Mindy Weiss, wedding planner to the stars and Wedding Paper Divas style partner, is our go-to expert for all things wedding. With more than 20 years of wedding planning experience and events for top Hollywood personalities (think Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and many more), her best-selling The Wedding Book, and specialized jewelry and wedding stationery lines, Weiss is the ultimate authority to answer all your burning wedding-planning questions.
Today, she's here to address a rather complex issue: giving your guests a plus-one.
Do we need to extend a plus-one to every single person on our guest list?
While it's always a nice gesture, you're definitely under no obligation to do so. Things get expensive and that's understandable! However, do take some things into consideration. Those who are married or engaged should usually get a plus-one, as well as those in a serious relationship (living together, for example). If you look at your guest list and notice you only have a few single folks invited, it would be a nice courtesy to extend a plus-one, if you can swing it, so they don't feel too awkward.
Should members of our wedding party be allotted a guest?
Absolutely! And this is regardless of their relationship status. Think about it: your wedding party has likely spent tons of time and money to help make your big day‚and your wedding shower, bachelor(ette) party, etc.—as perfect as possible. I strongly advise allowing them to bring a guest to your celebration as a small gesture of appreciation for all their love and hard work. Now if things are really tight from a venue or budget perspective, feel free to make a judgment call for those bridesmaids and groomsmen who are unattached.
How do we communicate if a guest gets a plus-one?
This is where the invitation comes in. Try your best to find out the plus-one's name and include it on the envelope—which is mailed to the primary invitee. No need for separate invitations. If you can't find out the plus-one's name or it's not certain yet, writing "and guest" will do in a pinch.
See More: When Should We Send Our Save the Dates?
What if someone asks to bring a guest?
Yes, this happens and yes, it's awkward. Your best bet is to explain to them that they aren't being singled out; you've made an overall decision about plus-ones in order to have a more intimate event. Be gentle, but be simple and straightforward. They'll understand!