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Making the cut: How to edit your wedding guest list

Your family is large enough to fill a small football stadium, and you have friends who are waiting on an invitation to your wedding. The guest list keeps growing and growing and all you want to do is run off to Vegas and elope!

Welcome to the most stressful part of organizing your wedding – creating the guest list!

Keep calm and carry on. You can cut your guest list without having your family and friends up in arms and refusing to speak to you ever again.

Once you have a figure for the number of people you can invite to your wedding, you have to sit down together and decide who’s in and who’s out. 

First of all make a list of people who must be at your wedding. These are the people who are safe and are your VIPs (but don’t know it yet). We’re talking about your parents, grandparents, siblings and anyone else who is really special to you.

Once you have that list work out how many more people you can invite. Once you have this figure you have to work with it. No sneaky extras or you could cause problems for yourself and your venue. 

Write a first draft of people that you want to invite then work your way through the list and ruthlessly cut people. It’s not fun, but you have to be cold and calculated. 

If you’re short on space, one of the easiest guests to cut are kids (unless they are your own of course). Lots of weddings are child-free these days so it won’t be unusual to banish them from your day.

Next come your co-workers. Unless there is someone you are particularly close to, the people you work with don’t need to be at your wedding. Who cares if you went to their wedding? If you need to, explain that you are working to a tight budget and that you’ll save them a piece of cake. 

Friends that you haven’t seen in a long time are the next to go. You might have been best buddies in college, but you haven’t seen each other in years. You might still be friends through Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you have to invite them to your wedding. Don’t forget that you need to be ruthless with that red pen. 

If you still have more guests than spaces then you need to look at friends of the family. Yes Magda is your Mom’s best friend and Jim is your Dad’s golf buddy, but do they need to be at your wedding?  Speak to your parents and members of your wedding party about the guest list and see if they think anyone on there can be cut.

One thing to keep in mind is that about 20 per cent of the people who you invite won’t be able to come to your wedding. So you can put some of the rejected people onto a second guest list. When people say they can’t attend then you can pick someone from this second list to invite.

If you are at risk of upsetting people you can always organize an informal gathering to celebrate your marriage the next day or after you come back from your honeymoon. Perhaps a BBQ at your family home or drinks at a bar – see what works best for you.

 

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