Who to Invite to Your Wedding

Deciding who to invite to your wedding is one of the most stressful parts of planning your big day. The list of friends and family adds up fast and as much as you’d like to invite everyone you know and love, it’s just not realistic. So where do you draw the line?

Narrowing your guest list down to a reasonable size isn’t easy, but a simple question and answer session can help you make your decisions manageable.

Who to Invite to Your Wedding

First: Determine How Many People You Can Actually Invite

So, exactly who is going to be filling those seats at your wedding? Start by answering two VERY important questions:

1. How Many People Can We Afford to Invite?

Here’s what you need to do first: Take a good, hard look at your budget. If you haven’t booked a venue yet, make some phone calls to get an idea of what your cost per guest might look like.

2. How Many People Can We Fit In Our Venue?

Once you have your venue booked, consider the capacity to understand your maximum head count. Take your time with this. Think carefully. Because once you come up with that number…

Got your number? Good! Now, Do. Not. Change. That. Number. (Not unless a rich European aunt sends you an extra $20,000 for the wedding or some similar event happens.) Trust us. It’s better this way. It makes everything after this easier.

Next: Determine Who You Want To Invite To Your Wedding

Let the fun begin! Put together a list of EVERYONE you're considering inviting to your wedding. Remember you’ll want to send an invitation even to guests who you know can’t come to your wedding.

Ready to narrow it down? Ask yourself these questions…

1. Are They Family?

While deciding who to invite to your wedding, you might find yourself struggling most with family members. After all, family is complicated! We like to place family members into two buckets – immediate family and extended family.

Inviting Immediate Family

Parents, grandparents, siblings and children are all considered immediate family. Immediate family should all be invited to your wedding, unless a relationship is strained beyond repair. You know what’s best for you!

Inviting Extended Family

Let’s talk extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins and all those family members who are once-removed (by the way, what does that even mean?!). While some couples will invite anyone in their bloodline, others invite family members depending on how close their relationship is. There’s no right answer when it comes to deciding who to extend an invitation to and who to nix.

But remember, if you’re paying for your wedding, you have the final say. If someone else – like your parents – are covering your wedding expenses, they have a voice in this as well.

2. Are They a Friend?

Inviting Friends to Your Wedding

In the age of social media, this can be a toughie! Our golden rule is – if you could call or text a friend out of the blue and it feels authentic and normal, they absolutely get invited to the wedding.

If you find yourself on the fence about someone, put them on the b-list and revisit inviting them after you’ve had some time to think.

Inviting “Other” People to Your Wedding

There are friends, and then there are all those “other” people. Co-workers, hair stylists, fitness instructors…the list goes on and on. Think about who has crossed over to being a friend, and invite those people.

If you’re wondering if you have to invite co-workers to your wedding, the answer is…maybe. This is all dependent on how many coworkers you have and how close you are with them. If you work in a small office, extending and invitation to everyone is very kind. But, if you work with a large staff of people, that might not be feasible. Don’t feel guilty if you can only invite co-workers who you are closest with.

What About Inviting Children?

It’s the most controversial decision in all your wedding planning: do we invite children to our wedding or not? The answer is: it’s up to you!

Do not let anyone guilt you into inviting, or not inviting, children to your wedding. Just be sure to word your invitation in such a way that it’s very clear who is invited and who is not.

That’s it – your guide on who to invite to your wedding and who to leave off the guest list. Keep in mind, your wedding guest list will change up until just a few days before your wedding. And sometimes, couples even need to univite a guest to their wedding. Keep your focus on your beautiful day and try not to let the stress get to you! In the end, you’ll be surrounded by loved one and have your happily ever after too!

How to Make a Wedding Guest List
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