Guide to Trimming Down Your Guest List

You’ve booked the venue and set the date for your wedding day. You are now starting to think about who to invite to your most precious day. You start writing down names of family, friends from college, colleagues from work. All of sudden, your guest list is fifty people over your limit. Now what?

For brides and grooms, deciding who to invite to their wedding can be a difficult process. Trying to balance the logical need for a certain number of guests to fit your venue and budget with the wish of not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings can be challenging. You may feel like you have to invite all your work colleagues, or that sorority sister that invited you to her wedding two years ago. We put together a few tips to make it easier to decide who the most important people are that you want to share your most precious day with. Think about the following as you make your way through your guest list and decide who is essential to your day. 

  • Have you seen or spoken with this person in less than 6 months? A year? When inviting people to a wedding, most couples want to invite everyone they know to share their day with. However, you may realize you are not as close with them as you think you are. If you have not spoken to them in 6 months, or even a year, chances are they wouldn’t be hurt if you didn’t invite them.
  • Would you invite this person to your home for a dinner party? The day of your wedding is filled with intimate moments with your significant other and family members. You want your closest friends and loved ones there. If you would not invite them into your home for dinner, chances are you aren’t that close.
  • Would you feel comfortable crying in front of them? A wedding day is filled with emotions for the bride, groom and family. It is one of the most intimate days of your life, as you marry your soulmate. There may be some tears involved. When deciding who not to invite, ask yourself “Would I feel okay to cry in front of them?” If the answer is no, cross them off.
  • But they invited me to theirs, shouldn’t I invite them to mine? The answer is no. It is perfectly fine and acceptable for you to not invite someone who invited you to theirs. Each wedding is different and personal to each couple. Venue spaces are different, budgets are different, and even the atmosphere of two weddings can be very different. Your friend may have had a huge 300 guest party, whereas you are having an intimate 100 person gathering. You should not feel bad for not inviting someone who you would not invite to your home for dinner or cry in front of.
  • Work Colleagues – All or Nothing. When it comes to inviting friends from work, we have figured out that it is best to use the all or nothing policy with colleagues. If you invite one colleague, you should invite them all. If you can’t or don’t want to, it is better to not invite anyone. This is insure that everyone is treated fairly and that you won’t end up in a sticky situation with people you see for 8 hours 5 days a week. 


In the end, your wedding day is YOUR day. You should not feel pressured to invite everyone you know or afraid you might hurt feelings. The wedding is about you, your loved one, and your closest family and friends. Enjoy the day!


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