Should I Bring a Friend as a Wedding Date?

3 easy etiquette tips for properly having a friend as a date for a wedding.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #246


April showers bring May flowers and May flowers bring weddings. In the past couple of months, and even now, your mailbox has probably gotten flooded with wedding invitations, as tons of happy couples take advantage of the great weather.

But sometimes the happiness of attending a wedding can be overshadowed by the fear of seeing a spot for a “Plus 1” on the reply card.


Let me first say that there is no set rule that says you have to bring a date to a wedding. In fact, most people paying for the reception will be happy if you don’t –it saves money and potentially upgrades someone from the “Maybe” list to the “Yes” list. Still, I understand that you don’t want to sit out every slow song while others are looking lovingly into each other’s eyes, so you check the Plus 1 box and, having no real date in mind, settle for bringing someone who is just a friend. But before you grab your table number and sign the reception book, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for how to properly handle bringing a friend as your date to a wedding.

Tip #1: Are There Strings Attached?

Here’s a fact: People can actually be just friends and not engage in any romantic situations.

Here’s another fact: People who are just friends but then go to a wedding together and have to share a hotel room after a night of drinking, tend to cross the line from “just friends” to “friends with benefits.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed a friend who took a friend to a wedding become much more than that. Maybe one person led the other one on? Maybe someone always had feelings for the other but never the guts to act on them…until they drank one too many glasses of bubbly? Maybe it’s a mix of the two. Either way, nothing can ruin a friendship faster than awkward small talk about where you stand in your relationship, or how you will be introduced to others at the wedding. Would the introduction be, “This is my friend, Kenny,” or will it be, “This is my date, Kenny.” See the difference? If you don’t, read it again because there is a big difference.

News flash folks: A wedding is not the right occasion to discuss the exact parameters of your relationship with someone. If you feel there’s more to a wedding date than simply being good pals who high five after every shot of tequila, then you better hammer out those details prior to checking the Plus 1 box. There should be no strings attached if you don’t want there to be. And if there are strings – the kind that hang off the sides ever so slightly – make sure you let them lie for the evening.

As I said, a wedding is terrible time to test someone to see if they are relationship material.  I suggest before you go to the wedding to have an open conversation about where you stand. Say something like, “I’m so glad you can go to the wedding with me! It will be good just to have a good friend to chill out with and who won’t mind if my hair doesn’t look its best.” That statement is for men and women. Guys care about our hair, too. And for the ladies, if you suspect your male friend has any romantic feelings for you at all, do them a favor and don’t bring him to the wedding and introduce him as “a good friend.” You’ll surely take the wind out of his sail. But if you are both just friends and on the same wavelength, then it shouldn’t be a problem.