Do You Put Plus Ones On Wedding Invitations?

When it comes to the guest list, it’s normal to feel a little less excited and a little more overwhelmed. Not only is there the real fear that you could leave somebody out, but you also need to align that with your budget and financial constraints. It’s a difficult balance. So knowing when to give a plus one is paramount. But do you need to write it on the wedding invitation? Or is it best saved for another time. Here is all you need to know.  

So, do you put plus ones on a wedding invitation? If you are allowing for plus-ones at your wedding, it is typical to include these on the wedding invitation. Couples should also request the name, dietary requirements, and any other information relevant to the wedding of the plus one (via an RSVP card) to ensure things like the table plan and menu are accurate. 

If you know for sure who you intend to invite for your wedding, you could even specify on the Save the Dates.

Chances are, however, that time has passed. 

And it is the wedding invites when plus ones are typically referenced, anyway.

And at this point, it is worth noting that you should not feel the pressure to invite plus ones to your wedding. 

Ultimately, this is your day, your celebration, and you should be able to choose who you share it with.

With that said, let’s talk a little more about what makes the most sense in certain situations. 

Do You Write the Plus One On A Wedding Invitation? 

It is typical to write the plus one on a Wedding Invitation. This is generally the first time a guest receives news that they are entitled to do so. However, some couples decide to offer a plus one on the Save the Dates; which are often sent in months prior.

There are a few reasons for doing one or both.

Let’s clarify. 

When you clearly know who is going to have a plus one, such as married couples and friends with long-term relationships, it makes sense to introduce the idea of a plus one on the Save the Dates.

However, if you are unsure in the slightest (on numbers of the specifics) it is best to wait for the Wedding Invitations.

That way you can by yourself some time to figure it out. 

Either way, it’s important to be sure and universal in your approach.

You should do either one or the other, not a combination of the two.

That being said, Wedding Invites are commonly used as a means of offering a plus one, if they are to be invited.

Just be sure to send them out with enough time for your guests (and potential plus ones) to get organized!

How Do You Write A +1 On A Wedding Invitation?

How you write a +1 on a Wedding Invitation depends on who the plus one is and how specific you are about who is entitled to attend your wedding. Therefore, you can indicate a specific plus one, a non-specific plus one, or leave it out altogether (if you are not planning on having them!)

There are a number of situations in which you may need to write a plus-one on an invitation.

Here are the most common ways to address these situations on wedding invitations. 

  • Specific Plus One: If the guest is allowed to bring someone specific such as their husband or long-term partner that you know, address both guests on the invitation. This will be written such as, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” 
  • Non-Specific Plus One: In some cases, the guest can bring anyone such as a date or even a friend. If you are considering bringing a friend, you should still be clear with the bride and groom who your date is, so there are no issues. The invitation should read something like “Ellen and Guest.”
  • Children: Sometimes the entire family is invited and sometimes not. Most of the time, the wedding invitations should be very clear if children are allowed to attend the event. The invitation should read similarly to “Mr.Smith, Mrs. Smith, and family.”

Do You Have To Include A Plus One?

The guest list should be at the discretion of the bride and groom; a plus one is not something they have to give nor should be expected by the guests.

Having said that, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

When you are inviting a friend who has been married, or with a partner for a long time, it is typically considerate to give them a plus one or a date. 

Another situation where it is common to give out a plus one is if they are a member of your bridal party. 

While you definitely don’t need to follow any rules, try to keep as much consistency as possible between who gets a plus one and who doesn’t to avoid confusion or confrontation. 

And at the same time, do consider your budget, guest allowance, the relationships that you have with people, and their potential plus ones!

How To Deal With Someone Asking For A Plus One?

Sometimes you have to make the hard decision and not give someone a plus one – sometimes they may even be expecting it.

The hardest part is when someone asks why they didn’t get one or if it is OK for them to have one. 

Sometimes mistakes happen, and you meant to give them one, but in other scenarios, it’s not something you are willing to offer.

