Ask Sophie: Etiquette And Inviting Plus Ones
I am getting married in May and I am trying to finalise the guest list. My problem is that there are some people on my list who have partners I have never met. Would it be rude not to invite their partners? There are quite a few, and inviting them all is going to so expensive.
This is a difficult one that is regularly up for discussion. These days it is about figuring out what is right for you and your wedding.
It is generally accepted that anybody in a relationship for more than a year or anybody cohabiting should be invited with his or her significant other. If someone has only been seeing someone for a little while (especially if you haven’t met them yourself) I don’t think it’s unreasonable not to extend the invitation.
Beyond that, you can forget about adding "and guest" indiscriminately to invitations. When it comes to your unattached guests weddings are usually seen as a key opportunity to mingle and some of your guests may just thank you for that.
The Blurred Lines
What I would suggest, is to have a clear defined set of rule and a cut-off point to explain who gets to bring a date and who doesn’t. If someone then has a problem (or somebody RSVPs stating they are bringing an uninvited guest – yes this happens!) having a clear set of rules will allow you to explain your reasoning in a rational and fair manner. This set of rules is as simple as focusing on the bigger factors – your total number of guests, your budget, your venue capacity and so on.
In short I do not think there is a straight answer to the haze surrounding plus ones. I would recommend that you figure out what is right for your wedding. One other factor that you might want to consider is taking a look at what your family or friends have done.
I’d love to hear what other brides and grooms have to say on the subject.
Have an etiquette question for Sophie? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll post an answer for you.