You’ve probably heard that the most effective way to trim your wedding expenses is by trimming your overall guest list. So, how do you do that when you are unsure of who gets to bring a guest to your wedding and who doesn’t?

Our rule of thumb is that the wedding guest and his/her “plus one” should be in a committed relationship. This helps you to make consistent choices, and remove the subjectivity out of your “plus one” decisions.

So, how do you determine that?

Married. This one is pretty obvious when determining “plus one” invitations. And yes, we encourage our couples to extend a “plus one” invitation to a married couple even if the bride or groom haven’t met the spouse yet.

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Engaged. Treat engaged couples in the same manner that you treat married couples.

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Couples in Long Term Relationships. Remember Pippa Middleton’s “No Ring, No Bring” policy? I get it, but I think it is kind of limiting — especially since so many couples are in long-term committed relationships, but they have no intention of ever getting married. So, how do you determine if the “long-term” relationship is worthy of the “plus one” rule? Our rule of thumb is that the couple should be in a relationship at least a year or they are living together. Either way, the final decision is up to you — Whatever you decide, just try to be consistent.

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Wedding Party. In my opinion, members of your wedding party should be an exception to the rule. If your bridesmaid shelled out major dollars for your bridal shower, your bachelorette party, her hotel room, and her bridesmaid gown, then you should consider allowing her to bring a date to your wedding. It’s a gesture that will go a long way.

Love and Soul Always, Kay