Lifting the lid on plus-one etiquette

Deciding who does, and who doesn’t, get a plus-one is one of the trickiest parts of wedding etiquette. While some people won’t mind coming to the celebration alone, others will be put out that their other halves haven’t been invited. Carefully navigating this notorious wedding minefield will help you keep family and friends happy and ensure your wedding day goes off without a hitch.

Wedding guests

The guest list

Before you decide who gets a plus-one, you need to sit down and make a final list of the people you want at your wedding. If you’re already at bursting point, you’ll have to think long and hard about who gets to bring a date to your big day. However, if there’s still room in your venue for extra bodies even when all the names have been totted up, you can be a little freer with your invites.

The wedding party

Although deciding who to give a plus-one to can be difficult, there are some people who should never be denied the chance to bring a date to your big day. As @WeddingWire says, “When it comes to your wedding party, skimping on the plus-ones at your wedding is a 100 percent no go.” This means that all of your bridesmaids and groomsmen should get a plus-one, whether their relationship is well-established or not.

Siblings

Siblings are another group who should always get a plus-one. Unless you have a very large family, you should have enough room in your guest list for all of your brothers and sisters to invite their partner to the celebration. As well as being good etiquette, inviting the partners of your siblings gives your whole family the chance to relax and have fun together.

Work colleagues

If you’re just inviting one work colleague to your wedding, it’s probably a good idea to give them a plus-one so that they have someone to talk to. However, if you’re inviting a group of people from work, they probably don’t need to bring their partners.

School friends

Again, if you’re inviting a whole group of people from school, you don’t need to invite their partners unless you know them too. Although some people might be put out by an individual invitation, if you keep the rule the same for everyone, you shouldn’t ruffle too many feathers.

Extended family

When it comes to extended family, it really depends on how close you are to your cousins, aunts and uncles. If possible, try to keep the rule the same for everyone. This helps to minimise arguments and ensures no one gets upset.

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