(Closed) Plus One Issue (Not The Usual!)

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
14492 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I gave plus ones outside of relationships to people I knew wouldn’t know very many people there. I’m really good friends with my trainer, I even went to hs with him, but outside of my dh and myself he wouldn’t know anyone. I gave him a plus one so he wouldn’t be sitting alone all night. He ended up bringing a date, she was a sweet girl too. Now, I run into her occasionally so it’s kind of nice. Our group of friends has a few singles but I didn’t give them plus ones because they were going to know tons of people there. 


I believe in taking things on an individual basis and not making it a blanket rule.


Post # 4
1633 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t find it that odd that an invited (straight) female guest bring another female as her plus one. The plus one rule isn’t for bringing a romantic date it’s for bringing a companion to a social event. if I were single and didn’t have a serious boyfriend I wouldn’t use a wedding to bring a casual, early stage date/ boyfriend to. That’s weird and would probably scare him off. However I would bring a close friend- guy or girl.

Post # 5
7422 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I feel like that is a very pessimistic way to look at things. Would the B&G in this article have felt better if the guest brought a male they didn’t know? What exactly did they expect when they gave her a +1?

I see a +1 as a way to allow someone to be comfortable at your wedding. If that happens to be another straight person of the same gender, who cares? And honestly, depending on the size of your wedding, you won’t notice a few strangers there. Wouldn’t you rather that your guests are comfortable? I trusted my family and friends to bring someone who would not ruin the wedding because they are adults. Also, since I consider them my friends, I know that they love and respect me and didn’t see my wedding as a free party.

Post # 6
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@CurlyCue:  My thoughts too.  I was single for several years and I would bring my BFF or roomate to weddings as my date.  I would not bring a random man date to a wedding.  It would make me uncomfortable….and probably make the guy uncomfortable too. 

Post # 7
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

@brendaray2009:  We didn’t give plus ones, just named guests. I know when Darling Husband once got a plus one he brought his sister and then his sister once brought her mom instead of her boyfriend (I was horrified– they did not see what the big deal was!). At our wedding, we only had one surprise plus one– a long time family friend’s fiance had to work at the last minute, so she brought her sister in law (who DH’s whole family knew). It was fine, but I was up in the front of the church trying to figure out who she was and why she was at my wedding. Darling Husband clued me in when we were supposed to be praying to Mary. It was no problem at all and I was happy the food didn’t go to waste.

ETA: The confusion was that her fiance had a gender neutral, but typically female name (think Kelly or Ashley). I was pretty sure she was engaged to a man and would have had no problem if she was engaged to a female, but the invites and place cards were all sent to “Mr. Ashley Jones” and I was mortified that I had messed up.

Post # 8
6741 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t really understand this issue. If you’re having a small, intimate wedding with only your closest friends and family, then I understand not giving people random plus ones.

First, just because you give someone a plus one, doesn’t mean they can bring anyone – most of the times, when you gie someone in a relationship a plus one, you shouldn’t be writing “and guest” you should be writing “name1 and name2” – you’re not giving them the right to bring whomever, you’re giving them the right to bring their partner.

That aside, if you’re having a larger wedding, and you’re allowing your guests plus ones, there’s really nothing you can do (or should do) about who they bring. If you’re close enough with these friends who keep company with questionable people, I would just say to them, “Hey, I’m giving you a plus one, but just let me know who you decide to bring beforehand so that I can make my escort cards with their names” – then, if they tell you that who they’re bringing is someone you dislike, just say, “I don’t really get along well with that person and would prefer them not at my wedding.”

However, if you’re having a large wedding and giving people plus ones, you’re likely not going to notice the extra people.

I also don’t understand the mentality of not wanting to go to a wedding where you don’t know the couple. It’s more likely that a majority of your time at the wedding will be spent with the person who brought you as their plus one and not the couple themselves.

I do think it’s weird when people bring a friend and not a date, but honestly – who cares? As long as your guest/friend is there to support you, who cares who they bring? If that guest’s plus one gets rowdy, tell your friend to get their plus one out of there. It’s not a big deal.

I think people stress out way too much over plus ones. I’m having an intimate wedding – it’s a destination wedding and we’re only inviting our closest family and friends – between the two of us, we likely won’t have more than 35-50 people attend. I’m giving everyone plus ones. I have a few singles coming and I’ve already told them that they can bring whomever they wat – a date, a friend, whatever. Part of the reason is that they have to fly and stay somewhere for several days, but the other part is that these people are coming to support me in my marriage to my Fiance and I want to thank them with a fun celebration and allow them to have a good time by bringing whomever they want that they think will help them have a good time. To me, the reception is both a party for the bride & groom to celebrate, but also a thank you to all the people who came to support the marriage (even if they don’t come to the ceremony).

