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Wedding plus ones – Who should you invite?

July 28th, 2015

As your wedding guest list comes together, you and your fiancé may be surprised to see how high the numbers climb. At our Lehigh Valley wedding venue, 200+ guest weddings are becoming more and more common. It’s tough to remove any friends or family from the celebration, and as the list grows, the decision to offer a guest a plus one becomes even tougher. You likely have a budget, and are trying hard to stick to it, so how do you decide who gets to bring a guest?

Who should get a plus one invitation to your wedding? How do you limit your guest list?

We have a rule of thumb to suggest, and it’s one we’ve heard from many fellow planners and brides over the years. It offers a definition of “plus one” that gives you a very definitive cut off for who should be invited with a guest:

Plus One: either engaged to your invited guest or has been dating them for over a year.

Now, we understand this definition can come with a lot of footnotes. There may be individual scenarios in which you’ll want to bend this rule.

A few more things to consider when deciding on a plus one:

  • If you have met the significant other three or more times, and feel you have gotten to know them well
  • If the couple is living together/you feel comfortable addressing the invitation to both people
  • If the guest will not know other people at the wedding. If you are inviting an obscure friend from summer camp, for example, who will not know any other guests very well, it is polite to offer them a plus one.

In many cases, your wedding will bring together groups of friends or family members who may not get to see each other very often. For people in these groups, rest assured that your guests will enjoy catching up with their group, even without a plus one.

If a guest who is not offered a plus one approaches you after invitations are sent, we know it might be awkward, but it’s ok to say no and stand by your guest list. Explain your rules for inviting plus ones, and how you are trying to stay within your budget. A guest who truly cares for you will be respectful and understanding of your decision.

Although our Lehigh Valley wedding venue can accommodate up to 420 guests, we know most brides do not want to celebrate with that many people! Find a rule and stick to it as best you can for plus ones, and you’ll find the right number and the right group to help you celebrate on your wedding day.

Posted in Wedding Etiquette

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