Most brides are budget conscious. No matter who is paying for the wedding, be it daddy or the couple themselves, or a combination of the couple's family and the bridal couple, the issue of dollars always comes up. So what to do about +1's?
For those just starting their planning and not conversant with the lingo, a +1 is the guest of a guest. Possibly a date or fiance.
Brides with unlimited budgets can move on now, this post won't interest you. But for those working with a limited budget (not even necessarily a small budget, just a budget) the question of +1's will become an issue.
I'll weigh in with my personal wedding planning solution (we're busy helping my daughter and her fiance plan their wedding now). It's small and intimate. Friends with a significant other they know well are being invited. Random strangers or new significant others, not. It's a hard choice. For my daughter, her fiance and for us. No one wants to leave anyone out. But... there aren't many plus one's being sent out.
Anyone traveling a long distance to be there will receive a plus one invite. The reason? If we're expecting them to travel across the country we'd like them to have their significant other there. And these are also people they know and love. So yes, they're invited. But random dates of cousins? NOT. This isn't the prom. It's their wedding. If they were selling tickets it would be one thing to let everyone bring a date, but this is one of the most important days in their life, they want to share it with the important people in their lives.
For us, this makes sense, as well as cents. Every 'body' at that wedding sends the price up. Yes, I hate to say 'you can't bring someone' but the fact is, in some cases they can't. Is there a hard and fast rule for plus ones? No, it's up to you. That's what makes it so hard! No matter what decision you make there will be someone who is NOT happy with it. So when it's their wedding they can make the call. This isn't. So it's my daughter and her fiance's call, it's not even mine. So Cousin Joe in Peoria...uh we hate to tell you, but your new girlfriend Grizelda is not invited. We know you've known her for three weeks but...
In the end, there really is no rule. There's just what makes sense for your family. So be prepared for someone to be unhappy with your decision and let it roll off your back.
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