When developing your guest list, deciding which of your friends and family receive a "plus one" can be a point of contention. On one hand, you want to limit your guest list to reduce costs. On the other hand, you want to create an incredible guest experience at your celebration. So here are a few guidelines to help with the decision:

  • Are they in a serious relationship? This could mean the couple is married, living together, or been together for years. If you know that this person’s significant other is, well, a significant other, than it is rude to not give them a plus one. And yes, this rule applies even if you don’t like your friend’s other half.
  • Do they know anyone else at the wedding? If your Aunt Sally is single but knows every one in your family, she will likely be comfortable attending solo. However, if your inviting your friend from yoga who doesn’t know anyone else attending then she will be less likely to attend without a date by her side. Another great example of this is your work crew! If you want to invite your group of work friends without plus ones ... they will feel comfortable coming as a group.
  • Do you have a lot of single guests? Take a look at your guest list and determine: (1) Are there a lot of single guests that would mix well and enjoy meeting new people at your event? (2) Would adding plus ones for every single guest significantly impact your budget? And if so, can you afford it?
  • Does this person’s attendance at your wedding mean a lot to you? If it does, having a plus one will make your guest more likely to feel comfortable attending (read: more likely to attend), so keep this in mind when putting together that list.

The best thing to remember is to put yourself in your guest’s shoes. It’s easy to get caught up in the cost per person but remember, these are people you care about it, so you want them to be comfortable and enjoy your epic celebration.  

*Etiquette Tip* Plan to list the plus one by name (if at all possible). It’s much more personal and it means the invitation is non-transferrable (i.e. they break up and now your friend wants to bring the new guy she met at the bar last week). If you don’t know the name, it’s always best to use “And Guest” instead of “Plus One” on the actual invitation.

Photo courtesy of High Impact Entertainment