One of the most difficult parts of wedding planning is deciding who to invite to your big day. My fiance and I have found that we are unable to invite as many people as we would like due to budgetary and venue restrictions. Here are some methods I have used to trim my guest list and avoid hurt feelings.
No Plus Ones
The easiest and fastest way to cut down on the number of guests at your wedding is to establish a “no plus ones” rule. My guest list rule is simple: “No ring, no bring!” This means that a plus one is allowed only if the invitee is engaged or married to the person they wish to bring along.
Another good way to keep the guest list (and cost) down is to ask your guests to leave their children at home. Making your special day for adults only is beneficial in two ways. First, you do not have to pay for the kids’ meals. Second, this reduces the chances of unnecessary distractions during your vows (think screaming toddler).
Make an “A list,” “B list,” etc
It is a good idea to make a series of lists to organize your potential guests by their varying levels of importance. My “A list,” for example, contains my immediate family and close friends. My “B list” contains my coworkers and more distant friends. You can use these lists to help determine for yourself which people you really need to have at your wedding.
If someone from your “A list” can’t make it, invite someone from the “B list” instead. Using this method will ensure that you are surrounded by your most significant loved ones on your special day.
No Bullies Allowed
“When is your wedding?” “Have you sent out save the dates?” These are questions that you may be asked by people trying to bully their way into being invited to your wedding. If you weren’t planning on inviting them anyway, politely explain that while you would love for them to be there, your venue and budget simply won’t allow it. Do not give in to those attempting to strong-arm you into sending them an invitation.
Married Friends Will Understand
Hurt feelings are obviously a major concern when trimming a wedding guest list. Remember though, that your friends who are already married have likely endured guest list dilemmas of their own and will understand if they don’t make the cut.
Married friends are also a great resource to turn to when you aren’t sure if you’re making a guest list faux pas or not. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them.