Asking for a plus one?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: How would you ask for a plus one?
    Contact the bride or groom directly in person or on the phone : (10 votes)
    18 %
    Contact the bride or groom indirectly by e-mail or other message : (16 votes)
    28 %
    Contact a family member/bridal party member : (11 votes)
    19 %
    Say nothing, write in your plus one's name on the RSVP : (0 votes)
    Say nothing, decline invitation : (6 votes)
    11 %
    Say nothing, accept invitation and attend alone : (14 votes)
    25 %
    Say nothing, accept invitation and bring your guest : (0 votes)
  • Post # 2
    8720 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I would contact some directly. However, directly (for me) means by phone OR via text message. It’s most likely the latter. I call very few people on the phone. I know that for my wedding we did invite quite a few people and a lot of them asked questions to our immediate family (mom, dad, grandmas) or to the bridal party. It didnt bother us at all. 

    Post # 3
    1236 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

    Call them and ask. Easy to clear up.

    Post # 4
    193 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Gah, I’m torn. If the bride/groom is a close friend, I’d contact them directly. If it’s someone I’m not as close to, I’d contact someone who’s mutually close to both of us because I wouldn’t want to seem like I’m asking to get a plus one, as opposed to just clarifying whether my SO is invited. But then, as a bride myself going through this same thing, I’d rather people just ask me directly. 

    Post # 6
    1566 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I guess I think of contacting directly as being through any form of communication that is directly to them. Email, text, phone call, or in person works for me. 

    Post # 7
    2675 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

    I think contacting directly or by email would be best.

    We had an uncle of FI’s get upset his girlfriend was not invited, I didn’t know she existed! So obviously not a long term relationship but we had the room. However it turns out even once I said we were okay with her coming, his son and family were not since they feel it’s disrespectful to the memory of their mother who passed away two years ago, so he’s still not coming.

    But it was very frustrating to keep finding out all the information second or third hand…he would mention it to FMIL who would then tell me or she’d tell FI and then eventually he would tell me. I wish people would just contact us directly.

    Post # 8
    5392 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2014

    Polygon:  Personally I would never ask for a plus one, and depending on the situation I would either decline or accept eg if it was a work colleague and several other colleagues were also going, also without their partners, I would probably accept; whereas if it were a relative who knew I was in a committed long-term relationship I would be quite offended and likely decline.

    But I would never contact the couple; it’s my choice as a guest to accept or decline, and I cannot insist that my OH is invited to someone else’s event. I think it’s incredibly rude to contact someone and basically try to make them give you a plus one. If they asked me why I had declined I would explain in a round-about way; but that’s as far as I’d go.

    Post # 9
    406 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    If I received a wedding invitation addressed to just me but was engaged or married, then I would probably contact the bride or groom for the purpose of clarifying. I would be as tactful as possible and say that I completely understand if they don’t have the resources to invite plus ones but just wanted to double-check, especially if they were not aware of a FI or DH. But for now, I don’t expect my SO to get invited to every wedding with me because we’re not technically a social unit yet. That being said, I’m thrilled when I receive a plus one to a wedding because I feel like people take my relationship seriously.

    For your situation, if you accidentally forgot to invite a cousin’s spouse, FI, or cohabitating SO, then I would apologize for the oversight and absolutely extend the invite to them. Otherwise, you’ll have to make your best judgement call based on your budget, venue capacity, etc. From what I’ve seen from following the Bee, it’s nearly impossible to make every single person happy when planning a wedding, even when you follow etiquette to the letter. Good luck, OP!

    Post # 10
    3623 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    My best friend and roommate invited me to his wedding without now-DH. It hurt. A lot. Especially because they dated close to a decade before marriage and knew we were on the marriage path. I accepted the invite and said nothing.  It wasn’t until I went to happy hour with the groom and he asked why now DH wasn’t coming did he learn I didn’t get a plus one.( His wife addressed the invites)


    I would call or have your mom do the calling.  No plus ones for long term, live in relationships are insulting.  From the time we sent our save the dates to when we sent our invites, of the 10 single (dating less than a year and live out relationships) people,  2 got married, 2 moved in, and 3 got engaged.  I’m so happy that we had the ability to give +1s to those people. 

    Post # 11
    1362 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

    Depends on how well I knew the other person.  If I was invited and my FI was not invited (intentionally), then I would decline.  I would feel disrespected and offended, quite honestly. 

    If it’s someone I’m relatively close to, I’ll probably shoot them a note, or contact someone whom I know will be able to get the answer for me.  Often I find that people hate being put on the spot, so it might be easier to go through a mother.  Though I recognize that that isn’t always the case.  That could be what they were thinking here.  But if they are long-term SO’s then I think that warrants an invitation. 

    Post # 12
    206 posts
    Helper bee

    I would never have asked for a plus one when we were dating, but I would think about it if it were my spouse left off the invitation, depending on how close we both were to the couple and whether the wedding involved travel.  For our wedding, I would be fine with folks contacting us in a situation like the OP’s cousin’s – in fact, I’d much rather they do that than harbor resentment over an accidental omission.  

    I think I would contact the couple directly, unless the RSVP cards were to be sent to someone else, and then I might contact the person collecting responses, if I were closer to them than the couple.

    Post # 13
    508 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    Polygon:  This happened at my brother’s wedding and was a huge mess.  People no longer speak in our family because of a +1 disaster.  What happened is our young cousins did not approach my brother and ask for a +1.  They spoke to their mother and father who spoke to my grandmother, who worked her up enough to make her angry, so she called my mother giving her an ultimatum – give the cousins plus ones or my grandmother wasn’t going to the wedding.  This was the first we heard of them having boyfriends, they are graduate students and we don’t really know them too well, plus they started dating the boyfriends recently and the mom/dad wanted it to be an opportunity to meet the SOs…at my brother’s wedding.


    My grandmother was particularly upset because our OTHER cousin’s boyfriend was invited to the wedding.  Note, my cousin did not get a plus one.  Her boyfriend was given a separate invite.  He’s been a friend of my brother’s for like 5 years.  So my brother invited my cousin and sent a separate invite to her boyfriend.  My grandmother said if he gets to go all the cousins (11) need plus ones too becuase fair is fair.  We explained that this cousin’s boyfriend would be invited whether she wanted him there or not, whether they broke up or not, and whether or not she was going – he was an individual friend of my brother’s.

    In the end all this confusion and anger set a stormy tone for his wedding.  It was an expensive wedding (about $250 a person) and we discussed several times that paying the extra $750 (for each cousin that would have brought a date) would be better than the long-term damage caused by this mess, regardless of how ridiculous everything was.  


    For my wedding I invited each cousin individually without a plus one because I did not know the names of their SOs nor did I know whether they were still with their SOs.  I was not giving my single cousins a +1, so I didn’t just want to give a +1 for no reason.


     I then FB messaged my cousinsand asked them to let me know if they wanted to bring their SO.  2 of them mesaged me back to say they would like to bring their girlfriend/boyfriend.  TOTALLY WORTH IT.  Way less hostility on the wedding day and 100% less threats in our direction.  

    Post # 14
    1400 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I think email, text, or Facebook is best, so you can ask, without totally putting the bride or groom on the spot. I have an uncle who never asked, my dad told me I should assume he might try to bring his girlfriend either way, so I called him and asked him about his plans directly. I have a friend who asked me via Facebook if she could bring her (non-live-in off-and-on) boyfriend, and I was able to think about it and politely but firmly tell her no.

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