DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my good friends growing up got engaged a couple of months ago. The wedding is in August, and I’m excited to attend. One thing that has been on my mind is whether I’ll be getting a plus-one with my invitation. I would love to have my girlfriend there with me, but my friend doesn’t know her that well. I think it’s awkward to bring up, but I would like to know. What is the proper etiquette about wedding invites? If he is one of my best friends, shouldn’t I get a plus-one? -- Plus-One Please, Baltimore
DEAR PLUS-ONE PLEASE: Weddings are stressful for couples and families because they are so expensive and detailed. One of the biggest stressors is the guest list. Each person invited costs hundreds of dollars to host. Obviously, that’s not what your friend was thinking about when he invited you or anybody else. Chances are, he made a big guest list and whittled it down over time when getting practical about managing expectations and budget.
That said, the old-school wisdom about a plus-one is that one should be offered that invitation if one is married or engaged. In today’s world where many people are coupled but not married, the rules bend a bit. Still, the wedding couple can decide to invite a few single friends without plus-ones, especially if they are not in long-term, committed relationships.
You can ask your friend if your girlfriend will be invited, but don’t press him if the answer is no. Instead, ask who else among your mutual friends will be there so you know who you can spend time with.