We've got some couples in the early stages of wedding planning who are establishing their wedding guest lists and have asked us how to deal with the issue of "plus ones." This is extending an invitation to a single guest to bring a date to your wedding.
It has long been established that you are to offer a "plus one" to guests who are over 18 and would bring a date to your wedding. However, with budget-conscious couples, these additional guests can begin to add up very quickly! It is typically our recommendation to send one invitation to the entire family, for example, including those cousins and young family members who may be over 18 and out living on their own - perhaps in college or recently graduated - but still single. That way, you can get around the need to offer a "plus one" to those single guests since they will be with their families and won't necessarily need to bring a date.
On the other hand, for those who you won't be inviting the entire family - likely your single co-workers, friends from high school or college or just those you know without significant others - it is nice to extend the invitation for them to bring a date or a guest since they may not know anyone else at the wedding. The idea is that you want your guests to be comfortable and enjoy your wedding! If it isn't going to break the bank to offer an additional guest for your single friends, it is always recommended that you do so. However, if you simply don't have the space at your venue or there are just too many "plus ones" to invite, it is okay to not offer the invitation for them all to bring a date. Keep in mind though that what you do for one, you should do for all. Keep your "plus one" invitations consistent so that you don't have any hurt feelings. Perhaps you just allow plus ones for your bridal party but not for guests - after all, your bridal party will do quite a lot to be a part of your wedding day.
Leave a comment if you have additional questions on this topic! We'd love your feedback and thoughts!