Newport Manners & Etiquette: Plus One Wedding Etiquette, Missing YOU’RE WELCOME & Funeral Etiquette

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


View Larger +

March Madness wedding questions about Who gets a plus one for the wedding? and Do there have to be attendants? What to say after THANK YOU? Whether to attend a funeral, or not, were all questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.


Q.  We're overwhelmed by the number of our friends -- who after receiving their save-the-date cards -- have asked if they can bring a plus one to our wedding this summer. The best man asked us if he could bring a mutual friend as his plus one. He wants to know if he can get him invited to our wedding! We know the guy who wants to be the best man's plus one, so if we wanted him to come to our wedding, we would have sent him a save-the-date card. How do we handle this?  BC, Seattle, WA

A.  The whole plus one situation can be murky. A guest bringing his own guest. Especially if the plus one knows the wedding couple and knows that he wasn't invited. A wedding isn't just any party. It is a celebration of a marriage. You only invite people whom you like, like a lot, or love. If you, the bride and groom, had wanted the wanna be plus one at your wedding, you would have invited him.

What to know about plus one:

  • As the host, unless you're not particular, make a list of assumed single people you are inviting whom you want to extend a plus one invitation to your wedding.
  • If the guest doesn't list his plus one's name on the reply care to the ceremony, find out the name of the guest your guest is bringing as their plus one.
  • Add that person's name to your guest list after the original guest's name on the spreadsheet. That way if the name of the plus one changes, at least you're keeping a correct head count.


What people who haven't hosted a wedding don't know is this:

  • As a guest, he or she is being invited because they're liked by the wedding couple or their parents.
  • If a mutual friend hasn't been invited, it is because the bride and groom don't want him at their wedding, so it is in bad manners to bring him as your plus one.
  • It can be hurtful to the plus one to be told they weren't invited because they aren't liked, so don't push it.
  • Make it clear that if a guest is bringing a plus one, s/he sends a gift from the bridal registry from both the original guest and his/her plus one.
  • The plus one can certainly send his own gift from the bridal registry, as a thank-you for having been invited, but don't count on it.


At this age when your guests are apt to be in one of the various stages of complicated, dramatic or knotty coupledom or uncoupling or single, choose your plus ones carefully.

Who gets a plus one to the wedding?

  • Don't get caught up in being stuck with a revolving guest list of unwanted plus ones -- surprises that you either don't know or don't like.
  • Do give a plus one to a friend's SO when they've been together for over six months and you've met him or her more than once.
  • Don't give an open plus one because you're stuck if you know the plus one and don't like him or her.
  • Do give a guest traveling from afar, who may not know people at your wedding, the option of having a plus one.
  • Don't think you have to offer all of your extended family members plus ones, the fact that they're family means that they'll have people to talk to at the wedding anyway.
  • Do ask single participants in your bridal party if they would like a plus one, and get the name and address of the person to whom you can send an invitation.
  • Don't get talked into giving someone a plus one once the list has been finalized, which is after the cutoff date for the reply card return. Even if he says, "She's the one. I can't wait for you to meet her."


Important: On your wedding website, in person, and by word of mouth, get the word out that it is a "small wedding" and that you are not giving out many plus ones because you have a tight and concise guest list. 

  • Often the size of the list depends upon the fire code of the venue where the reception is taking place. 
  • Leave your answer at that. 
  • A small wedding is in the eye of the beholder. What a small wedding may be to you, might look like a big wedding to me.


Be clear, your actual invitation list is key to controlling the amount of plus ones: 

Couple: With a good pen print the names of the guests who are invited on the outside and inside envelopes (if you're using two both).

