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Beginner September 2022

Confused about plus one for bridesmaid

Sinica, on November 14, 2021 at 9:12 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 18
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I'm feeling confused and conflicted and wonder if anyone has advice- I know what lots of articles and sources say about plus one etiquette for BP members but i think my situation is a little different..

Me and FH want a super small, intimate wedding, only immediate family and very close friends- about 30 total. Two of my bridesmaids are married so I assume they would be attending with their spouses. My third bridesmaid is single and I was planning to give her a plus one initially because she had been dating someone for a while. However they recently broke up, and I didn't give it more thought until she asked me the other day if I had invited another mutual friend of ours.

Just a quick backstory- me and this mutual friend are not close at all. we were friends many years ago but she behaved quite maliciously on one occasion and I have kept my distance since. We do not really communicate aside from through my bridesmaid although we are cordial. When she asked whether I was inviting this friend, I let her know that it was not in our budget to include more people and left it at that.

Now I am wondering if I should give her a plus one? The main thing is I want her to feel comfortable at the wedding, and our wedding is also destination for everyone including ourselves. I know she would also be investing time and money to travel (from Toronto Canada to San Diego) and obviously doing a lot for the wedding as a bridesmaid, although I plan to help my BP financially as well with dress, some of the travel costs etc.

I am so conflicted because I just know I will not feel comfortable if she ends up bringing this mutual friend as her plus one because of our history, and the fact that our wedding is so small (I don't think I would care as much if it were 100 people plus for example). I actually wouldn't even care much if she brought a random other friend i don't know or another date, it is just the history that makes me uncomfortable especially at such an intimate wedding.

Any thoughts of how to approach this situation? If I don't end up giving her a plus one, is there anything I can do to make her feel more comfortable? I was thinking of seating her next to me during reception so that way she would have me to talk to and not just the other couples in our BP, but I know that obviously I may be pulled away during the wedding day too and I don't want her to feel bad or left out if she is not there with someone.

Please help!!!! I appreciate any advice or thoughts.



18 Comments

Latest activity by Kim, on November 25, 2021 at 10:50 AM
  • Cece
    VIP November 2022
    Cece ·
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    I would definitely give her a plus one. As you have already mentioned, she is investing a lot of time and money in your wedding. The fact that it is a multi-day destination wedding makes it even more important that she has fun and feels comfortable (and a lot of people do not feel comfortable traveling alone). I would just be forthright with her and explain that you would prefer she not bring this particular person as her plus one due to your complicated past. She is your BM, so she is obviously one of your nearest and dearest, so I’m sure she will understand and not do anything to make you uncomfortable at your own wedding.
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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Thank you!! That is good advice and definitely makes sense, I didn't want to have to have this conversation with her but maybe it is needed ..

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Dates for truly single unattached guests are always optional. Not everyone wants to bring a date/friend because they don’t always get time to spend with them. Many people aren’t upset to not bring anyone. A significant other if she was still dating would be an automatic invite. Since you are limiting the guest list to the bare minimum (many super intimate weddings don’t even invite closest friends), I would opt out of a plus one for the bridesmaid, especially since you don’t have a relationship with the person she is planning to bring, since you would be cutting out someone you want in attendance to spend a ton of mon and share the day with someone you don’t even like. Plus the rando would be very uncomfortable not knowing anyone except the one bridesmaid.
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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Thanks!! I really appreciate your thoughts and yes it's exactly what you said. I honestly wouldn't be nearly this selective if we were having even close to an 'average' sized wedding like 80 or 100 people and for sure if she were dating someone I would invite them 100%. I am just thinking it may be uncomfortable with this individual because the guest count IS so small with just closest friends and family.

    Do you think she would be offended if I asked her to bring someone else if possible and not this individual? I know they are close friends, and I don't want to seem petty because the thing that happened with us was years ago. Although like I said there is a difference between letting something go with someone, and wanting this person to be at your very small wedding

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  • H
    Just Said Yes December 2017
    Hmmm ·
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    I think you should have an honest conversation with your friend and tell her how you feel, if she knows it will make you uncomfortable to bring this friend along as a plus one then she should understand. Not to say that if it's a destination wedding she can't bring this other friend and go to your wedding stag and then hang out with her friend other days and the friend can do their own thing for the day. And really she might tell you she wasn't even thinking of bringing that person and that she doesn't care for a plus one!
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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Thank you!! Yes I was thinking exactly your point about the stag or bachelorette party which we are having just one or two days the weekend of the wedding.. I think that would be super awkward for everyone if she brought that friend, as either the friend would be left out when we do the stag, or I would feel weird and obligated to include her which I don't really want to as it's only quality time I get to spend with my closest friends before the wedding.

