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  • Tracy Fink

The Etiquette of Plus Ones: Who Should Get A Wedding Invitation?

Guest at wedding

Your guests are the party that you choose to celebrate the kick-off of your marriage with, which is kind of a big deal, right? Lots of guests can make for a fun and lively event, but as your guest count increases, you’re bound to encounter a max of how many people your venue can hold or you may be faced with your own personal feelings on who you do and do NOT want to celebrate your wedding day with. This marks the question: do all guests get to bring a plus one? Tricky. 

We want guests to have a great time and to bring someone who can help enjoy the celebration. That being said, this plus one (that you may not really know) will cost you hundreds of dollars by the time you factor in food, alcohol, favors, decor, rentals, etc. You should consider surrounding yourself with the people you know and love on your wedding day, but we’ve put together a guide for the delicate subject of plus ones!

Who gets a plus one? Here are some suggestions:

Married Guests: It's important to give married guests a plus one as it gives respectful recognition of their marital status.

Engaged or Living Together: A couple that is engaged or living together marks the status of serious and committed to each other. Therefore, their partner deserves a plus one for your wedding.

Seriously Dating: A guest in a serious relationship of six months or more (even if they are not engaged or living together) should be considered for a plus one. This is situational and ultimately up to you, but it's worth noting that if they do not receive a plus one, they might be a bit offended.

Doesn't Know Anyone Attending: If a guest doesn't know anyone attending the wedding, it would be a nice gesture to give them a plus one. This will increase the chances of them attending your wedding and ensure they are comfortable throughout the evening.

Who does not need a plus one? Here are some suggestions:

Casually Dating: Anyone who is casually dating does not need a plus one. An invite to a wedding is an honor, and someone who might not be in the picture long-term does not need to be in your wedding pictures.

Single and Knows People: If a guest is single but knows people attending the wedding, they will be fine without a plus one. Since they have other guests to socialize with, they will still have a great time without bringing a plus one.

Coworkers: This one is tricky and not cut and dry. According to traditional etiquette standards, it's not necessary to offer a plus one to coworkers, especially if you don't know their partner or if they are attending as part of a workgroup.  For example, if you work on a sales team of 15 (or are in med school with a large group of fellows) and you don’t have the capacity to include all of their spouses, it’s acceptable to invite the workgroup but not significant others. 

Acquaintances or distant relatives: It's not absolutely necessary to offer a plus one to guests you don't know very well or those who are distant relatives. This is because they are less likely to know other guests at the wedding, and it can be difficult to accommodate additional guests if you have limited space.

At the end of the day, it is your wedding and your decision on who gets to attend and if they get a plus one. Inviting plus ones to a wedding can be a delicate balance. It's important to make sure your guests feel welcome and included, but it's also important to follow proper etiquette and guidelines. The guidelines above are just suggestions, but regardless, do what makes you most comfortable on your day!

If you’re interested in working with a professional planner who will handle all of these details and provide additional etiquette guidance from start to finish for you, reach out to us today and set up a complimentary consultation!

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