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Everything to Know About Wedding Plus-Ones (& Being A Plus One)

Weddings are a joyous occasion, filled with love and celebration. One aspect that can sometimes be a little tricky to navigate is the topic of plus ones. Who gets to bring a date? Who doesn't...

Wedding Reception Dancing

Weddings are a joyous occasion, filled with love and celebration. One aspect that can sometimes be a little tricky to navigate is the topic of plus ones. Who gets to bring a date? Who doesn't need one? How do you handle the etiquette of inviting plus ones? Don't worry, we're here to help guide you through it all!

Plus One At A Wedding: Who Should Get to Bring a Date

You want to ensure that everyone feels included and respected at your wedding. While you're not obligated to give everyone a plus one, there are some traditional guidelines to consider. Here are a few categories of people that you should strongly consider offering a plus one:

1) Must-Invite: Long-Term Partners, Spouses, & Partners Living Together

Wedding Party

Anyone in a serious relationship should be able to bring a plus one. It's important to avoid snubbing someone's long-term partner, as it can lead to hurt feelings. This includes spouses, long-term partners, or partners living together. Even if they're not your favorite person, extending the invitation to them is considerate and shows respect for your guests.

2) Must-Invite: Everyone In Your Wedding Party Gets A Plus-One

Your wedding party consists of your closest friends and family members who have been by your side throughout the planning process. They've put in a lot of effort to ensure your big day goes smoothly. Show your appreciation by giving them the chance to bring a date. It's a meaningful gesture to thank them for their support and love.

3) Should Get A Plus One: Your Immediate Family Should Get to Bring a Date

Your immediate family members, such as siblings, parents, and grown children, should be offered the opportunity to bring a friend or significant other. These are the people who are closest to you, and allowing them to have a plus one will enhance their experience and make them feel valued. You likely already know the person they will invite, making it a welcome addition to the guest list.

4) Should Get A Plus One: A Guest Who Otherwise Doesn't Know Anyone Else

There will inevitably be guests who don't know anyone else at the wedding. Whether it's a best friend from out of state, a college buddy, or a coworker of your spouse, consider giving these guests a plus one. It can be uncomfortable and overwhelming to spend the entire day mingling with strangers. Offering them a plus one will ensure they have a familiar face by their side.

Who Shouldn't Expect A Plus One (But Will Always Appreciate If They Do Receive One)

While it would be nice to offer a plus one to everyone, practicality and budget constraints mean you'll have to make some choices. Here are a few additional categories of people you should consider offering a plus one to:

1) Plus-One Not Necessary: Those Who Are Casually Dating

Your friend who just started dating someone new would love to bring them along. It's a great opportunity for them to see how their potential partner fits in with your group. Allowing casual boyfriends/girlfriends to attend also ensures they have someone to dance with and talk to throughout the night.

2) Plus-One Not Necessary: Those Who Extended A Plus One to You/Your Partner

Wedding Party

Returning a favor to a friend is always a nice gesture. If someone has previously given you a plus one, take this opportunity to extend the same courtesy to them. It's a way to show your gratitude and strengthen your relationship.

3) Plus-One Not Necessary: Coworkers or Those Who Are Not Close to You

Your coworkers and acquaintances are a great group to consider offering a plus one to. Since you're not as close to them, they may not be familiar with your other guests, making it more comfortable for them to attend with a friend.

4) If You Give Plus-Ones to Single Guests, You Should Give a Plus-One to Everyone

Consistency is key when it comes to plus ones. If you offer a plus one to one single guest, consider offering the same to all single guests. This ensures fairness and avoids any potential awkwardness or hurt feelings.

Tips for Inviting Plus Ones to Your Wedding

Now that you have a better understanding of who should receive a plus one, let's dive into some tips for successfully including everyone's dates in your wedding guest list:

1) Take Time to Consider the Seating Chart (Especially if Their Partner Is In the Bridal Party)

The seating chart can be a tricky task, and adding plus ones can make it more complex. Ensure that there's enough room for every plus one next to the person who invited them. Additionally, if a plus one's partner is part of the bridal party, consider their seating arrangements carefully. You wouldn't want them to feel isolated while their partner is occupied with wedding-related tasks.

2) Be Clear About Who's Invited On the Invitation / RSVP

Wedding Invitation

When sending out invitations, it's essential to be clear about who is invited and who can bring a plus one. List each guest by name on the invitation to avoid any confusion. If you don't know the name of the plus one, you can write "and guest" but ensure that it's explicitly noted. For guests without a plus one, only include their name on the invitation.

