(Closed) To plus one or not?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 47
Member
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

As a guest, whether I would be upset or not would depend on the makeup of the wedding itself. If it were a small, intimate wedding or a wedding where there were lots of other dateless people that I knew and could hang out with, it would be no problem. I might actually have more fun without Boyfriend or Best Friend because I could catch up with people without having to worry about ignoring him.

Now I did recently go to a friend’s wedding alone and it was extremely awkward. The date issue was a moot point since we are long distance and he couldn’t have come whether or not he had been invited, but if he HAD been able to come, I would have been a little burned if he hadn’t been invited. The wedding was huge, almost everyone was there as a couple or in a big group of friends and I didn’t really know anyone but the bride and her family. I spent most of the night sitting by myself with no one to talk to. I’m glad I went because I was there to support my friend, not to have tons of fun, but it did suck.

So I don’t think you need to make a hard and fast rule for all situations because each situation is different and each wedding is different. I do think you should factor in reasonable comfort concerns of the guest and try to avoid situations where the guest has to sit alone awkwardly all night (although in my situation I don’t know how my friend could’ve made it better for me, it’s just something I have to put up with being in a LDR.)

Post # 48
Member
3460 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@oneofthesethings:  “Please come celebrate our love by leaving YOUR love at home for the evening!”

+1

OP, how many are traveling?  It really sucks to travel alone to a wedding and spend your off time w/o your SO for the weekend.

How many don’t know each other?  It really sucks to only know the bride & groom, who are too busy to talk much to you.  Sure as an adult you can suck it up for the weekend, but why would you want to put your friends in that uncomfortable position of doing so?

Yes, people have different ideas of what is “serious.” I definitely think that “+1 year or living together” is a fairly standard marker, or “dating when we got engaged.”  But that is why we extended a plus one to all of our friends – to host them properly by making them feel welcome and comfortable at our wedding.

I can also say that friends – that I knew separately before I met my ex – who sent an invitation to my ex + “guest” made me feel like shit, like they could care less about me.  We had been dating 3+ years at the time, living together over 2, on umpteen double dates, and they darned well knew my name.  Needless to say our friendship fizzled.  So do use people names on the invitations.

Post # 49
Member
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@BrooklynWife:  I know a couple who have been together 15 years. They are not engaged and I am sure thet have reasons for not getting married (they have both been previously married and they are in their 50’s) I am not going to invite one without the other but I am also not giving random plus ones. Our guest list is already too big.

Post # 50
Member
20 posts
Newbee

If you really could not have their SOs there, then that should have been something you explained to people before the invites even went out.  We are planning on giving everyone a plus one.  It sucks to go to a wedding by yourself!  I feel like you should count everyone as two and cap who you invite.

Post # 51
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I say +1….. a few years back I was seeing someone about a few months when he got invited to  a big wedding at our church for people we knew. He didn’t get a plus one, nor did I get an invite. It was kinda stressful cause his ex was there. Everything went ok but I felt really left out and nervous.

Post # 52
Member
3080 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

honestly, if I were your friends and were in a relationship for more than 6 months and you didn’t invite my significant other, I would be annoyed. I’m planning a wedding and I do understand the whole guest list issue, but anyone in a relationship for more than 6 montime should be invited with their guest. It’s just (IMO) rude not to

Post # 53
Member
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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@strawbabies:  I think the easy answer is to give everyone a +1, and then it doesn’t matter if you know or not.  Also, it doesn’t matter if the relationship is “serious” by your definition, if a person considers him/herself to be in a relationship, then they are.  

If you truly think someone’s single, and you invite them alone (which is fine), be prepared to add their SO if you find out they have one.

Post # 54
Member
25 posts
Newbee

After being a long time lurker i just created an account specifically so i could respond to this one!  I was on the receiving end of a no-plus-one recently and it was really crummy.  Here’s the story:

I’d been living with my long term partner (we are not married or formally engaged, but are common law and consider ourselves life partners) for two years when he got a save the date for the wedding of an old friend back in his home town, half way across the country.  He only visits his home town 1-2 times a year, and i don’t always go with (often he’ll go when i’m traveling for work or something).  When I do go, we usually need to prioritise spending time with his family, so I haven’t had much of a chance to get to know the friends he grew up with.  I’m a bit sad about this (we live in my home town so he knows ALL my people!) and have been keen for more opportunities to get to know these people. I’d met the groom but never the bride, but had hung out with their group of friends a few times. Some of that group have even been guests at our house when visiting our city!

