Wedding plus-one etiquette: Should partners score automatic invites?

Should brides and grooms feel like they have to invite plus ones? [Photo: Getty]

Writing the guest list can be one of the trickiest parts for any couple planning their wedding.

The politics behind the whole thing needs to be dealt with sensitively: “If we invite Cousin Tom, then do we have to invite his wife and kids? What about work colleagues? At £50 a head can we leave out Linda from next door?” are all thought processes couples go through.  

Keeping everyone happy is a top priority, and this can sometimes mean costs rack up.

One bride-to-be decided to seek advice from the Internet after one guest wrongly assumed their partner was invited to her wedding alongside them.

The bride in question planned to limit the guest list to 50 so to keep costs to a minimum.

When the couple reached 46 and they had a few spaces spare, they decide to extend the invite to the groom’s work colleagues.

Taking to forum Mumsnet, the bride explained the situation.

She writes: “Am I being unreasonable to uninvite someone from the wedding?

“Yesterday my fiance was in the office and everyone was talking about the wedding and one of the girls said “my husband and i are really looking forward to it”.

“Partners aren’t invited otherwise we would have put that on the invitation.

“We had a maximum of 50 guests included in the package, we had 46 originally so decided to invite the work colleagues as we would be paying the same price either way.

“Now we are going to have to pay extra for this woman’s husband because she has assumed partners are included on the invite.

“It’s also worth mentioning that I haven’t met his work colleagues before, let alone their partners, and if our guest list had topped 50 they probably wouldn’t have been invited anyway.

“My fiance didn’t say anything to the girl when she said about her husband coming because he felt awkward and embarrassed. He has also never met her husband.”

But the bride had backup, with lots of fellow users agreeing it was wrong to assume.

One wrote:  “Give your hubby-to-be a kick up the bum!

“He needs to explain to her that it’s not a plus one. Otherwise what happens if the other 3 bring their partners too? Are you going to pay for them as well?”

Another chipped in: “If I got a wedding invite addressed to just me, I’d assume it was for ‘just me’ as surely it would say to QueenDaisy & Mr QueenDaisy.”

“What is wrong with people who think partners are invited when their name is not on the invite, your boyfriend needs to put this lady right.”

The bride-to-be considered the fact the confusion might have lay in her untraditional wedding format, which included an evening ceremony and a reception directly after.

Some on the site agreed they might have made the same mistake.

One wrote: “I think the norm is not to invite married people without their partners. I’m imagining the work colleague just naturally made the same assumption.”

Another said: “I would just let her bring her other half. She won’t know anyone and will have a pretty c*** time hanging round with another couple from work.

One more user controversially said: “People need to consider the needs of their guests for weddings, what’s the point if they don’t have a good time, it’s not ALL about the couple.”

It’s clear wedding politics is a very real thing.


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