“Do I Have To Give Married Guests A Plus-One?” And Other Wedding Etiquette Questions Answered

May 6, 2016  |  

"Do I Have To Give Married Guests A Plus-One?"


“To plus-one or not to plus-one?”— a question that will plague most brides at one point or another as she attempts to nail down a guest list that fits both her budget and venue size. Of course, money and space aren’t the only factors that need to be taken into consideration when trying to determine who is allowed to bring an extra guest. There are some unspoken rules that brides may want to adhere to if they don’t want to offend their loved ones. Thankfully, pro wedding planner Victoria Nee-Lartey of Victorious Events NYC is here to answer your burning questions and set the record straight.

Which guests am I expected to provide with plus ones?

“Immediate family members and close friends should always have a plus-one. If your guest is married or engaged, then that’s a definite plus-one. Long term relationships, especially if they live together, are usually given that courtesy as well,” explains Victoria. “But if it’s a new girlfriend or boyfriend of only a few months, you can pass. Of course, if you can afford it, it would be great to give everyone a plus-one. But weddings are for those who are nearest and dearest to the couple — not a fancy date night.”

Am I always obligated to invite the spouses of every married guest?

“It is never okay to not invite your guest’s spouse. Even if you have never met their spouse, they should be given that courtesy. This will be a great opportunity to meet them and perhaps plan a double date in the future.”

Some guests are assuming that they have/and or are asking for a plus one. What should I do?

“Kindly tell them that you are at capacity. When planning your wedding, have a budget and guest count in mind and stick to it. Plus- ones are not just an extra plate,” says Victoria. “That can lead to an extra table, extra centerpiece, and extra table linens. It can get very costly.”

How should I word my invitations to let people know when they’re not allowed a plus one?

“Your response card should state the name of who is invited along with the number of seats. And for online responses, there are websites that allow you to import your guest list so that they can only select their name to RSVP and no one else.”

What should be done about attendees who show up with uninvited guests?

“Hopefully, you are inviting people who would know this is a big no-no. But if they do arrive with a guest, remember to be gracious. Your wedding is not the time to have a verbal altercation. Your wedding planner will find a seat for them. After the wedding is over and you are back from your honeymoon, you can reach out to the guest and let them know how you feel. Tell them that you enjoyed having them at your celebration, but bringing a plus-one wasn’t included. Try to find out where there was a miscommunication. And if there was no miscommunication, be cautious about extending future invites. Etiquette exists for a reason, to avoid faux pas and awkward situations. Be wary of those who purposefully disregard it.”

To learn more about Victoria Nee-Lartey and Victorious Events NYC, click here

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