One of the parts of a wedding that can rack up the most significant portion of the bill is the guest list. While it may seem necessary to invite everybody in both families and every friend you’ve ever made, economically, it may not be feasible. Plus, the bigger the wedding guest list, the more potential there is for drama.
There is much to consider when building your perfect invite list. Check out Everyday Bride’s three stress-free tips for creating your wedding guest list.
Learn To Say “You’re Not Invited” Without Explicitly Saying It
Managing expectations is essential early on in your engagement. Even before you’ve finalized the list or sent out invites, you likely have a decent idea of who is and is not getting a save-the-date from you. When some drops hints about attending your big day, you can politely tell them they are not getting an invite without being rude or starting a confrontation by using these phrases.
- We can’t wait to share wedding pictures with you after we return from our honeymoon.
- We are planning a very intimate ceremony.
- Our budget is limiting the guest list to close family and lifelong friends only, but we look forward to catching up with you soon.
- Our venue is small, so our guest list will be limited.
- We can’t wait to celebrate with you after the big day.
There are many ways to dance around the awkwardness, but telling the cold, hard truth is acceptable, too. It is your wedding, and nobody is entitled to an invite (except the person you’re marrying)!
Make Your Rules Consistent
Keeping consistency in your rulings can help avoid any conflicts or unnecessary stressors. Here are a few things to make blanket rulings on.
- Kids: Are they invited? If so, what are the age restrictions and expectations from parents?
- Plus ones: Does anyone get them? What are the requirements for somebody to get a plus one?
- Parent’s friends: How many people are parents allowed to invite, and what are the restrictions or requirements?
Prepare for Pushback
No matter how many people you can invite, there will always be someone who feels entitled to an invite but does not receive one. Inevitably, there will be pushback. Here are some strategies to lessen the hard feelings while standing firm with your decisions.
- Create a united front with your future spouse. Decide on guestlists together and decide what you will say to upset people so that the message is clear and consistent.
- Cite your rules. For example, if somebody is upset that they did not receive a plus one, refer to your ruling on plus ones for all guests. Or, if someone is distressed that they cannot bring their children, let them know your verdict on kids.
- Stay firm. Sometimes, no matter what you do, the person will feel hurt. If someone is still mad after you and your betrothed have explained your rules, simply let them be mad. You set boundaries—stick to them.
Pro Tip: Sometimes, all you can do is say, “I understand that you are upset. I hope this won’t put a wedge in our relationship going forward, but our guest list is final.”
Making a guest list for any event creates strain, especially for something as monumental as your wedding. Remember that you’re not alone in this process. Your fiancé is there in that boat with you. It’s okay to lean on each other when you’re feeling overwhelmed or when relationships seem affected by the invitation list. These three stress-free tips for creating your wedding guest list are meant to encourage you and remind you that it is possible to create a meaningful list while maintaining your important relationships.