(Closed) Inviting “Guests” of Bridal Party

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1509 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Yes, it’s common courtesy to invite all members of bridal party + guest (or insert the name of their spouse).  Even if you cut off the rest of the wedding guests to +guest for only people engaged or married, it is still normal to invite wedding party members + guest.

Post # 4
2680 posts
Sugar bee

I think if some people are going to have plus ones, everyone needs to.  My Brother-In-Law and SIL had 2 or 3 guys they did not give +1’s to that were fine with it.  In my opinion, I think everyone in the wedding party should be allowed a date.  We had an easy decision anyways because everyone in our wedding party was either married, engaged or in a long term relationship except my brother (who was given a +1 but chose to hang out with his friends instead)

Post # 5
584 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We had a “serious relationships get a +1” policy, even for bridal party… we knew that some people think it’s required to give the bridal party +1s, but after the time last year that my sister brought her boyfriend of 3 days to grandma’s 75th birthday and he got in all the pictures, before their break-up 2 days later… no, there was no way we were letting people bring random guests or new bfs/gfs, wedding party or no. The etiquette experts are divided, but my take is that the wedding party is going to be busy most of the day. Depending on how you handle the head table, they might not even get to sit with their +1’s. I think it’s ok to extend +1’s only to those in relationships. However, I do think you need to invite wedding party’s SOs whether you know them or not.

Post # 6
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think it depends on the situation…if, for example, your wedding is rather large, or most people are already paired up, then it seems a courtesy to give your Bridal Party members +1 options.  If, however, your wedding is small (perhaps you had to eliminate people you know much better from the list for economic or venue maximum purposes), or there will be many people of the same age group & interest who also happen to be single at your wedding, then Bridal Party members don’t need a +1. 

In my case, our wedding is rather intimate (60) & I couldn’t even invite some first cousins due to budget & space (we’ll be throwing a hometown reception after 6 months to include all we couldn’t at the wedding), so FI’s single Bridesmaid or Best Man doesn’t get a +1…Maid/Matron of Honor is getting her +1, but only because she’s married & I’ve known her husband for 20 years (and FI’s known him for 10), so he’d be invited anyway.  If I could actually afford another guest, it’d be one of my cousins or my mother’s sibs, not a date we barely know. But if this is not your situation, feel free to invite +1s to your heart’s content!

Post # 7
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

We’re only giving out bridal party +1s to those that have serious SOs that we’re actually met.  I haven’t broken the news to the singles yet, but I really don’t think they’ll be that upset.  Like worcesterbride said, they’ll be busy already, and since we’re doing a headtable, they won’t even be sitting with their +1.  About 75% of ou Bridal Party will have to travel to get to our wedding, so I’m sure even just cost-wise they’ll be fine with going solo.

Post # 8
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

This is a debate I am having with Fiance right now. All of my BMs have husbands or partners, so they are easy. One of his groomsmen is recently single. He wants this guy to get a +1 because “I want X to get laid.” Classy.

I honestly think I’ll give him a +1, but I get veto rights on the gal. For reals. I know him well enough, we know the same people, and he knows me well enough not to piss me off. A random floozy waitress at the bar they all hang out at is not going to my wedding.

My real recommendation is to see if they feel comfortable going with a single friend of yours, or to see if they can be happy by themselves, surrounded by friends. While I really think it is courteous to insure that everyone has someone to hang out with and have fun with at a wedding, that person can be another guest and need not be a romantic interest, IMO.

Post # 9
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I would look at it this way: Of all the people invited to your wedding, your bridal party is supposedly your dearest and closets friends.  So they are some of the most important people in your lives and at your wedding.  I would go out of my way to make sure that my wedding party had the best of the best treatment and perks at your wedding.  And yes, I think this should include a guest for your wedding party even if they have not been SO’s for a significant time.  Even single people like to have a companion 🙂   Even if they choose not to, it’s a kind gesture and proper etiquette.

Post # 11
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

This is a really hard debate.  We are trying to enfore the no +1 unless you have a SO.  Our venue is already about at the max and we have a lot of family.

Maid/Matron of Honor1- Single                               BestMan- Single

Maid/Matron of Honor2- Married to Groomsmen1                   Groomsmen1- Married to Maid/Matron of Honor2

Bridesmaid or Best Man1-Single                                  Groomsmen2 – Single

Bridesmaid or Best Man2-Single                                  Groomsmen3 – Serious relationship (i would like to give a +1)

Bridesmaid or Best Man3-Dating Groomsmen4                           Groomsmen4 – Dating Bridesmaid or Best Man3

Bridesmaid or Best Man4- My sister, single                   Groomsmen5 – My brother, single


So under our SO’s get a +1, we are really only adding 1 extra person.  If all the single peple get a plus one, then it adds 7 extra guests, but I would guess maybe only 4 would actually bring someone. 

In the end I guess its not totally worth fretting over 4 people, but I don’t want those random people in pictures.  I totally hope I can pull veto power!

My other question is, if Maid/Matron of Honor1 brings a date/guest, what is that poor guest going to do all day and at the wedding.  The guest wouldn’t know any of the rest of the wedding party.  We will be busy all day leading up to the ceremony and then what about at the reception?  All of my wedding party will have plenty of mutual (and single) friends there from both my group of friends and his group of friends.

Post # 12
4566 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Our bridal party is traveling, so we’ll probably give them a +1 option. However, only 1 of them is in a relationship so I don’t know how that would go…

Post # 13
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We have as strict live-in, engaged and married +1s ONLY policy. I have never read in any etiquette book that you are obligated to provide a single guest with a date. I would feel completely differently if I was inviting a friend who didn’t know many of our other wedding guests, but all of our friends went to school with us. All the bridesmaids know the groomsmen, we all hang out etc. so they don’t need to have a date there for company – they will be surrounded by their closest friends. The only person who has a problem with this is one of groomsmen who wants to bring a girl he is kind of dating long distance whom we have never met. Given that we aren’t able to invite all of our friends or my Dad’s friends, his “kinda” gf is not getting an invite. All his best friends will be there, so he will have a lot of fun even without her.

I would consider if any of the guys will end up being the odd man out, though. For example, if one groomsman doesn’t know as many of the guests that will be there is also single, it would be nice to have him bring a guest, so he isn’t on his own. As a courtesy you may want to then extend a guest invitation to the other remaining single groomsmen to be fair. Just a thought

Post # 14
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

I am giving a plus one option to every single person on my list; even my grandma. I think my grandma will get a laugh out of it. I am just letting everyone know via “word of mouth” that I would prefer the non-serious plus ones not to be in any formal pictures.

Post # 15
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I guess I’m in the minority here, but I completely agree with MrsK2Be. Your bridal party does so much for you over the course of the wedding, I think of that they should get a +1 unless there are some kind of extenuating circumstances. After all they do for you, I think it’s important to let them know that you want them to be happy and comfortable, and allow them to bring a companion/friend if they want.

Post # 16
4485 posts
Honey bee

Weddings are expensive so most people don’t want to invite random strangers they will never see again, nor are they able to. Most adults do know how to socialize and entertain themselves without having to bring a guest to keep them company. That said, the only time you need to invite a +1 is if the original guest is married, engaged or in a serious relationship, in which case you should know who the other person is. If they just have a flavor of the month or aren’t even seeing anyone, then they are invited solo.

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