                                                             Mr. Matthew J. Whitman (guest)


                                                            Ms. Annie Louise Kelley (plus one)

                                                                          (their address)

For a family: when residing at the same address, list on the inside and outside envelopes the names of the children you wish to invite. For instance you may not have accommodations for small children and babies. You can also list, or just list, those names in the upper left hand corner of the actual invitation:

                                                              Mr. and Mrs. William Wilson

                                                             Miss Alice Wilson (under19) 

                                                             Mr. William Wilson, Jr.   (14)

                                                            Master Jake Wilson (under 12)

                                                        (the address on the outside envelope)


The Attendant-Free Wedding

Q. My fiancé and I are planning our smallish wedding. We're in our mid-thirties and have figured out our budget. We've decided that we don't want attendants. We went to too many weddings where attendants and family members stirred up drama which caused bad vibes. Here's our reasoning:

  • We've both been attendants ourselves so we understand that the cost, especially if you have to travel to a wedding, is a huge commitment, anywhere between $1,000-$2,000 per wedding.
  • Friends who thought they were close friends had hurt feelings because they hadn't been chosen to be in the wedding party. 
  • On the other hand, we know that it is hard to say no when someone asks you to be their maid-of-honor or best man. 
  • Does my college roommate, at whose wedding I was a bridesmaid, assume she is one of my bridesmaids? Several friends are pregnant, making choosing the bridesmaid's dresses a nightmare. 
  • Others have small children that will have to be fed.


We've decided that our wedding should be an inclusive wedding of our truly closest family and friends. And where certain guests are not signaled out as more special than others. Everyone will be treated equally. 

Quite frankly, I don't want to have to even invite my best friend from high school and my fiancé doesn't want to be guilt tripped into inviting all of his first cousins, their spouses and children. It would be easer not to have attendants but let those who wish to give a reading or be an usher, offer to do so. What do you think?  AS, Watch Hill, RI


A.  The older you are when marrying, the greater the expectations for the wedding, because you've accumulated more relationships and family members. Historically, attendants were appointed to protect the wedding couple from evil spirits. Practically thinking, you really don't need to have all those attendants!

  • Whether you have six attendants each or twelve each, you'll be spending too much energy on keeping everyone happy. For you, it may be better to have none.
  • Make everyone happy by sparing your friends the huge commitment of being an attendant.
  • You can get yourselves down the aisle without attendants.
  • Avoid drama, invite only your best friends.
  • Ask yourselves, Are attendants more of a hassle than an honor?
  • The current trend: Fifty percent of couples choose not to have large weddings with attendants.


View Larger +


Q. When did the expression "You're welcome" slide from fashion? When I thank someone for helping me in some small or large way and I say, "Thank you," I miss hearing the reply "You're welcome." How do we bring back saying "You're Welcome"?  Grace, Hilton Head, SC


A.  Don't stop using "You're welcome." Preserve the dialogue of gratitude. Keep using "You're welcome," and people won't take it for granted.

What you have to remember about saying "you're welcome," is that it ends the dialogue. What do you say in response to "You're welcome"? You don't have to say anything.



Q.  A person of real substance, whom we knew only peripheral, was felled by a tree and killed during a nor' easter last week. We knew him socially by sight, but never really had a conversation with him or his wife. They had no children. Their dog died last month. You never saw the widow without her husband who is now deceased. 

My question is that you don't want to be the person who goes to the funeral and the reception just to be seen. How do we show our respect without seeming ostentatious, and yet caring?  Name Withheld


A. If you have time, attend the funeral, but since you're uncomfortable about being seen for the wrong reasons, don't go to the reception. Either way, send a sympathy card with your condolences.


Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her forthcoming book.

From: [email protected] Sent: Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 11:39 am To:


Related Slideshow: Some of the Most Interesting GoLocal LIVE Interviews—The First 1,000

View Larger +
Prev Next

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny, former Prime Minister - the Taoiseach - of Ireland, joined GoLocal LIVE to discuss the growing trade opportunities sparked by the new direct air travel between Rhode Island's T.F. Green via Norwegian Air.


Kenny has been instrumental with his support for the Ireland West International Trade Center in Rhode Island and the RI Trade Center in Mayo.

At the time of the interview, a Rhode Island trade mission was visiting Ireland led in part by Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, who also appeared on LIVE.

