Who Gets a Plus-One for My Wedding?

Ask yourself these questions before deciding who should and shouldn't get a plus-one.
simone hill the knot wedding planning and style expert
by
Simone Hill
simone hill the knot wedding planning and style expert
Simone Hill
Wedding Planning and Style Expert
  • Simone Hill is a Technical Product Owner for Estée Lauder Companies.
  • A former editor for The Knot, Simone has experience in web development and editorial writing.
  • Simone has a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.
Updated Apr 30, 2018

Oh, the dreaded plus-one question. You've probably heard it before, and which guests should or should not get to bring a date is a seriously controversial topic in our Wed Thread.

In a perfect world, you'd probably let everyone bring someone to your wedding, but budget and space limitations mean you have to make some tough decisions (and the easy way to cut down on wedding costs is limiting your guest list). So what do you do? Not allow certain guests to bring someone and risk seriously upsetting them, or let them come and shoulder the costs? Ask yourself the below questions before making a decision, and remember to use our Guest List Manager to take care of everything guest list related.

How serious is the relationship?

If a couple is married, engaged, living together or in a long-term, committed relationship there's no question about it—you have to invite their partner. For everyone else though, instead of making a universal rule (for example, no plus-ones for all unmarried people), you'll want to make this decision on a case-by-case basis for each guest. If your friend has been with her boyfriend forever and lives with him, you should definitely invite him (she'll be disappointed if you don't take their relationship seriously just because they're not married yet). On the other hand, your 16-year-old cousin's high school girlfriend of two weeks may not need an invite.

Does this person know other guests?

Another important factor to consider is how many people this guest will actually know. If the odds aren't in their favor (say, they're a childhood friend who lives across the country), allowing them to have a plus-one will make them feel more comfortable. If they're traveling from far away, that's something to consider as well. Still unsure? Check out our comprehensive plus-one guide, here.

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