Post # 1
I know the debate for the “automatic” plus one for any bridesmaids or groomsmen can be a tough one, but what about everyone else participating in the ceremony? We’ve taken to calling ALL of these people our “wedding party” and if they all got a plus one, we’d already have over 60 people coming! For wedding guests we are applying the rule that anyone that gets a plus one must have been dating the person for over a year, be engaged, or married. We want to apply that to everyone but the bridesmaids and groomsmen as well. HOWEVER, some of the single groomsmen are best friends with some of the single ushers (my Fiance had to make cuts somewhere, so his friends basically got split down the middle and that’s even with 7 GM!). If we stuck with our original plan, 1/2 the single people from the same very close circle of friends would have plus ones, and the other half would not. This makes me inclined to apply our rules to EVERYONE, Bridesmaid or Best Man and Groomsmen included – but then I feel bad not letting the people spending the big bucks on hair, make-up, suits, ties, shoes, etc. bring someone special.
What do you think?
Post # 3
I think EVERYONE in your wedding party should get a plus one. At this point, you are not having a small, intimate wedding, which is the ONLY valid reason I see for not allowing all these people to have a plus one. They are all putting time, effort, and money into your wedding… and while it may cost you a little more to have them bring someone if they so choose, you should let them ALL!
Post # 4
Unless you genuinely cannot afford it, I think you should giuv a +1 to any participant in your wedding party who has a +1 to bring.
Even if you can’t afford it, I would urge you to cut a bit else here in order to make it happen. It’s just courteous, IMO.
Post # 5
I’m in a similar situation. My gut feeling (and what I think I’m going for) is that anyone who has a gf/bf for over 6 months, lives together or is engaged/married gets an automatic plus one and i’ll address the invitations to both of them by name. If anyone else in the wedding party tells me they need a plus one, I’ll do my best to accommodate them. But only if they ask.
I was a plus one very early on in my relationship (like maybe just at the 6 mo dating mark) when Fiance was a best man and it was awkward. I pretty much sat by myself at the ceremony and then he sat at a different table from me at the reception. I was seated with his mom and step dad and some of their long time family friends I’d never met before. I knew some of the other people my age at the wedding, but not well enough to consider them my “friends” at the time. (Note: today a lot of these people totally are my friends!). Bottom line: While I’m glad I went, I probably didn’t need to be there.
Post # 6
@Spanish Lace: The secret to managing your guestlist is that nobody should “get a +1” — while still allowing all of your guests who care deeply about it to attend with their special friends. Does that sound like a paradox? It isn’t: you just follow the absolute requirement of traditional etiquette, that each adult deserves the courtesy of being invited by name in an invitation sent to his or her own address.
Naturally if you are truly close to a guest, and if that guest’s “other” is truly “significant”, then you will be acquainted with the “other” and know the other’s name and address — or can ask directly for it if you have overlooked making a note of such thing. But if you are inviting connexions whom you do not know well, or if you think someone will be more comfortable if a less-significant “other” attends along with them, you simply ask your guest “is there anyone whom you would like me to invite?” and get the name and address from them — and make sure you get the correct formal name and title, so that you don’t have to wildly guess at whether to use “Mrs John Doe” or “Ms Jane Doe” and then find out to your embarrassment in the end that the correct form would have been “Jane, Lady Doe”.
Of course, as you have already noted, if a couple are married they must be invited together, and if a couple are engaged they must each receive an invitation. If they are living together outside of marriage traditional formal etiquette requires that you choose between shunning them for their flagrant disregard of society’s values, or assuming that they have a private marital arrangement that they have simply never announced or flaunted (and Traditional Etiquette recommends the latter because it ruffles so many fewer feathers.) And you should never invite someone that you have never met unless someone you trust can vouch for them — because your guests are depending on you to ensure that they will not meet anyone disreputable under your roof. But within those simple rules you may quite properly invite, or not invite, whomever you choose.
Incidentally, I despise going to weddings as the “date” of a groomsman — not that it happens often any more. His duties to the photographer and the bridesmaids leave me playing the field for most of the night as I would anyway if attending solo, but with his expectations of being able to pop into the conversation or onto the dance floor at his bride’s whim cramping my style and leaving me wondering whether I need to drum up a spare escort home or wait until the bitter end. Traditionally groomsmen and bridesmaids were always single, and it was a great deal more convenient for both the bride, and their potential dates.
Post # 7
@aspasia475: THANK YOU! That is EXACTLY what I will do, I already have the formal names of everyones significant others and all I need to do is collect a few addresses.
@orangeroses29: I attened an event early one with my fiance and I agree, it’s more awkward and uncomfortable than it’s worth, from the guest’s perspective. Now looking at it from a bride’s perspective, the idea of making the biggest commitment of my entire life in front of a complete stranger (even if they end up marrying one of my best friends in the years to come) seems just as awkward and uncomfortable.
Post # 8
@aspasia475: So, if I do as you said and send everyone their own invitation, does that mean I send everyone a save the date as well? Or do I only send those to the wedding party for now and just send invitations to their partners (if they aren’t engaged/married/living together now) when the time comes?