Should All Wedding Guests Automatically Receive a Plus-One?

It is absolutely possible to have a great time at a wedding without a date!

Every year around this time, the big ‘ole “wedding guest plus-one” issue arises and gets debated. These debates get almost as heated as the adult-only wedding debate. Whew! This year is no exception. Just yesterday, ESSENCE Relationship Editor Charreah Jackson moderated a Twitter Lunchtime Chat about wedding season that touched on this very topic. Of course there were folks who argued both sides and even top wedding industry professionals don’t always agree on this.

Celebrity wedding planner Diann Valentine recently expressed to planning couples:

“Always try to give a plus one because no one wants to go to a wedding alone.”

However veteran wedding planner Linnyette Richardson-Hall disagrees. She has stated:

It slays me when I hear people say, ‘But I need to bring a date because I won’t know anyone/will be lonely.’ ‘Chile, please….Take a couple of seats over there ——>. A wedding is this amazing configuration of people who have a connection not only to the couple, but to the other guests. If you are inviting people to your nuptials that you don’t know…We have a problem!

I want to hear from you! Do you think all adult guests should receive a plus-one for a wedding — whether they are in a committed relationship or not? Sound off in the comments. (Oh and in case you are wondering, I totally agree with Linnyette on this one.)

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    1. StressBride says:

      Im going thru the same issue right now. I completely disagree with allowing ramdom people be part of my fiance and I big day. I have a friend or I should say I had because she stop talking to me after I told her that she could not bring her “boyfriend” that she had only interacted online with to my wedding. I still have a hard time understanding her but at the end of the day its my wedding and I only want the people that love and care for us around.

    2. I completely agree with Lynette on this one. For one I don’t see why I would invite someone to one of the most important days of in my life when I don’t even know the person. In addition sometimes it just balls down to cost. Priority is affording to have our closest friends and family in attendance, we are paying for this so to put out additional money for someone who in some cases we have never even met before is just not going to happen. I feel that many people honestly don’t understand how quickly things add up when planning a wedding and they assume that one extra person is not a big deal, but when you times one extra person by say 100 it becomes a BIG DEAL.

    3. SpikesDtr says:

      I concur with both comments above and with Linnyette. Enough said. To StressBride, you now have room for someone else. So sorry, next!

    4. I agree to some extent with both women. I am allowing a plus 1 for only married couples and those couples who I know have been dating for over 2-3 years. Outside of that, if you are single then there is no need for a plus one. You should be ready to come and mingle, not sit with the person you bought the whole time.

      *The only people who come to a wedding when they don’t know the couple is people who want free food and drinks. End of story!

    5. Carla A. Nelson says:

      I agree with the women above. Not only should a person not want to bring someone they barely know or a casual friend to a wedding, think about the future when you’re looking at pictures with the bride and she asks “what was his name?” and you can’t remember or choose to forget!

      What if he/she is a jerk at the wedding because he/she doesn’t know anyone but you! They feel out of place, thus unruly (this happened at my 40th Birthday party). Also, if you come single, sometimes the bride and groom have considered this and have other single friends they think could be compatible with you or at least have a good time while at the wedding – your friend’s friend.

      Lastly, for the bride and groom – it is your (my) money! Spend it the way you deem best. If they are a true friend, they will be there to support your blessed day, if they choose not to come because they can’t bring a plus one, you will still have a blessed day!

    6. I agree with Linnyette 100%!

    7. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Keep the comments comin’, folx!

    8. Evolme4412 says:

      My take on this, I wouldnt want random people coming to my wedding either, but does it matter, what if you already had the intentions for an invited guest to have a plus one with their girlfriend/boyfriend/fiancee and prior to the wedding they break up and they want to bring a new friend. Will you say no I had the intentions for your ex to come not the new person, they already rsvp. These things happen. I have friend dealing with this now.

    9. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Evolme422. I definitely see how that scenario can be a touchy one. Of course there will always be exceptions but I still think it goes back to the couple and them having their closest loved ones with them on the monumental day. If that means the person you planned to attend the wedding with is no longer in the picture, just keep it simple and go solo. Surely the couple will have other gatherings down the line (God-willing) where the new beau can attend. Weddings are a celebration of two people getting married and a guest attending without a date says nothing about them, where they are in their life, or where they’re headed. When one keeps that in mind, they can truly be happy for the couple and take the pressure off of themselves. I’ve been to plenty a wedding without a date (for a myriad of reasons) and had a good ‘ole time because I realized it wasn’t about me.

    10. S.Bouie says:

      I already know this will be a problem once invited go out for me. I am not doing plus ones for anyone other than married couples or if it’s a serious relationship and I have no qualms with the date. I am not in a place financially accept plus one for 50+ ppl. I have a LARGE family and I have had to limit my own family to my dad’s siblings and their children (first cousins) then close friends! People should never feel any type a way about how someone allocates their funds. BUT I am having cake and refreshments at the church immediately after the ceremony so ppl feel included.

    11. Here’s my two cents….if I am important enough to be invited to your wedding I should be provided with a +1. Especially if it’s a destination wedding…travel expenses can be costly and a lot to bear for one person. Another instance is if everyone else at that wedding is a couple….your guest might feel uncomfortable sitting there unaccompanied….but hey what do I know, I’m not married and have not planned a wedding. Since I know how I felt when I didn’t get a plus, I will remember look at my guest list closely.

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