DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been invited to a family wedding with a plus-one. A few months before receiving the invitation, I ended my long-term relationship, but I was fairly private about it and did not make it widely known.
The family member who invited me had met my former partner, and I believe that she extended the plus-one expecting he would attend, not knowing I am no longer dating him. The invitation was addressed to myself “and Guest.” I worry it might be deceptive not to let my relative know about the breakup and offer her the chance to rescind the plus-one.
I would like to bring a date (and have one ready and eager to join me), but I wouldn’t want to do so if it’s a breach of etiquette. Should I inform her, or can I bring any date I like?
GENTLE READER: Harboring a strong dislike for the “plus one” invitation, Miss Manners is resisting the temptation to say that those who issue anonymous invitations have no one to blame but themselves when strangers appear on their doorstep. If the bride was hoping your former partner would attend, then she might have troubled to learn his name.
No matter. Your own dilemma can be resolved by telling the bride how much you are looking forward to the wedding, as is your new friend, whom you cannot wait for her to meet. This is meant to warn the bride of the change, not -- and this is important -- to give her the opportunity to commit the rudeness of rescinding an already-issued invitation. It is to forestall any such attempt that this enthusiasm is being conveyed.