We are having a decent sized wedding, and most of the guests invited will be relatives; however we are having trouble with inviting plus ones. We don’t want to offend anyone, as everyone is mid 20s or older, but we also don’t want people to bring someone just for the sake of having a seat filled. Our plates will average $100/person and the less people that come will mean more for those that do (ie extra drink options, late night snacks). Is it rude to exclude plus ones that aren’t in relationships? We have 3 single groomsman, and we are really considering them in this situation. They need to be with us on the party bus and for pictures, so do they need dates?! Please make me feel better about saying “no!”
Well realistically you would offend some people if you did that. I get in terms of what you are saying and that it's great etiquette to allow spouses of guests to attend however just because someone is another relationship but not married does not make their relationship less special. I agree it's a lot to take in when you're paying a hundred per plate so you have either one of two options: in your invitations you can put the person's name and put how many seats are reserved for them. So if you have a relative or friend that you know is not in a serious relationship then you can say only one seat is reserved for them. Or you can just cut down your guest list if budget is the issue. Ultimately it is what you and your future husband want to do however I know that there are times I have attended weddings by myself especially in situations where I wasn't really buddy buddy with others and being allowed to least bring someone even just a friend I could talk to would be nice. I can see that you would rub some people the wrong way if you allow some to bring a plus one and others not to. If you are concerned about cost per head than realistically you may just have to minimize your guest list. Sorry that is not necessarily what you want to hear but it is the reality of things. Good luck.
Everyone that has a signature other should be allowed to bring their significant other whether they have a ring or not. They are their to celebrate your relationship so they should be able to bring the person they are in a relationship with. If the person is truly single then no they don't need a plus one.
Ok, so we are inviting my cousins and bridesmaids to bring their significant others. We aren’t excluding any bfs, gfs, or fiancés. I guess I should’ve phrased it differently in the title. We don’t want people to feel like they have to search for someone to bring just so they have a date. My fh’s brother brought a girl to two family weddings last year, and they have never had a relationship. It was simply so he could have a date. We don’t want that thanks for the advice!
Plus ones are for single guests, not those in relationships. It’s fine to not give plus ones to single guests, although I think the wedding party should be the exception, but that’s personal opinion. Guests in relationships should be invited together, ring or not.
I hate random plus ones, but when I first read your post heading I thought you were going to not include people in committed relationships that weren't engaged or married, which I think would be a jerk move. I think it's totally ok not to give +1s to single people. I went to more than half a dozen weddings single, by myself, and it was totally fine (for many of those weddings I had the option of bringing a +1, but I didn't). I frankly think its rude to expect to be able to bring a random person (someone who has no significant meaning to you or the couple being married) to someone's wedding. Weddings are expensive!
I went to a wedding when I was single and I didn't get the option of bringing a +1. The groom was my friend and he knew I was single. I did meet a couple other singles at the wedding not seated at my table.
Now as a couple, we don't get the option of bringing a +1 because they already assume we are bringing each other.
Going to a wedding alone is no fun. Even if you know other people there, especially if you aren’t close to those other people or they are there with someone. Yes $100 per person is a lot, but you made the choice to go with that catering your bridal party should have to suffer the consequences of tha choice. But, that’s just my opinion.
I do think it's nice to allow the bridal party plus ones, if only because they're helping you out and might be seeing someone by the time your wedding comes. That being said, I can see your point and think you're fine not giving them one too. It's more of a courtesy than a hard and fast rule.
I attended A LOT of weddings solo when I was single and I was just fine. I'm not even a particularly extroverted person and I always found people eat, talk, and dance with even when I didn't know anyone but the couple getting married. Going to a wedding solo is a lot more fun than going to a wedding with a bad date, and weddings make for a really long date if you are bringing someone just so you don't have to be alone. Many of my friends had small weddings that they paid for themselves, so bulking up their guest list with people who had no significant to myself or them made no sense to me. Random dates are an added expense to the couple, as well as an unknown entity that can bring drama and difficulties.
I do think there are some situations that justify a plus one, but I definitely disagree with the common notion that everyone should be able to bring a date "just so they don't have to be alone." I think random +1s are justified for guests that literally know on one else at the wedding and are traveling a ways to attend. The ONLY time I ever brought a date to a wedding that wasn't my now FH was a wedding where I knew only the groom and his parents (whom I had met once) and the wedding was a three hour drive. I RSVP'd solo but the groom reached out to me and insisted I find a date because the wedding was really formal and numbers weren't an issue because the bride's parents were paying for it anyway and wanted it to be a big, elaborate party.
