London - It starts with a lovely invitation. "Please join us to celebrate our wedding/50th birthday/ housewarming."
"Hurrah," I email back. "I was thinking of P as my plus one — I know how much you like him. Or maybe G since we all spent that weekend away together."
The reply is polite but firm. "Actually, numbers are a bit tight. We wanted to keep things really special and it’s far more fun to meet new people, isn’t it?"
Are they mad? Since when was a buffet supper with complete strangers, or let’s be blunt, couples, my idea of fun? I know I’ll last 15 minutes then, Cinderella-style, will have to go home.
Never underestimate the power of a plus one. It’s your passport to being a good guest. Arriving with a confidant means you can chat freely to new people, top up glasses, flirt with (or fend off) admirers, and generally be a help to the host.
Which is why I was horrified to hear rumours of the death of the plus one at weddings. According to the editor of Scottish Wedding Directory magazine: "Single people are now very rarely given a plus one.
"Couples can’t afford to spend money inviting people they don’t know."
Would you really rather spend money on a gin bar or DIY biscuit decorating station (popular ‘Instagram moments’ for weddings) than on making your friends comfortable?
I understand about the expense, I really do. I’m happy to chip in for my guest. But, friends, if you’re thinking of getting matched, hatched or dispatched, I’m not coming without a pal.
And wedding planners - you know where you can stuff that doughnut wall.