Aside from budget, the wedding guest list is the single most contentious wedding issue there is. Not only do you have two people with two families who both want or need to satisfy their own needs, you will have family members from both sides asking for extra invites or more guests.
If you find yourself in this position, this post if for you. The wedding experts here at Tabor have put together some of the quickest, easiest, most guilt-free wedding guest list tips they could find. Use them well!
Devise your strategy
The core of a guilt-free guest list is to integrate it tightly into your overall wedding planning. Once you have said “I do” and the planning begins in earnest, the budget and size of your wedding will be two of the biggest decisions you have to make. They will both have a huge influence over how many people you invite to your wedding.
Once you have a budget, you will need to decide on a ceremony and reception venue, which will also influence how many guests you can have. Once you have these key points planned you can begin working on your guest list.
While you and your intended may see eye-to-eye on almost everything and are deliriously happy that you’re getting married, factor in conflict about families and that can all change.
Once you know how much money you have to play with and where you would like to get married, you can begin planning your guest list in earnest. Part of that is about setting rules. They not only help with decision making, they can also help avoid conflict.
Before you sit down and begin naming names, think about the total number of wedding guests you can comfortably cope with and can afford. Then split the list down the middle to make it as fair as possible. If your respective families are uneven in numbers, work it out so everyone knows where they stand.
Once you have made those rules, set other rules to cover the type of guests you want to invite. Do you want only close friends and family or do you want to bring everyone together who haven’t seen each other for years?
If you’re going for the latter, it helps to start at the core of each family and work outwards. That way, your closest family are invited first, then those not so close and so on.
Choosing more remote guests
An easy way to select members further from the core of your family is to consider the last time you saw them. You can do the same for work colleagues or friends. How often do you see them? When was the last time they invited you round? How well do you know them?
While your wedding day is a great way to bring families together, you have to be logical in how you select guests. If you don’t know people so well, or haven’t seen them in years, are they going to add to your day? If you don’t have a personal connection to them, what will they bring to the table?
Inviting work colleagues
Inviting work colleagues can be more problematic, especially if you work at a large company. If you have an obvious “gang” then it’s a no brainer. If you don’t, you’re going to have to tread carefully.
It’s logical to begin selection with those you socialise outside of work. If you don’t go out much but still want to invite some colleagues, think about logical selection that everyone can understand. Consider only your team, department or other organisational division that you’re a part of. It’s something everyone understands and should avoid disappointment or expectation.
Stick to your guns
You will likely find that everyone has a request or two for your wedding guest list. There will always be someone who wants you to invite someone else or to include a new partner, children or random friend. It’s up to you to stick to your list as much as it’s possible to do.
Fortunately, you have some compelling reasons for keeping your guest list as it is. One, you only have a finite budget. Two, most wedding reception venues will have a maximum capacity. Three, the economy still isn’t great and we simply don’t have the kind of money we used to.
While we wouldn’t exactly refer to them as “excuses” they do work admirably well!