How do you cut down your guest list?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
7410 posts
Busy Beekeeper

You should stop thinking in terms of sides. You are getting married so it is all our family. Not his family, not your family, just our family and friends.

At the end of the day you need to compromise with the guests list. He is willing to go through with a larger than he wanted wedding and you are going to have to be willing to go with a smaller than wanted wedding.

I would first pick a guest list number that you can both agree to (100 is probably a good medium) and then start the cuts. Do you really need to invite your cousins children? Do you really need to invite your cousins?

Then I would have a look at the friends list and work out who is a close friend, who is a friend and who is an acquaintance. Cut the acquaintances out straight away.

Also are the families of the wedding party their children? or is it their parents/siblings?

How many children are involved? Can you have a child free wedding? Can you have another room for the kids and hire some baby sitters thus giving the illusion of less people.

Post # 4
Member
7216 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@HonoraryNerd:  Is cutting the cousins an option? I believe this sort of thing is ok, so long as you’re consistent, i,e, invite no cousins (at least none on your side). We invited all aunts, uncles and cousins. (We invited none of cousins’ kids, but none of them were adults anyway). Older BIL invited aunts and uncles, but no cousins. Other BIL invited no aunts, uncles or cousins. Because they were both consistent in who they excluded, there were no hard feelings.

I see nothing wrong with including his cousins and excluding yours. Your family doesn’t even need to know that you’re inviting his (small number of) cousins.

Post # 5
Member
478 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We cut the list by only inviting our BEST friends, and picking and choosing family members. Yeah yeah, faux pas. But many family members have shown their true colours lately, and some of those people I just don’t want there! I would also advise removing cousins. We invited his cousins as he only has 2, and we also invited the cousins only on my dads side (6).

Guest list was painful.

Post # 6
Member
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I don’t know if this will help at all, but one of my wedding books said when creating your guest list, imagine running into a certain person on the street a few days after your wedding and think about how you’d feel. Would you be slightly bummed that person wasn’t at your wedding, or would you be really upset they weren’t there? It seems like such a simple way to look at it (and it is), but it really helped me. I know it tends to be harder with family, but maybe it might still help in your case.

Post # 7
Member
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

I’m not sure if this would work in your family, but we only invited our CLOSEST family (only 1st cousins, and if we hadn’t talked to them in a while, then they weren’t invited), and BEST friends. It ended up being about 134 people and 116 came! If I wouldn’t be upset they weren’t there, then they weren’t invited.

Post # 8
Member
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2001

No kids at all. They won’t remember your day anyway

Post # 9
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@HonoraryNerd:  My suggestion would be to cut the kids first, and then eliminate plus ones. Does any of your family have to travel very far? Are there family members you don’t see on a regular basis? I would cut them next.

That is what we had to do, we both wanted a relatively small wedding. To do this, I’m not inviting all my cousins from my dad’s side. They live far away and I’ve only seen them once or twice in the last 5 years. It didn’t make sense to invite them when I had friends who I see on a weekly basis that I wanted to invite. I am inviting my aunts and uncles on my dad’s side to avoid any drama, but he doesn’t think they will make the trip.

I don’t know if any of that is an option for you though. Just a thought. 🙂

Post # 10
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee

This looks like me and my fiancé. We thought about eloping (his mother cringed so we knew it wasn’t something we would feel comfortable doing), we thought about having a wedding with only our parents and sisters (my fiancé wasn’t comfortable with the idea, he felt that weddings are also occasions for people to congratulate his parents, so we should at least extend invitations to uncles and aunts). I finally agreed to compromise on that. But, he has a large family, on his side they’re 40, on my side less than 20. So our decision was : we keep to uncles and aunts + their spouses on his side. His cousins, he isn’t really close to, except maybe the oldest 2 that he might invite. On my side, I don’t have many uncles and aunts, however my cousins and I are close so I will invite them (6 total + spouses). 

When my fiancé’s sister got married she did the same (invite all uncles and aunts, but didn’t invite all cousins, only the 2 she was closest to) and nobody complaint. They understood she had a budget limit and that she chose to have guests she really had a close relationship with, and nobody was offended by that. 

Remember it’s not about making it all ”equal” on both sides, it’s about having you truly care about (and truly care about you) with you that day.

Post # 11
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We cut down our guest list by inviting no children (we called each family member with kids to tell them in advance), no plus ones except spouses or live-in/long-term partners, no co-workers, and no acquaintances (only our closest friends).  My fiance’s parents have around 50 friends, and didn’t feel comfortable picking and choosing a small number to invite, so they invited none of them, and instead threw a casual “meet the newlyweds” backyard party at their home a couple months after the wedding.  (We all thought this was a perfect solution!) 

Also, our wedding party was small and consisted only of family members.  (That’s one way to avoid having to give plus ones to single/unattached friends, which you can do if they’re just a guest, but is harder if they are an attendant.)  For family, you might consider drawing the line at first cousins (no second cousins), or else you might do it based on the closeness of your relationship.  But I find it’s much trickier to cut family (other than having a no kids rule), so hopefully you can cut enough from other groups.  Good luck!

Post # 13
Member
250 posts
Helper bee

If I were you. I would do a family only wedding since overall family is more important then friends. Family joins together, friends don’t join together. A family only wedding would be a compromise. 

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