Anyhow, when the save the date came — even though it only had his name on it — we just assumed we’d both be invited (my friends and family ALWAYS invite us together as a matter of course), put it in the calendar and planned our annual trip to his hometown around the date.  I was excited to have a chance to get to know these people who’d been a big part of his  life, and we both looked forward to a few days away and to see his family.  Then the invitation came…and it was only for him.  I was hurt and humiliated, and it actually caused some conflict between us as i asked him if his friends were somehow unaware that he was in a serious multi-year live-in relationship — had he not talked about me to them?  Why hadn’t we spent more time with them when we visited? did they resent me for some reason?  etc.  My partner was pissed off too, as he couldn’t believe they’d asked him to spend hundreds of dollars on a flight he can only take 1-2 times a year, and not bring me!  It made him doubt whether they even really wanted him there or not.  I actually almost went on the trip anyway, in which case i would have just spent the wedding day hanging out with his mom or something, but we would have hung out with his friends on other days and it would have been SO awkward for them to realize i’d flown across the country only to not be invited, and it would have been really hard for me to act like i was cool with it when i absolutely wasn’t.  In the end a work thing came up that made it a bad time to travel, so I used that as an excuse to dodge the awkwardness and stayed home.  Because he took that trip he couldn’t afford another at christmas, so I ended up going a full year without seeing the family i consider my in-laws.

I understand that having a random girl you don’t know at your wedding may seem like a pointless expense… but maybe that random girl is dying to get to know you!  and asking someone to make a several-day trip home without including their partner is really not cool.  As it turned out, this wedding didn’t even seem to have much of a per-person cost — it was at a big venue with 200+ people, no food was served and it was a cash bar! My partner is a good friend and was charming at the wedding, didn’t snark about it to other friends and  gave them a moderate cash gift, though we would have given like 4x more (our standard couple gift amount) had we not felt insulted. I’m still not sure what happened to make them not invite me, but it has definitely coloured our relationship to these people for the long term!  

Anyhow, sorry for the super long story but this incident of what may have just been mild carelessness caused a LOT of drama in our lives last year and I just wanted to share the other perspective! 

Post # 55
Member
25 posts
Newbee

ha… and my overlong first WB post killed the thread!  I guess my point was: i don’t think you need to give everyone a +1, but when you know there is a relationship think about what it might mean to your friend/their partner if you invite them or not!  and do be sure to give extra thought to those who may be traveling from out of town. 

Also on the married/engaged thing, keep in mind that not all couples believe in marriage or plan to get formally married ever — some may plan to spend their lives together without having a ceremony to make that official and knowing which are which isn’t always possible. Also as a sidebar, keep in mind that (unless they’re canadian like me) many homosexual couples may not have the option of a legal ceremony to make their partnership official!  (neither of these actually apply to my situation — we’re hetero and will eventually get married)

Post # 56
Member
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@crocodile:  This is the most practical advice and what I am trying to do. To me, there is a big difference between bringing your partner or SO and bringing a “date”

Post # 57
Member
25 posts
Newbee

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@nycsa:  agreed! would not be in to having someone celebrate my union to my life partner by taking someone they picked up at a bar yesterday on a fancy date to my wedding!

Post # 58
Member
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Some people use their “plus ones” to bring friends rather than SO’s (for example, one friend stated that she would use her plus one to bring her sister even though she is going to know most of the people at the wedding. I am going to avoid this issue by inviting the sister, with whom I am friends anywa). 

If you give plus ones to all guests, there is no way to limit this.

Post # 59
Member
3460 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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@nycsa:  That’s why you don’t give an actual +1.  Per ettiquette, you write in the name of the specific person you would like to invite, the significant other.  Otherwise you risk offending the person (for not knowing their name) and risk having someone take a random person.

Post # 60
Member
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

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@crocodile:  Your story is exactly why people need to respect others’ relationships.  I’m surprised your SO even went to the wedding.

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@kay01:  I agree -write the name of the specific person you’re inviting.  It’s actually rude to write “and guest” if you know the person is in a long-term, serious relationship.  It happened to us one time…my husband received an invitation from a close friend that said “Mr. Happy and Guest”.  We had been together for 5 years at that point and living together for 2.  I was pretty insulted that they couldn’t be bothered to write my name on the invite…

Post # 61
Member
15 posts
Newbee

The thing is to be consistant. Hurt feelings are usually the result of an inconsistant policy regarding who gets a +1 and who doesn’t. Engaged and living-together couples are a social unit and they should be invited together and by name. It’s probably best to invite +1s for your wedding party, too. 

For anyone else, you have to be consistant — either everyone gets a +1 or no one does. Otherwise you’re going to stir up a lot of hurt feelings and even end up with a lot of people declining to come. 

The topic ‘To plus one or not?’ is closed to new replies.

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