Guest List Anxiety! What was your experience?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
906 posts
Busy bee

I’m not married nor engage but invite who you want. If I was engaged and doing a guestlist I would follow the following criteria. 

A. Invite family. Friends come and go but family most likely stays forever. As far as friends go I would follow this criteria

1. Do you have their phone number and text them once in a while

2. Do you hang out with these people outside Facebook, twitter, exc. 

3. If doing a photo slideshow do you have photos taken with them.

this I believe will be a start at making your guestlist. 

Post # 3
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Do you have them listed in groups that can’t be broken up? Often that helps show things. Because if you simply have to invite 3 ppl from group x (because you want to and think it’s the right thing to do) and there are 2 more ppl in that group, then youd need to invite them all.

besides that, you two need to decide who you’d be comfortable not inviting and who you’d regret leaving out assuming Everything continues as it’s been. 

We counted everybody and our money and realized we could be happy with 130 ppl at our wedding, budget-wise, venue capacity-wise, and to invite everyone we’re close to. Because we still wanted to invite more if possible, we planned to send save the dates to a limited group only, and send invites and set first RSVP deadline early enough to do a second round of invites if possible. Having our wedding as a domestic destination also ended up culling the group so we’ve been able to invite nearly 215 ppl total and will still be under 130 attending. 

Post # 4
129 posts
Blushing bee

I’m doing a very small wedding (30 guests) and later on doing a bigger, casual wedding celebration. Our families are huge- are guest list was roughly 200 people. We wanted the people who were constantly active in our lives at the wedding and to not cheat ourselves from the special, more intimate moments with them. It’s having us focus more on the vows and eachother rather then a lavish party with an endless list of things to do! Having the reception later on was a great comprimise with all are aunts and uncles. Plus we are saving money ($6,000) by doing this! I would recommend to every bride to slim the guest list down and celebrate with the people who are truely active in your lives! 🙂

Post # 6
2894 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

amyanne417: Invite who you want and can afford to host. If you want to have an A-List and a B-List that’s fine too. 

Everyone will get over it so don’t worry about who you invite / don’t invite. Just don’t invite more people than you can handle. 

Post # 7
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church


Here is what we did …

 For my Side –

We invited my second cousins from my dad’s side and only two kids of one of the cousins because they are close to my age and we have always known them. The other third cousins from my dad’s side did not get invited because I haven’t seen them in well over a decade and, well, they did not invite me to their weddings (this I pointed out to my mom when she asked – and she left it at that after murmuring in agreement). I don’t know anyone on my mom’s side (long story that has nothing to do with me) that is still alive. I invited family friends from my side because they have known me since I was very little. We are having a kid free wedding so my nieces will not be attending (non issue because my one sister does not believe weddings are for children).

For fi’s side –

We are having an 80 person wedding which means that we have a limit. His dad’s side that lives far away is huge (he was one of 9 siblings – so with all first cousins the total for aunts, uncles, SOs and first cousins would be well over 40 people) so under his mom’s guidance we are only inviting the uncles (the aunts have not kept in touch and never visited, even to attend FI’s father’s funeral). FMIL wanted to invite all these friends (she has refused to give names) and FI has put his foot down and told her no (and told her that we will not even consider it unless she provides us with names). We are inviting his great aunts and uncles on his mom’s side and a couple of cousins. FI is having an easier time than his sister with regards to his mom because he is better at standing up to her and with how some family behaved at his sister’s wedding.

We are also inviting some friends that have been there for a long time. It took me a bit of time to get FI to see that we do not need to invite anyone that we see very occasionally. It just didn’t make sense if we don’t hang out with them at all outside of going to a mutual friend’s place.

I think that it mostly depends on who is paying and your relationship with the person that is insisting on all these guests. Sometimes you need to put your foot down, sometimes it is about compromising and sometimes you just need to give in. So you have to decide on what you are going to do and if it is worth it to put your foot down. Just make sure that whatever you decide you will stick to it and don’t waiver. People say family is more important – but sometimes that is not necessarily true because friends can be more like family than family.

Sorry for the long response!

Post # 8
479 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

amyanne417:  Invite who you want first and foremost.  If that’s just the people you really talk to, then do that.  I have some old friends I would have loved to invite as we hung out all the time when FI and I were first dating, but we’ve gone our spearate ways since then and every time I suggest getting together nothing happens.  I decided it wasn’t worth inviting all those people since I haven’t been able to get them together in over 2 years.  Sad? A bit.  But I feel good knowing that the friends I’m inviting are there for me and really do want to hang out with me on a regular basis.  Once you’ve made your must have list if you can afford a few more or have the space tell your families they can have x number of people to invite and that’s it.  

If you really think this is going to be a problem with offending people find a venue that holds your ideal size and no more.  Then your excuse is, sorry, we are maxed out at the venue!

As for the money issue- look into restaurants for your reception venue.  Saves a boatload as the minimums are often reasonable and you don’t have to rent chairs, plates, etc.  Plus, you don’t have to search for a caterer!

Post # 9
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

I told FI it was very simple…look at the list and cut anyone you wouldn’t take out to dinner (and foot the bill) for $100 meal. 

Keeping it small is actually very simple because once you tell people it’s just a small wedding then they understand but if your ‘sister’s cousin’s half brother’s baby sitter who once sneezed in your soup’ gets invited and they don’t that’s when feelings get hurt.

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