Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bringing random plus one okay?

I have a question about etiquette that's more out of curiosity than anything. I have a good friend (she's actually going to be my MOH) who is single and has been for a while. When she goes to weddings and has a plus one, she brings kind of random guests. Not like guys she's dating casually or whatever, but friends. She's talking about bringing her younger sister to my wedding. We are going to a mutual friend's wedding next Saturday and she is bringing her female friend from grad school. She invited me to get cousin's wedding once. It's almost always female friends who she is not romantically involved with at all. She also usually knows lots of other guests at the wedding she is attending. Other than being kind of odd, is this okay to do?

Re: Bringing random plus one okay?

  • I've brought friends to weddings when I was extended a plus one and not in a relationship. I'd rather bring someone I know I'll have fun with than someone I don't really know. Plus, it makes it less awkward when couples are slow dancing.
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    Blue_BirdPrettyGirlLostsaric83
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well, if the invitation envelope just says "and guest," then she gets to bring a guest of her choice, regardless of whether that's the host's choice.

    But that's part of why "and guest" is controversial: It forces hosts to accept as guests people they might well want nothing to do with. If they really want control over their guest lists, then they shouldn't invite "and guests."
    Blue_BirdSP29
  • For the record, I have no issue with it. I just wondered if it was frowned upon. She has gotten semi negative responses in the past but most people don't seem to care.
  • STPgirl88 said:
    For the record, I have no issue with it. I just wondered if it was frowned upon. She has gotten semi negative responses in the past but most people don't seem to care.
    Well, the ones she got semi-negative responses from should have not extended a plus one if they were going to get bent out of shape over who that plus one might be (unless you're referring to other guests being negative about it, and not the bride and groom). 
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    STPgirl88 said:
    For the record, I have no issue with it. I just wondered if it was frowned upon. She has gotten semi negative responses in the past but most people don't seem to care.
    I think many people (not on the Knot) feel that "and guest" is for a romantic relationship, or someone you are casually dating but not in a serious relationship with.

    We all know you should invite SO on wedding invitations, but a lot of people still use "and guest" for people that have been in relationships for years.

    I was in a relationship when I first joined the knot, but prior to that I never brought a guest to a wedding that wasn't my boyfriend. Until being on here, I didn't know it was perfectly acceptable to bring a friend, sister, whoever as a guest if you were given a plus one. I think a lot of people don't know this, and therefore think it's frowned upon, when it's not.

    I was a plus one for a wedding my old roommate went to like 8 years ago. But her boyfriend bailed on her, and I knew the bride, so it was an extenuating circumstance (so I thought). 

    It sounds like my parents had a pretty etiquette approved wedding in the 80s (head table with SO included, for example), except for one thing. My mom's brother had just broken up with his girlfriend, and asked her if he could bring his best friend Jack. My mom supposedly said, "no you have to bring a girl" (my uncle is not gay). I think times have changed now, but people may still have this thought process (my mom would never say this now).
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  • STPgirl88STPgirl88 member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited January 2015


    I know that when I went with her to her cousin's wedding a few years back, her cousin's mom found it rude or something. It made me feel a little awkward but she got over it and it was not a big deal. I also know a friend of hers once said something about it.

    The only reason I find it odd is because I think her guest might feel weird. I know when I went with her she obviously knew her whole family and family friends and I just knew her. It just seems easier if you know lots of people to go solo and hang out with other guests and not need to introduce the person constantly. I suppose that would be true if she brought a date or newer boyfriend too though.
  • I asked a similar question when I first came on here actually! And to be clear, it is 100% ettiquette approved to bring a platonic friend when you are offered a plus one.

    That being said, my person opinion (not to be confused with ettiquette, which is not a matter of opinion) is that it is iffy. For one thing, regardless of the fact that they are wrong to feel this way, a lot of people are going to frown on you (general you, applies to everyone) if you do this so you do have to weigh if it's worth being potentially perceived poorly. In my situation that I was asking about for my wedding, one of my best friends, who knew and was close with literally everyone on my side at the wedding and about half of the groom's side, was thinking of bringing a close friend of hers who literally knew no one but her who was going to be there. I thought this was an odd choice because personally I wouldn't want to tie myself down to being that person's only friend present all night when I had so many other close friends present. I guess I just see that sort of arrangement differently than if you bring a platonic friend to a wedding you don't know many people. I mean you're well within your rights to bring someone in either case, but I wouldn't personally bring someone just to bring someone.
    hicoco
  • It's not rude at all, but sometimes people do react funnily to bringing a friend, or they make assumptions about your relationship.

