Showing posts with label guest list. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest list. Show all posts

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cutting the Guest List: The Plus One Problem

guest list
One of the biggest wedding hassles is creating a guest list.  Not only is the size of your guest list important for location requirements and aesthetic, it is one of the biggest factors in the cost of your wedding.  Almost every cost in a wedding is a per person cost and when you have 100+ person wedding, each dollar per person means $100 more . . . it adds up quickly.  I hated how planning a wedding made me view each person we invited as a number (a big number that added to the number that would become our debt).  But it is a part of it none the less.  Thus comes about the question, how do you keep numbers more manageable while still being able to invite all the friends and family from all walks of life that you want to share your special day with?  The first thing that comes to mind for those with a budget: the plus one.

Weddings have a lot of rules.  Some are very old and outdated, but no matter how you feel, someone is going to be offended if you don't follow the proper "etiquette".  I worked long and hard trying to make sure that everyone was pleased with our choices, where we chose to follow tradition and where we chose to go a little modern.  The plus one debate is one that still goes strong today.

Let me clear things up for you, if you're wondering what I keep meaning about the plus one debate.  Wedding etiquette dictates that whomever the wedding invitation is addressed to, is exactly who is invited.  Meaning, if John Smith is the only name on the invitation, John Smith is the only one invited, even if he is in a relationship (you are supposed to always invite a spouse if the person is married, even if you don't know the spouse).  If you want John to be able to bring someone, you should write John Smith and Guest on the invitation.

This is was the rules state, but most people don't know that.  Most people assume that when you are invited to a wedding, you are allowed to bring someone with you (I blame movies for that).  While this is true at many weddings, as stated, it should say on the invitation.

Now, as you can see, if every person you invite automatically gets to bring someone, that adds a lot of people to your list.  People that fill up slots of other potential friends/family.  Usually plus ones are going to be people you don't know and paying $100+ for someone you don't know is difficult to accept (my per person cost was about $120).  As I said before, I hate how horrible it sounds viewing people as numbers but it's not just the cost.  My husband and I didn't really want people at our wedding that we didn't know.  But then again, we didn't want to offend people by telling them they couldn't bring someone, especially for those that had been dating someone for a while and we just didn't know them.

Here's the solution we came up with, I think it works well and offends the least amount of people:

  • All the people in our bridal party got a plus one
  • Married and engaged couples were both invited regardless of whether we knew them or not
  • Dating couples where we knew both parties got invited
  • Everyone else, did not get a plus one unless they didn't know anyone else at the wedding (we didn't want anyone to be lonely)

Luckily, most of the people we invited were from a large group of family or friends that knew many people at the wedding.  That's why we felt it was okay to not give plus ones to everyone as they would still be able to have a lot of fun with all their friends.  And those that didn't know anyone else (I think there was one or two people that fell into that category) got to bring someone.

To nicely explain to people that plus ones were not allowed, we put on our wedding website where they RSVP'd this nice note:

         "We have worked really hard to create a celebration featuring all of our closest and dearest        family and friends. In order to do this, we kindly request that you do not bring any guests that were not invited. If you have a question about this please contact us. Thanks for understanding."

Now there are going to be some people that just invite someone anyway.  You can decide on a case by case basis what to do and how to handle it.  Welcome to planning a wedding!

I hope this helped you in deciding what to do for the plus one debate.  Just know that it is your wedding and you can invite whoever you want.  Don't worry about people too much, in a month or two they'll forget all about it!

What did you do for your wedding?  Any other suggestions for brides regarding the guest list?