Hey friend, I'm throwing this amazing party and I'm inviting you! You want to bring a guest...well...ummm...wait a minute! Why am I feeling bad because you're being rude? This is my party and I'll invite who I want to. NO apologies and NO univited guests.
Definitely Maybe, it's a good read if you didn't catch it the first time. I sense a series of etiquette posts might be developing here. So let's dive into my snark re: the UNINVITED GUEST.
Obviously I have theories and personal feelings on the subject but that could be just me. So in thinking through this frustration I decided to look-up and reference the expert on manners, Ms. Emily Post. I entered the term uninvited guests into the search engine and here is what pops up in big bold letters. "Question: What is ruder than yakking on your cell phone in a restaurant? Answer: Bringing an uninvited guest to an event." I think a little glistening tear trickled down when I read that. Now I understand that Ms. Post's response is particularly tailored towards printed invitations and sometimes in this world of Evites, Facebook events and emails traditional etiquette is lost but come on people! This is not rocket science. Those who are invited receive invitations one way or another. It is not up to you as the guest to put additional people on the list.
I am hostessing an event in which you are invited to whether it's a picnic in the park or a formal dinner in my home I'm doing the bulk of the work and therefore I get to call the shots. I don't throw an event without a very specific idea of what I want the finished product to look at feel like, there is method to my madness I promise. Invitations be they print or electronic are for YOU unless specifically indicated otherwise.
Do NOT ask if you can bring a plus one--if the invitation includes a plus one I would tell you before you had to ask.
Do NOT ask me if you can bring a plus two--really you think you need two?.
Do NOT ask me why "x & y" couple aren't on the list whilst they're standing in front of me--yeah cause that's not awkward for everyone involved. If you're curious who's on the guest list then ask
Do NOT ignore my very direct response when I tell you that I can't accommodate additional guests--really I'm not playing the passive-aggressive game--no means no!
What happens in these scenarios is that I'm a nice person and I will accommodate your rudeness but you're off my list for all future events. If this seems harsh to you, it's meant to be. Let me tell you a short story that might illuminate the source of some of my frustrations. This fall I was planning a cook-out with bonfire in my back yard. Fall is my season an I do everything I can to enjoy it to the fullest. I created a very specific guest list because I wanted it small and intimate and I wanted the guests to all know each other well so it would be very comfortable. I had limited seating and I was providing the meat as well as the booze but I allowed each of my guests to bring a plus one (most of them are coupled up). One of my single gal friends, Lynn plans to bring a friend as her plus one--no big deal we've hung out before and she knows many of the guests so I'm not worried. The week before the event Lynn asks me if it's alright if she brings her sister along two. Not okay! Her sister in one evening at a different gathering managed to offend 3/4 of the people coming to cook-out including me (and it take A LOT to offend me). So as much as I want to be nice I tell Lynn that I can't accommodate anyone else. I don't know how one interprets a "NO" as a yes but that's exactly what Lynn does. The day before the forecast the weather is looking rainy and I email all of my guest to warn them cancellation might happen. I get a response back from Lynn's sister Carla saying she was really looking forward to this and couldn't we just reschedule it to the next day? Apparently the weather was supposed to be amazing and it would work better with her schedule anyway. WHAT THE WHAT?!! I don't sputter often but I was reading the message on my phone around friends and there were concerns that I would stroke out. Lynn: What the hell? Carla: Who the eff do you think you're talking to here? After I cooled down a bit I sent a firm response saying that wasn't possible because I was already committed to other plans. Lynn has subsequently been removed off of any future invitations for parties I might be throwing because that is RIDONKULOUS!
We hostesses don't ask for much folks. A little common sense and common courtesy goes a long way. Time, money, energy and talents are in very limited supply so be mindful and respectful and you'll continue to receive invitations to the fun stuff. If not well...you're out! Which is really too bad because I throw some kick ass parties.