Ideas & Advice

Wedding guest list: 6 ways to do it diplomatically

Trimming your wedding guest list is something you and your husband-to-be will have to do at some point during your wedding planning process. Here, ways to do it respectfully and with minimal arguments.
 

Copyright: TCTomm / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Congrats, you're soon to be a Mrs or Mr! And after you've drifted down from cluoud nine, you'll be wanting to get down to the nitty gritty of wedding prep. At the top of your list, of course, would be putting together your wedding guest list, since it'll affect your budget and choice of venue. But while there's no hard and fast rule when it comes to who you're extending your invitations to (well, there's always those on your parents' must-invite list...), here's a general guide to help you make your choices. 

 

#1 DETERMINE YOUR PRIORITIES
Whether you're looking to have a large banquet with all your parents' friends and extended relatives, or you're picturing a cosier affair with loved ones, you'll have to set an upper limit on the number of guests to have. Every venue will have a maximum capacity of guests allowed, so choose yours based on the number of guests you're expecting, or vice versa. A party of 300 won't fit into a cafe or resort wedding, so determine which is more important to you.

 
#2 CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET AND COSTS PER HEAD
These will help you decide how long your list can or will be, or whether you need to compromise in other areas. Do keep in mind though: while a small wedding at an alternative venue may cost less overall, it doesn't necessarily translate to a lesser cost per head.
 
 
Christabel and Jie Chao's celestial-themed wedding at Open Farm Community. Photography: Smittenpixels Photography
 
#3 DIVIDE THE LIST FAIRLY BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND-TO-BE
This means you will each get to invite an equal number of family and friends to the wedding. If one of you have got more relatives or friends to ask, make sure your spouse is okay with it. (Watch out for these common wedding planning arguments!)
 

#4 CREATE PRIORITY GROUPS OR TIERS
Split them into two or three groups: people who have to be there, like immediate family, close friends, extended family. Then there are colleagues and other friends. When going through your list, evaluate your relationship and determine how important it is that the person attend.

Friends and relatives whom you've grown apart from shouldn't be on the list (do you envision meeting them for dinner or drinks in the next year or so?), unless you'd like to resume relationships. Also, save yourself the trouble (and hurt feelings) by omitting certain groups instead of picking and choosing a select few from the group only.

Also read: WHAT DO GUESTS REALLY LOVE ABOUT WEDDINGS?

 
#5 PLUS ONES AND COLLEAGUES
If you don't have budget for plus ones, only extend the invitation to guests who are already married, or are in long-term relationships. Or better yet, skip the plus ones completely. You should, however, allow for a plus one for any guest coming who won't know anyone else.
 
For your boss and colleagues, if you're in a close-knit team who enjoy a great working and personal relationship (and often talk about things unrelated to work, especially your wedding!), you should probably consider extending the invitation. If not, take the all or nothing approach and just let your boss know you will be on leave on the day or days of your wedding, but keep the wedding talk to a minimum. Of course, this depends on your office culture too - you can also take a cue from how other coworkers have handled it previously. 
 

#6 DEALING WITH THE B-LIST
It's best to identify your B-list guests (they are your second round of invitees if the first ones aren't able to make it) early. This will help prevent unnecessary stress if people from your A-list can't come. This way, you'll also be able to get the invites out on time (or slightly later than) as your A-listers, and minimise potentially embarrassing situations. No one likes to know that they're your back-up plan after all.

A version of this story was originally published on 20th April 2018.

Also read: 10 THINGS BRIDES WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE THE WEDDING DAY

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