Questions to ask yourself while navigating your small guest list

Guest post by SteamBride
everyone (except for me, my dad, and everyone sitting under the balcony)

Are you losing sleep over your guest list? Does the phrase, “It's your wedding, invite who you want,” offer no consoling relief? When it comes to “should they stay or should they go,” ask yourself these questions first…

Inviting friends and family:

  • Do you regularly keep in touch?
  • Do you have fond memories of them?
  • Have they been supportive about the marriage?
  • Do they play an ACTIVE role in your life?
  • Have you spent a significant amount of time together?

More on inviting family:

  • Do you spend the holidays together?
  • If they are long distance, would they spend the holidays with you if they could?
  • Will not inviting them cause a world war, or family equivalent?

More on inviting friends:

  • Have you seen them in the past 6 months?
  • Do you have to go searching for their contact information?
  • Are they someone you will keep contact with in the long run?
  • Do they know both of you?

Inviting coworkers:

  • Will you be friends if either one of you move onto another job?
  • Have you done things outside of work together?

If you just can't bear the guilt of not inviting everyone, here are some ideas to help combat the budget…

Have a small wedding ceremony at your ideal location and a larger meet-and-greet style reception somewhere else. Or have a large venue for the wedding and a smaller dinner for family and close friends afterwards.

For the casual weddings, make it a potluck reception.

Have an after-party where you invite just your friends to join you for drinks and dancing, either that night or a following weekend.

Suggest to a family member that they hold a family reunion at some other point in time, and not on your dime.

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Comments on Questions to ask yourself while navigating your small guest list

  1. This works great if you have a small family. My dad has 13 brothers and sisters. his siblings plus my first cousins and spouses makes close to 80 people I have to invite according to my mother. I have not met a lot of these first cousins, my parents haven’t seen them in decades. This has severely limited our venue choices as we are required to have a larger wedding than we would like. Any suggestions for that situation? There is a good chance because the wedding is 3 hours out of town that many of the first cousins will not show up, but my mother thinks they should get a courtesy invite so no one’s feelings get hurt.

  2. This just helped me make a slight cut to my small list. My fiance only wants 11 people including the wedding party and my side had 23. More than double is too hard to cut down, but it gives me the excuse to not invite a great aunt by marriage who’d annoyingly tell everyone she can’t eat most of the stuff (dessert and punch reception) because of her diabetes. This also meant cutting a couple close friends of the family, but I’m sure I’ll be OK doing a special visit with the ones I like. But that’s all I can cut. My family is pretty close after all.

  3. My fiancé wants a large wedding, his parents also. I want a small wedding with close family and friends. How to persuade him? I want to save our money so that we can invest in our house or in trips we are planning to do. Any tips?

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