There are budgets and spacing limitations to consider.

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Let's say you're single and without a significant other. One day you get a wedding invitation addressed just to you—no "and Guest" following your name—and the disappointment begins to set in. All your friends going to the wedding are engaged or married, and you'll be the only one who's not part of a couple. Can you ask to bring someone? Or maybe the bride is a friend you used to work with and you're the only former coworker who was invited; in that case, is it okay to ask about bringing a date so you have someone to talk to all night? Or perhaps you have to journey far to a destination wedding and don't want to travel alone—can you bring a friend? While it's never really appropriate to flat-out ask to bring a plus-one—the couple has a budget or the location may allow only a limited number of guests—in some cases, it's not the worst thing in the world.

The situation: You don't want to be the only single guest in your crowd.

The verdict? Don't ask. Even though it may seem unfair that you weren't invited with a plus-one, since everyone else at your table is a couple, think of it from the bride and groom's perspective: If you brought someone to the wedding who they didn't know, there would be a virtual stranger taking part in one of the most important days of their lives. Another point: You'll be dancing with your girlfriends as a group most of the time. You'll be fine.

The situation: You won't know anyone but the bride—and she can't spend all night with you.

The verdict? It's okay to ask. Your friend has a lot on her to-do list and thinking about who you would socialize with at the wedding probably didn't occur to her. If you're really uncomfortable going to a wedding solo and don't care to meet new people, ask the bride if she could squeeze in one more guest.

The situation: The wedding is in the Caribbean—a six-hour flight away from home—and you would feel better traveling with a friend.

The verdict? It's okay to ask. Many people love traveling alone but if you're not one of them, you may be hesitant to check off the "Yes" box on the RSVP card. If you'd feel better with a traveling companion, it's not unreasonable to ask to bring a plus one. Just be prepared to get a "no"—the extra expense may throw the couple's budget out of whack.


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