How do I handle plus ones?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

MissDahlia08:  You can draw the line anywhere you want but it needs to be consistent, and at some point you have to decide where that line is.

Married, engaged or living together is easy, but there are lots of couples in serious relationships who don’t live together and aren’t engaged.

To ensure that people know who is invited, you address the invitation to only those invited. You can also put we have reserved__ seats in your honor” on the rsvp card and fill in the number before you mail the invitations. You do take a risk with this however. Someone’s wife or husband may not be able to attend, and they may think they can bring someone else as you gave them two seats.

There will likely be people who cross out the number, change it and add names. That leaves you with the task of phoning or emailing them. Sample wording:

“There must have been a misunderstanding, We are not able to accomodate extra guests. If that means you are unable to attend the wedding, we will miss you”.


Post # 3
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

If someone is married you wouldn’t invite their spouse? Please tell me I’m reading wrong…

Post # 6
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I am in the same situation… Small wedding, don’t know what to do with plus ones.

My sister is recently single and her roomate told me last weekend “I asked you sister to be her plus one!!!”. Well we don’t want our single friends/family to bring their own friends to our wedding. If we wanted that girl to come, we would have invited her!


Post # 7
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m not sure where your cutoff is, but if you know that people are in a relationship, you really should invite them to your wedding.  It seems incongruous to ask people to take time out of their lives to come and celebrate your relationship while you are dismissing theirs. I’m having a tiny wedding (less than 50 people) and ideally I would have wanted to know or have met every single person who is going to be there, but when your friends live in different parts of the country, etc, it’s just not realistic. If you know that they are with someone, you should invite the couple together (not as a “plus one” but by name).

Post # 8
1878 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN

If you want to be fair, I would just make a clean break at Married/engaged couples. Like you said, you can’t be the judge of who’s serious or not. And if you invite some unmarried couples because you know they’re serious, but you don’t invite another couple and they ask. You can’t really say, “Because they’re serious and you’re not.” I mean you could, but then you’ll be hurting feelings. That’s just how I feel about it. If you don’t want to give out plus ones because you want to invite friends, then go for it. But don’t invite one unmarried couple because they’re serious and not the other.

Post # 9
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

MissDahlia08:  You should invite the SO of anyone on your guest list no matter how long they have been together. Its considered a breech of etiquette not to do that. You don’t have to give a plus one to any truly single guest.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  LarLa.
Post # 10
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

That’s tough but I still normally would invite the SO’s regardless of how long they have been dating.  It’s usually a norm that they would like to celebrate the union of the two of you along with someone they feel is their significant other as well. 

It’s not a whole “etiquette” thing for me, it’s more just consideration.  I have a couple of friends who have been dating their SO for a couple of months now and we decided to let them invite them just because we think they will enjoy themeselves more and so that they will not be surrounded by married people and feel awkward about being alone at the tables.

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