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Who Gets a Plus One?

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Niki Marie Photography

You’ve settled in from a long day at work. Had a great dinner, did your work-out for the day (cuz that’s what you do now), and are ready to burrow in on the couch with a glass of wine and are ready to start your…GUEST LIST!! Woot Woot!! So exciting. So your mom is writing out your family members so you’re covered there. Let’s see, so there’s Abbey from grade school, Alex from high school, Alicia, Monica, Lauren, Alexa, and Jane from sorority, Tess and Lena from work…and the list goes on. You think you’re done, you do a victory scroll through Facebook just to make sure you didn’t miss anyone and your count for just friends is already at…wait a minute, that can’t be right. It’s already at 140 FOR JUST YOUR FRIENDS! You call your mom to see where her count is at and she says 80 and then you look over at your person with a scared look in your eye and see where his list is at…he says around 175 for friends and family. Quick math brings you to just under 400. You shudder at that thought and start brainstorming what you can do to fix this. Then it hits you! You included a plus one for all your friends! You ask your fiancée and he did the same thing. Okay so you can work with that. Because when it comes down to it, not everyone needs a plus one. How many weddings did you attend that you didn’t automatically get to bring a person with you? So how do you decide who gets one and who doesn’t and how do you get that idea across to people? Read on dear, just read on…

Who should get to bring a plus one when trying to cut the guest list?

Yes, in a perfect world of unlimited budgets and venue space, everyone would have a plus one and you’d be partying with your 500 closest families and friends. However, that isn’t realistic for everyone. Who should get to bring a plus one makes sense…we’re talking anyone who’s already married, other engaged couples, and live-in partners are good parameters to start with. You wanna stay away from vague terms like, those in “serious relationships” or they’ve “been together awhile.” Your idea of a “serious relationship” may be different from your friend Sally’s idea and conflict may come up. Avoid that speculation by making the parameters be things that friends and family can’t argue with.


How do we let guests know the deal?

The wording on the invitation should be very clear. If your cousin doesn’t get to invite her shiny new boyfriend, don’t address it “Miss Melonie Brown and Guest.”  If Miss Melonie still RSVPs for 2 people, what to do then? Well, put on your big girl panties, make the phone call, and tell her unfortunately there just isn’t room in the budget for everyone to have a plus one. It’s not rude to correct a guest if they assume they can bring someone. It is rude to un-invite someone if you screwed up the wording on the invitation. Consistency is key here. If your guidelines for plus ones are married, engaged, or living together, Melonie can’t really argue too much with that and should be okay. But if you let Joe bring his new girlfriend just because you really like her and think they will end up together, that’s a slippery slope and can lead to a lot of hurt feelings. And let’s face it, you don’t really need that stress leading up to your wedding.

So did that help? Let’s see your 400 is now shaved down to a respectable 250 to invite. That’s in your budget and still works for your venue size! You’ve earned yourself another glass of wine and maybe even some chocolate 🙂

Soul & Grain Photography

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