The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That’s why we launched #MannersMondays, a series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week’s question below!
"Are there any iron-clad rules on which guests must get a plus-one?"
The subject of plus-ones can elicit some strong feelings, regardless of your stance. Wedding guests covet the privilege to bring along a guest of their own, but it isn’t always a realistic request. If you are inviting someone who is married, engaged or living with a significant other, you must invite their partner as well.
Unfortunately, that rule of thumb doesn’t cover every situation. If you are wrestling with the guest list and trying to decide who is or is not granted a plus-one, it might help you to consider:
1. Your budget. Do you have a little wiggle room to add a few extra people? Are you willing to spend a little extra money on a few additional guests?
2. The whole guest list. Is there a long list of people you wanted to invite but couldn’t because of venue (or budget) constraints? In this case, allowing single guests a plus-one will probably feel difficult and will add strain.
3. Your guests. Will there only be one or two single guests? Do they know anyone else invited to the wedding? If you believe your single guests will be uncomfortable attending the wedding alone, making them feel at ease will probably be well worth the extra headcount. On the other hand, if you have a long list of guests who aren’t married, engaged or living with a partner, it is likely they will request their own plus-ones. Just remember that if you are lenient with them, you might be opening yourself up to a long list of wedding guests that weren’t actually on your guest list.
Talk with your partner and your families about the realities of space, budget and your priorities before the invitations are sent so you can plan accordingly. Don’t forget to discuss how you’d like to handle those guests who were not granted a plus-one but ask for one anyway. If you have a party line prepared ahead of time, those unwelcome inquiries won’t catch you off guard.