Every bride-to-be confronts the issue of inviting a single person to her wedding. Should an invitation to a single person always include an invitation for a guest? This is one area where etiquette and finances clash. Brides looking to reduce headcount may view a single guest as an opportunity to cut corners, but etiquette rules say that all persons who are married, living together, or known to have a partner must receive an invitation for two.
But what about those who may not have a significant other, or whose “couple” status is not known? Must they also receive a “for-two” invitation? When at all possible, it’s best to invite a single person and that person’s guest. In issuing an invitation for two, brides leave it up to the guest to decide if she wants to bring another person along. You may find that many of your single guests choose to come alone.
Failing that, if you want to invite a single person and you don’t know the guest’s “relationship status”, you may explain to the invitee that you would like to issue a wedding invitation and you would like to know how to address your invitation. This gives the guest the opportunity to let you know whether or not a “guest” invitation is in order and should eliminate misunderstandings or hurt feelings when the invitation arrives. You are not required to issue “guest” invitations to minors, even if the minor has an exclusive boyfriend or girlfriend.
Kardella offers guidelines on wedding invitation etiquette and invitation wording. Please take a moment to look at some of the wording suggestions we offer.