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The Ugly Truth About Plus-Ones 

Whether you’ve booked all of your vendors or you are still searching for a ceremony and reception site, you know that creating the guest list is an important part of the process. Once you have assembled this list of guests, you can send out the invitations and take one step closer to your wedding.
However, as you’re writing down the names of your relatives and friends, you’re wondering if you should allow for plus-ones. While you do want to let guests bring their partners, you should ask yourself if allowing for random guests is really the best approach to your wedding planning. When considering the pros and cons, you will find that the ugly truth is that plus-ones wield more of the latter than the former.

The Cost

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The more people you invite to the wedding, the more pay you have to pay. Ask yourself if you really want to spend money on individuals whom you do not even know. Many weddings can cost hundreds of dollars per person when you tally all of the costs together. In the event that you are already close to your maximum budget, do not allow for more guests.

More Cancellations

Think about how you respond to wedding invitations. The better you know the person, the more eager you likely are to attend the celebration. Random people who are coming to your wedding might decide at the last minute that they don’t want to come anymore. Usually, you need to give reception halls a final count several days before the wedding. When people cancel, you still need to pay for them.

Age Restrictions

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If you decide that you want to invite people with guests, you need to decide if there are age restrictions. For example, someone might want to bring his or her child to the wedding. However, if you are not inviting children from your family, then that situation could become rather awkward. Also, you may choose to only give guests over 21 years of age a plus-one, but doing so could lead to hurt feelings for other relatives or friends.

Defining Guests

You have to worry about how people are going to interpret the word “guest.” In your mind, you may think that a guest just means someone who a person is seeing in a romantic fashion. However, others feel that guest could mean anyone whom they want. That means you could end up in an awkward conversation telling someone that his or her guest of choice is not allowed.

Hurt Feelings

Some couples make the huge mistake of allowing some people to bring guests but not others. If you make these rules, they need to be very specific. For example, you might allow only the bridal party members to bring guests. In the event that you decide to do that, do not make exceptions for anyone else. As soon as you make on exception, you have likely hurt the feelings of another person.


awkward run ins at wedding

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Somewhere in your social circle, someone might have a connection to one of your ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. Even if the person does not do so with malicious intent, he or she might end up bringing one of these exes to your wedding. Some people are openly friends with their exes, but others cringe at the thought of an ex showing up at their wedding.

Other Past Relationships

People might end up bringing other individuals to your wedding who make you feel awkward. For example, think about a person you are no longer friends with. Maybe you grew apart or perhaps a fight ended your relationship. Now, you invite a mutual friends to the wedding with a guest, and they bring that person. That can create a great deal of unnecessary awkwardness.

Embarrassing Moments

At weddings, guests expect that they will not know at least some of the other people attending. However, that isn’t really true for the bride or groom. You might walk past an unknown guest at your wedding without even realizing that the person is there for you. You might ask the person for a beverage or for help with your dress by assuming that he or she works there. Limiting the guest list to people whom you know helps to prevent such awkward moments from happening.

Reckless Behaviors

When random people come to your wedding, they are not really worried about the impression that they make on your relatives and friends. They are probably never going to see the majority of the people again. You may find that these individuals end up causing a scene on the dance floor, drinking too much alcohol and getting sick or starting up a fight with someone at the reception.

Photos and Videos

Your photographer and videographer will not know exactly who you know well and who you don’t, especially at a larger reception. Therefore, they may end up taking pictures or videos of random guests instead of focusing more attention on your close relatives and friends.


The point of a wedding is not to receive extravagant gifts, but it is a perk of it. You may find that random guests do not bring a gift at all to your wedding. You also have to ask yourself if you can really trust these people. You may discover that you are missing some gifts after your wedding and the random guests may be the ones who tampered with them. Wedding gifts are often expensive, and they may intrigue people who have little regard for your happiness.

Some people say that you must invite all of your guests with their own guests. However, when you consider the drawbacks, you’ll see that you might want to ignore traditional etiquette when it comes to plus-ones.

For more tips on knowing how to give out plus-ones, check out this article!

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