad as the bride in that situation - I wouldn't want my guest to have to leave out the boyfriend they brought with them. I'd also feel a bit pressured to relent as long as they're already there and let them attend. It *might* seem a little bit passive aggressive. It's just a bit off I think. You get to bring your boyfriend to the reception back home. It's not like you'll be going to this massive wedding all alone without a partner. If it were me, I'd take along some good books, and just enjoy relaxing on my own in between the festivities!
emalove emalove 9 years
She'll send you an invitation (even though you're part of the wedding party) and if it's addressed to just you, then just you is invited. But if she writes "and guest", then of course, you should bring your guy! I wouldn't ask her, I'd just wait for the invite to arrive.
hotpinkglitter hotpinkglitter 9 years
No you cannot bring him to the ceremony and reception unless he is specifically invited on your invitation. Trust me, there is enough stress on the bride as it is, she shouldn't have to worry about all her friends asking if they can bring dates. I agree, Kimpossible...why is this such an ordeal for people? If it really bothers you that your date isn't invited, then just don't go to the wedding!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
Seriously, another of these questions? If the invitation is only addressed to you then you shouldn't ask. I just don't understand why people have such a problem with this?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
We did just have the same question. Apparently it's repeat day/week/month on DearSugar.
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
You can always just bring him and meet him after the ceremony!
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
That is BEYOND rude, DCStar, and something my family would probably do. At my wedding I'm setting aside enough money from the budget for some big scary bouncers to keep uninviteds out.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
I think asking politely is fine, as long as you're not pressuring the bride. At my sisters wedding, some people just brought dates even though they weren't given a plus one!
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
IMHO, if you had to pay for your own plane ticket and hotel room, I think you should be able to bring your bf along, just leave him out of the wedding festivities. But if she took care of all your expenses, then I think it is a bit selfish to ask her if you can bring your bf - even if he pays for his own stuff.
LizL LizL 9 years
We let our wedding party bring a date whether they were with someone or not. BUT, when one of my husband's friends asked if she could bring her boyfriend (who we never met and she was with for 2 months) we told her that we wanted to see how many people RSVP'd no. If there was enough (we invited more people then the venue could hold) then he could come. We ended up telling her that she could bring him, but they had broken up by then :)
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
Is his name, or "and guest," printed on the envelope? If not, the answer is no, and do not ask the bride if he can come. I just got married two months ago, and I had to field questions like this right and left. It's a really stressful time for the bride, and if she wanted to invite your boyfriend, the invitation would have stated that. Everyone thinks they should be the exception, but it's rude to put someone in that position. Read any Miss Manners or Emily Post book if you don't believe me.
SugarKim4203 SugarKim4203 9 years
Have you thought about bringing him to the place the wedding is but not having him come to the ceremony/reception there? It sounds like this could be a nice little vacation for the two of you.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
If this was me I probably wouldn't ask at all and let it be. She knows you have a boyfriend, and if she wanted him there she would have invited him.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I guess I would ask...but don't expect anything from her - he obviously wasn't in her plan
runningesq runningesq 9 years
I SWEAR we just had the exact same question!
jaxon jaxon 9 years
My thoughts were in line with slinkygirl. He comes but does not come to any wedding activities.
cjmara805 cjmara805 9 years
If money is such an issue, offer to cover his costs perhaps?
sass317 sass317 9 years
Planning a wedding can be really stressful, let me tell you, your friend is well aware that you have a boyfriend and if she wanted him to be there, then his name or "and guest" would have been on the invitation. This is her and her fiance's day, its not a vacation for you and your boyfriend. I say leave it alone- a wedding as small as you are describing tells me that EVERYONE there is the family or closest of friends of the couple, your man is not. And yes there was something similiar posted recently, but that girl was the maid of honor and she was FURIOUS that her bf (of 4 months) wasnt invited to the destination wedding.
slinkygirl816 slinkygirl816 9 years
why not bring him with you for the trip but exclude him from any specifically wedding-related activities? i'm sure he'd understand, and then you don't have to ask your friend anything uncomfortable, but you can let her know not to be worried if she sees you around the location with him.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
Didn't we have a question like this not too long ago? Anyways, I would just assume that she omitted him from the invitation on purpose. If she wanted you to have a date, then she would have put plus one. I wouldn't bother asking, because right now she probably has way other important stuff to worry about. It's only a few days, so you'll be fine without your boyfriend.
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