Can I Bring My Son or Daughter as My Plus-One?

Etiquette, Invites & Stationery

Congratulations, your invitation to your friend's wedding included a plus-one! With costs rising and guest lists shrinking, being invited with a guest is less common than it used to be. That "and Guest" on your envelope usually refers to a significant other, but if you're single or your spouse can't make it, can you bring your kid instead? Here's what our experts have to say.

If you were invited as a couple (for example, Sarah and James Brown or Sarah Michaels and James Brown) and the date named on your invitation can't attend, don't assume that you can swap them out for one of your children — especially if it is an adults-only reception. If you know the couple well, you could inquire as to whether you could bring a child instead, but you really should simply RSVP for yourself and attend solo.

Was no one specified on your invitation? First, check to see if the wedding is adults-only. Some couples opt to not invite any children to their wedding, so be sure to confirm before even considering bringing along a pre-teen as your date. Then, if there's nothing to indicate that kids can't attend, check with the couple before adding your son or daughter to your RSVP card. A quick phone call saying "James will be traveling for work that weekend, could I bring our daughter Alice with me?" is to-the-point, and you'll get a yes or no answer in return.

Additionally, keep the age of your child in mind. Are they old enough to sit at the table with you, stay out past 9 p.m., and maybe even join Mom or Dad on the dance floor? Great. If they're younger, would need a kids' meal and are more interested in coloring books than socializing with adults, you should probably attend the wedding solo instead. Bringing young children who are specified on the invitation is one thing (after all, the couple knows that your son is four!), but if they weren't anticipating having a toddler in attendance, bringing one to the wedding with you would require additional accommodations on the part of the couple that they hadn't planned on.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from