I don’t really understand this issue. If you’re having a small, intimate wedding with only your closest friends and family, then I understand not giving people random plus ones.
First, just because you give someone a plus one, doesn’t mean they can bring anyone – most of the times, when you gie someone in a relationship a plus one, you shouldn’t be writing “and guest” you should be writing “name1 and name2” – you’re not giving them the right to bring whomever, you’re giving them the right to bring their partner.
That aside, if you’re having a larger wedding, and you’re allowing your guests plus ones, there’s really nothing you can do (or should do) about who they bring. If you’re close enough with these friends who keep company with questionable people, I would just say to them, “Hey, I’m giving you a plus one, but just let me know who you decide to bring beforehand so that I can make my escort cards with their names” – then, if they tell you that who they’re bringing is someone you dislike, just say, “I don’t really get along well with that person and would prefer them not at my wedding.”
However, if you’re having a large wedding and giving people plus ones, you’re likely not going to notice the extra people.
I also don’t understand the mentality of not wanting to go to a wedding where you don’t know the couple. It’s more likely that a majority of your time at the wedding will be spent with the person who brought you as their plus one and not the couple themselves.
I do think it’s weird when people bring a friend and not a date, but honestly – who cares? As long as your guest/friend is there to support you, who cares who they bring? If that guest’s plus one gets rowdy, tell your friend to get their plus one out of there. It’s not a big deal.
I think people stress out way too much over plus ones. I’m having an intimate wedding – it’s a destination wedding and we’re only inviting our closest family and friends – between the two of us, we likely won’t have more than 35-50 people attend. I’m giving everyone plus ones. I have a few singles coming and I’ve already told them that they can bring whomever they wat – a date, a friend, whatever. Part of the reason is that they have to fly and stay somewhere for several days, but the other part is that these people are coming to support me in my marriage to my FI and I want to thank them with a fun celebration and allow them to have a good time by bringing whomever they want that they think will help them have a good time. To me, the reception is both a party for the bride & groom to celebrate, but also a thank you to all the people who came to support the marriage (even if they don’t come to the ceremony).
Seriously, it’s a wedding – it’s not a big deal. Yes, it’s a very important day in your life, but I bet there will be other important days in your life, too. Like the birth of your children or when the two of you retire and spend the rest of your days enjoying each other’s company and working. Those are really important days, too.
Just have fun, stop stressing and relax! Life is too short to stress over the little things. At the end of the day, when you look back at your wedding, the most important thing that happened would be that you and your FI got married – the rest won’t be as big of a deal.