One of the biggest stresses of planning a wedding is planning the guest list. Some couples have huge families who all expect to be invited, others have tight budgets and need to be cautious about how many guests can come. The best way to manipulate your guest list by following plus-one etiquette.
While it’s totally up to you how you choose to manage your guest list, here are the guests who should, according to plus-one etiquette, receive an invitation for an additional guest if you’re stuck.
It’s polite to invite the spouse even if you don’t have a close relationship with them, or even if you’ve never met them. Just think ahead to after your wedding. Wouldn’t you want to dance the night away with your spouse? Including a plus-one is respectful of their relationship.
Those Who Are Engaged or Living with Their Partner
Again, it is a thoughtful to include a plus-one when someone is in a serious relationship. Everyone’s relationship is a little different, so they could be just as committed as a married couple minus a ring.
If you choose to have a wedding party, it is important to give them the opportunity to bring a guest. Wedding parties usually put in a lot of time and money to be included in your wedding. Pay a part of that forward by giving them the choice to bring a guest.
Someone Who Doesn’t Know Other Guests
Have someone who isn’t familiar with your other guests? Provide them with a plus-one. This will keep them from feeling awkward or leaving earlier than the rest of your guests.
Plus-One Etiquette for Responding to Those Who Don’t Get an Extra Invite
Someone will definitely reach out to you and ask if they can bring a plus one. By making a clear plus-one rule, you can respond politely with a reason why you cannot allow an additional guest. For example, “Only family and the wedding party is receiving a plus-one,” or “I’m sorry, we only gave a plus-one to people who are married or in a serious relationship.” And guests, please don’t take this to heart or hold it against the couple!
Be realistic about your guest list when deciding who gets a plus-one. Remember, each plate has a price tag, so think about your budget. Trimming the fat from the guests of invitees will be the easiest way to get your guest list down if you’ve gone over.
Make sure you include either the name of a plus-one on the invitation or write “Guest” with the person you are inviting. Including the name of a plus-one will help reduce the amount of invitation-swapping and reduce the cost of your wedding if that specific guest cannot attend. Stating that is it strictly by invitation, including how many people the card admits or including 2 reception cards in your invitation suite it will serve as a helpful reminder that only those people are invited. Many wedding guests are not aware of the etiquette they need to follow when receiving an invitation or attending a wedding, so the clearer you can be, the better.
This may be a big forward, but avoid drama when choosing who gets a plus-one. If you have a friend who has a rowdy boyfriend, only give your friend the invitation. You may need to have a slightly delicate conversation with why they did not get a plus-one, but it will save you a big headache.