    I think you're right thank you so much!! I definitely plan to have an honest conversation with her and just talk things over and tell her what I am feeling about her bringing this particular friend. I hope we can come to some middle ground if she wants to bring someone else, or like you said if maybe she feels okay not bringing anyone as she will be spending the majority of time that weekend with myself and the rest of the bridesmaids too.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    There is no way to predict anyone’s reaction. I would not allow a plus one period. Because you are essentially telling your other friends not invited that they can’t attend but welcoming a stranger. Skipping the plus one completely for everyone eliminates that unnecessary tension between you and the people you are close to who are not invited. She can hang out with her friends the other 364 days of the year. The last thing you need or want is to be intentionally uncomfortable at your own wedding because a potential guest who doesn’t need to be invited in the first place is on the list.
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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Thank you! Yes I agree that the last thing I want is to be uncomfortable at my own wedding. It would definitely make things a lot simpler if we eliminated all plus ones. However two of my bridesmaids are married so I’m not completely sure how I would approach telling them they can’t bring their husbands ..but I really appreciate your comment definitely a good point to consider!
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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Yes I am realizing.. it is awkward in any circumstance to say this specific person is not invited but you are welcome to bring any other complete stranger !
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    A significant other or spouse is not a plus one. They are an automatic invite. A plus one is a random stranger who doesn’t care about you who is invited to accompany single unattached guests. They are completely different and it is never inappropriate to not invite plus ones. It also saves money and space.
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  • Samantha
    Devoted August 2022
    Samantha ·
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    I personally wouldn't give her a plus one... But that's me and I may get some backlash for that 😅 We are also having a small wedding (40 guests) and also in San Diego! We're currently living in Kansas, so it's definitely a destination wedding for everyone involved. Essentially we're inviting long-time, committed partners and spouses, but skipping plus ones just so the single wedding party members have a date/friend with them. But we also have 5 single wedding party members and 40 is already a larger guest list than we had wanted.

    I don't know, if she's the only one who is single, it might make it weird. I would still go the route of no plus one.

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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Thank you!! I appreciate your perspective on this and it is great to hear different opinions and views on the situation.


    I think it makes complete sense about only inviting long-term or committed partners as it is such a small intimate wedding and that is how I was feeling with mine too so I relate to that a lot. Even though I said something about budget being the reason I didn’t invite this person when my bridesmaid asked it is actually more about the fact that I only want people who are close with us to be there.
    Sounds like our weddings are similar in some ways haha with size and both being destination weddings in San Diego Smiley smile
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  • Samantha
    Devoted August 2022
    Samantha ·
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    I think just reiterating the intimate nature of your wedding to your bridesmaid should be enough, at least I know it would be for our friends. Our group is going to be a bit of a hodge podge, but it feels so completely and perfectly us that I wouldn't change a thing at this point.

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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Ya for sure, I think emphasizing the intimate nature of our wedding maybe would help her to see my perspective on the situation.. Aww your wedding sounds like it will be lovely! I think that's really the best thing is that it feels like the two of you Smiley smile

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  • Gabby R
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Gabby R ·
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    A lot of people have suggested either having a conversation with your friend or just not giving her a plus one. I think that either option works, but may depend on the rest of your guests. You have mentioned that your other bridesmaids are married, but what about the rest of your guest list? Would she be the only single person there? How well does she know your family? Would she be comfortable mingling with the other guests? I think that thinking about your guest list as a whole might help you find a solution. Good luck!

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  • S
    Beginner September 2022
    Sinica ·
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    Thanks! that's a great point to think about the whole guest list.. unfortunately the majority of people attending will be coupled up as far as I recall, except possibly one or two on my fiance's side of family/friends. She does not know my family well, but she has met one of my other bridesmaids in the past and they got along fine. She can also be fairly social so I believe she would be okay mingling. And really the most mingling would be during cocktail hour/ reception, but because she is a bridesmaid she may need to take photos during cocktail hour, or help me with my train etc. while I take photos lol so I don't think she would have too much time outside of the actual reception.

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  • Jacks
    Master November 2054
    Jacks ·
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    This is a destination wedding though. So in my view, I would be more lenient about a +1, if she asks. You're basically expecting her to spend all unhosted time alone, when she's not mingling at the events. In a city where she doesn't know anyone.

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  • Kim
    Savvy September 2022
    Kim ·
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    I’m from the midwest and I can say I personally would never travel to CA from here for a destination wedding without a plus one, and I do have some family there. It’s really expensive if you don’t have someone to split the hotel/rental car costs with
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