It’s time to work on the guestlist for your wedding. You start with parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles…and then you hit a snag. Your single uncle has a new girlfriend. Does he get to bring her? If he brings her does, that mean your college roommate gets to bring their long-term but not really committed partner? 

It’s time to prepare for the age-old question: can I bring a date to your wedding? Before you decide whether the answer will be yes or no and for whom, let’s take a look at some ways you can decide and the pros and cons of each choice. 

Who Should Get Them

If you’re ready to tackle your invitations, let’s take a look at some of the people on your list that should and shouldn’t get a plus one. 

Married Couples: It probably seems obvious, but you can’t invite one half of a married couple, even if you’re closer to one than the other. If a guest you want at your wedding is married, it’s common knowledge that their spouse is invited.

Couples who live together or are engaged: Today, many couples choose to live together before getting married. In fact, a lot even choose to live together and NOT get married. Don’t leave them out. These guests should get a plus one. You could also choose to include couples who have been together for longer than a year, or choose a timeframe that sits well with you. And don’t forget engaged couples that don’t live together. 

The Wedding Party: In the days and weeks leading up to your wedding, they’ll have done a lot for you. It only seems fair that you extend the option of a plus one for them. This might mean breaking the above rules. Even if you have a bridesmaid or groomsmen who is not in a relationship that meets the above criteria, given their role in the wedding, you can choose to extend the offer. After all, you don’t want to leave someone hanging when they call the wedding party out on the floor to dance. 

Who Doesn’t Need Them 

Casual Daters: Like we said above, this one is your call. You can set a timeframe that defines casual daters and if they don’t meet the timeframe, just leave the plus one option off the invitation. 

Young Kids: Your 16-year-old cousin probably doesn’t need to bring the guy or girl they started dating last week. 

The Age Solution

If you don’t want to pick and choose, you could give a plus one to everyone over 18. This might simplify things but it has its own set of pros and cons.

The Pros and Cons of a Plus One For All

The Pros

  • It makes sure guests, especially out-of-town guests that may not know many people, have someone to spend time with while you’re off doing married things. You and your family aren’t going to have a ton of extra time to spend with one or two people, so you want to make sure those people feel comfortable. Letting them bring a plus one can be a great way to do that. 
  • It shows you’re putting your guest’s comfort first, and that you care if they have a good time. Yes, it’s your day but your friends and family have all been on this journey with you and they all want to celebrate. 
  • If the rules are the same for everyone, you don’t risk someone getting mad because so-and-so got to bring a date but they didn’t. Small grievances like these can be a thorn in the side of an otherwise beautiful day and you may choose to avoid these prickly situations altogether by making the rules the same for everyone. 

The Cons

  • If you allow plus ones for every guest, you run the risk of losing the intimacy of a wedding that comes from having only close friends and family surrounding you on your special day. 
  • The cost. If you allow everyone over 18 to bring a plus one, that could add an extra 50 people to your guest list. Are you willing and able to pay for those guests, add tables for them, get place settings for them, and everything that goes with having a lot more mouths to feed? 
  • The wedding pictures. With everyone bringing a guest, chances are you might not know some of them and twenty years down the road you might wonder who the heck all the strangers are on the dance floor at your wedding. 

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. You just have to be ready and willing to deliver a “no” when and if it’s needed, and be prepared to stick with your decision. 

Need help putting together those details that speak to you? Check out more of our blogs or contact us today to start putting together your dream wedding! You can reach our event coordinators by email or phone at 877-545-1002.