Ah, the guest list, every bride’s personal nightmare. Just when you were getting excited to invite your closest friends and family to help you celebrate the biggest day of your life, you realize formulating the perfect guest list is not at all as simple as it sounds. Whether you’re planning to host a small, intimate destination wedding, or a lavish affair in your hometown, getting your guest list to a manageable number can feel anything but fun. Fortunately, there are some fairly painless ways to start whittling down that list in a way that ensures you are surrounded by love and support on your wedding day, without bursting your budget or breaking the fire code at your beautiful wedding venue.
Who Makes the Cut?
While it can be tempting to invite every person you have ever been friends with to celebrate your special day, this is rarely feasible. Most brides and grooms end up with a much longer list than their budget – or their dream venue – can permit. So figuring out a way to get the list to a manageable size is crucial in having an enjoyable and affordable wedding day.
To narrow the list without causing family riffs or too many tears, here are some simple ways to go about drafting the perfect invite list.
- First, it can be helpful to approach the list by focusing on the people you would really love to be present. Starting on a positive note, with your VIPs first, can help put you in a good mindset, and it can be much less stressful than starting with a bunch of names you’re considering out of obligation.
- Unless your parents are paying for the wedding and insist on inviting their business friends or old acquaintances, don’t feel the need to invite people you haven’t personally spoken to in years, or that only knew you as a child. (Those people can easily congratulate you on Facebook, without needing a seat, or a slice of cake, at your gorgeous wedding reception.)
- While you might want to keep your guest list and your fiance’s similar in size, there are plenty of times this doesn’t make sense. If one of you has an incredibly large, close extended family, for instance, you may naturally need to allot more invitees to that person. To help keep the wedding from feeling one-sided, just instruct guests to sit wherever they like, rather than on traditional bride and groom sides.
- While somewhat controversial, it is not always necessary to give guests a plus one. Especially if you have a lot of single friends from high school or college, that already know one another, there is really no need to give them each a plus one. (You might just save them from the stress of trying to scramble to find a date! Plus, it’ll be an awesome opportunity for them to catch up without awkwardly trying to entertain each other’s wedding dates.)