The more the merrier? When it comes to bringing along an uninvited guest, well, not so much. Inviting a friend to tag along to a party unannounced is generally a no-no, but there are exceptions to the rule. See whether asking to bring a guest to a party might be an option — or if solo is the only way to go.
Signs Point to Yes: Open House Parties
If you’re attending a large, open-house style party (think New Year’s Eve blowout bash or BBQ) it can be acceptable to bring a plus-one. You should still check with your host beforehand, but the odds are in your favor.
Maaaaybe: Dinner Parties
Bringing along an uninvited guest to a dinner party without asking is a major don’t. The menu (and table settings) have already been planned around the number of attendees, so bringing a plus-one equals a huge headache for your host. If they’re cool with additional guests (such as significant others), they probably would have already said so on the invitation. But if you still really want to bring a guest, call or text your host ahead of time to ask for permission. Stumped on what to say? Give them a hint, but combine it with an easy out in case they’re not on board, like: “I’d love to see you, but my cousin is in town for the weekend. I know it’s a dinner party and you may not have room for more, but do you mind if we stop by after dessert?” Or, “Is this a girls’ night only, or can my new boyfriend tag along?” Your host may still say no, but better safe than sorry.
Don’t Even Think About It: Formal or Intimate Gatherings (such as Weddings, Baby Showers and Birthdays)
Unless you’ve been given the green light in the invitation itself, it’s never OK to bring a guest to a formal or close-friends-and-family-only event — or even to ask.
NEXT: Get more party guest etiquette tips!