Thursday, May 19, 2011

victoria and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad plus one issue.

As Brandon and I get closer and closer to the day that we’re supposed to send out wedding invitations (three weeks!), we have the issue of addressing them and making that horrible decision – who gets a plus one? Do we let so-and-so bring that skanky whats-her-face girl he keeps hooking up with by denies adamantly instead of inviting your friend, joe schmoe? Do we address a family member’s invite to him, his on again off again girlfriend (whom we have never met) who just kicked him out last weekend and his daughter or do we keep it at just family and save ourselves the headache? Do we insist that FP bring Nora the Explorer because it’s funny – but who do we have to kick off the list to make that happen? Do we really want to miss out on them being there so we can laugh the next morning at FP and his date?

A reading from the gospel according to says:
This is an age-old debate. It is gracious to allow single guests to bring a date so they won't feel awkward or left out, but if you can't afford the extra guests, it may be even worse to cut people from your guest list just because you can't let them bring a friend. Deal with this problem on a case-by-case basis. If you have unmarried friends and relatives in long-term relationships, you might want to consider inviting their partners. (Even though they're not married, they're committed.) Then, invite your more single friends and relatives without dates rather than crossing them off your wedding guest list altogether. If anyone complains, simply explain your dilemma -- it was important that they be there, but that you couldn't afford to invite dates.
The reason this topic is heavy on my mind is because last night we had what I can only assume is the first of several, “but why don’t I have a plus one?” conversations. I was addressing wedding invites and I got down the list to one of my cousins who has an ever changing relationship status.  I asked him if he was still with his girlfriend (reasonable question, considering I had heard that she had given him the boot the previous weekend) and his response was “as of right now”.  This did not sound very promising. I told him that given the circumstances (i.e. his lack of a firm answer and the fact that neither Brandon nor myself has met this girl), I wanted him to be aware that he would not have a “plus one” for the wedding. For this particular member of the family, having a plus one is seemingly a life or death situation. He said that all weddings allow “single” guests to have a plus one. Wrong - see above response. He said that family should always be able to have a plus one. In my opinion, this is double wrong. If you’re family, then chances are you already know a very good portion of the people in attendance, so you don’t need to have that security blanket of a plus one. To make matters more annoying for me, I know that this particular family member told Brandon, not two weeks ago, that he planned to bring a “slut” to my wedding. I did not address this issue last night.  In response to not being able to bring a plus one, my cousin said “then consider me a plus zero”. Really? Sadly, this response is really not all that surprising from this particular family member. You’re not going to come to the wedding because you can’t bring a date? Sounds like this is a situation where I shouldn’t want this person there at all… even if he is family.  Maybe I should send him the link to this article from entitled How to be a Great Wedding Guest and suggest he read the section called "Getting an Invitation"!