As for the wedding party, I think it makes sense to talk to the single members of your wedding party and consider what you and they feel comfortable with. The idea of letting single people have a +1 is nice, and chances are members of your wedding party have spent a good deal of their own money and time to be involved, so that kind of justifies the cost of an extra meal ticket. However members of the wedding party are far more busy than the average wedding guest and are going to be away from their dates for much of the evening anyway. So while your MOH is busy getting you ready and taking photos, her date, who may literally know not a single person at the wedding except for her, is left to mingle and cannot even answer the baseline icebreaker question of "how do you know the couple?" For some, it may just be easier not to have a date and they'll be totally fine with it.
We didn't give plus ones to anyone that was not in a relationship. As far as bridal party, this is our exception to the rule. We have a couple single bm and gm, but if they end up starting to date someone then we will invite them as well. I wouldn't exclude someone's significant other if they weren't engaged or married. If they're in a relationship, they both get an invite.
I agree with Sarah above! I am giving people I know a plus one if I have met their SO or know they have one. I find it weird to have people I don’t know or haven’t met at my wedding... like I’m paying all this money for someone I haven’t met? Anyways, if you don’t want to give single people a plus one, don’t, as long as they have a friend to hangout with (the three groomsmen can all hangout together for the night, or anyone else - it’s a wedding, they’ll know some people they can mingle with!)
If they are t in a relationship then they shouldn’t be offended. One of my co workers told me how her groom’s best friend put down a plus one even though they didn’t give him permission. Apparently the guy is a player. They told him no and he brought a date to the wedding anyway, then told the date to leave when the reception started so he could flirt with other women at the wedding!!!!! She threatened to sue him for the money she paid on his guest’s plate and he finally gave her the $75 dollars a few weeks later.
My point is that allowing every guest to bring a friend isn't necessary. One could even argue that plus ones reinforce a social norm that everyone needs to be coupled up, which can be a lot of pressure for people who don't want to have to "find a date" or who have sexual orientations that don't fit into our monogamous, paired off, heteronormative culture. The one wedding that I brought a random +1 to was extra pressure on me because I felt I had to find someone I could endure a 10 hour day with, and then the entire time we were there it was presumed we were romantically involved, which wasn't the case at all. I felt like I was less involved with meeting the other guests and spending time with the couple because I had the responsibility of entertaining my date, who was just a casual friend, and if I had been smarter about it I would have realized I needed to give them a much bigger gift because I was technically covering two people instead of one. I also negated my chances of meeting a future romantic partner there because everyone thought I was "with" my date, instead of single and ready to mingle!
A couple should invite (and not invite) whoever they feel to their wedding, especially if they are the ones paying for it and/or are aiming for a smaller, more intimate wedding with those closest to them. They shouldn't feel forced to include plus ones for every single guest "just so they don't have to be alone" as if being solo is the worst thing ever. In an ideal world, you know all your guests pretty well and have a pretty good idea of what would make them most comfortable, and you could afford to accommodate a plus one for every single guest that preferred to be able to bring a date. A newly married couple shouldn't have to go into debt just so all of their friends can have a designated dance partner, and they should feel empowered to keep their guest list small and limited to their closest friends and family if they want to.
To the OP, keep in mind that guests may feel slighted by not getting a "plus one" on their invite, and may choose not to attend. I'd personally be fine with that if that were the case, but it's something to consider when you look at your list.
Definitely wasn't trying to invalidate your opinion - just say that there are other ways of looking at it too. Some people think its rude not to allow single people to have a plus one, but I think its rude to expect the couple to pay for someone they haven't met and who has no significant meaning to an invited guest, but is just coming along so the guest doesn't have to be alone. I certainly think that there are situations that justify a plus one, I just dislike the idea that every invited guest needs a buddy in order to have a good time.
Also, our wedding is more than $200 per head, because we wanted to treat those closest to us to a fantastic time. It's totally okay to want to splurge on those you love but not feel like you should be obligated to do the same for random dates. If we got stuck on letting everyone bring a date, we would have significantly reduced the quality of the wedding experience for ourselves and those we care about.
So I think typically you do let the bridal party bring plus ones if they want. And generally speaking plus ones are only given to people in "long term" relationships.
If its just those 3 that you think present the challenge then I would just level with them and ask if they want to bring people. That way there's no pressure for them to find someone if they don't have anyone, but they know that the option is there. I went to a wedding where the groomsmen were all told to bring someone and one groomsman brought his dad (who I don't think anyone had met) because he didn't have a significant other. Needless to say it was awkward.