    For example, in grad school, my best friend's husband was in the army. She was invited to a wedding with an "and guest" while he was stationed abroad. She brought me as her guest, since she didn't want to go alone. Apparently, people thought we were a couple. We both found this hilarious.

    For my wedding, her now-husband was originally scheduled to again be stationed abroad. When she told me this, I told her that she should feel free to bring a friend, her sister, her mother, etc. if she wanted to have someone else there with her as a guest. Her husband ended up having his tour rescheduled, so he was able to come, but I wouldn't have been upset at all to have her (or any of our other guests) bring someone who was not a "date" to our wedding. As long as our invited guests had fun, that's all that mattered to me.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2015
    I gave my singles plus ones.  I didn't give a shit who that plus one was.  Their grandma, their gay BFF, a fuck buddy, a random person the met at the bar the night before.   

    I just didn't care.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    huskypuppy14lc07speakeasy14
  • I just don't understand why the couple would care. The plus one is a curtsey to single guests so they can bring along some company. Unless someone brings a violent and crazy ex of the bride, why does it matter?

    One of my female friends brought a random female friend from college who I didn't like in college, and she ended up puking all over the bathroom.

    Still didn't care.

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  • I extended plus ones to all of my wedding guests, and I was really excited that one of my guests brought her sister. I like her sister a lot but had only met her on a few occasions, so I was happy she came. 

    I've been thinking about this lately because I'm invited to a wedding this summer that's on the other side of the country (2,400 miles away), and I don't think my husband will be able to make it. This is a close friend of mine from college so I don't want to miss the wedding, but I would prefer if I had someone to travel with. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the etiquette approved thing to do would be go alone since I'm not going to be invited with a random plus one. I don't want to ask her if it's okay for me to bring a friend because I wouldn't want to put her in an awkward position.
  • chloe97chloe97 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2015
    I completely agree that a plus one can be a friend! I was invited to a wedding 5.5 hrs away from where I live and knew only 2 other people going who were both in the wedding party, so I was debating whether to even attend. Because I was single and had no prospects I invited a gf. I did run it by the bride who totally understood why I wouldn't want to travel 5.5 hrs to attend a wedding alone. I'm really glad that I made the decision to attend because that night I caught the bouquet and the guy who caught the garter turned out to be single and pretty damn cute. I'm marrying him this August!!!
    kns1988STPgirl88BrandNewJhicoco
  • kns1988 said:
    I extended plus ones to all of my wedding guests, and I was really excited that one of my guests brought her sister. I like her sister a lot but had only met her on a few occasions, so I was happy she came. 

    I've been thinking about this lately because I'm invited to a wedding this summer that's on the other side of the country (2,400 miles away), and I don't think my husband will be able to make it. This is a close friend of mine from college so I don't want to miss the wedding, but I would prefer if I had someone to travel with. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the etiquette approved thing to do would be go alone since I'm not going to be invited with a random plus one. I don't want to ask her if it's okay for me to bring a friend because I wouldn't want to put her in an awkward position.
    This may not be etiquette approved but honestly in your situation, depending on how close I was to the bride and groom, I might just ask- since I'm assuming they are inviting your husband as well and therefore "planning on" you to be attending with someone else, I wouldn't see the harm in just honestly explaining that though he can't make it you're anxious about traveling alone and would it be okay if someone else came with you.  I think the desire to not travel that kind of distance alone is something that should be accommodated whenever possible- I know I wouldn't want to do it! 
    kns1988
  • rcher912rcher912 Philadelphia member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I, for one, think this is awesome. Whoever is going to help her enjoy the day the most (as long as she's given a +1 on the invite!). 
  • There are people who are single for life who do not date, by choice.

    There are people who are widowed , or divorced, recently enough that a wedding is an emotional time when they want a friend or family member for support, and even if they are dating some would find a wedding awkward with a person that they have only seen recently, especially if most people at the wedding knew them at the time they were married.
    Or worse, the wedding is of family members of their recently deceased spouse, and a new date just would just be too damned awkward.

    And their are people who wish they had a romantic relationship partner to bring, but either they are in a dry spell or their SO is thousands of miles away.

    If the space and finances permit, and you are willing to have guests who are not social units, why not?
    lc07PrettyGirlLost
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    kns1988 said:
    I extended plus ones to all of my wedding guests, and I was really excited that one of my guests brought her sister. I like her sister a lot but had only met her on a few occasions, so I was happy she came. 

