Our Weddings

The Pros and Cons of Extending A Plus One

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As you plan the most significant day of your life, one decision that often arises is whether to grant your wedding guests the coveted plus one. While the idea of allowing each guest to bring a date or a friend may seem like a gesture of hospitality, it comes with its own set of considerations. Let’s break down the pros and cons of giving your wedding guests a plus one, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision for the big day.

Pros to Giving Plus Ones

Enhanced Guest Experience

Allowing guests to bring a plus one can significantly enhance their overall experience. It can also put you in good favor with them. It shows that “I think you’re cool and I know whoever you’d bring is just as cool as you.” From the guests perspective, attending a wedding with a companion can make the event more enjoyable and comfortable for them.

Increased Attendance

Some guests may be more likely to attend your wedding if they have the option to bring a date. A plus one can make the event more appealing, particularly for those who may not know many people at the wedding. This can contribute to a higher turnout and a livelier atmosphere, especially during the reception.

Avoiding Awkward Situations

A lot of people feel a way about being the single friend at the wedding that doesn’t know anyone besides the couple. Granting plus ones can help the guest avoid potentially awkward situations or intrapersonal conflict. For instance, if a guest doesn’t know many people at the wedding, having a companion can alleviate feelings of isolation. It can also prevent uncomfortable scenarios where guests may feel excluded.

Accommodating Out-of-Town Guests

Guests who travel from afar to attend your wedding may appreciate the option to bring a plus one. It can make their journey more enjoyable and provide them with a companion to explore the wedding destination or city. Your wedding can become a vacation, instead.

Since we have run through a few reasons why you might want to give out plus ones to your wedding guests, let’s look at several reasons why you might not.

Cons to Giving Plus Ones

Budget Constraints

One of the primary drawbacks of offering plus ones is the impact on your budget. Every additional guest means additional costs for catering, seating, decor, invitations, and other accommodations. If you’re working with a tight budget, the financial strain of allowing plus ones may be a significant consideration.

Limited Venue Capacity

Venues often have a maximum capacity, and accommodating plus ones may push your event beyond its limits. This can lead to logistical challenges, potentially impacting the comfort and safety of all guests. Some venues will actually request your final guest count ahead of your wedding to make sure that you are within the appropriate sizing. Consider the constraints of your wedding venue before extending plus ones to all guests.

Strangers at Your Wedding

Granting plus ones means inviting people you may not know or have not had the chance to meet. This can create an atmosphere where some guests feel less connected, potentially diluting the intimate and personal vibe you might want for your wedding. Latasha Gillespie of Amazon Studios recently told us how she implemented the no strangers rule to her vow renewal. If the feeling of your wedding is important, this is a very valid reason.

Seating Arrangement Challenges

Managing who sits where becomes more complex when you allow plus ones. Ensuring that each guest is seated comfortably and strategically may become more challenging, especially if you’re dealing with varying group sizes.

Intimate Atmosphere

If you’re envisioning a small and intimate gathering, providing plus ones to all guests might compromise the atmosphere you desire. Larger weddings can sometimes muddy the sense of closeness and connection that comes with a more exclusive guest list. Think about it: is this your wedding or the Met Gala?

To Wrap

Deciding whether to give your wedding guests a plus one is a personal choice that involves weighing the pros and cons in the context of your priorities and budget. While extending this gesture can enhance the guest experience and give warm and fuzzies, it’s essential to consider the financial implications and potential challenges it may pose to the overall wedding logistics. Ultimately, finding the right balance between inclusivity and maintaining the intimate atmosphere you desire will help you make a decision that aligns with your vision for the perfect wedding day. In short: do whatever feels right to you and yours and keep it moving.

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Photography by Phylicia Willis Media