the big debate

the big debate: should you allow your single guests to bring a plus one to your wedding?

27th February 2015 | Julia Braime

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found on, by RachelCarl

via, by RachelCarl

In this brand new Friday morning feature on the wedding blog, we’ll be debating all the most difficult wedding planning topics. Today we tackle a sensitive subject and ask: Should you allow your single guests to bring a plus one to your wedding?

Found on


julia says YES:

Smug marrieds. Annoying, aren’t they?

Think back to your own single days. Chances are, you weren’t sitting at home every Saturday night drinking vodka and singing to Chaka Khan on your lonesome, but equally, it’s very likely that as fabulous as singledom can be (all the duvet, no wet towels on the bathroom floor, no awkward lunches with the in laws) you didn’t much like being reminded of your solitary status during notable romantic occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and weddings.

Your single friends? They don’t like that either.

Ok, so your best mate might have just met the “love of her life” in a club last Saturday night, but if she’s hoping he’ll hold her hand during your wedding ceremony, do you really want to deny her that happiness?

To me, the success of a wedding isn’t down to the colour of the centrepieces or the cost of your frock. It’s the people who make the party. Ok, if the budget, or space, really is very tight, then I’d always advise just asking your very favourite people and perhaps having a quiet word about why you can’t allow for any more. But if there’s some flexibility there, why not make someone’s day and allow them to bring a plus one to your wedding?

Have you ever been a guest at a drinks reception where you only know the bride and groom? Have you ever been seated at the “children’s table”? Have you ever danced awkwardly with the bride’s teenage brother? You can save your friend from all of that. What a hero.

Happier guests make for a better wedding day, even if you never see a few of them ever again. And who knows? It might be that you’re buying your hat for that plus one’s wedding in the not so distant future…



rachel says NO:

A best friend of mine who is in the wedding planning process is currently in meltdown over her ever-growing guest list – and she’s not alone, it’s a task dreaded by most to-be-wed couples.

The pressure goes far beyond simply drawing up a list of the friends and relatives you want present to share your special day as issues such as inviting children, pushy parents and plus ones come into play. As I see it ruling out plus ones from the off is the easiest way to lighten the load and means one less thing to worry about.

Weddings are expensive affairs and every extra body can add more than £100 to the bill, so couples can be forgiven for not wanting extras dining out on their big day. In most cases these would be people you don’t know anyway, essentially strangers at your wedding and allowing some friends and relatives plus ones could mean not inviting somebody else you would actually want at your wedding – someone that you would actually recognise in the congregation.

I get it, you might have a single friend who wouldn’t really know anybody at the wedding – but aren’t weddings meant to be a place where single people meet? I say mix them all in together and hope for a Cilla Black/Paddy McGuinness result.

Chances are some of your friends and relatives will meet on the hen and stag dos which breaks the ice and gives them a friendly face to look for on the big day. Also be clever with your seating plan and try to plant the singletons with others who are in the same boat and also with chatty/friendly people who are likely to make them feel at ease.

I know I’m making it sound easier than perhaps it is but if you’re planning an intimate wedding or your budget is stretched, saying no to plus ones is the way to go. Of course you have to be sensible and fair with it though – make it a one rule for all and don’t just pick who can and can’t have a plus one. I’m not suggesting you don’t invite people’s partners who they have been with for a considerable amount of time but if your mate has now been to the cinema with that guy she met on a night out he still doesn’t constitute a partner and therefore shouldn’t be given the honour of an invite. When all said and done that’s what it is, an honour.

via ruffledblogvia

what you said on Facebook:

Nic: “I gave everyone a plus one, including my single friends. Some of them just brought a friend. I just wanted every one to enjoy themselves as much as possible and worried they wouldn’t as much if they felt a bit left out especially as the meal is so formal.”

Beth: “If we’ve both met them and it’s a long term relationship, they’re invited. But if it’s a new relationship and nobody has met them… I’m not paying for their dinner!”

Rachel: “If they are married/living together and we know them then they’re invited if not, they’re not. Luckily a lot of our friends are mutual and we all go out as couples but we’re applying it to family as well as friends.”

We’d love to hear your side?


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  • February 27, 2015 | Permalink | Reply

    So in the last two years I’ve been to four weddings as a single girl, I was bridesmaid for two so I’ll count them out in this. I didn’t get a plus one to any of the weddings. I’d say it’s all about your crowd and how you seat them.

    My worst experience was being the only single on the table….nightmare, surrounded by couples, my place setting should probably have read ‘the spinster’! Weddings make single people, in my opinion, feel very single.

    My best experience was sat with a great mix of singles and couples some people I’d met before and some I hadn’t. It never felt awkward and the singles stuck together! Definitely the more enjoyable wedding of the two.

    At the end of the day you can invite who you’d like to your wedding, it is your day after all. If you can’t give a plus one then take an extra minute or two when you’re planning your seating to make sure they’re not the odd one out. If a plus one of is possible then great, not everyone will bring someone but be sure the thought is definitely appreciated.

  • February 27, 2015 | Permalink | Reply

    I say… hell no! Having been through this debate in the flesh whilst planning our wedding last year, I stood firmly with the stance of ” There is no way on this earth that I am shaking hands with and meeting someone for the first time on my wedding day!!” Especially since we were forking out a decent amount of money to feed and water our guests all day long- I don’t do handouts! Plus, I don’t want to look back on our wedding photos and have to ask myself, “Who the hec was that?!” There was no one at our wedding who didn’t know someone else there, so no one would have been left out or left singing “All By Myself”… by themselves. As it turned out, we did have one crasher who I found out about literally days before the wedding and they’d gone ahead and booked accommodation too… I wasn’t happy about it but it didn’t spoil our day and they left as soon as the dancing started- funny that- we’d just eaten… hmmmm. Point made?!

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