Every marrying couple, at some stage, will have to answer the plus-one dilemma. We all want our guests to have a great time at a wedding. Although your big day is all about you, the people you invite play a vital role in making this special occasion the success you envisaged. Keeping guests happy should be a top priority. But does that extend to letting people bring a plus-one, even at the expense of your budget?
Following on from our guide on the rules every bridesmaid should follow, we thought we’d shine the spotlight on wedding plus-ones and the golden rules brides and grooms should follow to ensure the right balance is struck.
Remember it’s your wedding
When deciding who to invite and more importantly, who not to invite, it’s important to remember that it’s your day. Everyone will have their own opinion on who to invite, but if you don’t want to invite someone, don’t. There’s no need to feel pressured to invite people you barely know – or, in the case of some plus-ones, don’t know at all.
Do exercise consistency
When setting your own rules on plus-ones, stick to the script. Providing one rule for one guest and one rule for another won’t go unnoticed, and will be rather irritating to the people affected. Are you allowing romantic plus-ones, or mutual friends? Decide early on, and explain your reasoning if asked.
According to a survey from Heart, 22% of wedding guests find not receiving a plus-one when invited annoying. As long as you justify your decision not to extend plus-ones, you shouldn’t feel bad for not inviting people you don’t or hardly know to your wedding day.
Enforce a ‘no ring, no bring’ policy
Keeping your rules on the bringing of plus-ones simple and straightforward will ensure everyone is treated fairly in the run up to your big day. Although not everyone will love your plus-one rules, guests who are dating casually, co-workers and single guests who you’re not all that close to should understand and accept why a plus-one hasn’t been extended to them. Going back to basics by enforcing a ‘no ring, no bring’ policy is a great way to go, even if guests have an issue with you ranking the seriousness of their relationships. Event organiser Amy Greenberg explains in this blog post from WeddingWire:
“It’s not really about fair. [We live] In a world where people are getting married later, living together before a ring, and having children together without feeling the need to get married… A blanket one-size-fits-all rule doesn’t really fit anyone. You need to do what is right for you and your wedding.”
Creating your own version of the ‘no ring, no bring’ policy is highly recommended. Most couples generally extend plus-one invites to guests who are married, engaged or in a serious long term relationship, a member of your wedding party (i.e. a bridesmaid or groomsman) or a VIP who doesn’t know anyone apart from the bride or groom.