Who Gets A Plus One At A Wedding: An Etiquette Guide

Those who are unsure about who gets a plus one at a wedding, consider four types of guests. We will also discuss the etiquette regarding plus-ones to help your guests understand the dos and don’ts of bringing their own guests. 

But what if you don’t even need to know which people get a plus one because you intend to have a very intimate wedding? Avoid misunderstandings right off the bat by learning how to say no plus-ones on the wedding invitation

who gets a plus one at a wedding


Who Gets A Plus One At A Wedding And Who Doesn’t?


Married couples

Anyone who’s married automatically gets a plus one at a wedding. It is often assumed that a married guest gets to include their partner when attending a wedding. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re only close with one of them or if they are just recently married. It’s polite to acknowledge your relative or friend’s partner by inviting them to the wedding. 

That being said, please read how to address wedding save the dates, so you know the wording when inviting two people. This will also ensure that the guests know that they’re the only ones invited from their household. 


Wedding guests in long-term relationships

Besides married couples, you must allow guests in long-term relationships to have plus-ones as basic etiquette. They include serious partnerships, long-term couples who live in or have a family together, or even anyone who is engaged. 

It would be polite to invite their partner, who they’ve been with for some time, like married couples. But more often, you also know their partners if you’re friends or related to these people.

On the contrary, it’s more acceptable only to invite one person if you don’t know they’re dating someone. On their end, they should accept that their short-term partner is not invited because they’re not someone you would’ve known, and it’s your occasion. 


Wedding party

Of course, the wedding party must all get their plus-ones. They will surely appreciate bringing a date to your wedding as it’s also an opportunity to mingle with everyone. 

Even if you think they know most people at your wedding, they’ll appreciate having someone with them on your special occasion. After all, the wedding party will be your support group before and during the wedding. 

More than other guests, the wedding party members each deserve a plus-one. Just make sure to use your judgment to avoid other guests from feeling overlooked. 


Guests who won’t know anyone

Perhaps you have a close friend or relative that you know will feel alone at the wedding. Maybe they don’t know anyone from the party, or they’ve lived afar. 

It would be common courtesy to give them a plus-one so they won’t feel awkward at your wedding. Then, you can sit them together at one table with other guests who don’t know anybody in the event.

All your guests will have fun and won’t feel out of place. The only gist is you may not personally know who they’re bringing. 


Is It Rude To Not Give People A Plus One For A Wedding?

It can only be rude if you don’t give someone in a long-term serious relationship or marriage a plus-one. On the other end, it’s perfectly acceptable only to invite one person and not their partner if they’re only at the beginning of the relationship.

Relationships nowadays are also complex, where the line between a serious and casual partnership is blurry. You can only use your judgment or be prepared to explain why you are only inviting one person from a household. 


Who doesn’t need a plus one?

  • Guests who are casually dating
  • Guests who will know other people at the wedding
  • Married guests with estranged partners
  • All guests if you are planning on having a micro wedding 


How do you tell someone they don’t have a plus one?

  • Only address them in the wedding invitation
  • Clarify your desire for an intimate wedding on the invitation 
  • Ask relatives and friends to spread the word of no plus-ones
  • Indicate why there are no wedding plus-ones on your wedding website
  • Call or meet the guest to calmly but firmly explain why you intend to have no plus-ones in your wedding
  • Be calm and never sound defensive
  • Stick to your desire to avoid having others feel that they’re treated unfairly


Do Bridesmaids Usually Get A Plus One?

Bridesmaids and other members of the bridal party usually get a plus one. However, couples who prefer an intimate wedding may request no plus-ones for any guest, regardless of whether they’re a member of the wedding party.


Do Cousins Get Plus-Ones?

Sometimes, only immediate relatives are given plus-ones. However, cousins in long-term serious relationships deserve their plus-ones as basic courtesy. 


Is It Okay To Bring A Plus One To A Wedding?

It’s unacceptable to bring a plus-one to a wedding if the couple didn’t mention it when they invited you. Also, they might be limited with their guest list and budget. 

But if you think you deserve it, here is how to ask for a wedding plus-one



And that’s it! To recap who gets a plus one at a wedding, they are married couples, guests in long-term relationships, wedding party, and guests who won’t know anybody at your wedding. 

However, note that you can also refuse the plus-ones of any guest, especially when you only have an intimate wedding. Again, the key is proper communication to avoid any hurt feelings. 

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