Wedding Tip Tuesday: Invitation Etiquette - Plus Ones

The topic of plus ones comes up so often, I decided to explain the major rules when inviting guests to your wedding. When are you required to allow a guest to bring a plus one? How do you address the invitation for plus ones? Are you supposed to allow guests to bring a date? These are the questions that brides ask all the time, and I have the answers for you.

Who should I allow a plus one? Etiquette states that you must let your guest bring their significant other if they are married, engaged, or living together. Not only is it proper etiquette, but it is common courtesy to want your guest to feel comfortable on your special day, celebrating with you and the one they love.

What if a guest isn't married, engaged, or living with someone? As a couple, you and your groom can decide where you want to draw the line in the sand, when deciding who will be given a plus one.  Examples of some rules could be:

  • Only allow guests to bring their significant other if you have met him or her
  • Allow dates if they have been together for a set number of years (choose a number and stick to it)
  • Allow anyone who has a significant other to bring him or her

Whatever rule you decide on, make sure you stick to it. Bending the rule for some guests can cause more problems than it's worth and hurt the feelings of others.

How should I address the invitation to whom I am inviting? If you intend to allow your guest to bring a date, make sure to have your guest's name first, and their date's name should go next. If you know their name, it is expected to write it on the invitation. It is always preferred to write the name of their plus one, rather than write "and guest".

The invitation dictates who is invited. The way the invitation is addressed tells the guest who is invited. For instance, if you address the invitation "Mr. and Mrs. Jackson" you intend on inviting two people, whereas if you address the invitation "The Jackson Family" you intend to invite  their entire immediate family. It is important to remember, however, that whoever is omitted from the invitation is assumed to be not invited. For example, "Ms. Sarah Jackson" would mean only Sarah is invited, whereas "Ms. Sarah Jackson and guest" would clearly let Sarah know she is welcome to invite a date.

When you and your groom are going through your guest list, remember these helpful etiquette tips to help keep the decision making easy and stress-free. You have to remember that this wedding is about the two of you. In the end, a plus one shouldn't be taking the place of a guest that does mean something to you, and wants to be there to celebrate your special day.

Also, I wanted to point out that if you are looking to get invitations or any stationery made, one of my favorite vendors is Jen Simpson of Jen Simpson Design. She is the designer of all gorgeous invitations you saw on this post! Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Etsy as well!