Wedding season is about to be in full swing, and that means one thing. No, not wedding cake. It means you need to be more aware now than ever about wedding guest etiquette. Yay!![related
There are a lot of rules about RSVPing to a wedding and bringing along a plus-one, but there’s one rule that should eclipse them all: If your date or significant other isn’t able to make it to the wedding, please don’t just bring along your best friend.
First of all, if your guest is named, either bring that person or don’t. If I get a wedding invitation addressed to Carolyn Menyes and Leonardo DiCaprio, it is expected that I’m bringing Leo and no one else! I can’t just substitute Leo with Billy Zane or my actual husband. The couple is requesting the presence of Leo and me, not me and someone who didn’t star in Titanic. But if he can’t make it because he’s off filming a new Oscar-worthy movie or because he “doesn’t know me,” then I should just attend alone.
If your plus-one is, ominously, named simply as “and guest,” then you should bring your significant other or at least a romantic date. OK, it’s not, like, set in stone anywhere that a plus-one needs to be a romantic interest, but the idea is at the very least heavily implied. And there is one thing that is very clear: A much-coveted plus-one is not an excuse to bring along your BFF for a night of free drinks and dancing.
The thing is, a wedding is an incredibly expensive event. And at most venues, the couple pays for things like the food, drinks, and even the cake per head. So getting a plus-one is kind of an honor, because it means the couple trusts you enough to bring someone worthy of their farm-to-table hors d’oeuvres and filet mignon. Using that invite as an excuse for a free night on the town for you and a buddy is just plain rude.
Oh, and if your invitation doesn’t say “and guest” on it, please don’t ask for a plus-one. That’s just awkward. For a plus-one faux pas and nine other worst wedding guest mistakes, click here.