Wedding Invitations: How to Cut People from Your List

It’s every bride’s nightmare: trimming down the guest list — and facing the wrath of slighted friends and great-aunts. Here’s how to do it properly

Some brides and grooms want “everyone” to attend their weddings — while others prefer to keep it an intimate affair. To each his and her own, but every choice has its issues!

Dear Wedding Guru:
“We want a small guest list, but we haven’t figured out exactly how to do that, or where to start cutting. Can you help?”

The Wedding Guru says:
Limiting your guest list is no easy task! Here are some ideas that I hope may help:

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Invite only those friends who you have seen or spoken to in the last year. Almost every wedding album has guests that the couple has never heard from or seen since the wedding! Ignore the “tit for tat” concept and only invite people to whose wedding you have been in the past year. Reciprocity need not extend past one year.

Ask your parents to stick to the specific number of guests that you “allot” them. Give them the number of invitations, not the number of places they can fill. In other words, they get only an “A” list and may not fill in the “no’s” they get with people from their B list. And tell them not to invite any couple that’s been together less than a year. This is bound to create waves, but you may do it anyway. You have the option to invite your friends only, and tell your parents that their lists must include only family.

Invite only those children who are in the wedding party and think carefully about if it’s “worth” filling a guest slot with a child, or you would rather invite someone who will actually remember your wedding and enjoy being there. (You may well be doing a big favor to the parents of the little ones.)

Last but not least, here’s a really good list-cutter (unless you come from a very wealthy background and have rich friends): If you opt for a destination wedding in a location that’s far away from you, your family and your friends, only the people who really want to be with you on your wedding day — and (unfortunately also) only those people who have the money — will attend. Oof!

Cutting lists is never an easy thing to do, but so long as you do so with tact and grace, your friends should understand.

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