3) Make Sure You Know How to Spell Their Name

Double-check the spelling of all your guests' names, including plus ones. You'll need their names for various aspects of the wedding, such as invitations, escort cards, and thank you cards. If you don't know the plus one's name when sending out invitations, make an effort to obtain it as soon as possible. This will ensure accuracy in the seating chart and other important details.

4) How to Respond If Someone Asks for A Plus-One

It's likely that someone who didn't receive a plus one will inquire about it. Listen to their request and consider their situation. Relationship statuses might have changed since your last check, and it's reasonable to reevaluate your decision. However, if you're unable to accommodate their request due to space or budget limitations, respond politely but firmly. Here are some ideas for a thoughtful response:

  • "We would love for you to bring a date to the wedding. Unfortunately, we had to narrow down our guest list to fit our venue. Thank you for understanding!"
  • "Our wedding is a small and intimate affair, limited to close family and friends. We appreciate your understanding and can't wait to celebrate with you!"

Wedding Invitation Plus One Wording

Planning your wedding invitations can be daunting, especially when it comes to addressing plus ones. Here are some tips for wording your wedding invitations:

How to Address Plus One on Wedding Invitations

The way you address your wedding invitations depends on the guest's relationship with their plus one. Here are some guidelines:

  • Married couple: Write one invitation with both of their names on the envelope and inside the invitation. Note if they share a last name or not.
  • Couple that live together: Send one invitation to their home with both of their names on the envelope and invitation.
  • Couple who doesn't live together: If you have both of their addresses, it's best to send each of them their own invitation. If you don't have both addresses, send one invitation to the primary guest with both names on the inside.
  • Couple with unclear relationship status: Address the invitation to the primary guest with "and Guest" to avoid any uncomfortable moments.

Addressing a Plus One When You Don't Know Their Name

For single guests bringing a casual date or without a confirmed plus one, write their full name as "and Guest" on the invitation. Only include the primary guest's full name on the outer envelope. Leave space on the RSVP card for the plus one's name to ensure accurate seating arrangements, place cards, and thank you notes. If you prefer not to address the invitation as "_____ and Guest," you can add a note at the end of the invitation or on the RSVP card indicating they are invited to bring a guest.

Polite "No Plus Ones" Wording for Wedding Invitations

For guests who aren't offered a plus one, address the invitation as you normally would to just one person. There's no need to mention that they aren't receiving a plus one. To provide additional clarity, specify the number of seats reserved on the RSVP cards: "We have reserved __ seat(s) in your honor." Pre-fill the RSVP card with their name to prevent them from adding an additional name.

Etiquette for Plus Ones at a Wedding

If you've been invited as a plus one to a wedding, remember to follow proper etiquette to make a good impression. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. RSVP properly: The person who invited you should RSVP for both you and your host. Ensure that they RSVP as early as possible, spell your name correctly, and select the appropriate meal options.
  2. Show up: If you agree to be a plus one, make sure you can attend. The couple has planned and paid for each seat and meal, so it's essential not to leave them with an empty spot.
  3. Minimize phone use: Be present and engaged during the wedding. Avoid excessive phone use, as it is polite and respectful towards the couple. Also, refrain from posting anything on social media that the couple may not want to be shared.
  4. Drink in moderation: Have a great time celebrating with new friends, but remember to drink responsibly. It's important not to make a lasting impression as an overly intoxicated guest.
  5. Consider contributing to the gift: While you're not obligated to do so, you can consider chipping in for the wedding gift, especially if you know the couple or are feeling generous. It's a thoughtful gesture that shows appreciation for the invitation.
  6. Dress appropriately: Make sure to adhere to the designated dress code and wear something that is both suitable and respectful. Avoid outfits that are overly revealing or attention-grabbing to maintain the focus on the couple.
  7. Introduce yourself: Be friendly and open to meeting new people. While your date will likely introduce you to others, take the initiative to introduce yourself as well. Remember, you are a guest of a guest, so a friendly and approachable attitude goes a long way.

Create Your Wedding Plus One Policy

It's essential to establish a clear plus one policy for your wedding. Consider your budget and prioritize fairness. Determine which categories of guests will receive a plus one, such as the wedding party, close friends, or single friends. Having a consistent policy for all invites will make the process of inviting plus ones much smoother.

Remember, wedding planning can be overwhelming, but with careful consideration and attention to detail, you can create a memorable and inclusive event for all your guests. So, relax, enjoy the process, and celebrate love!