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Plus One Wedding Etiquette

April 19, 2011

I saw an interesting article from BBC News earlier this week that poses the question, Why is the plus-one issue always so tricky?

We get questions about plus-one dilemmas all the time, and it’s a huge aggravation and concern for our brides.  In every wedding, there are debates about who should get a plus-one invitation and who shouldn’t.  Then, once the invitations go out, guests will inevitably ask about whether they can bring their significant others – or even just a friend.  Or sometimes guests won’t even ask – they’ll just respond on the return invitation that they’re bringing someone.

So how do you deal with this touchy subject without alienating your friends and family, while at the same time staying within your budget?

Well, that’s a tough one, and unfortunately someone isn’t going to be happy about the decision.  The article suggests that if your guest is in a serious relationship, then yes, absolutely they should have a plus-one invitation.

Now, while there is no generally accepted rule, if the guest is married or in an established, long-term relationship, his or her other half should be invited.

I certainly agree with that, but that’s the easy part.  As far as the gray area of when someone wants to bring a short-term relationship or a friend….

Alone at a Wedding

I understand where they’re coming from.  No one wants to be at a wedding where they don’t really know a whole lot of people.  Or maybe two of your guests went through a recent break-up, and one of them is bringing a significant other – the person that’s not in a relationship might want to bring someone.

Here’s what I recommend for any of these situations.  Give them a call and talk it out.  Most people realize how much a wedding costs, and they’ll understand.  But if they’re adamant about bringing someone or would really feel uncomfortable being alone, just let it happen.  I know weddings can be expensive, but it’s not worth losing a friendship over.

And really, how many of these tough calls will you have to make?  Hopefully not too many!

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