When to Add “Plus One” on a Wedding Invitation

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!