5 Tips to Help You Cut Your Wedding List (And Not Feel Guilty in the Process)

Need to cut down the number of guests at your wedding, but anxious about how to do it? Read our complete guide for guilt-free guest list planning.

By Anni Irish

How to Cut Your Wedding Guestlist
Photo by Unsplash

When it comes to planning your wedding, one of the hardest parts is trying to pare down your guest list. There are lots of people in your life that you want to be there for your special day, so how do you make the big decision of who to invite and who not to?

Regardless of the size of your wedding, cutting the guest list is something everyone will encounter in the wedding planning process. While this can seem nerve-wracking, and you may feel like by not inviting certain people you could potentially be offending them, there are things you can do to make it less stressful.

Having a plan of attack is key. To help you decide who to keep on the list and how to cut, keep specific things in mind, such as the cost per head, the capacity of the venue, and the state of the relationship.

Consider the Cost Per Head and the Capacity of the Venue

One of the best things you can do is approach it head-on and have a strategy in place for how you’ll choose who to cut. While it may sound easier said than done, there are larger practical things to consider that can help make that decision easier.

Regardless of your budget, two big factors that will come up when trying to cut the list are the cost per head at the venue you’ve chosen and the maximum capacity it can accommodate. This information can help clarify the finances of the wedding and can help you better pick who to keep and who to cut.

How to Cut Your Wedding Guestlist Photo Credit // Unsplash

Think About Your Relationships

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and having family, friends, and people there who support and love you is essential. In many ways, this day is really about your future and the life you’re building with your partner. Think about the role of certain friends, acquaintances, or family members play in your life. If you haven't spoken to someone for a significant amount of time, then not inviting them to your wedding is completely reasonable. It's important to surround yourself with people on this special day who are active in your life now and will be in it for the long haul.

Ask Your In-laws to Limit Invites

As you plan your wedding and the guest list grows, there will inevitably be random family members who you haven't seen in years that your parents or your future in-laws want to invite. This is completely understandable because everyone wants to share in your big day. But not everyone has to attend a wedding.

While your families may be financially contributing to the wedding, it's still your big day. By expressing these concerns (i.e. trying to have an intimate affair that's also manageable in size), they will eventually follow your lead.

Ask Guests Not to Bring a Plus One

Eliminating plus ones can help greatly cut back on the costs and the overall headcount. But there are also other factors to consider. Take into account how long your guest and their partner have been together––has it only been a couple of months, or has it been two years? You can also approach this by allowing plus ones to guests who are in long-term relationships. Just be sure to establish set parameters to keep things fair.

How to Cut Your Wedding Guestlist Photo Credit // Unsplash

Have Your Guests Leave Kids at Home

Although having kids at your wedding can add another layer of fun and cuteness—especially in the pictures—it can also cut into the costs and the overall guest count. By having no children at your wedding celebration, you can cut down on the guest count and also allow everyone to have as much fun adult-only time as possible.

While you may feel a little guilty for having to cut down your invite list, the most important thing to remember is that it’s your big day. You have to do what works best for you and your partner. If that means a small guest list, then you shouldn’t feel bad for failing to invite distant relatives or mutual friends you don’t necessarily want present at your intimate affair.

There are ways to tweak the list, so you can still keep your guest count small and still have everyone there that you love and care about. While you may end up with a shorter guest list, in the end, the most important thing is you’re having the exact wedding celebration you want with your loved ones there to witness it.

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