Wedding Guest List: When to Include a Plus One

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There is always a whole lot of controversy over understanding who to invite and who not to invite to your wedding, let alone trying to decide who gets to include a “plus one” and who doesn’t.  Essentially, it is whole heartedly up to the couple who gets invited to their wedding but be aware that there are some factors to take into consideration when making this decision.  As wedding planners, we have come across a few different stories recently and as a result, thought it might be necessary to add a little light to the situation.
Here are some things we recommend our couples take into consideration when they are deciding who gets a “plus one”:
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When TO Invite a “Plus One” : 
If the guest in question has been dating someone for over a year.  We feel this is a fair amount of time to know if this couple is in it to win it.  At this point, the year marker typically means seriousness.  When this is the case, then their boyfriend or girlfriend should certainly be included in your special day.
 Do you think your guest would feel uncomfortable being at the wedding alone.  Does he or she know many other people attending?  To avoid anyone feeling out of the loop or uncomfortable while celebrating your wedding day, as long as budget permits, you may want to allow a “plus one” for this person.  To be honest, you and your fiancé will not have the time to devote to make sure everyone is included and having fun the night of the wedding, so why not let this person bring someone to keep him/her company.  (assuming the guest in question makes good choices on his or her companions)
 Is this person engaged?  After an engagement, this guest becomes a party of two, no questions asked. Even if you haven’t met the significant other – we strongly recommend inviting them.  In this situation, we feel it is very important to include the significant other’s name on the envelope as well as the guest’s name who you are close to.  After all, these people are starting a life together.
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When NOT to Invite a Plus One:
♥ Let’s be honest, we all have that one friend who is a serial dater.  The friend that is madly in love around the time you send out your save the dates and then on to the next by the time your wedding invitations are hitting the printer.  If this is the case, only address the envelope to this friend or family member and don’t worry too much about including a “plus one” option.  More than likely, this person’s relationship status will change again by the time your wedding happens.  Who knows, maybe he or she can find a new love at your wedding:)  
♥ Again, we all also have that one “player” friend or relative.  We had a bride joke with us that she had to tell the best man he was not allowed to bring any of his “plenty of fish” girlfriends to her wedding.  We all laughed at this but realistically, this can happen.  In this instance, you may want to speak with this person and make sure there is open communication as to why he or she is not able to bring a plus one.  If you are allowing a plus one, be sure to have the conversation as to who is acceptable and who is not acceptable to bring.  
♥ In the instance of a tight venue space or a tight budget, sometimes a “plus one” just won’t fit.  Be sure to communicate to your guest in question that there is no other reason that his or her significant other wasn’t included, it just wasn’t possible space-wise or financially to expand the guest list anymore.  If you are open and honest with guests, they will most always respect your reasoning.  If you avoid saying anything at all, feelings can end up really hurt. 
To recap, take into consideration your guests.  Be polite and nice and be sure to ALWAYS communicate why or why not you have allowed a plus one to your wedding.  Yes, it is normal to not want strangers at your wedding but sometimes you may want to bend on this a little bit in order to create the best situation for you and your fiancé.
We hope this insight helps you in determining the “plus ones” on your guest list.  As I’m sure you know, this is not always easy to decide.
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