If you are in a long-term, committed relationship and your partner has been invited to a wedding, you can expect to be the unspecified guest they bring along, aka a plus-one. Being a plus-one can be an anxious experience, because you don't know most guests, yet you are expected to have fun and mingle. Here are 6 tips for being a plus-one at a wedding.
Dress appropriately. Wedding dress code is typically mentioned on the invitation. The most common wedding dress codes include black tie, black tie optional (formal attire), semi-formal (cocktail attire, dressy casual), and casual. So take you cues from the invitation and stick to the dress code. If it doesn't mention the dress code, your date should contact the couple and ask them. And remember that you must by no means wear a white dress because white is the bride's color.
Chip in for a gift. When you're a plus-one, you don't have to get the couple a gift on your own, especially if you don't know them very well. However, it's nice to chip in for the gift your date is buying and put your name on the card that goes with it. As a matter of fact, there are no strict rules that apply to such situations, so it's up to you and your date to decide what you are going to do. But you should at least offer to pitch in for the gift.
Show up. If your date has RSVP'ed with a plus-one using your name, you absolutely have to show up unless there's an emergency. The couple has paid for your food and drinks, so if you don't show up, it will cost them money. If something happens after you've RSVP'ed, let the couple know in advance that you won't be able to attend.
Congratulate the couple Even if you don't know the couple, you should thank them for inviting you and congratulate the newlyweds on the happy occasion, so don't even think about escaping the receiving line. If they've decided to forgo this particular tradition, meet the couple during the reception and offer good wishes.
Stick to the wedding etiquette. There are basic wedding etiquette rules that all the guests should follow, so stick to them. Don't be late, don't get drunk, stay until the cake is cut, etc. These rules are quite simple and easy to follow, but people tend to forget them.
Have fun, but don't try to steal everyone's attention. Just because you're a plus-one doesn't mean you can't dance, mingle, and have fun. In fact, being a good wedding guest means genuinely enjoying the festivities. So don't be afraid to socialize and hit the dance floor. You don't have to make friends with everyone in attendance, but you shouldn't brood in the corner either. And remember that you shouldn't try and steal the show. Enjoy yourself in moderation and don't do anything that could embarrass your date.
- Wedding Guest Attire Guideline, 6 Tips for Wedding Guests, Wedding Plus-One Etiquette, How to Survive Attending a Wedding Without a Date