Ask A Bride: Wedding Guest 101
For this edition of Ask a Bride, we’re focusing on commonly asked etiquette questions from guests.
1. How do I know if I can bring a plus-one to the wedding?
You get invited to a wedding and your first thought is, well wait, can I bring a date? It’s probably one of the most common questions from guests, and the answer is super simple. Take a look at the envelope your invite came in – is it addressed to just you, or you “and guest”? And of course, if it says you and your significant other’s name, there’s your answer. For people with families, that “& family” on the invite means the whole clan is invited – well, at least your spouse and kids.
2. But… can I bring a guest anyway?
Invites are addressed how they are for a reason. If there’s no “and guest,” sorry, but you’re flying solo.
Most RSVPs include a space to put the total number of guests you’re RSVPing for, but that’s just there to show how many off the invited guests are coming - it’s not there for you to write whatever number you want.
3. Can I bring someone other than who’s on my invite?
So what happens if for some reason the person listed on your invite isn’t able to make it? Maybe your spouse can’t take off work, has another wedding, etc. While a guest may just seem like a guest to you, check with the couple before bringing a random person not listed on your invite.
4. How much should I spend on a gift?
There are no hard and fast rules about how much of a gift to give – in fact a gift isn’t technically required.
Remember, though, that the bride and groom are spending a good amount of money on the wedding, and you’ll likely be munching on appetizers, eating dinner and drinking.
A traditional rule of thumb is to gift an amount equal to what you think your plate of food at the wedding costs, but you should also consider things like your relationship with the couple and what you can afford.
5. Do I have to get something for the bridal shower and wedding?
Again, you’re not technically obligated to get the couple anything, but it’s pretty standard to bring a gift to the shower.
If you’re invited to both the shower and the wedding, you might consider splitting the gift budget to buy two smaller presents. Also, note that the rule of thumb is to get something off the registry for the shower and bring a card for the wedding.
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