Planning your wedding guest list can be a very tricky and somewhat delicate procedure and is without doubt, one of the most stressful parts of the wedding planning that can cause some of the biggest rows. So just how do you get safely through this task without running the risk of offending those people that you haven’t invited.
It goes without saying that the size of your venue will ultimately determine just how many guests you can actually invite, since if the capacity is 100 then there’s no way that you will be able to ask 200. So assuming you have already booked your venue, having pre-conceived ideas of whether you want a small intimate gathering or a huge bash, here’s a few tips on compiling the guest list.
Firstly compile a list A which should include the people that you think ought to be asked (especially if your parents have contributed towards the cost). This will normally include close family members, uncles, aunts and cousins. It is always polite to invite those guests who you are pretty sure won’t attend either because they live a distance away or through illness. It shows them that you are thinking of them. Also include your very best friends on this list.
Then compile list B which includes more casual friends and possible work colleagues for both you and your fiancé.
Whether or not to invite children is always a bit of an issue. If you have a special little person who you simply must have at your wedding, then it is only fair to include your guest’s children in the invitation. If you decide that you don’t want children at your wedding, then in order not to cause offence, you must exclude everybody’s children and make it known that unfortunately, you can’t make an exception for one person.
If list A is already way over your venue’s capacity then you will simply have to make cuts. I would suggest leaving out anyone who you haven’t spoken to within the past 5 years and who you don’t see featuring in your lives for the next five years. Once your replies come flooding in, and you have some people that can’t attend, then you can being phoning round group B, giving them a hearty verbal invitation.
Finally, an outdoor wedding is an easier option if you want to have lots of guests present, or alternatively if you’re having a sit down meal, keep the numbers small to include close family members only, and then invite everyone else on the list to the evening reception which is likely to be able to accommodate more people, once the tables and chairs have been cleared away.