How to Avoid a Wedding Guest List Nightmare

Deciding which guests you invite to your wedding when planning for your big day can turn into an absolute nightmare. I’m sure this is sounding all too familiar as you read this. You feel bad you can’t invite everyone, you know that person will get upset if you invite that other person and not them. Your parents or in-laws are upset they can’t invite all their friends, and the list goes on and on.

What you are probably not thinking about is that this is your BIG DAY and no one else’s. It may be a little upsetting to some if they do not receive an invite, and hear that other friends are invited – but they will only be upset for a little while and then they move on and forget about it. If they don’t then are they really that good of a friend to you? Try not to dwell on who you didn’t invite and instead focus on those who are going to be there to celebrate the best day of your life.

Weddings are expensive and the more guests means the higher the costs. Here are some tips for avoiding a wedding guest list nightmare.

How to Avoid a Wedding Guest List Nightmare:

  1. Invite people you know you will still be friends with in 5 years’ time. This is tricky because circumstances are forever changing and it’s hard to imagine who will be in your life five years down the track and who won’t. Try and be as hard on yourself as you can – if you changed jobs would they still be your friend? If you had children would they still be in your circle? Think about who is really going to be there for you in the next chapter of your life and who is simply passing through. This is not only good for your guest list – it’s a good beginning to the rest of your life.
  2. Don’t add plus ones for guests who’s partners you have not met or guests that don’t have partners. This is always a tricky one; you don’t want your guest to feel left out if they don’t have someone to bring – but there’s nothing worse than a free loader who’s just there for the free food or booze. You also don’t want to invite a plus one you haven’t even met and have to create small talk after you’ve just walked down the aisle.
  3. Give both sets of parents the same number of friends and family to invite. If they aren’t helping pay for the wedding then you can decide if you still want to do this. Having 45 of your family attend and only 6 of his allowed entry doesn’t look good for anyone. You want his family to feel just as welcome as yours. You also want to avoid upsetting the in-laws before the wedding so this is a good way to begin the unity of your two families. If one or both of the families are not in a position to pay for the wedding or have chosen not to pay, it is up to you if you would still extend this offer.
  4. Create a Reserved List rated in order of priority. It sounds rude but you can always have a back up! 50/50 on whether you really want so-and-so in the same room as you on your Wedding Day? That’s okay, put them on the reserved list. This way if anyone pulls out you have the option of inviting them (or you can still not invite them – it’s completely up to you!)
  5. The same rule goes for friends as it does for family – you and your partner should invite the same amount. This way, if you and your partner can’t agree on which friends to invite at least you have a limit. You will be surprised how many friends won’t expect an invite and will understand. Those who don’t understand are not real friends.
  6. Never feel obliged to invite all family members. Especially the ones you only see at Christmas time. Some people have endless cousins and second cousins and if they haven’t gotten married yet there is a high chance they probably won’t invite you to their wedding. Stick to inviting family you spend time with and have a good relationship with.
  7. If it is worst case scenario and you’re really trying to cut numbers, send the invite out with very short notice of the date so hopefully some guests already have other commitments.

Remember, your wedding day is about you and your partner and it does not matter what anyone else thinks. You need to invite to your wedding those guests you want to celebrate with and not those that you ‘had’ to have there to keep the peace.

How many people are you thinking of having at your Wedding?

What kind of methods did you use to condense this list?

Let us know below!

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