Wedding Etiquette For Plus Ones


by Laura Howes

young loves at the fountain

Navigating plus one’s etiquette can be quite confusing on top of everything else, so how do you decide who should have a plus one to your wedding day and who doesn’t need one?

Plus-ones for Married, engaged and cohabitating guests

As you and your friends start to settle down, you’ll naturally get to know their partners and possibly even socialise as couples. However, when it comes to colleagues or friends in quite new relationships, you may not have had the opportunity to meet or become friends with their other halves before your wedding day so this can lead to quite difficult decisions.

After all, you want everyone to have a great time and no one to feel uncomfortable!

Traditionally, individuals who are either married, engaged or are in a serious relationship are given the chance to bring their partner as a ‘plus one’.

Plus-ones for single guests

It can be tough attending a wedding alone, especially for someone who has recently gone through a breakup or who is longing to fall in love. Therefore, most couples will offer a ‘plus one’ to their single guests and the gesture is often greatly appreciated.

It is also important for guests who don’t know anyone else at the event to have company, since you may not have as much time to sit and chat with them as you’d like to.

When is it ok to not offer a Plus-one at your wedding?

Of course, offering a plus-one at your wedding is all down to personal choice and you don’t have to follow these conventions.

For instance, if you are inviting a group of university friends and don’t particularly feel comfortable with them bringing girlfriends or boyfriends who you, your partner (and your other classmates) might never have met, then it is perfectly ok to make the executive decision not to offer them a ‘plus one’ – they will have each other, after all, and can be seated together.

Should your bridal party be allowed plus-ones?

When you ask someone to play a role in your wedding, this is often momentous to them and for that reason, they may want someone by their side to watch them carry out their duties.

For example, if your best friend is not currently seeing someone but is attending the wedding as your Head Bridesmaid, then it is only fair to ask her if she wishes to invite a plus-one.

Perhaps your younger sister is your bridesmaid and is in a new relationship? Who is to say that this person won’t still be in her life several years down the line? What a shame it would be to not allow them to come to your wedding and share in their future family’s joy!

How to include plus-ones on the wedding invitations

What we would say is to factor in additional guests in your initial headcount, bearing in mind that if you don’t and all eligible guests do bring a ‘plus one’ with them then this could significantly affect your budget and give you a shock (which you don’t want when planning your wedding!).

In an ideal world, you would be open from the start and ask your single guests whether they would like to have a plus one before you’ve even decided on your guest list, however, a lot can change in the twelve or so months it takes to plan a wedding!

If you decide to add the phrase ‘plus one’ to your invitations beside some of your guests’ names, then make it clear that their RSVP should indicate whether they will be taking up the offer so that you can keep track of numbers.

What if someone asks for a Plus One?

Don’t let anyone take you off guard by asking for a plus-one to your wedding when you haven’t offered it.

It’s a good idea to discuss some wording with your partner before sending the invites, to pre-empt this type of response. It may feel awkward, but if you simply and honestly explain to them that it is either an intimate affair or that you have large families to consider then they will surely understand.

If you’re concerned that some of your guests may not know anyone else at the Wedding, hen and stag parties are a great way for some of your guests to get to know each other before the big day!


If you’re interested in having your wedding at Quendon Hall, download our brochure to have a better look at what our venue can provide.

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