A Complete Guide to Creating Your Wedding Guest List (and 4 Types of People to Cross Off!)

One of the great modern wedding conundrums is how to curate your wedding guest list without creating unnecessary tension. You understandably want to keep food and seating costs low, but you also don’t want to irritate your mother-in-law by leaving her former work colleague’s boyfriend out of the final count. And, while we’re on the subject of numbers, you and your prospective fiancé probably know a lot more people than you realise.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of creating your wedding guest list, consider the following suggestions to make the process easier:

  1. Divide and conquer

Begin by determining the overall number of guests, then divide it among you, your parents, and your future in-laws. If you’re footing the bill, you may want to increase your stake in this.

  1. Be consistent with plus-ones

Where do you draw the line when your pals are in various phases of relationships? Be clear with your ruling. For example, if a couple has been dating for six months or longer, the SO is invited; otherwise, they don’t, and you must stick to whatever rule you implement.

  1. Establish a children’s policy

The same applies to children. If you’re requesting parents to leave their children at home, be consistent – such as setting an age limit. Any exceptions to this rule must be communicated to all parties involved before the big day.

  1. Establish a deadline

Call if you have not received a response by the deadline specified on your invitation. Your caterer needs to know – and so do you!

Who to Remove from Your Guest List

Trying to narrow down your guest list? Here are 4 types of people you can cross off. Don’t even think about it!

  1. Absent family members

Don’t feel pressured to invite relatives to your wedding if you haven’t talked to them in years. Remember that your wedding is a celebration for you, your fiancé, and your immediate family; it is not a family reunion. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone in your extended family.

  1. Friends you haven’t spoken to in a long time

If you’re looking to rebuild relationships with people you’ve grown away from or don’t speak to regularly, you may want to invite them to your wedding. However, between mingling with your other guests and squeezing in some one-on-one time with your new spouse, your wedding may be too hectic an event to try to do this.

  1. Children of friends and family

Making your wedding an adults-only affair is an easy way to reduce your guest list. You’ll have to break the news to the parents in your group carefully, but they could also see your wedding as a chance to put their feet up and enjoy a kid-free night.

  1. Plus-ones you’ve never met

You don’t need to offer a plus-one for any guests who aren’t in a relationship. And if they are—and you’ve never met the person—you shouldn’t feel forced to include them.

Are you ready to rock your wedding guest list? We hope you’ve found all sorts of inspiration from our comprehensive guide. If you’re looking for further advice, our wedding planners at Old Essex Barn are always on hand to help. Happy planning!