If you are part of a wedding party, there are definitely some responsibilities that come with the title. You will have to adhere to a specific dress code given to you by the couple, attend additional wedding events, spend time with the bride or groom as they are getting ready for the day, and be a major presence within the wedding day proceedings. With all these obligations, it sometimes makes it difficult for bridesmaids and groomsmen to spend time with their plus ones or have them feel as included in the festivities.
While giving your wedding party plus ones is a great gesture, couples can take a few more steps in their planning to help the dates of your closest friends not feel like they are left out. From seating arrangements to including them in pre-wedding activities, there are plenty of ways to make plus ones feel like part of the party. Likewise, bridesmaids and groomsmen can do their part to help facilitate a good time for their guests. See ahead for tips to make this happen.
How Couples Can Help
While newlyweds likely want to keep their wedding events limited to their closest friends, including your wedding party's plus ones is a great way to improve the overall mood of your party. Make sure to invite along their dates to any smaller pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners so they can get to know people earlier. It might even facilitate new friendships between plus ones who can make plans when the wedding party will be getting ready ahead of the ceremony. If you are hosting a wedding weekend, organizing a pre-ceremony activity for guests already in town like a hike or a breakfast can also give plus ones an opportunity to mingle with your friends and family.
The reception is also a great place to make plus ones feel included with the seating chart. "As much as I love the idea of keeping things traditional, I feel inspired to mix things up," shares Jung Lee, event architect and founder of Fête, Jung Lee NY, and Slowdance. "If you have a wedding party, instead of sitting them together, you can have them sit amongst their plus ones. This way the plus ones can enjoy their date (the people that THEY love) during the reception."
Another way to create more camaraderie at a table? "An activity that I love to plan is to have polaroid cameras at tables for guests to take photos during the wedding for the couple to see later," says Lee. "This is also a fun icebreaker where plus ones can mingle with other guests and take funny or memorable photos."
Lee also offers a thoughtful gesture you can make yourselves. "Tangible beautiful experiences are some of my favorite things. I almost love nothing more than a beautiful handwritten note! Let each guest know how much you treasure their presence by writing them a personal note," she offers. "It's become a keepsake and your guests will certainly be surprised by this touching gesture. They might even frame it at home!"
How Wedding Party Members Can Help
If you are bringing a plus one as a wedding party member, there's definitely a few ways you can help make them feel more comfortable and involved in the process. Ahead of the big day, see if you can set up a time for your plus one to hang with the couple, other wedding party members, and their partners. It can spark excitement for the events to come and also introduce them to people they'll be hanging out with that weekend.
Once festivities begin, it's important for you to both be committed to your responsibilities as someone in the wedding party and as a host to your plus one. Make sure to keep up communication over text around your logistics if you're separated, and be sure to introduce them to other people you know throughout the events. You can even do some research and provide recommendations for your date to grab a bite check out a cool feature in the area. Most of all, make sure they feel like are a part of the party and have a good time.