4 Considerations for Deciding the Plus-One Invitation Debate

If your guest list is starting to get out of control, it might be time to assess the plus-one scenario. This can be a bit of a touchy subject for guests, so tread lightly.

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  1. Consider your guest list. Take an inventory. How many singles are there? If it’s a small list, you can expect minimal cost versus a big impact with those guests. Allow the plus-one and be done with it. If the list is bigger, do a mock seating chart to see if there’s enough singles to fill out tables with other singles (preferably that they know) so as not to leave them as the odd man out with pairs.
  2. Consider the cost. Do you have room in the budget for an extra 50 people? That means an additional 50 meals, table space, linens, centerpieces and wedding favours. It can turn into a huge expense for 50 people you may or may not know.
  3. Consider their feelings. How would you feel if it was you? The comfort of your guests should be your priority. If you suspect your single friends might dread your wedding, it may be time to re-allocate some wedding funds to the plus-one budget.
  4. Be consistent. Not all relationships are at the same stage. Some guests are engaged, some are living together, and some other relationships are not so clear. Choose a rule and stick to it. Maybe you’ll institute a  global “no ring, no bring” rule. Maybe it’s plus-one for the wedding party only, or for immediate family only, or perhaps for those travelling from out-of-town, or for those over a certain age. Whatever you decide, stick to it and ensure your invitations are clear. I can’t stress this enough. Sometimes guests will see or hear what they want to see or hear. Address to single names on the envelope if not allowing plus ones. On the RSVP, limit the number attending by writing in the field for that invitation.

If you choose to limit plus-one guests and are invariably being asked why, be honest and cite budget constraints, venue capacity or your parents’ never-ending guest list.


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