Plus-One Etiquette for Weddings

David and Sarah Photography

Making your wedding guest list is fun...until you have to make a decision about plus-ones. You want all of your guests to be happy at your wedding, but you also might not want to pay for a meal, drinks, and a killer night for someone you don't even know! Decide on your plus-one rule and stick with it. Do you give everyone a plus one? Only those who are married or live together? Does each member of the wedding party get a plus one? We're here break it down for you!


Things to consider when deciding who should get a plus-one:

1. Is this person married, are they in a serious relationship, does he or she live with their significant other?

If this guest meets any of the criteria above, then we vote yes; give them a plus one. Put yourself in this person's shoes. Would you want to attend a wedding without your significant other?

2. Have you met this potential plus-one?

Don't feel obligated to give your cousin a plus-one for someone she's "dating." This cousin will have family members there that she knows; however, if this guest will not know anyone else at your wedding, consider giving them a date. We all know what it feels like to be the odd man out.

3. Do you want to give everyone in the wedding party a plus-one?

We vote yes for this one, too. Offering a plus-one to your wedding party is a nice gesture after all of the time and money they put into your wedding. If you're to giving a plus-one to one wedding party member, then all of them should get a plus-one.

4. Does your venue and budget have enough room for plus-ones? Remember that your venue most likely has a guest minimum and maximum. Use those open spots for people you truly want there, and then if you have room, offer some guests a date. If you don't have room in your guest count for plus-ones that you are unsure about, then that's the perfect excuse!


More tips:

  • If the person is travelling, consider giving them a plus-one.

  • If you don't want to give someone a plus-one, don't.

  • If you want to give everyone a plus-one, go for it.

  • If possible, invite the plus-one by name, not 'and guest'. Just in case the person who you invited breaks up with their SO, this will keep them from bringing a random person to your wedding.

  • Address the invitation to just the invitee if they are not getting a plus-one.

  • Print the names of the guests invited on the RSVP card.

  • If you are doing an online RSVP, make it so that each guest can only RSVP for the given number of people invited in their party.

  • Add this to the FAQ section of your website: Q: Can I bring a date? A: In order to stay within our budget and our venue's capacity, we can only accommodate the guests listed on your invite.

At the end of the day, it's your wedding, so you make the rules!

Head over to Bear Brook Valley's blog for wedding guest list tips!

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