Unless you’ve got unlimited funds, there’s no way you’re ever going to be able to invite every single person you know to your wedding. While it would be amazing to have everyone you know and love in attendance, even couples with the biggest of budgets have to draw the line somewhere.
Figuring out your guest list isn’t as fun as shopping for your wedding dress or the cake-tasting, but the paring-down process can be a whole lot easier than you think. The key is to make a set of cutting rules — and actually stick to them until you reach your magic number. Deciding on a set of rules for both to agree on is the hard part.
Rest assured that a guest list that is bulging at the seams is a common wedding planning occurrence, and believe it or not it can be remedied somewhat painlessly.
Here are a few common tips that may help you narrow down your guest list. Mull them over together and figure out the ones that will work best for you.
- Focus On The People Who Mean The Most to You
This is your day after all and you want people there that are going to genuinely appreciate sharing this once in a lifetime moment with you and truly add to the magic of the event. Just because you invite a cousin from one side of the family, it doesn’t mean that you have to invite a cousin from the other side. Despite what your parents might think, some friends will be more valued guests than certain family members, especially if those family members are long lost cousins or people that didn’t even know you were engaged! Focus on the people that are present in your life now.
- Consider Who’s Paying The Bill
When getting down to the nitty gritty you have to make tough decisions about who makes the cut and who doesn’t, in this case it’s always good etiquette to think about who is paying for the event. Traditionally the person whose parents foot the bill means that they have a little more say over who’s in and who’s out, but the same should be applied to whoever is funding the wedding. If you’re funding the wedding yourself you’ll have to be as diplomatic as possible about the weighting of the guest list to ensure that both you and your future spouse are happy.
- Cut Down The +1s
Don’t feel obliged to invite all unmarried guests with a +1. Instead invite them solo and seat them together so they will mix and mingle. Depending on the guest, it may or may not be a big deal. If in the instance you have a friend travelling all the way across the country or to another country and they won’t know anyone else at the wedding except you, then it may be an good idea to make allowances in this case.
- Would You Be Offended If You Weren’t Invited To Their Wedding?
Ask yourself how you would feel if you weren’t handed an invitation to their wedding. Your answer should indicate how important it is to invite them to yours. Wedding invites tend to be reciprocated so if you would feel upset about being missed off of their guest list, it might be a good idea to include them on yours. Obviously this method doesn’t work if you’re super sensitive and would be offended by not getting an invite to everyone’s wedding!
- Make Your Wedding Adults-Only
One of the quickest ways a wedding guest list can spiral out of control is when you start factoring in everybody’s children. While you may ideally like to invite everyone and their families, where do you draw the line? By hosting an adult-only wedding you’re making the decision easy and ensuring that there’s more seats available for other guests. One great way to deal with the issue is to arrange for a ‘babysitter room’ somewhere at the venue where guests can drop off their children for the duration of the wedding and reception dinner, before allowing the kids to come and join in on the evening entertainment.
- Consider a Smaller Wedding
Cutting your guest list right down to just your family and closest friends is one of the most effective methods for keeping the list a manageable size and avoiding offending people at the same time. By organizing a more intimate event, it’s much simpler to decide on the list, and those who don’t get an invite will understand the situation. You can always organize a cocktail party to celebrate the big news with your wider circle of friends and colleagues once you get back from your honeymoon.
- Don’t Let Yourself Be Pressured
Lastly, don’t feel pressured to invite someone that you really aren’t excited about, or just because you were invited to their wedding. You may feel bad about cutting people, but the reality is that it is one of the best ways to save lots of money so you can still have the wedding of your dreams.
Remember, in the end, this day is about you and your love alone. It is more important for you two than it is for any of the wedding guests you are considering inviting.
Just be happy!