Trying to lower the guest list….and don't want to be rude. Help!!

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@NicoleLyn1218:  Not inviting small children is a good idea for cutting a guest list.  Make sure you set a rule on what age and/or family relation and stick to it.  Also, be aware that by not inviting their kids, some parents will choose not attend your wedding.  This also helps cut your guest list.  It’s not your fault that certain parents will choose not to attend rather than hire a babysitter to watch their kids for the night.  Trust me.  Unless they are really neurotic, they have left their kids with someone so if they choose to skip your wedding over not being able to bring their kids, that is their choice.

Post # 4
3806 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@NicoleLyn1218:  Also, I would like to invite some people from work that I have become close with….but I don’t want to hand out invites to everyone. Do you think it would be rude to invite some to the whole thing (wedding and reception) and then post a thing in the break room saying when the dance is and that whoever wants to come is welcome to when the dance part starts???? Or is that rude?

Don’t do this. Invite the people that you want to attend. I’m not sure if you meant this in the casual sense or literally BUT don’t hand out invitations. Ask your potential guests for their address and mail them. If you want to be sure that word doesn’t get around that some people were invited and some weren’t, then you can politely tell your coworkers to try to keep the wedding talk to a minimum so that others don’t get offended, but they should know better. 

Also, it is not rude to not invite people. If you don’t want to invite them, don’t invite them. It’s your wedding. And even if you feel guilty, don’t ask people to wait until the music starts to come in and dance. That’s awkward, weird, and rude.

Post # 5
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@NicoleLyn1218:  Invite the entire office to the ceremony, and just ask those invited to the reception not to mention it at work, or don’t invite them to the reception.

Try to draw distinctive lines around what types of people you are inviting, and what type you are not.  eg. Family first.  Close friends Second.  Work people/other friends if there’s room.

The Queen, obviously.  I don’t think she’ll come, and if she does, you’ll probably get a hellawicked gift.

Post # 7
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@NicoleLyn1218:  The invitation is a courtesy.  Most won’t come.  It’s just the gesture of letting them know they’re welcome.

Post # 9
3217 posts
Sugar bee

@Duncan:  It is impolite to invite people to the ceremony and not the reception in North America.

OP, you seem sweet, but you don’t need to invite everyone an their brother to your wedding. The only people that must be invited are social units (married, engaged, living together couples).


Post # 11
370 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014


In the UK it’s acceptable, and indeed very common, to invite guests only to the evening part of the wedding reception. Lots of couples choose to send invitations to some guests that are only for the evening celebrations. However, I am not sure whether this will work in your situation, as it’s my understanding that weddings are often held later in the day in the USA. (For instance, I am getting married at 2:30 pm following which there will be a three course meal. It is usually after the formal meal that evening guests arrive and it is considered polite to provide a buffet for them. We haven’t decided whether to invite any additional guests in the evening yet, as we are aiming for an intimate wedding but, like you, may invite work colleagues to this part of our day.) I believe that a lot of American weddings start in the evening so there simply wouldn’t be time to cater to your guests in this way.

Invite only the people you want to be there to your wedding. People know that weddings are expensive and that space is often at a premium… That said, don’t invite everyone in your office except one person — as that would be rude!

It seems quite common for people not to invite children to their weddings.

Post # 13
7289 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I think you either need to invite all kids or no kids. You have to set a line. All kids over 5 invited but that means that you have to extend the invite to everyone who has kids over 5 and then they can choose if they want to bring their kids or not.

Imagine if your friends got to the wedding to see other peoples kids there and they weren;t even given that choice.

Also for the work people. Get the addresses of the people that you want to invite and send the invites to their homes.

It is also pretty rude to just invite guests to the ceremony and nothing else. Same goes for invting them to the dance and nothing else.

Post # 14
6166 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@NicoleLyn1218:  make an A list and a B list.

your A list – everyone who must be there

your B list – the like to haves

after A list is counted, how much space do you have left.

prioritze the B list and add people until you reach your max #.

Post # 15
539 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014


Invite them to either the whole thing or don’t invite at all. Tiered weddings are not acceptable in the US.

Post # 16
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@NicoleLyn1218:  First of all, you’ve been engaged for 2 weeks and you still have 14 months to plan.  You already have your venue, photog, etc; you’re definitely not behind.

I would just invite the few people you’re close to at work; don’t feel pressured to invite anyone you don’t hang out with outside of work (or wouldn’t consider hanging out with outside of work).  Like OkieHeart says:  invite them to everything or don’t invite them at all.

As for kids, I wouldn’t be able to imagine having my wedding without my niece and nephew (and FI’s nephew, of course).  I really wanted to stop there, but I have an aunt and uncle who don’t understand etiquette and will bring their kids to my wedding regardless, so we decided to invite all of the kids in our families.  However, allowing all of our friends to also bring their kids was too many people, so we drew the line at family kids.

Also think about how far you want to branch out family-wise.  Do you just want aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents or are you also into adding great aunts/great uncles/first cousins once removed/second cousins.  Obviously, sticking with the former will make for a smaller wedding.

Good luck!

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