Getting invited to a wedding is a momentous occasion. When planning your wedding, it is important to know who gets invited to a wedding individually and who gets a plus one at a wedding. In this blog post, we’ll tackle the answer. Be sure to subscribe now for the latest to your inbox!
As you plan your wedding, you may be worried about how to keep your guest list on track with your budget when it comes to inviting family and friends. What about inviting a plus-one? In this blog post, who gets to bring a guest to a wedding and who doesn’t, according to proper etiquette. We’ll also tell you why it matters who gets a plus one, how to handle an uninvited guest request, and how to properly indicate a guest is invited.
Let’s tackle it together. :)
Traditional Wedding Etiquette
Here are the traditional etiquette rules when it comes to inviting plus-ones to a wedding.
1. Married Couples
Married couples get to bring their plus-one for life! :)
2. Engaged Couples
The same applies: someone who is engaged brings their soon-to-be spouse to your wedding.
3. Serious Relationships
What about unmarried couples? If someone is in a serious relationship — i.e. they’ve been dating for 1+ year, or you know them well, or they live together — it is standard protocol to invite the guest and their partner as a plus-one.
Do you have to? No. This is the one area where it is not mandatory.
NOTE: If you need to be very strict on your budget, you can opt for the rule of married or engaged couples ONLY. This can be helpful if you’re mindful of your budget and is an acceptable rule of etiquette to follow.
4. Wedding Party Attendants
All wedding party attendants — bridesmaids and groomsmen — are given a plus-one regardless of their relationship status. They are important people to you, so including a guest on their invitation is proper wedding etiquette.
Before this makes you anxious about your budget quickly racking up totals, keep in mind that most bridesmaids and groomsmen opt to NOT invite a guest, simply because they’re busy doing wedding duties all day. It is the gesture of inviting a plus-one that is proper etiquette. If they don’t want to bring someone, that’s OK!
Who Always Receives a Plus One?
Married couples and engaged couples, wedding party attendants always receive a plus one. As noted, serious relationships are often included in this, but it is not mandatory. This is up to your own discretion. However, if you allow one cousin to bring his or her partner but you do not allow another to do the same thing, you may have chaos on your hands so try to keep it fair.
How to Handle a Plus One Request
If someone does NOT receive a plus one but they ask you if they can bring someone, how do you respectfully turn down the request? Be kind but straightforward. Simply let them know you are keeping it to “close family and friends” or you’re “trying to keep the guest list small”, and although you would “love to invite everyone”, you cannot.
It’s hard to do it, but once you make your guest list, you need to stick to it.
If a guest won’t attend your wedding because they can’t bring a guest, they’ll decline the invitation on the RSVP card… simple as that.
Don’t Ask to Bring a Plus-One to a Wedding
Don’t make this faux pas: as a guest, you should never contact the couple getting married and ask if you can bring a guest. It is considered impolite to do so.
How Do You Know If You Can Bring a Plus-One?
If you’re a wedding guest, you may be wondering if you can bring a plus-one or not. The clue to whether or not you can bring a guest is on the outer envelope of your wedding invitation.
• If you are invited solo, you’ll find your name and address on the outer envelope. That’s it.
• If you can bring a plus-one, you’ll find your name and the words, “And Guest” (or their specific name) and the address on the envelope.
Here’s an example of an envelope where a guest can bring a plus one:
It’s as simple as that!
Your wedding is a time to gather your closest family members and friends to celebrate the occasion. When you invite a plus-one, it should be done as a way to make your guest feel comfortable and have someone to share your day, enjoy dinner, and dance at your reception. It’s important to follow these etiquette rules so you can keep guests happy — but keep your budget in check, too.
Are you having trouble with your guest list? How are you handling who gets a plus one at your wedding? Leave a comment below to tell us about it.