6 Things Every Plus-One Needs to Know

Rule one: Be on your best behavior.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: JBM Photography

These days it's a rare honor to be a plus one. Weddings are pricey endeavors with lots of singles invited solo, whether they like it or not. So if you get to be the guest of a guest, make the most of it. Trust us, it's an easy job: You don't have to deliver a speech, walk in a procession or even shell out for a new outfit if you've never met most of the attendees before. There are just a couple of things you should know before stepping out in your supporting role:

Until you tell everyone your name at the wedding, you'll be known as "and Guest." 

In a perfect world, each guest invited with a plus one would let the bride know that person's name ahead of time so she could address the invitations and table and place cards appropriately. But few people do that so the bride is forced to use that one-size-fits-all moniker, "and Guest," as in "Joshua Barnes and Guest, Table 12." It could be worse: You could be reduced to an addition sign and digit as in, "+1."

You should dress like you care but don't be showy.

Wear what's appropriate for the occasion without wearing anything too revealing (you're not Jennifer Lopez) or white (you're not the bride). When in doubt, ask other guests you may know or have your date ask them or the bride if the dress code is summer casual, winter formal or something else altogether.

It's your duty to dance. 

Weddings are most fun when everyone lets loose on the dance floor and goes all Beyoncé, strutting with confidence to the beat. So don't be shy—get out there and move like you mean it! Part of the reason your date asked you to the wedding was probably because you know how to have a good time and go along with (or lead) the crowd. Group dances? Go for it! The Electric Slide has stuck around this long for a reason!

You probably won't have to chip in for the gift. 

Especially if you don't know the bride and groom, your date will most likely give a gift and sign your name to the card. If you're feeling generous, offer to go halfsies on it.

You should congratulate the bride and groom. 

Either on the receiving line, if they have one, or later at the reception, offer your best wishes to the couple. If you're meeting them for the first time, briefly tell them who you are, though ideally the person who brought you will introduce you first. It avoids the situation later when they see you in photos shaking your thang on the dance floor and they're like, "Who's that?"

Don't get drunk. 

Even if you're bored because your date keeps abandoning you or the music is bad, don't hang out at the bar throwing back mojitos. Track down other plus ones—"hey you, in the corner"—and chat them up. You may make a new friend or two, at least for one night.

About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 


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