When you begin planning your wedding, you may find a long list of everyone you plan to invite. You don’t want anyone to feel left out, and you have a lot of friends and family to choose from. The problem is that having a lot of guests gets expensive in a hurry. Not only do you need to find a large enough venue, but you also cover more plates, seating, and other costs. Make narrowing down your wedding guest list easy with our stress-free tips!
Have Adults-Only Rules
Adult-only weddings have become more popular for several reasons. First, this allows you to cut the guest list without hurting many people’s feelings. Additionally, having an adult-only wedding makes it easier for everyone to let loose without worrying about their little ones. Set a minimum age requirement based on your preferences.
Some couples provide childcare to guests for the reception but allow kids at the ceremony. You may also have to do this if you have people from out of town since they won’t have their regular babysitter to watch the kids.
Ask Yourself Some Questions
Another stress-free tip to narrow down your wedding guest list is to ask yourself a few questions before finalizing that list. Ask yourself the following questions about each person:
- How long have you known each other?
- Will they be a part of your future?
- Can you picture your day without them?
- Would you expect an invite to their wedding?
Read through your list with your partner and ask these questions about each person you’ve written down. If you haven’t known them long or wouldn’t miss them, your vision of the perfect day remains the same without them.
Say “No” to Plus Ones
Only allow a plus one if you’re close to the guest and their partner. So if you have a close friend who you enjoy doing double dates with, allow them to bring their partner. However, every guest coming shouldn’t necessarily have an opportunity to do the same. This is expensive, and weddings should only include individuals close to the couple.
Limit Your Parent’s Friends
Often, the couple’s parents invite a few of their friends, especially when they front the bill for the event. This is perfectly fine, and you may be close to some of your parent’s friends, but you should have a limit on how many people they can invite. Remind your parents that you’ve had to weed out people in your social circle, and they’ll have to do the same. You should have the people you most want on your special day.
This conversation can feel tricky, especially when your parents pay for the wedding or most of it. Talk with them to help to mutually agree on how many people they can invite. You can also help them eliminate people from their guest list to keep the celebration intimate.
Only Invite People You Want There
Although this may sound a bit obvious, many couples may feel pressured to invite certain relatives or friends out of obligation. The thing is, this is your day, and you don’t have to ask anyone to come. While a friend may have invited you to their wedding several years ago, you don’t need them at yours if you haven’t spoken much in more than three years.
Once you’ve jotted down everyone you think you want to invite, organize guests into categories:
- Who you need at the wedding (VIPs)
- Who you’d like at the wedding
- Who you can live without at the wedding
The VIPs are, without question, getting invitations, and some may even stand by your side as part of the wedding party. The “who you’d like there” category refers to guests you want, but your day will go on just fine without them. Finally, guests you feel indifferent about are individuals you can weed out; you’ve only considered inviting them out of obligation.
A Final Note on Invitations
Knowing the number of guests you’ll invite helps you find the best wedding venue since you can best determine the appropriate size of the venue’s capacity. Unfortunately, this often means weeding out some people. It’s easy to feel guilty when you decide not to invite someone, but your wedding is about two people: you and your partner. You shouldn’t suffer blows to the budget because you feel obligated to ask people you barely talk to or know.
If you need to step away from the guest list a few times while narrowing it, that’s perfectly fine. Doing this gives you a clear mind and fresh eyes each time you reevaluate who you want in attendance. By carefully evaluating the guest list, you’ll ensure you invite the right people to support you as you begin this new journey in life.