Kenny served as Prime Minister from 2011 until earlier 2017.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Amanda Clayton, Actress

Johnston native Amanda Clayton was almost ready to give up on her acting dreams when she got the call to travel to Atlanta to meet Tyler Perry and test-read with other actors for the then-new show “If Loving You Is Wrong," an opportunity that has been life and career changing for Clayton. 

Having moved to New York at 19, five days before 9/11, she studied on-camera acting at New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and TV opportunities in Hollywood.


She appeared in Disney’s “John Carter," multiple TV appearances like NCIS: New Orleans, Major Crimes, and The Mentalist, and as Vinny Pazienza’s sister in “Bleed for This” filmed and based right here in Rhode Island.

Clayton just finished a Lifetime Movie “Mommy’s Little Angel”, coming out next year, and finished a role behind-the-scenes as a producer for “Dirty Dead Con Men.”

 “If Loving You Is Wrong” airs Tuesday nights on OWN.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Billy Gilman, Grammy Nominee

When your career begins at age 11 as the youngest artist to reach #1 on the Billboard charts and continues on through adulthood, it’s almost difficult to believe one could still have professional firsts, but RI native and “The Voice” Alum, Billy Gilman, did just that with his first ever arena concert at the Dunkin Donuts Center.


View Larger +
Prev Next

Johanne Killeen, Al Forno

Johanne Killeen of Al Forno shared both the story on GoLocal LIVE's "The Taste," of how grilled pizza began -- as well as the announcement on her new cookbook highlighting pizza.

She told the story of how one of America's greatest restaurants was started and where it is going in the future. 


View Larger +
Prev Next

South African Penguins

Mystic Aquarium’s Penguin Trainers Eric Fox and Josh Davis visited GoLocal LIVE with Blue-Purple and Blue-Red penguins, talking about how you can help the Endangered South African species.


They also discussed trips to South Africa, what it’s like working with penguins, and what’s on the penguin’s lunch menu.

Mystic Aquarium’s mission is to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet through education, conservation and research. To help accomplish that mission, Mystic Aquarium offers educational opportunities and fundraising events to continue their conservation work and teach the public about the ocean’s creatures.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Jai Rodriguez, Actor

“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” alum, Jai Rodriguez, joined GoLocal LIVE to talk about his new show “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man’’ currently running in Vegas until January of 2018. 

Rodriguez co-stars in the audience-participation heavy live show with reality TV personality, Kendra Wilkinson, and says the subject matter of the show is perfect for the crowd in Vegas. 


Rodriguez will also be appearing on the new CBS drama “Wisdom of the Crowd” and makes a cameo as Margaret Cho’s Husband in “Sharknato 5.”

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor Lincoln Chafee

Lincoln Chafee, former Mayor, U.S. Senator and Governor, took Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration to task for promoting economic growth by funneling tax dollars to some of America’s richest corporations, in one of a number of appearances on GoLocal LIVE.


Appearing on GoLocal LIVE with GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle, Chafee said the Raimondo’s transfer of taxpayers dollars to billion dollar companies such as General Electric and Johnson & Johnson was flawed.

“I have never liked corporate welfare. It's unfair to existing businesses…some out of state business comes in and you give them the candy store. I just don’t like it," said Chafee.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero

As only the 10th person to serve as the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero said it’s been amazing to learn responsibilities of the position and get to know the staff at the National Archives. He appeared on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O'Brien at GoLocal's downtown Providence studio.


“The most exciting thing is getting to know the records and getting to know the richness of the documentation that tells our country’s history, starting with the oaths of allegiance signed at Valley Forge by George Washington and the troops, all the way up to the tweets that are being created as I am speaking, in the White House,” Ferriero said.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Governor Gina Raimondo

Governor Gina Raimondo joined GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle on LIVE where she discussed the UHIP technology failure, economic development, the status of 38 Studios, and how she works to build a lasting legacy for Rhode Island. 


View Larger +
Prev Next

Walt Mossberg, Top Tech Journalist

Who are five of the most influential people to change personal technology? The most important journalist gave his insight on personal tech to date and outlined where we are going.

