6 plus-one dilemmas you may encounter – and how to solve them

As hosts of your very own special occasion, you’re certain to want each and every one of your wedding guests to feel as comfortable as possible so they can enjoy your big day just as much as you will. Allowing guests to bring plus-ones is one way to achieve just that.

Inviting plus-ones to your wedding day, however, doesn’t come without its challenges. There are many etiquette rules that need to be followed when negotiating the tricky world of plus-ones, with who gets one and who doesn’t, the first of many dilemmas that marrying couples will encounter.

Keep plus-one problems to a minimum so you can focus on planning your wedding day by reading this guide to the most common plus-one dilemmas and solutions!

1. How do I decide who gets a plus-one?

There’s one rule that makes deciding who gets a plus-one simple. The ‘married, engaged or cohabitating’ rule may be strict, but following it could help you limit any grievances that could add a sour note to your big day.

Married, engaged or serious couples who have been in a relationship for one year or more and/or are living together should generally be given the option of bringing their partner or spouse as a plus-one.

2. My bridesmaids or groomsmen want plus-ones, should I make an exception?

The married, engaged or cohabiting etiquette rule doesn’t apply to every scenario. You may consider giving your wedding party VIPs, i.e. your bridesmaids and groomsmen, the benefit of the doubt and allowing them to bring a friend or new partner as a little ‘thank you’ for supporting you during your journey to the altar.

3. How early should I tell guests that they can (or can’t) have plus-ones?

Giving your guests enough notice about your plans for plus-ones is a must. You should tell affected guests before you send your save-the-dates or official wedding invites to give them a heads-up and avoid any surprises.

4. How do I even tell my guests about my plus-one preference?

Communication should be as clear as possible from an early stage to ensure there’s no confusion and you can get on with the business of planning your wedding without any unnecessary drama. Kay Northrup Events offers some great advice for keeping plus-one communications as clear and concise as they can be:

“Just in case the first conversation didn’t sink in, be clear when addressing the invitation. If you write ‘and family’ this might be open for interpretation. List out the specific names of the invited guests. If you are granting them a plus-one, write ‘and guest’ (or the name of the plus-one) after their name on the envelope.”

Getting the wording of wedding invitations with no plus-one right is something of an art form. The wording should also differ if you know the plus-one and if you don’t, which brings us to our next dilemma…

5. What if I don’t know the plus-one my guest is inviting?

This is where the ‘married, engaged or cohabiting’ etiquette rule comes in handy. If you’ve made an exception to put the comfort of your guest first, however, you may be worried if the person they plan to invite as their date is someone you’re not familiar with.

As a host, it is important that you extend the special treatment you’re giving to your nearest and dearest to all of the guests who are attending, whatever their relationship status. Chances are you’ll be so busy enjoying yourself, there’ll be zero awkwardness with the plus-ones you are not overly familiar with.

6. What about guests who don’t want to bring plus-ones?

So, you’ve offered to give your single guest a plus-one but they’ve politely declined, what now? Contrary to popular belief, the weddings of today don’t have to have a table specifically for single guests. If your guest has decided to go solo, don’t seat them with other singletons. Instead, devise your seating chart based on who they’ll have the best time with to make sure everyone has a fantastic day.

To get in touch with a member of the team, please email or call us via the contact details below. Alternatively, if you'd like to request a brochure or enquire about date availability, please click 'Enquire Now' in the menu at the top of this page.

Katie Davies

T: +44 1487 829 555
E: info@holmewood-hall.co.uk

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