Monday, July 26, 2010

Guest List Etiquette - When Are Plus Ones Appropriate?

One of the biggest concerns among engaged couples is, "who gets a plus one and who does not?" From an outsider's perspective, many might not think it's a big deal, but if the wrong decision is made, things can get a bit dicey.

Guest lists are one of the very first items couples must complete when they start planning their wedding - it helps determine the wedding budget, the size and how much a couple can spend on their event.

Here are a couple simple tips to follow when determining who gets invited and who doesn't:

Where to Make Cuts - a guest list is obviously a numbers game and every head is an extra cost incurred to the couple. They should remember that the wedding is about them and not about making everyone else happy. With that said, inviting family, close friends and spiritual mentors are all at the top of their list. If you have to make cuts, try to subtract work colleagues and friends that you haven't seen or heard from in years.

Who get plus ones - plus ones should ALWAYS go to friends and family who have spouses, domesticated partners and long term girlfriends/boyfriends. They should also always be extended to their wedding party attendants. Regardless if the couple knows their closest friends' other halves or not, it's in poor taste not to invite them. Believe me, if the person you're inviting has a long term boyfriend/girlfriend that you decide not to include as a "plus one", there's probably a good chance that couple will get married and will remember the lack of the plus one on your part. How would you feel about receiving an invitation to their wedding that DOES NOT include your wife or husband? Not good and it happens. On the contrary, if the friend or family member you are inviting has only been dating their significant other for a short period of time, you aren't obligated to extend a plus one to their invitation.

Determining your guest can be an arduous task so be selective, be consistent and be fair.

Happy planning!


  1. I think you meant to say "domestic partners" NOT "domesticated partners." (Domesticated refers to being housetrained, like a dog, whereas domestic refers to sharing a home).

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