If you received an invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 19 royal wedding, count your lucky stars because this is apparently panning out to be quite the exclusive event. Well, duh, but even more so than we originally thought!
The couple mailed their wedding stationery two weeks ago, but allegedly had to pick and choose their guests incredibly carefully. In fact, they reportedly had to let one major component of proper wedding etiquette slide: giving their guests, specifically married or committed couples, the option to bring a plus one.
Chris Ship, royal editor for ITV NEWS, revealed on Twitter that of the four royal wedding invitations he has currently seen, only two included both spouses. The other two invites, sent to two other couples, did not offer a plus one for their respective significant others.
"Unlike most other weddings, Harry and Meghan are inviting only one half of couples," Ship said via Twitter. "Seen an invite for a husband but not his wife. Sounds a bit tight, but I’m sure they’d claim space in limited in St George’s Chapel." This is most likely the case, considering the couple's wedding venue can only accommodate about 800 people. Prince William and Kate Middleton, on the other hand, had the potential to squeeze up to 2,000 guests into Westminster Abbey.
"But isn’t normal practice always to invite married guests as ‘couples’ ?" Ship also tweeted. Looks like royal status means you can twist the wedding rules a bit!
While celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss argues that you're not obligated to extend plus one privileges to every guest, married or engaged couples, as well as couples in serious relationships, should usually receive an invite for their partner. But, Harry and Markle might have a valid excuse for breaking protocol.
Myka Meier, European and American etiquette expert told Town and Country that the couple's deliberate invitation choices most likely reflect guests who are their professional colleagues, in which case they typically wouldn't receive a plus one.
"If the invitation was made on a professional basis, they are much less likely to get a plus one," Meier told Town and Country. "For instance, at the last royal wedding they invited 80 workers from some of the charities the couple supported. These would be considered professional and not necessarily given a plus one."
"For social relationships, it's much more likely to get a plus one for a spouse," Meier added. "It is traditional, even in the U.K., to invite spouses to a wedding, however as it is a royal wedding with both professional and social invitations, along with the space restrictions, it was likely a combination of why it was done."
Since Markle and Harry have decided to invite 2,640 members of the general public (don't expect plus ones for them, either) to the wedding, they'll most likely follow in Will and Kate's footsteps by also requesting the company of various charitable organizations that the pair holds near and dear. As for guests with closer relationships to the betrothed pair, it seems having the opportunity for your spouse to tag along is much more probable. Little details have emerged on the who's who of the royal wedding guest list thus far.
All in all, one major question still remains: Where in the world is Elton John's royal wedding invitation!?