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Q&A: Guest List: Let Single Wedding Guests Bring a Date?

Q.

My fiance and I are paying for most of our wedding and we are on a tight budget. We would like to invite as many people as possible, which makes it tough to invite singles with guests. Is it acceptable to invite single family and friends but not include "and guest" on their invitations? My fiance says we have to allow wedding guests to bring a date out of courtesy. I just don't want to eliminate people just because we're obligated to let them bring a guest that we can't afford. What should we do?

A.

This is an age-old debate. Your fiance has a point -- it is gracious to allow single guests to bring a date so they won't feel awkward or left out. But your point is valid too -- 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. Then, carefully consider where to seat them at the wedding; you may want to put them with other singles so they won't get stuck at a table of couples. Who knows, two of your guests might even make a match at your wedding!

See More: Most Asked Wedding Questions , Guests & Guest List , Going to a Wedding? , Wedding Guests