Two Divided By Zero


I spoke with our wedding planner today, and she asked if we’ve finalized the guest list.  I told her “more or less.”  Which means two things:

1. I keep remembering more people.  You maybe would think that if I forgot this person exists for this long, I should not be inviting them to my wedding.  But that is overestimating my memory.  I forgot blood relations. I forgot close friends.  When will I reach the point where I am confident I haven’t forgotten anyone else?

Did anyone else have memory lapses when it came to the guest list? How did you overcome that problem?

2.  The Plus One Dilemma. I’m torn over this.

Reasons I would like to give everyone a plus one:

  • Not having to decide who gets a plus one and who doesn’t.
  • Not making single people feel somehow devalued.
  • Not having to figure out how to make it clear on the invitations who has not been given a plus one.
  • Selfish reason: I have taken a date to wedding when I was single, and I was very glad to be able to do so.

Reasons I think we probably should not give everyone a plus one:

  • If everyone can bring a guest and everyone does, we’ll be over capacity.
  • If we are at or just slightly under capacity, we’ll still likely be over-budget.
  • Selfish reason: I want people to fall in love at my wedding.  SO BADLY.  My cousin is marrying someone he met at his best friend’s wedding.  That’s my dream.   I have a lot of attractive single friends. They should meet each other at my wedding and fall in love.  Or at least screw.

So there are my current wedding problems.  I’d like to take a second to point out that thinking about wedding problems for the last twenty minutes or so as I wrote this post was a delightful vacation from thinking about real problems like, “will I ever get a real job?”  Yay, wedding!


  1. a) Massive memory failure on my part has been a chronic problem for me since before the wedding (I even blogged about it: http://insideouthappy.com/2010/01/04/aunt-who/)… I was lucky enough to use my sister’s wedding guest list as a starting point so no one really important got left off, but still. I’m adding invites all the time.

    b) We debated the “plus one” long and hard (I was for not, he was for inviting them) and finally compromised by actually inviting a plus 1 for every single person, but spreading the word that there were lots of singles coming, so if they are open to meeting someone, come stag! Often single friends are seeing someone, in which case they’re only going to be unhappy to have to fly solo (and they won’t exactly be falling in love with someone else). But if they’re not seeing anyone in particular and they hear that there may be lots of singles there, maybe they’ll opt out of a plus 1. We’re hoping.

    So I feel your pain. Hang in there!

    • My link broke because of the )… at the end. sorry!

    • A (currently single) friend of mine recommended an insert for those who do not get plus ones saying something along the lines of “we’d give you a plus one, but we’d much rather you seek out wedding sex among our other single guests… have you met [REDACTED]?”

      And even though Miss Manners would shrivel and die, I kind of love that idea.

  2. We went the limited-plus-one route (also with the secret hope that our single friends would fall in love) with the online RSVP and designation on the envelope. Let me just say, no one who hasn’t gotten married knows about envelope etiquette! We would’ve saved ourselves a lot of trouble if we’d just paid for RSVP cards and designated “we’ve saved X number of seats for you.”

    Anyhow, once the slew of RSVPs with added uninvited guests came in, we figured out that our criteria was that if we’d 1) at least met the person our friend was dating, 2) said guest was willing to come from far away, or 3) our friend wouldn’t know anyone else at the wedding, they could bring the plus-one. It put us a bit over budget, but at the end of the day I didn’t want to be the arbiter of anyone’s relationships (I’ve known couples who only invited boyfriends/girlfriends if they thought the relationship would last *shudder*) and it made for more joy. It all works out, I promise.

    • I really respond to what you are saying about being the arbiter of other people’s relationships. Like, Collin and I have not been dating that long. Before there was a ring, it would be totally reasonable for someone to assume we were not all that serious. But we WERE. I don’t want to have to make that sort of judgment for my friends who I don’t keep in super close touch with but nevertheless see as in the crowd at my wedding day!

  3. You know, so many people can’t come to ours–due to the economy, a bunch of pregnancies, and the timing–that now everyone can have a plus one if they want to. It may work out on its own.

  4. We’ve kept our guest list so small that a plus one isn’t going to kill us, but I seriously doubt that our very family-friendly wedding is going to be the place where star-crossed lovers meet. I love the idea, but somehow don’t see it happening with our crowd.

  5. We’re following in the example of our friends who got married a few years ago. Essentially, they gave a plus one to all their friends in relationships (which was nice for me, because I was Jason’s girlfriend plus-one at the time) and personally called around – to all the unmarrieds on the guest list – to get addresses and talk about plus ones. They said they really wanted to invite as many friends and family as possible, they didn’t want to leave any important significant others out, there would be singles at the wedding, yadda yadda yadda. The personal touch kept people honest. And they were also flexible and ADDED new plus-ones to the guest list at the last minute when friends started dating after the save the dates had gone out. And they were also flexible in that friends who weren’t part of a group got plus ones.

    It kept us honest and it made us realize the challenges they were juggling with capacity and budget. We’ll probably have to get started with the calls this month since our save the date should go out in September. Blerg.

  6. My plus one “rule” is if they know lots of other people then they probably wouldn’t get a plus one but if they know next to no-one they get a date.

    I am hoping for a couple of love matches (but I’ll settle for sex and gossip!)

  7. plus ones are hard. i say eff it unless the person in question knows no one at the wedding. it worked out fine for us (minus a couple people who wouldn’t have been pleased if i gave them treasure chests or fat free chocolate that actually tastes good)

  8. more posts noof! more posts!

  9. ugh, i just emailed my first person saying, sorry, no plus ones. We’re having a small, intimate wedding (less than 50 people) and we really want to *know* everyone there. We are having events after the wedding – afternoon on a farm, next day potluck lunch – and everyone is invited to those, but for the ceremony and reception, we’re keeping it small. I like having the alternative events for people who can’t make it to the main event, and for us to get to spend time with the people who travel to see us! Good luck…

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