(Closed) “cut your guest list”

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
4485 posts
Honey bee

I completely agree. Alot of people insist that you invite everyone you’ve ever met, whether they care about you or not. Including parents’ business associates and friends who are not close to you, and even relatives who don’t care about you. A wedding is supposed to include those who are nearest and dearest to you and support your relationship, not people filling chairs to meet vendor requirements or impress others whose opinions don’t matter. Decide whom you can’t imagine the day without. Anyone else gets an announcement.

As far as the other stuff is concerned, you need to have a vision that fits your budget and style. So many women are wrapped up in the idea that if their wedding is not a copy of the magazines and blogs which are completely unrealistic, then their wedding will be a failure, even if that style does not fit who they usually are. What so many people fail to realize or care about is that that the only things that are required are a minister, a license, and two witnesses (and some type of reception within your means for your guests), and that everything else is totally optional. Countless weddings skip the lavish details, including full dinners, alcohol and dancing, and guests are fully able (and do) enjoy themselves without them.

Post # 4
5763 posts
Bee Keeper

Exactly. To each his own.

I personally think your list is off by what you THINK should be how it should go. Why make a ridiculous list of every person you’ve ever met to include them and not be able to feed them? A realistic budget should come first,and you should do your best to stay within it. People who are not invited won’t lose sleep over it,as most people realize how expensive weddings have become.

Our Grandparents for the most part had small weddings because of not being able to afford much more than that,unless they came from wealthy families. Many were potluck,where neighbors brought a dish to share. Some were just a few people and cake and drinks. Very few that I know invited hoardes of people……….it just wasn’t the norm,so I’m not sure where you’ve gotten that idea that money was not a consideration. It almost always dictates how people celebrate any big event. It woud be naive to suggest otherwise.

People do what they want to do,and I don’t think there’s any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to celebrate a marriage. What I DO think is wrong is to expect everyone to have the same feelings about what is most important to them,and for society to have a certain set of ‘rules’ that we should follow when planning a wedding.

. Again…to each his own.

Post # 5
4485 posts
Honey bee

While it is true that budget is one of the first things to decide on, you also need to have a ballpark of how many guests you intend to invite and your budget is dependant on that (and vice versa). Do what works best for you. There is no right or wrong if someone decides to pick their potential guests before they decide how much money they are willing and able to spend, the same as someone else doing the opposite is not wrong either. The problem comes in when people tend to be judgemental about “you’re not doing this right” simply because they have different priorities than others or prefer to follow steps in a different order. Worry about yourself and let everyone else take care of their own plans.

Post # 6
46 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree that to each his own.  While I was unwilling to cut guests to increase my dress budget (something that to me personally would be self-indulgent), I was willing to cut people that I wasn’t particularly close with to make the guests close to me & my fiance feel more comfortable.  Since half of our guests will be out of towners, I felt that it was important to feed them a full meal and provide them with a bar and good music.  When looking for a venue, we picked one that we could max out at size-wise, so we wouldn’t be tempted to start adding to the guest list.  Personally, I would not have cut our list in half to be able to serve a six-course meal to our immediate family and a few friends.  But at the same time I was unwilling to have a 200 person wedding where 80 people I’m not so close with and be serving them all a cash bar and minimal food. 

Post # 7
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think some times the guest list can get doubled and even tripled during the process though as parents add co-workers and people because “they invited us to their childs wedding”.

Usually if cutting the guest list is an ACTUAL option it’s because there are a number of aquaintances or plus ones for everyone. In these cases I don’t have a problem with exluding people that the couple isn’t really close to in order for them to afford things that are important to them.

I agree that I’d much rather have the things I want and only have people I’m very very close to  there than have a bunch of people who I may not be close to in 5 years there (co-workers, new friends).