Seriously, it’s a wedding – it’s not a big deal. Yes, it’s a very important day in your life, but I bet there will be other important days in your life, too. Like the birth of your children or when the two of you retire and spend the rest of your days enjoying each other’s company and working. Those are really important days, too.

Just have fun, stop stressing and relax! Life is too short to stress over the little things. At the end of the day, when you look back at your wedding, the most important thing that happened would be that you and your Fiance got married – the rest won’t be as big of a deal.

Post # 9
7200 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

I have been the +1 for random friends before when I was young and didn’t really think about how annoying that is. The only single people getting “random +1s” from us are my single FSILs. I fully expect them to bring their crazy drunk divorcee girlfriends. It’s annoying but they’d flip if they didnt get a guest. They think e should be inviting ALL their friends, so it could be worse. Undecided

Post # 10
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Pollywog:  You were distracted from your vows because of a woman you didn’t know at your wedding?  Wow.  I didn’t even notice the people in front of me because I was so focused on my husband!  

Everyone is different.  I know I wouldn’t have cared if the people with plus ones had brought men or women to the wedding.  Ours was about having fun and celebrating our marriage, not about details and worrying about who everyone was.  

Post # 11
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@brendaray2009:  I personally don’t want any strangers at my small-ish wedding, so will not be giving plus ones to people who are not in relationships. my reasoning: I have a small tight knit group of friends that I’ve known for decades. They all live locally, they all know my family and other friends, so no one will be in a position of not knowing anyone. Plus we all get together regularly, so if I have not met someone’s SO, it’s because they are brand new/not yet serious. I’m not paying $150 for someone I’ve never met who may be gone from my friend’s life in a few weeks. I am sure they can tear themselves away from their new guy or gal for one night – and if they can’t, our friendship is clearly not what I thought it was. 

Post # 12
558 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Everyone who is over the age of 18 got a +1 for the wedding no matter what.

Having people you dont know is par for the course. The people we invited to the wedding are all family and friends, these are people we care about. Though we may not know ALL the guests that they bring, by association we care about the guests because we care about the people who brought them.

I dont think that people who come to a wedding without knowing the bride and groom as a guest of someone else are just looking for a free party. Not all guests know each other as it is, and its not like they spend massive amounts of time with the bride and groom. The guests mindle amongst themselves, meet new people, make new connections. For me, it doesnt matter if I dont know who the +1 is since I wont be spending much time with them so if my cousin wants to bring a friend from school, then thats fine at least my cousin will have someone to dance and drink with. Guests dont come for the free drinks and food, thats an assumption we make of the situation.

Post # 13
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I’ve been a random plus one. I have a male friend who was single for a while after his divorce. We’ve known each other for 20 years or so! So, when he was invited to a wedding that was four hours away, I went with him. He was close to the groom, but because of the distance only knew 1-2 other people there. I had a great time, met the B&G and we brought a gift. I’d be upset to find out later they were distracted by me!

Post # 14
8686 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

i allowed ALL of my guests a plus one.  It didn’t bother us at all. We didn’t notice or feel uncomfortable by people’s guests. We had a full, premium open bar and every single guest acted fine. I don’t regret our decision at all. I would not attend a wedding alone if I were single unless it was a very close friend or family member.

Post # 15
577 posts
Busy bee

If you’re having over 50 people, it honestly won’t matter. I have been a plus one for several weddings for my mom and my sister, all with 150+ people. The bride and groom didn’t even get a chance to talk my mom or sister, and several others that we sat with at dinner because there were so many people and so much going on for them. 

I could understand if you are having a more intimate wedding though. Then the issue takes care of itself. If you’re having a small wedding where you will know every single person and get a chance to talk or speak with everyone, then guests accommodate that if it means no plus one. Plus the likelihood they will know someone else there is high, and you wouldn’t have to worry about them feeling awkward or lonely. 

Post # 16
8686 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@brendaray2009:  I never look at attending a wedding as a free party. It just isn’t that serious and I think you are overthinking it unless you are a celeb and throwing the wedding of the year with a bunch of perks I doubt anyone is that excited and viewing it as a “free party” vs going with a good friend so they feel more comfortable.

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