What Should I Do If a Guest Adds an Uninvited Date on the RSVP?

Q: We sent an invitation to my cousin and her teenage daughter. She returned her response card with the name of a man we’ve never met instead of her daughter’s (whom I’d really like to have at my wedding). None of my other cousins are invited with a guest. What should I do?

A: People can be very presumptuous, can’t they? Bottom line: Even though your cousin prefers bringing a date to your wedding instead of going with her daughter, it’s not fair to you, her daughter or the other guests—nor is it up to her to make this decision. As uncomfortable as it may be, you have every right to give her a call and explain that since you have not asked any other family members with dates, you wouldn’t want them to be upset when she shows up with her escort. Also tell her that you included her daughter on the invitation because it’s important to you that she attends. Let your cousin know that as much as you would have liked your guests to have the option of bringing a date, space and budget limitations won’t permit it, and you simply can’t accommodate her friend. Hopefully, she will understand and comply with your wishes.

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