Before narrowing your guest list down, you should finalize the details of your budget. As much as you don't want to think of your guests with a dollar sign above their head, each person you extend an invitation to will need food and drink, a place to sit (which adds tables, linens and centerpieces) and, of course, an invitation. Trust me, those things add up quickly. It will be helpful to have an idea of vendors you would like to use or at least details you would like to include for your wedding and the cost. By doing those things first, you will know prices for catering, for example, and be able to apply that to the number you are estimating. This will help understand and plan for the number of guests will fit into your budget.
1. Are you related to this person?
Let me start by saying if you or your fiancé have a large family, this will most likely be the hardest cut to make. Keep it fair. For instance, if you invite one uncle it is polite to invite all uncles. However, is it okay to draw the line at your second cousin twice removed or Aunt Mildred’s grandchildren.
2. Do you work with him/her?
This is a matter of personal preference and your office environment. Keep in mind you might not want to openly talk about your wedding plans with everyone at work if you only plan to invite a few coworkers to avoid hurt feelings or create tension in the office.
3. Have you seen or spoken to this person in the last year?
Although you might feel obligated to invite your first roommate from college, if you haven’t spoken in years, you can cross them off the list.
4. Have you talked about the wedding with them?
If you have already discussed how great the band is that will play at your reception or how delicious the food will be with this person, it would be best to invite them.
5. Were you invited to their wedding?
This is a tough one. Although you don’t have to invite every person who invited you to their wedding, if you have been to their wedding within the last year you should extend an invitation.
6. Will the wedding be more fun with them there?
This is kind of an obvious question, right? Of course you want someone who is fun and happy to share your special day with you and your beau! This is someone who didn’t fall into any of the previous questions but they are fun to be around and would be tickled to come to your wedding.
7. Are you only inviting this guest because you feel guilty if you don’t?
We know this is a big decision maker for a lot of couples. Whether they invited you their wedding or maybe they are just friends with your cousin, is this person crucial to keep on the guest list? Remember, each guest adds numbers for catering, chairs, tablecloths, favors, etc.
Remember that big list we suggested you write earlier? Time to put that to use! I suggest that you make an A-list and a B-list. Your A-list will consist of guests you can’t imagine celebrating without, such as family and close friends. While your B-list will be made up of other friends, co-workers and friends of the family. These guests will get the second round of invitations. After sending out your A-list invitations, you will have more spots open up due to the guests that notified you they would be unable to attend. This is when you can send a second round of invitations out to guests from your B-list. Keep time in mind when using this strategy as to not offend any of your guests, you don’t want it to be obvious they weren’t on you’re a-list. You will need to send your A-list invitations earlier as to allow enough time to send your B-list and receive an RSVP in a timely manner.
However you decide to narrow down your guest list, your guests will all feel thankful you chose to share your special day with them! Also, remember to always thank your guests for coming to support your new marriage!