Typically one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to wedding planning is the creation of the guest list. Although your wedding planner can essentially plan your entire wedding, we cannot choose who to invite to your wedding. :) We have many clients who struggle when it comes to cutting down the guest list either for budget issues or venue restraints. Here are some of my personal tips on how to figure out who to invite, and who to let go.
-When it comes to friends, think about your current friendship. Do you talk to them fairly frequently, or at least every few months? Or has it been over a year since you have spoken to them? You do not need to invite the person who sat next to you in 11th grade biology. You should invite the person who you still have a steady friendship with and who you see continuing this friendship in the future.
-When it comes to family, this can get tricky. You will often be pressured to invite your parents' second cousin's children or your grandmother's brother's daughter. Try to limit the number of extended relatives being invited, especially ones whom you have never met or barely know. If your relatives ask to invite certain other relatives, just explain to them that you have a guest limit and are keeping it to immediate family.
-When it comes to spouses or significant others, who do you invite? You should always invite the spouse of the guest. You should also invite those who are in serious relationships. If you are trying to cut down your guest list, then limit the number of plus 1's for your single friends, especially those who are going to know other guests at your wedding. If they are going to have other friends at your wedding, they don't need to bring a random friend with them.
-When it comes to the kids, can you say no? If you want to have an adult-only reception, there are a few ways to handle this. You can include on your invitation a brief line at the bottom stating "Adult reception to follow at etc. etc.". You can also only address the invitation to the adults and verbally spread the word that it is an adult-only wedding. If you have multiple guests with children, you can offer babysitting services onsite for those who are interested, which will also let them know that children are not invited to the actual wedding but you are doing what you can to assist them.
-When it comes to an "A List" and "B List", is this acceptable? It is totally ok to do two guest lists, you just have to do it carefully. Sometimes you will have unexpected no's from your guest list, and there were a few other friends you had hoped to be able to invite. So do it! But a few tips - if you are planning to send out more invites when you have the space, make sure you do it in a timely manner. Send out your first batch a bit earlier so that when you get those no's, you can immediately send out the few extras. If guests are getting their invites a week before your wedding, they will know they didn't make the first cut and could be offended so do not wait too long. Also, make sure your first batch and second batch invitees are not in the same circle of friends or family. They will realize if they do not get their invites at the same time as others and it could hurt feelings.
Hopefully these tips will ease your guest list woes. It can be one of the toughest parts of planning but in the end it will be worth it when you have the most important people in your life celebrating with you on your big day. (photo courtesy of theknot.com)