Super tech journalist and Rhode Island native Walt Mossberg appeared on GoLocal LIVE with GoLocal's News Editor Kate Nagle.


"Well, it was a combination of really important people - and really important technology," said Mossberg. "It took too long for the computer industry to get the memo that these things had to be usable without reading manuals."

Mossberg, who served as the principal technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 2013, founded AllThingsD, Recode, and the D and Code Conferences, and from 2015 to 2017, was Executive Editor of The Verge.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Gretchen Morgenson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist

Gretchen Morgenson, a top financial writer for the New York Times [now the Wall Street Journal], joined GoLocal LIVE just hours after her newspaper published her investigative piece that unveiled that claims that financial giant TIAA was involved in improper financial practices took on new momentum.


Rhode Island’s Treasurer Seth Magaziner has nearly $700 million invested with TIAA.

Morgenson was first to report that, “New York’s attorney general has subpoenaed TIAA, the giant insurance company, and investment firm, seeking documents and information relating to its sales practices…”

In October, she wrote a sweeping investigative piece that raised questions about TIAA’s selling strategies. “The subpoena to TIAA, which handles retirement accounts for over four million workers at 15,000 nonprofit institutions across the country, followed an article last month in The New York Times that raised questions about the firm’s selling techniques,” wrote Morgenson.

On GoLocal LIVE, Morgenson told News Editor Kate Nagle in a Skype interview, “I think clients in all states should be worried -- Mr. [Seth] Magaziner should do a little more investigation into this to assure himself and the people in Rhode Island in these plans - that what TIAA is [telling them] is correct.”

View Larger +
Prev Next

Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Ron Powers said his recent book, “No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America” is one he promised himself he would never write.


The book is based on the true story of his two sons' struggles with mental illness. Both were diagnosed with Schizophrenia as young men.

While deeply personal, Powers gave insight on the battles his sons’ fought and details into their family life. He also looked at the history of mental illness, including incarceration, medication and more. 

"I was determined to give the mentally ill, invisible to much of society and often denied the very basic acknowledgment of their own humanity, a voice,” Powers said.

Powers is the author or co-author of 14 previous books, including New York Times bestselling “Flags of our Fathers” and “True Compass."

View Larger +
Prev Next

Lidia Bastianich, Chef and Author

Lidia Bastianich, Emmy award-winning chef, restaurateur, and author joined GoLocal LIVE's The Taste with Rick Simone.


Bastianich explained how she was inspired by family traditions and how she first got into the culinary world. She has since carried on her passion and it now has involved to include her whole family in all her endeavors.

Big news -- Bastianich announced that Eataly could be opening in Toronto, Canada in 2018.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Piff the Magic Dragon

Magician and comedian Piff the Magic Dragon appeared on LIVE before he performed five shows at the Comedy Connection in East Providence over Labor Day Weekend. 

“New show, all new jokes, all new tricks, same dog,” Piff said. “Mr. Piffles will be doing a lot of mind reading. He’s got his whole new act with The Dog Who Knows and he’ll be attempting to see all and know all. Ask him anything and he’ll tell you.” 

Known for his dry sense of humor and rescue K-9 sidekick Mr. Piffles, Piff gained worldwide attention after his success on season 10 of America’s Got Talent. 

Although Piff didn’t win that season, he’s made guest appearances on America’s Got Talent, racked up 50 million YouTube views, and recently extended his show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas until the end of 2018.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Jean Lesieur, French Journalist

Leading French journalist Jean Lesieur has appeared twice on GoLocal LIVE. 

He is a novelist and a co-founder of France 24, the French version of CNN, warned of the rise of Trump and nationalism.


“He is the symptom and agent of the emerging nationalism. And, nationalism should not be considered patriotism. Patriotism is the love of your own. Nationalism is the hatred of others,” said Lesieur at the Hope Club.

In a sweeping discussion with GoLocal, he spoke about Europe in the Brexit, the Trump relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the wild French election campaign.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Patrick Kennedy, Former Congressman

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy spoke with GoLocal LIVE about efforts in Rhode Island in 2017 to legalize marijuana - and what he said is the country’s crisis of addiction, and why he is opposed to marijuana legalization. 


