Here Are The Dos and Dont's of Wedding Plus-One Etiquette

Author: Nidhi Sood on Nov 17,2022
bf Wedding Plus-One Etiquette


You've undoubtedly considered who to invite to your wedding and if they should be permitted to bring a plus one. Many visitors need help dealing with a plus-one. Therefore, we have compiled a list of wedding plus-one etiquettes to simplify your life. Continue reading to find out more.


What does wedding plus-one mean?

Generally, the phrase "plus-one," most widely used about weddings, allows an invited person to bring someone with them to an event. When engaged couples assign plus-ones, they should remember that the plus-one only applies to some visitors.

Invitations with a plus-one, often issued to unmarried guests, allow single attendees to bring a date to the wedding. Inviting a buddy to enjoy the complimentary food and beverages is a closed offer.

In long-term partnerships, most couples opt to extend plus-one invites to friends and family, particularly if they don't know the primary guest's spouse well. Out-of-town visitors who may not know many other participants are often granted plus-one status, so they do not feel out of place or lonely. You've undoubtedly experienced the embarrassment of attending a wedding alone, surrounded by strangers.


Which guests be allowed to bring a guest?

Finally, your wedding day should represent your and your partner's preferences. It's entirely up to you whether you want a 200-person blowout party-style wedding reception or an exquisite, private occasion.

However, according to traditional wedding etiquette, the following wedding guests should be given a plus-one:

  • Immediate family members of the couple
  • Members of the wedding party
  • Guests who are unlikely to know many of the other participants.
  • Couples who are engaged, living together, or in a serious or long-term relationship.

If you're having trouble keeping your guest list manageable, make an "A" list of all invited people who should get a plus-one. Then, make a "B" list of visitors you'd want to invite, if feasible. After you've completed the "A" list, calculate your overall visitor count. Then, assign the "B" list members plus ones using what is left.


Wedding plus-one etiquette for guests: Do's and Don'ts

Plus-one etiquette isn't limited to invitations and the engaged couple. Wedding guests who are given the courtesy of a plus-one should act appropriately.


Donate. If you invite a visitor, your gift should be appropriate. Bring a gift for two visitors if you're attending as two guests. If your plus-one does not know the couple, you should generally not ask them to chip in.

 Introduce your plus-one to the newlyweds. If you bring a new plus-one, introduce them to the couple. Nobody likes to see a stranger at their wedding, so choose a quiet, low-key moment to introduce your date to the newlyweds. It is not only courteous, but it also shows the couple your thanks for covering the tab for your date.

 Participate: If you've been invited to be someone's plus one, you are expected to participate in the wedding ceremony and reception as all the other guests would. This means you should arrive on time to avoid being late.

If you're attending with a friend or significant other, there is no need to reach out with your date. Just go with the flow and take advantage of the free food and drinks while you're there. If you're attending with a work colleague, it's a good idea to arrive together and show respect to the hosts by being there on time. 

Know your role before attending the wedding. You've been invited as the plus one, but what does that mean? Are you expected to pay for anything? What about the seating arrangements? Any other expectations? Before heading out to a friend or family member's wedding, ask the hosts about any expectations of your role.

For example, if you're attending a wedding reception, ask if you're expected to sit at a table with the rest of the guests or if you're allowed to mingle throughout the room. If you're attending a wedding ceremony, ask where you should sit, if you're expected to sit, and when you should arrive. 

 Be prepared to dance. A DJ or a live band accompanies most wedding receptions, and dancing is often a vital part of the night. If you don't know how to dance, don't sweat it. Find a spot where you can enjoy the music while standing out of the way of other guests. If you know how to dance, you should cut in whenever possible.

No one will be offended; you can even ask a guest to dance if you are shy about asking the couple themselves. Remember that it's considered rude to cut in at a formal ballroom or country-western dance that's been pre-arranged. If the DJ plays a different music style, feel free to dance however you like. 

Stay until the end unless indicated by your date. Even if you're bored, try to leave early only if your date asks you explicitly to go with them. It's rude to leave before the end of the wedding – and you never know if you might get invited to an after-party later on.

Suppose your date wants to leave early; waiting until they say goodbye to the hosts and other guests is polite. But after that, there's no reason for you to stick around. You can get a ride home with someone else or call an Uber or Lyft and leave as soon as you like.

The hosts will appreciate that you waited until the end of the night, but they won't be offended if you leave early. You've done your part by attending and being part of the event, and it's normal for you to want to go home after a long day. 


 Sneaking a name change. If a second guest's name appears on an invitation or is addressed to two people, that invitation is just for those listed. Don't RSVP and substitute someone else's name for the second visitor. If the included individual cannot attend, please tell the couple in your answer.

Never bring an unwanted visitor or a troublemaker. If your invitation did not contain a plus-one, you should never attend a wedding with an unwanted visitor. If the individual who was supposed to accompany you cannot participate, ask the couple if you can bring someone else. Accept their answer politely, even if it is "no." In addition, "invited visitor" usually alludes to a date, not your closest buddy. It's a wedding, not a free party with your friends.

Show up solo. Although you can't be expected to bring a plus one if you don't have a significant other, it's weird to attend a wedding alone. Find someone you can have a good time with. However, if you have decided to go solo at the last minute, you should at least try to mingle with other guests.

Show up late. Even if you're going solo to the wedding and have no date waiting for you, try to arrive on time. It's generally considered rude to show up late to anything, especially at weddings. Don't let yourself get caught up in traffic, though. It's better to arrive slightly late than to be the person who shows up five minutes before the ceremony starts.

If you know you'll be late, try to find the event coordinator to let them know you're on your way. They can direct you to the best parking place, avoid traffic, and get you seated before the ceremony starts. 



Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for plus-one etiquette. So you'll be ready to deal with events when they come. Whatever happens, we know you've got this and that your big day will be spectacular. Continue reading for more wedding ideas and information on how to make it memorable.

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