You’ve started the wedding planning process, chosen your venue, set a budget for decor and catering, and now you’re ready to get your guest list together. There are a number of websites that you can use for your guests to RSVP to your wedding. For example Zola, The Knot, WeddingWire, Minted, Appy Couple, etx. Most websites give an option to add a plus one in an open field where guests can type in a name themselves. You can also send an invitation in the mail with this same option: write their name and add a line for their plus one. Sometimes though, you may get a few guests that think it’s okay to add an extra extra wedding guest… or 2. *Cue anxiety*

This gets really frustrating when you’re expecting a certain number of guests to arrive but more end up coming. Your guests probably aren’t thinking about the change this makes to seating, catering, and table settings. By far one of the most irritating factors to additional guests being forced onto your guest list is the pricetag per person. It’s great to be understanding since a lot of wedding guests don’t understand the ins, outs, and other elements that affect an overall wedding budget. However, at the end of the wedding day, the bill either falls on the couple or their family. Of course, you don’t want to come off rude but you may have to be direct and say something about it. Or you can avoid the conversation altogether if you can prevent it from happening in the first place.

Don’t Include Option For Extra Wedding Guests

You may want to avoid sending an invitation that lists the guest’s name and includes a line for them to fill in their plus one. Some guests will see this as an opportunity to write in as many names as they can on that single line. Instead, just put the guest’s name and the term, “plus 1” to help eliminate the confusion. Make sure it can not be edited by anyone else but you. You have to make sure you’re direct and set up realistic expectations from the beginning. You can also leave your contact information for anyone who might have a question about bringing a plus one.

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Add Note on Invitation

It’s possible that your guests don’t know whether or not you’re flexible when it comes to adding a plus 1. Weddings can be extremely expensive and the price for certain services goes up depending on the number of guests you plan to have. You can imagine the inconvenience and the impact it can have on your finances. Your guests can’t. Try this: add a note on each invitation that sets clear guidelines for all your guests. For example,

We appreciate all of our friends and family who wish to be present on our wedding day. Please understand that we have limited seating and are only able to accommodate the invited guest, plus one additional attendee.

Don’t Offer a Plus 1

Consider inviting a specific number of guests to the ceremony only. Some friends and family would love to be there to celebrate you both. But if you’re not prepared for the guest it’s hard to be flexible, so don’t extend the courtesy to bring a plus one (outside of spouses).

Let everyone know that only a specific number of guests are allowed to attend the wedding. Explain that the guest list is limited to the number of people the venue can accommodate. Unfortunately, no extra wedding guests will be able to attend. If extra guests want to show up then they are more than welcome to come to a next-day brunch, if you have one. Otherwise, your family and friends should be understanding and most excited to simply be invited.

Contact You With Questions

As previously mentioned, you can ask that your guests contact you directly to discuss any questions about bringing a plus 1. This way, if you want to extend the courtesy to a specific number of guests individually you can. Otherwise, unless you’ve discussed it with the invitee it should be understood that no extra wedding guests are allowed.

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