Planning your wedding is meant to be enjoyable and exciting – but there is one element of the planning process which may be clouding your fun. Yes, you guessed it – the dreaded “guest list.” Who to invite? And more importantly, how to tell people they shouldn’t be expecting an invitation in the post! With a bit of ruthless help, you can reduce that guest list without losing any friends.
The traditional norm is that only 25% of your wedding party should actually consist of you and your groom’s friends; 50% should be the bride’s parents’ friends and 25% the groom’s parents’ friends. However, this tradition is now rarely followed, making it even harder to cull that list…
1. Create a consistent cut off point – Start by writing a list of A= must be invited, B = should be invited, C = would be nice if they are invited. Then, as a rule, put a line through all the C’s and most of the B’s! Explain to your aunt and uncle that there just isn’t enough room for all your cousins! As long as ALL cousins are not invited, there should be no hard feelings.
2. The guilt trip – Your neighbours may have invited you to their wedding last year, but don’t feel pressure to return the invitation. Don’t feel guilty – it’s your big day. Just ask yourself, are you going to notice them missing them from your wedding photos?
3. Create a criteria checklist – When was the last time you saw your old neighbour? When was the last time you even spoke to that friend from Uni? Some friends are in our past memories and experiences, but not in our present. You may not have realised that they’ve actually drifted out of your life. Drifted = no invitation.
4. Plus ones – People who are married, engaged or in long term relationships, YES – they deserve a plus one. But your best friend’s on and off boyfriend, who will be a distant memory in a few years time, NO. If you feel bad, send them an email or text explaining that you can’t give out plus ones because of budget or venue size.
5. What are they costing you? When you’re paying a large amount of money it can be easy to forget that each person is a cost. Working out the cost per head will help put into perspective how much you want that particular person there. The more money you save, the more you can spend on your honeymoon!
6. The little guests – Children may only be small, but they still cost the same as an adult. Making a point of not inviting everyone’s children is a fair and consistent decision which should not offend people. Whilst some parents may be offended that you haven’t invited their beloved little ones, others will be thinking YES, a child-free night out!
7. The invitation supplement – If you’re planning on axing a particular group of friends or couple then soften the blow by suggesting doing something else with them. A spa weekend or posh meal to have your own personal celebration with them will make them feel special and valued.
8. Can’t narrow it down? If your guest list is driving you up the wall and sucking all the fun out of wedding planning then you could always opt for a wedding abroad. Quiet, small and intimate. But then again, what would a wedding be without your friends and family there with you?
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