How To Decide Once And For All Who Gets A Plus-One To Your Wedding

It’s undoubtedly the world’s most unanswerable question. Who should get a plus-one to your wedding? I’ll be honest, I never got what everyone was bitching about until I started planning my own wedding. On one hand, you don’t want complete strangers there, but you also don’t want your coworker sitting in a corner by herself moping because she doesn’t know anybody. It’s a hard code to crack, but I’m going to take one for the team and confront the plus-one dilemma head on. Here’s how to decide who gets a plus-one to your wedding.

The first thing you’ll want to do is come up with a rule that you apply to all guests across the board. Whether you decide that your guests and their plus-ones need to be dating for at least six months or you have to meet them before they attend your wedding, make a rule with your fiancé and don’t budge when random people start questioning you. You can’t really print this on your invitation without seeming like a bridezilla, so try to casually spread the word amongst your wedding party and beyond. If you have an aunt or friend with loose lips, make sure they know damn well what the plus-one rule is. For once you’ll be thankful for their inability to keep information to themselves. ping

When To Break Your Own Rule

So you’ve decided on the six-month rule and then realize that means every one of your college friends has a date except one friend who is single AF. Be firm, but don’t be heartless about your rule. Your sorority sister Julie shouldn’t be stuck fifth-wheeling all night; it’s not her fault guys are assholes. I hate to refer to this as a pity plus-one, but, it’s a pity plus-one. Remember, just because you offer someone a plus-one doesn’t mean they’ll bring one. Your wedding might be the perfect place for Julie to find a rebound. But if you’re inviting a coworker who doesn’t know many (or any) of the other guests, it’ll make them feel more comfortable to bring someone they know. 

When To Stick To The Rule

If a big group of your friends are coming and more than two of them are single, they don’t need a plus-one. That’s when the single guys or gals can band together and flirt be there for each other. You don’t need to give your fiancé’s frat brothers free reign to bring whatever girl they want to your wedding, trust me. There’s power in numbers, so when there’s a group of single friends, you can pass on extending an extra invitation to each of them.

Who ALWAYS Gets A Plus-One

Everyone in the wedding party. This is non-negotiable, basic etiquette. Even if you know the best man will never in a million years find a girl to date by the time you tie the knot, he still gets a plus-one. Even if your bridesmaid has made a goal for herself to find a date to your wedding, no matter who it is, you have to give her a plus-one. Hopefully your wedding party has more common sense than that and won’t bring a total rando for the hell of it, but you never know.

Help Me, I’m Poor

If at some point a guest confronts you about why they didn’t get a plus-one or if they’re asking for one, just blame it on the budget or capacity limit. Explain that your budget didn’t allow wiggle room for extra guests or that the venue manager made you cut your list because you were over capacity. Anything you can say to take the burden off you is a solid approach. 

I wish for our sanity as brides-to-be that there was one simple answer to this daunting question. All I can say is good luck, and godspeed to you as you embark on your personal plus-one journey.

Images: Kendra Allen / Unsplash; Giphy; coolseandotcom / Twitter

Sarah Title
Sarah Title
Sarah Title is a self-proclaimed Bravo-holic living in Arlington, VA. She's written about weddings for the last six years and has developed a strong distaste for DIY decor and flower crowns. She also spent two years as a bridal stylist and, no, Say Yes to the Dress isn't far off from some of the brides she's dealt with.