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odilonie
Aug 11, 2009, 08:59 AM
I could use some advice on the topic of uninvited guests to a party. I've read up on it a bit and understand that the general etiquette is as a guest, you shouldn't bring along people who weren't invited, and as a host, you should graciously accept those uninvited guests when they show up.

What do you do when this is a repeat problem? I'm laid back about BBQs and birthday bashes, but when I have a dinner party or small ladies' night, I'd like to have some choice on the tone for the evening - and having enough chairs for everyone! Is there anything that can be said in the invitation to drop the hint this is not welcome? These are not formal events and it is customary in my circle to invite electronically, so paper invitations/RSVPs would be odd. It wouldn't work anyway, because I'd get a text message two hours before the party announcing that so-and-so will also be joining us.

Excluding the offenders is not an option.

N0help4u
Aug 11, 2009, 09:35 AM
The uninvited guest is last at chairs, food, beer, etc...
IF it is an ongoing problem you may have to resort to a cover charge or requiring everybody to bring something to the party beer, chips, dessert,
That may discourage people bringing along others.
I would quit inviting repeat offenders

Catsmine
Aug 11, 2009, 09:35 AM
The traditional tactic is to snub those who repeatedly bring uninvited guests until they understand that invitation only means only those who receive an invitation.

You are notifying your invitees that your gatherings are "invitation only," aren't you?

odilonie
Aug 11, 2009, 10:35 AM
Thanks for your responses.

Catsmine, you got right to my main problem: what is the friendly way of saying it's invitation only? In a casual invitation in which five of seven recipients have enough common sense to know I'm inviting them and not their cousin, college roommate and coworker, "Would you all like to come over my house next Friday for dinner at 7:00? This is by invitation only" is a little off-putting.

N0help4u
Aug 11, 2009, 11:04 AM
Maybe do a ticket for each person you invite where they have to have a ticket and you keep a copy to verify.
I want to have a music festival at a park next year and I was thinking of doing that to keep it from getting too over crowded.

I don't know if that is something you would consider.

Catsmine
Aug 11, 2009, 11:41 AM
Thanks for your responses.

Catsmine, you got right to my main problem: what is the friendly way of saying it's invitation only? In a casual invitation in which five of seven recipients have enough common sense to know I'm inviting them and not their cousin, college roommate and coworker, "Would you all like to come over my house next Friday for dinner at 7:00? This is by invitation only" is a little off-putting.

Only inviting the 5 is the traditionally polite way. The 5 will then ask the other 2 why they didn't come; the 2 will ask you why they weren't invited; you then have the option of explaining that you did not wish to invite the cousin et cetera or simply saying that you only had room for 5.

odilonie
Aug 11, 2009, 01:59 PM
I agree, I have read that this is the polite way. I wish there was a more proactive way to head it off rather than exclude someone, forcing them to ask about it so I can tell them they've been blacklisted. Well-intentioned people can blunder. I'd like to include them and give them the opportunity to do the right thing; they just need a nudge.

Catsmine
Aug 11, 2009, 03:29 PM
Telephone the 2. In a private conversation explain that there is only room for so many and that if they cannot come alone they simply cannot come at all. Give them the choice.

Edit: You may also wish to formalize your soirees a bit more, even if only for a lark.

Alty
Aug 11, 2009, 03:58 PM
This is a tough situation.

Sometimes etiquette has to be tossed out the window. ;)

I had this problem for quite a while, there were always people who brought along a friend at the last minute. I started to call these people individually, invite them and then ask right then, do you plan on bringing anyone else? If yes, then you can bring a steak, salad and drinks for that person because I'm only making enough for the invited guests.

That didn't stop them, so I stuck to my guns. The very next party one of my repeat offenders brought along a friend. I didn't even know this person.

When they entered the house I greeted them, sat everyone down, put a TV tray in the family room for the "friend" and then served my guests. I then told the offender that he could use the BBQ to cook his friends steak after we were done eating. He was shocked. Asked were the steak was. My response, "I don't know where you put it".

He never brought a friend again. :)

Jake2008
Aug 12, 2009, 10:09 PM
Had to spread the rep alty, but I got to say, I love what you wrote.

Some people are just thick, and need to be told upfront, face to face, and in simple terms.

"Sara, I'm having a dinner party next Friday night, I'd love for you to come, but only you. Please don't bring anyone else with you."

You don't have to explain why! It's your house, your party, your expense, your guest list. It is not open to negotiation.

If she puts up a fuss, just repeat what you've already said. She's welcome to come, but only her, and you hope that she can make it alone.

Catsmine
Aug 13, 2009, 04:00 AM
I refuse to accept that blatant rudeness is the answer to blatant rudeness. Using that logic, there should be several glowing lakes in Asia: Tehran, Bagdad, Pnom Penh, Damascus. Fighting fire with fire only results in ashes.

Odilonie, show yourself better than they are. If a private conversation does not produce the desired results, resolve to only see these people at others' functions.

artlady
Aug 13, 2009, 04:13 AM
You could add a PS to your invite saying*please do not bring a friend as seating and refreshments are limited to (number of guests)*.

You could try humor in your PS.. Please no surprise or uninvited guests,I have enough surprises in my life .lol

If they choose not to attend because of that then that is all the more for guests who respect your wishes.