So you've been given a plus-one to a wedding. Perhaps you have someone in your life you've been seeing for a while, or maybe you have someone you've just started dating who you could possibly invite. Do you actually take advantage of your plus-one or do you go solo? I think it all depends on how well you think your date will handle the situation. The best wedding date plus-ones all tend to have a few qualities in common, and if the plus-one you're considering is lacking in these qualities, they might end up being more of a drag than a fun companion.
It's hard to say whether bringing someone you're casually dating to a wedding is a good idea. But going solo to a wedding can sometimes be awkward, and having a fun plus-one can make all of the difference in how much you enjoy yourself. My husband and I let a friend bring her casual date to our wedding, and he ended up being the life of the party (and now they're engaged, so I'd say it worked out). Even if the date you have in mind isn't trained in ballroom dancing and fine dining etiquette, they might just make the perfect plus-one if they boast these important traits.
This one should be pretty obvious, but a great plus-one should be able to navigate social situations with relative ease. Will the date you have in mind tag along beside you silently, or will they be able to engage your friends in conversation? Think about group settings you two have been in before — do they tend to hang back, or are they sociable enough to join in on the fun, even if they don't know anyone all that well? Though you probably shouldn't expect your plus-one to be able to chat up the bride's great aunt unassisted, you won't want to feel as though you're babysitting your date all night long.
Nothing ruins a wedding quite like a jerk. If you think that your date is likely to talk during the ceremony or get sassy with the bartenders, it's probably better to leave them at home. A good wedding date will remember the expense that has gone into the event and show their hosts the proper respect — they are a guest, after all, and food and drinks aren't free for the hosts. Find yourself a plus-one that you can rely on to thank the couples' parents and pay attention during speeches rather than scroll through Instagram. Gratitude matters, and a disrespectful date will definitely get you unwanted attention.
They Can Practice Moderation
No one wants to be the drunkest person at the party, and that person definitely shouldn't be your date. Yes, it's tempting when there's an open bar to have a few drinks too many, but you should trust the person you take to a wedding to know when enough is enough. Understand that they may need some liquid courage to loosen up — being around an unfamiliar crowd isn't easy. However, if you bring a plus-one that's likely to start slurring their words before cocktail hour even ends, you'll end up having to watch them like a hawk all night rather than enjoy yourself.
They Don't Take Themselves Too Seriously
Your plus-one doesn't necessarily have to keep everyone in stitches all night, but a good date should be able to join you on the dance floor and make silly faces in the photo booth without worrying about people judging them. You might be the only person that they know at the wedding, so they should be able to relax and have fun, right? If the person you're considering bringing as a plus-one is quick to smile and down with being goofy, they're probably a winner. If they're more concerned with looking cool, your plus-one might end up being a dud.
Though you should be attentive to a plus-one, you should also be able to socialize with your friends without worrying about whether you're paying your date enough attention. If you're stuck with a clingy date, you're probably going to miss out on a lot of the fun of the wedding. A good plus-one won't need coddling or handholding, because they'll be able to manage themselves. If that means letting you chat and dance with your friends for a bit while they grab a drink, your date should be cool with that. You brought them as a date, after all, not a shadow.
They Make A Lasting Impression
A great plus-one will be remembered, and no, not because they hijacked the father-of-the-bride's speech or passed out during the reception. The couple probably isn't expecting your plus-one to lead the conga line, but you don't want your date to be so reserved that people forgot you even brought a plus-one.
If you're given the option of bringing a date to a wedding, choose your plus-one wisely. A gregarious and gracious date can turn a good wedding into a great one, just as a mopey or messy date can cause major embarrassment.