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Can You Give Someone a Plus-One to the Wedding but Not the Rehearsal Dinner?

Whatever you do, just make sure you communicate politely.

Contributing Writer
patriotic party couple portrait
Photography by: Kate Headley

The etiquette surrounding wedding plus-ones is some of the stickiest around. On one hand, it's nice to give everyone a date; on the other, it's nice to not go into debt for your wedding. While most people understand the common rules about inviting big-day plus-ones, they may wonder what to do about the rehearsal dinner. If you're allowing a friend or family member to invite a guest to the ceremony and reception, should they have the opportunity to bring a date to this pre-wedding party, too? In the end, it's your wedding and your decision to make, but in most events you should extend the invitation to their guest. Here, more on whether or not you need to invite plus-ones.

 

Related: A Guide to Navigating the Plus-One Dilemma

 

Give the Plus-One

Anyone in the wedding party or who is traveling for the wedding should be invited to the rehearsal dinner, as should their guests. That means if you're giving your bridesmaids the opportunity to bring a date, those attendees should also have the chance to join your pre-wedding party. It's rude to invite just one half of a couple, and makes things awkward for everyone.

 

Explain Why You Can't Invite Guests

Unless you have a serious space limitation, you should allow plus-ones to attend. In the event that you can't accommodate everyone, be frank about it. Let guests know early on that only those in the actual wedding party and your families will be attending the rehearsal so that they can plan accordingly. More importantly, let everyone know why. If you can swing it, organize a dessert party or welcome drinks so that the guests can come by after.