It’s not uncommon for couples looking to get married to send out wedding invitations with a “plus one” amendment — meaning guests can bring a friend or family member with them. This is done to make single guests feel more comfortable attending the wedding, because let’s face it, no one wants to attend a wedding or any other event alone.

But the use of plus one in wedding invitations begs the question: what if there’s not enough seating for your entire wedding guest list and their plus one friends? If every single guest on your wedding list took advantage of the plus one, it would essentially double your occupancy. And being that most soon-to-be newlyweds struggle to keep their number of guests within the limit specified by the venue, you must use caution when allowing guests to bring a friend.

Do I really need to give every guest a plus one invite?

The short answer to this question is no, there’s no rule — written or unwritten — stating that couples must give every guest on their list a plus one invite. Remember, the more guests you have at your wedding, the more seating, food and beverages you’ll be required to provide. On the plus side, you’ll also receive more wedding gifts.

If you have the seating and resources available to accommodate your wedding guest list times two, however, you can certainly give everyone a plus one invite. While some guests will bring a friend, you’ll probably discover that most guests will attend solo.

Who gets a plus one invite?

So, who should get a plus one invite to your wedding? There’s really no specific etiquette regarding this, however, following some basic tips will ensure your guests (whom are likely your friends and family members) are happy and content.

Wedding guests who should get a plus one invite: 

  • Guests who are married
  • Guests who are engaged
  • Guests who have a long-time partner

It’s uncommon for single guests to receive a plus one invite to attend a wedding. However, the bride and groom may want to make the guest feel more comfortable attending by allowing him or her to bring a friend. Again, you’ll probably find that most guests who are given a plus one invite attend by themselves, but giving them the option of bringing a friend is a polite gesture that’s become a customary tradition associated with modern-day weddings.