“We’re going through an epidemic of addiction and depression…and we’re in the midst of the rollback the biggest expansion of healthcare coverage that benefits people with mental illness [and] addiction, and this was the first time the ever got coverage,” Kennedy told GoLocal’s Kate Nagle on Wednesday.

“We ought to think do we want to throw gasoline on the fire,” said Kennedy, of legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island. “We know what’s happened with other addictive substances where’s basically there’s no perception of ‘risk’ — alcohol is ubiquitous; tobacco, until the settlements, there was no appetite for addressing [the impact of that].”

“Going down this road of adding a new intoxicant is not a good thing,” said Kennedy.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Former Spelman College President

Former president of Spelman College, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., is one of the nation’s leading experts on race, and the psychology of race.

Tatum recently released a fully revised and updated edition of her bestselling book “Why Are the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race.” 


In an interview with LIVE, Tatum said it’s important to have conversations about race and listen for opportunities to have natural discussions.

“We can’t solve a problem if we can’t talk about it,” the Brock International Prize in Education winner said. 

To make a change, she said, we all have a role to play and each of us has an opportunity.

“We all have a sphere of influence. Everybody influences someone, and we should not be afraid to use that influence to bring about the changes we hope to see,” she said.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Mark Baillie, Top British Security Expert

Terrorism and international relations expert Mark Baillie of King's College in London's War Studies Department spoke with GoLocal's Kate Nagle regarding the post-Manchester landscape in England - and the world. 

"The young guy...did it in his mother's basement. Any lone actor can make a powerful bomb," said Baillie following the terrorism incident. "We're in the midst of a general election where politicians talk about there being no political or cultural backlash."


"And estimated 300 people are 'ready to go' -  400 who have been fighting with Isis in Syria  -- and in a group of about 20,000 supporters," noted Baillie of the UK landscape, calling Manchester and acts like it the "terrorism of the mundane" -- and much more frightening than "spectacular" acts of terrorism. 

Baillie, who runs seminars on a wide range of security matters at King's and at the UK Joint Staff College, has lived or worked in more than 14 countries in the fields of news, security, finance, economics, business and politics and appears widely in international news media on terrorism and international security.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Mark Geragos, Celebrity Attorney

Geragos is one of Hollywood's biggest celebrity lawyers having represented rapper Chris Brown and Michael Jackson over the years. When asked about his relationship with the often legal troubled Brown, Geragos said that the rapper is "like a son and an annuity" to him.

In reference to a lawsuit that he is representing Alex and Ani over, Geragos said, "For lack of a better word, we've got a couple of knuckleheads, [and] it's not at the forefront of anything we're worried about."

"Unfortunately when you become successful people want to take an elevator to the penthouse and that won't happen here, trust me," said Geragos.

Geragos explained how he met Alex and Ani CEO Carolyn Rafaelian - and spoke to how the "company culture" brought him in.

"I was at a charity event at Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard -- she was doing a fundraiser for an Armenian orphanage," said Geragos. "They have a unique blend of doing humanitarian work...Carolyn was the hit in New York this week."

Model, entrepreneur and activist Gisele Bündchen, co-anchor of Good Morning America Robin Roberts; and Rafaelian were among the women recognized Tuesday in New York City by the David Lynch Foundation (DLF), a global charitable organization that addresses the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress amongst at-risk populations.

View Larger +
Prev Next

Amazing Regulars

Each week, GoLocal LIVE features an amazing group of experts in Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

Robert Whitcomb, former Editorial Page Editor of the Providence Journal, now GoLocalProv columnist

Gary Sasse, "The Money Man," an expert on state and federal fiscal policy

Jennifer Lawless, Director of the Women & Politics Institute and Professor of Political Science at American University

Ray Rickman, Former State Representative, Deputy Secretary of State, and Civil Rights Leader

Kristin MacRae, Organizing Expert

Saul Kaplan, Business Innovation Expert

Robin Garceau, Interior Design Expert  


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.


Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox