Editing your guest list is something that every bride dreads, you don’t want to offend anyone but you need to cut your numbers. Not to fear! We have put together our six top tips to help you whittle down your guest list…
Following your engagement (congratulations!) One of the first things you should do is to gather the families together to talk about the guest list and your expectations for the day. It may be news to you, but your parents and in-laws will have a clear idea of who they would like to bring along! If you are upfront in wanting a smaller guest list, this will remove the chances of your wedding having those guests you’ve never met or twice removed cousins you barely speak to! Divvy up some invitations and allocate them to each parent to keep things in order.
Design a Dream Guest List
Before budgeting and selecting a venue (this helps to be open-minded and unbiased) begin jotting down the names of all the most important people in your life that you would have always imagined at your wedding day – whether it be old childhood friends or that distant relative that you don’t get to speak to often. For this part of the process think of the bigger picture – this way you will include everyone and you can really see who the important guests are.
After creating your dream guest list, many couples divide their guests into categories e.g. A, B, C in order of how important it is for them to attend your big day. If you are having a small wedding, invite category ‘A’ only, and if you have room left in the budget or receive declining RSVP’s then bring in guests from category ‘B’. All guests from categories ‘B’ and ‘C’ who don’t make the cut for the whole day, can be invited along to your evening reception so that you don’t leave anyone out.
It is also important to be realistic about the number of guests that both you can afford and that your venue can hold. Considering these two key factors, you can begin the not-so-glamorous number crunching. Taking account of the meal, favours, how much extra cake or catering you’ll need and also the number of invitations, you will soon see that those extra guests quickly add up.
Creating rules makes it easier to rule out those people you feel you should invite, but don’t really want to. A great rule is that if you have never spoken to them or met them, but your family suggest you invite them out of courtesy; don’t invite them, particularly if they aren’t a relative. Have a friend whose wedding you attended five years ago but don’t speak anymore? Don’t feel obliged to invite her. People and your social circles change as you get older; only bring your nearest and dearest with you to avoid awkward catch-ups. Although controversial, you could also consider an ‘adults only’ wedding to avoid kids (that aren’t already in the bridal party) upping the guest numbers. Alternatively, use your invites to limit plus-ones as another way of cutting the list, add ‘plus guest’ only to those invitations where they are in long-term relationships – if Pippa could get away with it, so can you!
Avoid Adding Last Minute Guests
Throughout the wedding process, you are bound to encounter that awkward moment when you meet people you weren’t intending to invite who want to have a chat about the big day and end up saying ‘I can’t wait to come to your wedding’! Avoid feeling guilty and adding these people on last minute, it’s best just to be honest and tell them you would love them to come, but unfortunately you are having a smaller wedding with a smaller venue capacity and budget, this way no-one will be offended, and most people will understand that weddings are an expensive business!