    I've been thinking about this lately because I'm invited to a wedding this summer that's on the other side of the country (2,400 miles away), and I don't think my husband will be able to make it. This is a close friend of mine from college so I don't want to miss the wedding, but I would prefer if I had someone to travel with. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the etiquette approved thing to do would be go alone since I'm not going to be invited with a random plus one. I don't want to ask her if it's okay for me to bring a friend because I wouldn't want to put her in an awkward position.

    This is another issue that some people get up in arms about, crying, "Invitations are not transferable!" Again, I say who cares? Wouldn't bother me a bit if someone did this.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    kns1988manateehuggerlc07PrettyGirlLost
  • If you don't want her bringing strange guests don't invite her with a guest.  
    WhatawagSBNyPrettyGirlLost
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We gave all our single guests a +1.  We had a couple who just brought friends.  We didn't care one bit, we were just happy that they had a good time.
  • kns1988 said:
    I extended plus ones to all of my wedding guests, and I was really excited that one of my guests brought her sister. I like her sister a lot but had only met her on a few occasions, so I was happy she came. 

    I've been thinking about this lately because I'm invited to a wedding this summer that's on the other side of the country (2,400 miles away), and I don't think my husband will be able to make it. This is a close friend of mine from college so I don't want to miss the wedding, but I would prefer if I had someone to travel with. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the etiquette approved thing to do would be go alone since I'm not going to be invited with a random plus one. I don't want to ask her if it's okay for me to bring a friend because I wouldn't want to put her in an awkward position.
    This may not be etiquette approved but honestly in your situation, depending on how close I was to the bride and groom, I might just ask- since I'm assuming they are inviting your husband as well and therefore "planning on" you to be attending with someone else, I wouldn't see the harm in just honestly explaining that though he can't make it you're anxious about traveling alone and would it be okay if someone else came with you.  I think the desire to not travel that kind of distance alone is something that should be accommodated whenever possible- I know I wouldn't want to do it! 
    Agreed. This is what the friend I mentioned above in my post did. She mentioned that her husband was scheduled to be deployed and therefore wouldn't be able to come - I immediately offered to allow her to transfer his half of the invitation to someone else, if that would make her more comfortable. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who actually cares about the comfort of their guests should hopefully react this way.
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  • Unless someone is really strapped for the money, most people would say okay for someone willing to go so far at such great expense. Good friends are precious.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    banana468 said:
    AddieCake said:
    Some people are all aghast when this happens. Who cares who she brings? Three of my guests brought same-sex friends as their plus ones to our wedding. It affects nothing and nobody.
    This.   If you extend the invitation to someone "and guest" and that person is not in a relationship, why does it matter if the person isn't a romantic date?   The point of allowing the random guest is to make the invited person more comfortable.

    DH's cousin did this at our wedding and he brought his best friend.   We had to explain to MIL that it was more than fine to do this.


    This is exactly the way I see it as well.  It is an issue of hospitality.  My guest may not know other guests.  My guest may have far to travel, and having a companion would make that travel easier.  My guest may know a friend that will help to make the reception a blast for them.  As a host, I want to do whatever I can to make my wedding, and the experience of my guests, the best I possibly can.


  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    For the record, before I was even engaged, I had an attitude of, "I don't want my friends bringing some random flavor of the month to my wedding. Weddings are expensive!"  This attitude is wrong, and I'm glad I saw the light. 

    It was important to me to have only our nearest-and-dearest at our wedding, which we did. But I also realized that my some of my nearest-and-dearest would feel more comfortable with a guest considering most of the other guests are already coupled off.  Two single friends brought people who were important to them, not strangers. Three other singles didn't even bother with dates. I'm very glad we were able to provide the option.  We'd built the plus-ones into our budget originally because you just never know what can happen with relationships between the time you are engaged and the time you send invitations. "Expensive" didn't end up factoring into this at all, in the end.  
    ________________________________


    PrettyGirlLost
  • A friend invited me +Guest to her wedding and I brought my sister. The wedding was OOT for me, but in the same city as my sister, so I didn't need to arrange anything extra which was nice. We were at a table with one romantic couple and two other single girls who'd been invited separately (I knew & liked them all but was not extremely close to them). My sister & I were not made to feel uncomfortable in the slightest.

    I genuinely do not know if the bride even noticed!
  • I wish that I had thought to bring a good friend or my sister to more weddings when I was single. I never felt comfortable bringing a dude unless we were very serious and frankly my lady friends would have been funner to hang out with. 
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    short+sassy
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