Is It Ever OK to Uninvite a Plus-One?

Updated 10/13/16

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Whether you realized your venue is over capacity, or you just discovered that you don't vibe with your second-cousin's latest Tinder fling, there are probably going to be times during wedding planning that you'll wish you hadn't extended an invite. So what happens if you finally meet your childhood bestie's new boyfriend and he turns out to be a totally obnoxious oaf? Is it ever acceptable to take back a plus one?

According to Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York, it's a major no-no. "It's very rude to do that," she says. "Unless you're disinviting all the plus ones, it's just very rude."

Think It Through

It's important to dig deeper as to why you want to cross this additional guest off the list. "If something pretty bad has transpired, and if the relationship is completely broken, then you may consider uninviting this person," etiquette and lifestyle expert Elaine Swann says. It's crucial to evaluate what your relationship with this person and your original guest will look like after the wedding, she says. If something has gone down that has led you not to want to continue a relationship after the big day—say the person has deeply offended you in some manner, or there has been a physical altercation—then the situation may be extreme enough to warrant being disinvited.

How To Do It

Again, taking back a plus-one invite will only happen in very unique and serious circumstances. (We're not talking about hating the corny jokes of a family member's sidekick.) That said, if you must do so, Swann suggests reaching out directly to the plus-one to deliver the news and informing the original guest of your decision. By contacting the offending party directly, you can avoid anything getting lost in translation, Swann says. Whether it's an email or a phone call, simply state something like, "After great thought, we've decided that it's best you don't attend the wedding." Also, you may want to mentally prepare yourself for the potential that the person may be offended. "That's just going to be part of the collateral damage" if you decide to go this route, Swann says.

Plus-One Guidelines

One thing to remember when it comes to additional guests, is that a plus-one "is up to the discretion of the person you're inviting," according to Fitzgerald. So if you're feeling iffy about your favorite uncle's judgement, perhaps it's best to only extend a solo invite. Swann says, "If you don't trust [the guest], then don't extend a plus-one invitation."

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