When to Add “Plus One” on a Wedding Invitation

Traditional etiquette does not require you to add that sometimes dreaded “plus one” to your wedding invitations.  Although, sometimes it is necessary.  Here is a guide for determining when a date should be included, and when it is optional.    


Married and Engaged Couples:

A guest who is married should always bring their spouse, no question.  But, did you know this rule also applies to engaged couples?  Take it as a compliment if you catch the soon-to-be-hitched pair taking a few notes!

Long Term Relationships:

If you are inviting a friend who is involved in a “long-term” relationship, consider allowing them to bring their significant other.  There are differing opinions over what qualifies as “long-term,” but in this case, you get to decide.  Contemplate these factors:

  • Are they exclusively involved?
  • Are they pursuing their relationship beyond casual dating?
  • Have they been together for an extended period of time?

Close friends and family should take priority when finalizing your guest list, so don’t feel pressure to include a “plus one” in this situation. A good friend should support your decision!

Live-in Significant Others:

Couples who live together, but have no finalized plans to tie the knot, should be treated the same as those in a long-term relationship.  If you have extra space, let this “plus one” take priority over another’s casual date.  But if your guest list is tight, sharing a roof doesn’t mean they can’t spend a little time apart for your wedding!


Each circumstance will need to be considered on a case by case basis. If you face controversy over your decision to not include a “plus one,” honestly explain to your guest why you made your decision. Inevitably, you should share your special day with the list of your choice!

Hosting a Morning After Breakfast

In case you were wondering, hosting a morning after breakfast is not necessary. Although, it can be a great way to say “thank you” one last time to your guests! Whether you prefer something casual, elegant, or chic, here are a few ideas for planning:

Casual Breakfast Buffet:

It is common for out of town wedding guests to stay in the same location under a room block. Select a hotel that offers a banquet room with plenty of space to cater a small breakfast buffet.  Offer tea and coffee, with pastries, omelets, an assortment of fruit, and bagels. This is an easy option for guests who want to grab a quick bite before heading home, plus they can spend an extra minute with the happy couple. Allow your guests a window of time to arrive, which will maintain a steady traffic flow and help you mingle with ease.  

Restaurant Style:

So maybe you have a favorite restaurant in the area you would like to show off to your friends and family.  Now is your chance!  Planning this type of event will require an RSVP list from your guests for seating accommodations.  To simplify the meal and allow for quicker service, pick a few of your favorite menu items and let your guests choose from a smaller list. If possible, arrange for pitchers of water, orange juice, and coffee to be left on the table. The newlyweds should leave their seats to say hello to guests in effort to keep traffic flow minimal. Keep in mind that round tables are easier for group conversation!

See the Sunshine:

Weather permitting, find an outdoor location with nice scenery and host your own picnic style breakfast. Perhaps a little sun light is healthy after a late-night party! Muffins, yogurt parfaits, and sliced fruit are easy and transportable options.  Punch bowls along with large pitchers of juice and water are also easy self-serving beverage options.  If children are present, this will allow them space to run and play and allow everyone the opportunity to mingle without space restrictions. 


Regardless of the breakfast style you choose, understand that it is not necessary to invite your entire wedding guest list!  Simply include the wedding party and out of town guests, or just an intimate list of chose family and friends.  Let this be your opportunity to reminisce over yesterday’s events with the ones you love…and then get to that amazing honeymoon destination already!