Let me guess – you’re having trouble paring down the guest list? Psst! Every couple struggles with this! Fortunately, there are some easy tricks for narrowing the list, and I’m happy to share them with you!
(Note that these are general tips, and your guest list may vary. Bottom line: Invite people you want to spend one of the most memorable days of your life with.)
Here are 10 types of wedding guests you can easily cross off right now:
1. The Long Lost Friend
If you haven’t spoken (or maybe Liked one of their posts?) in over a year, this person is probably not close enough to warrant an invitation. Exception: If you can catch up without skipping a beat, you’ve got a keeper.
2. The Obligatory Guest
If you feel like you must invite someone, chances are you probably wouldn’t invite them without that perceived pressure. Figure out why you feel the way you do, and decide if it really matters. If not, cross ‘em off!
3. The Reciprocal Guest
They invited you to their wedding, so now you feel like you should invite them to yours. Stop that! Invite them only if you really want to.
4. The Nosy Coworker
Does this person know the story of how you and your honey met, or just the color of the table linens you’ve chosen? If you wouldn’t share semi-personal details with your coworker, they get the chopping block! Note: Quit telling coworkers about your wedding details if you don’t plan to invite them! Quit telling coworkers about your wedding details if you don’t plan to invite them! Click To Tweet
5. The Client / The Boss
Clients or bosses you’ve worked with for years may wish you well, but unless you’d catch a drink with them after work – and discuss your personal lives outside of business – they don’t need an invite.
6. The Vendor
This category can be confusing. Wedding vendors who are working through the reception (i.e. band, DJ, entertainers, wedding planners, photographers, etc.) will typically expect or even require a meal. (This is not an extraordinary request, guys – working more than a few hours during a mealtime makes for some serious grumblies!) However, that may be a separate meal from the rest of your guests’ meals (check your contracts to see what your vendors require), and vendors can be seated apart from the guests. Some couples invite other types of vendors (officiant, florist, cake baker) to stay for the reception, but it is neither expected nor required – and it’s not a good idea if you haven’t calculated them into your guest list and budget.
7. The Long Lost Relative
Family invitations might be the top reason for wedding drama, so tread lightly here. Especially if another family member is paying in full or in part for the wedding, you will want to seek their advice about which family members to include on your list. If you’ve never met Great Aunt Hazel – or met her once before you could walk – you can make a good case for not inviting her to your wedding, but you might not want to. It might be worth it to you to make that family connection, and Great Aunt Hazel may be looking forward to hanging out with the rest of the family as well. In some cultures, even distant relatives many times removed are expected to receive invites, so consult the family “historians” before axing relatives from the list. Consult the family 'historians' before axing relatives from the list. Click To Tweet
8. The Kids
Most couples feel strongly about the topic of having kids at the reception, for or against. Some also feel that children don’t belong at the ceremony. Whichever your preference, make it known to your guests in your invitations, and be as consistent as possible in extending (or not) that invite. It’s perfectly acceptable to have an “adult” wedding, especially if it’s a more formal affair.
9. The Plus Ones
Plus ones are as divisive as kids when it comes to guest list creation. The purpose of a plus one is to allow unmarried guests to bring their established partners. (Both parties in married couples would be invited.) In some cases it’s extended as a courtesy to single adults so that they might bring a friend or date, but it’s not necessary for single teens or if your single guest is not currently in a relationship and is also a family member or knows a few other attending guests. Hint: Seat the singleton with the friends or family they know.
10. Anyone and Everyone!
Hear me now: You do not have to have a big wedding! While I love family weddings, more couples are opting for micro weddings or elopements to save money, time, and pressure. If it suits your style and relationship, you can have a wedding all by yourselves! (And an officiant and usually a witness or two.) It’s usually good form to talk with blood relatives before making the final decision to elope, though.
So there you have it: a quick and easy(-ish) way to cut your guest list! Are there any other categories I’ve missed?