You know who you want to invite, but what about those unmarried guests? Do you have to extend a plus-one invitation to every unwed guest? Here are some rules to help you decided if you should extend your invitation to include a plus-one:

Couples who are engaged, living together, or have been dating exclusively for over a year. You should always include them and address the invitation to both parties.

If your guest has been in a relationship for less than a year, or just casually dating several people, you are not obligated to give them a plus-one. Your wedding may be an opportunity for them to meet “The One!”

Guests who are close relatives, you probably want to give them a plus-one, even if they aren’t dating anyone. But in this case, you might be able to ask them if they had someone in mind. And remember, the plus-one may not be a romantic partner, they might choose to bring a good friend instead.

What about the guests who RSVP with an uninvited plus-one? Well, you have a couple of options depending on your budget and the timing. If you can afford it and you haven’t finalized the head count with your vendors, then I would just accept the addition especially if it is a person close to you.

If you really can’t accommodate the extra person, I would nicely tell the guest that you have finalized your head count with your caterer and can’t include any more guests. Please try to do this in person or over the phone using a friendly and consoling tone. I do not recommend email or text to handle this delicate situation as your message may come across as dismissive, harsh or abrupt.

If your guest shows up with an uninvited plus-one without warning, what do you do? One option is to tell your wedding planner that the guest was not invited and they will tactfully handle the situation either by having the uninvited guest removed, or, what I think is a better option, assess if there is a way to incorporate the person into the existing plan. Its always better to see if there is a no-drama solution for any unplanned event that might arise, even though it might be inconvenient.

Remember, you are not obligated to invite every single person that you know, but there are some niceties that need to be considered when it comes to your guest list and plus-ones. If you keep your list to those who truly love and support you, you can’t go wrong.