If you don’t want them to bring a plus one it’s essential to be polite but firm. 

Express that given your budget, you were more strict with plus-ones, and while you are sorry that you couldn’t give them one, you hope this will not impact their plans for attendance.

Of course, you may want to consider who the plus one may be, and your relationship to the initial guest.

Sometimes, it may actually pay you to allow a plus one. For instance, if it would otherwise cause family tensions or split up your social group.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to stick to your budget, guest allowance and there will, unfortunately, be some people you need to disappoint. 

If you’re not careful it becomes a slippery slope, so be fair but firm. 

What Name Goes First On Wedding Invitations?

When it comes to writing out the actual names on the wedding invitations, it’s important to address the person you know first. Then you will either write out their guest name, or you can simply write ‘guest’. 

The one caveat here is if you know both people being invited and do so equally well. In that case, the order doesn’t matter as much. 

Children typically always go last on the invite. 

That’s the general order of wedding invitation, but for more on the topic, read my extended article here.

What Information Goes On Wedding Invitations?

The wedding invitation is the final notice that goes out that needs to have all the information that is important for your guests to know. 

While some people may think it is not a big deal it really is important so that people can make the appropriate measures for travel and accommodation (like finding nearby hotels).

This is especially true for weddings that are not local to some or require time off from work at all. 

Date And Time

Date and time are perhaps the most important.

Guests need to know when to be at the ceremony and reception as well as roughly how long the wedding will be.

This is important if there are multiple days to block out or if there is just one morning or afternoon dedication to the ceremony and reception. 

Location

Equally crucial.

It’s not always the case that everyone is local, or in some extreme cases like destination weddings, everyone will be flying.

Having the location of the ceremony and reception is important.

Not all ceremonies and receptions are held at the same place, so if you have two locations, be clear about where they are. 

Plus One Invite?

Whether or not they have a plus one as indicated for all the reasons above.

Better to make it clear so that you don’t have to answer everyone’s call about whether they are going to get a plus one or not.

They should know from the invitation. 

RSVP Details

RSVP How To is something that should also be stated on the wedding invitation.

If they can text or call you, it should be available on the invitation to them.

If you want them to mail back their answers, leave an envelope and the return address. 

There are other optional things that you can include in your wedding invitations. These aren’t mandatories, but they can be thoughtful add-ons to your invites. 

  1. Detailed Events Card – This is just an additional card that you can slip in that details the events if this is going to be a longer wedding. It can include times like breakfast/brunch or activities if you have such things. 
  2. Directions – While most people have smartphones and GPS handy, it is still nice to include general directions if the area may be hard to find. Especially if the property is big and the address doesn’t take guests right to the spot. 
  3. Attire – Sometimes, it is not clear what type of event it is. If it’s causal, you can state casual attire on it, so people know. If it is formal, then let your guests know to wear appropriate fittings. Sometimes there is even a themed wedding! Giving guests the heads up is good! 

It’s Your Big Day!

While plus-ones can certainly add to the day and can be nice for guests, try to remember one very important thing.

It is your special day, and only the people that you want to be there should be there.

If you are not sure on who to give a plus one or are doubting them all together, then definitely wait right up until the wedding invitations.

If you are super confident who will get a plus one early on, you can always throw it on the Save the Dates. 

If you do intend on offering plus-ones, remember that you need to be consistent and specific.

If you only want married couples and long-term relationships, then it’s a good idea to think about what long-term means. 

Maybe couples longer than a year or couples longer than three years. Whatever you decide, try to keep it consistent if you have to explain it to someone. 

The more specific you are, the easier it will be to confirm the numbers, too.

When it comes to actually writing out the plus ones on the invitations, the person who you know the best should go before the guest name or just the word guest. 

If you know who their guest is, you can write it out, but if they are allowed to bring anyone, you don’t have to specify. 

Whatever you decide, just make sure it is you and your partner’s decision.