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How to Narrow Down Your Guest List for Your Wedding
You are engaged! Congratulations! Now comes the fun part: the wedding planning! You need to send out those invitations a soon at the date and venue are booked. This means the next step is creating the guest list. You sit down with your fiance and you each start writing down a rough list of who you want to invite. Before you know it, you have over 300 people! I don’t know what your financial situation is like, or what the budget for your wedding ends up being, but 300 people can be very expensive! I always wanted a smallish wedding, and with the venue we booked and the budget we had, we could only afford 90 people or less. That may sound like a very small number, but trust me, when you get your catering total, it is a lot of money to feed so many people.
When Matt and I wrote up the rough draft of our guest list, I had maybe a total of 30 people. This included immediate family, distant family, and close friends (which a majority ended up being a part of my bridal party). Now Matt’s list, well, let’s just say my small number of 30 sky rocketed to about 160. What?!? Where did all these people come from? The guest list looks great, all the people I want invited are included, but there are some people I have never met before.
I started asking him who they were. “Oh, I went to high school with this girl, but I haven’t talked to her in 3 years”, and “He’s an old university friend.” I then asked, “Well, if you haven’t spoken to these people in years, why do we need to invite them to our wedding?” It took a lot of time and discussion, but eventually, we managed to lower the number on our guest list, and it all worked out in the end.
Luckily, there is only 3 groups of people, all categorized accordingly, that should be discussed, considered, and included to be a part of your guest list in this order:
Immediate Family & Distant Relatives
Immediate family is first priority! Mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, too, that live in the area or are nearby. These are the people that should be on the guest list first. Be sure to send invites to distant relatives, even those from half way across the world. If you want, check in with them ahead of time. This way you will know if they will be able to attend at all. This will help eliminate them right away and open a spot on the guest list. Even if you know they won’t be able to come, send an invite anyhow to be polite. Once you have this list of people down, you can move onto the next category.
Family friend’s are the next priority on the guest list. These are the people that have been in your life for a long time. They are not blood related, but they are the other mother’s, father’s, and friend’s that are practically siblings. Everyone has these people in their life, so be sure to put them on the same level as your immediate family.
Best and Close Friends
Now the friend’s! I would consider this category the most difficult, especially if you are a social butterfly and have a long list of people you want to invite. Start with the best friends, which should be easy from the get go. Most likely, these friends will end up being a part of your bridal party.
Next, the friend’s you are close with and are a part of your friend groups. They can be co-workers, friends from high school or college, from church, significant others of friend’s, etc.
Mostly importantly, be sure that these are individuals you either speak to or hang out in person with often. If you haven’t had any contact with an individual for a long period of time, cross them off the list. You may feel disappointed, or be afraid you’ll hurt the other person for not sending them an invite. Be sure to remind yourself that you are on a budget or guest limit. Just breathe, and really consider how important it is that you invite this person to your wedding.
There you have it! I hope that you were able to take some valuable advice from this post on how to narrow down your guest list.