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Who’s On Your Guest List?

November 10th, 2014 by Jeannine

Who's On Your Guest List?

One of the best ways to cut down on wedding expenses is to decrease the guestlist, there’s no doubt about that… but who do you cut out? Obviously you will invite immediate family, close extended family, and close friends… but where else do you draw the line? Let me break it down for you and see which rules you’ll keep for your guest list.


There are a few reasons why couples don’t want children at a wedding… they may cause a disturbance, they want their parents to have a good time at the wedding without babysitting, or they just couldn’t afford the extra place settings. You have to decide where to draw the line… have an adults-only event, invite children related to you and your groom, or invite all children. Inviting some kids but not others may cause a rift between you and the guest whose children weren’t invited so you’ll want to avoid that. If you have to invite everyone’s children, you should ask your venue or caterer if they charge less for children’s meals… they often do. Another option, if you can afford it, is to hire someone to look after all the kids at your event, or an entertainer just for them so they don’t get bored.

Extended Family

What happens if you have a lot of aunts and uncles living in the area? If you can afford to invite all and prevent some family drama, by all means do so. If you are only close with a few, invite just them and hopefully the rest will understand that there are reasons why you weren’t able to invite them. Ask your parents to help explain to them your situation and hopefully that will lessen the blow (if any).

Family Friends

Another common thing that happens is for parents to invite family friends to the wedding… which is fine, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. Talk to them about who they’re thinking of inviting. Of course you’d rather have family friends there that you personally have a connection to but I guess you have to understand that your parents want to celebrate and share this momentous occasion with their friends too. Negotiate if you can, limit them to x number of tables or place settings and if the cost gets too high then you can try asking them to help foot the bill for their extra guests.


Are you close enough to your co-workers to invite them? I think, if you actually spend time with them outside of work, send them an invitation. Otherwise, don’t. If your department is small, don’t feel pressured to invite them all if you are only close to 1 or 2 people. I’m sure they will be mature and understand and be happy for you anyway.

Plus Ones

Ahhhhh this is the tough one. For me personally, if they are married or have a long term partner, that partner is always invited. If someone is newly dating or is single, it’s a different story. Here’s what I would do if I had room in the budget…

  • if a guest is single and won’t know anyone at the wedding – invite a plus one
  • if a guest is single and will know people at the wedding – don’t bother with a plus one but seat the guest with people he/she knows
  • if a guest is newly dating – invite a plus one and hope for the best :P This is really subjective and depends from couple to couple.

Of course these are just suggestions and it really depends on how reasonable or unreasonable the people you are dealing with are. Just think it through, ask for help and advice, and once you lay the rules out, stick with it. No exceptions :) Good luck!

Feature photo from Shutterstock

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