Before the wedding

13th December 2018

7 tips to bear in mind when drawing up your wedding guest list

Because deciding who to invite and not to invite can be a social minefield

1. Talk about it with your parents

Traditionally the couple gets to invite half the guest list, and each set of parents gets to decide on a quarter of the guest list. So if you’re planning to invite 300 people, you and your fiancé would get 150 guests, your parents would get 75 and your fiancé's parents would also get 75. However, even if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, it’s a good idea to get the families together and talk about the guest list so there are no unpleasant surprises on the day.

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2. Keep your list of friends current

If you have a wide circle of friends, it can be difficult to decide which ones will make the cut. A good rule of thumb to follow is can you imagine making plans to meet up with them socially sometime in the next year? If yes, add them to your A-list. Were you once close but have since lost contact? Keep them on the reserve bench.

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3. Draw the line at distant family

Your immediate family is a no-brainer, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. But you don’t have to invite anyone beyond that, and it may be easier not to. If it’s someone you haven’t ever met before, they don’t need to be at your wedding. If your parents really want them to be there, they can send them an invitation from their portion of the invites.

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4. Co-workers – all or none

If you work in a large company, it would be impossible to invite everyone, but if you’re opening up your wedding to co-workers, you need to at least invite everyone in your department, or none at all. Playing favourites will make your return to work after the honeymoon really awkward.

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5. Ask the boss too

If you’re inviting co-workers, it would be bad form not to invite the boss too, especially if you work in the kind of company where you collaborate closely.

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6. Children are optional

While some people may enjoy having children at their wedding, it’s totally acceptable to not invite them (although excluding them from destination weddings may be more difficult, since their parents will have to travel). If you decide to do this, the best thing to do is settle on an age threshold, such as 12 or over, or restrict it to immediate family. Don’t grant any exceptions, as that would be rude to guests who have followed your request.

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7. Think carefully before you uninvite someone

If you send a save-the-date to someone, but then you have a falling out, do you still have to invite them to the wedding? The question you need to ask yourself is, “How serious is this falling out?” To invite them despite what happened would be a sign that you consider the disagreement to be temporary. To not invite them would be a signal that you didn’t want them in your life at all anymore – a very severe statement to make.

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Image Credits

Wedding Directory