Post # 8
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I think the tone of your post is pretty rude, imho. Especially where you say “so you want to impress half of the people you love and care for rather than celebrate with everyone?”  Not everyone who decided to cut the guest list (or encourages others to do so) is doing it to increase their dress budget or to have an extravagant event designed to impress people.  My Fiance and I cut our guest list because there were a lot of irrelevant people on there, and we wanted to have a meal rather than cake and punch.  So yeah, I would rather “impress” our extended family a full meal when they traveled and got a hotel room to come to my wedding, rather that “celebrate” with cake and punch for my FI’s parent’s dentist.  Totally extravagant, right?  Our priorities must be really out of whack. :-/

I agree  with what you are saying about weddings not needing to be extravagant and not being about impressing people, I really do.  However I think you need to recognize that the pressure that people put on brides to invite every single person they know is also a part of that wedding industry push for bigger, more extravagant weddings.  Why is telling a budget bride that she doesn’t need to have an extravagant designer dress or an extravagant 5 course meal any better or worse advice than telling her she doesn’t need to have an extravagant guest list including every single person she’s ever met but instead should focus on the smaller group of people she really cares about having there?

Post # 9
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think the percentage of people who cut the guest list only to be able to afford a fancy dress or full bar are very, very few. Usually the people who are cut, in my opinion, probably shouln’t have been invited in the first place. I think most brides don’t exclude the people they LOVE, but exclude the people their parents want them to include, or coworkers, or distant relatives they don’t really see often. I do agree that you could’ve approached this topic differently and without being so rude. Usually, these rant/rave type posts just make me wonder who snubbed you, because this sounds more like a personally based situation versus a general complaint.

But hey, if you want to celebrate with everybody under the sun instead of throw a nicer wedding for the people you love, have at it. IMO, this is something many people regret down the road. I haven’t seen about 50 of the people that were at my wedding a year ago. That tells me they probably shouldn’t have been invited in the first place.

Post # 10
2054 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I just wanted to point out that a wedding means a lot of different things to different cultures. Where I am from (not USA) weddings are more about the parents and they invite who they want….its more of the parents sending their kids off to start their life…the parents usually DO invite business partners…family friends and friends of friends…there are guests alloted to the bride and groom…but not nearly as many as for the parents. and if you DONT invite these people it is considered EXTREMELY rude. SO yes…we had to cut some of the guest list that my parents had in particular…which is a similar situation as greenleafmountain with her “fiance’s parents’ dentist”.

and no…it wasnt because I wanted a fancier dress or an extravagant open bar…we just had a certain budget that we had to stay within. and I want the guests who did make the cut to CELEBRATE and have an awesome time with awesome food and entertainment.

I guess you are right…to each his own.

Post # 11
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

i second (or third, rather) Greenleaf. I want to throw a great party for those I’m closest with, not a friend I shared a few beers with in college, or my mother’s strange sister in-law who is rude and obnoxious everywhere we go. So I cut at least 50 people whom I don’t even speak to anymore on a regular basis so my close family and friends who’ve supported my Fiance and me every step of the way can share a great meal, a gracious bar and fantastic music to support a fantastic dance party. we also splurged on a beautiful venue and a photographer to help us remember the day. these “extravagant details” of our’s may not be much to some, but this is special for us.

any day of the year, we could invite 300 friends and family over for a backyard barbeque. while that would be great, we wanted to create a more intimate setting for those who have been in it for the long haul.

i think it is a bit obnoxious to claim that you know how a wedding should be planned and that any other ideas are wrong. but since you are a “newbie,” maybe we can show you that these boards are not meant for harsh criticism.

happy wedding planning!

Post # 12
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I’d rather be a guest at 3 weddings where the food is fantastic, the drinks are fantastic and flowing, and I’m closer to the couple than a guest at 10 weddings where the food sucks, there’s a cash bar, it’s in a basement, and it’s a cousin who I haven’t seen in 5 years.  And in a world of limited resources, guess which type I’m throwing?  Cutting your guest list isn’t just a bonus for the couple, but a bonus for the guests as well.

Post # 13
4663 posts
Honey bee

I agree with OP. Definitely would NEVER cut my guest list because of budgeting reasons

Post # 14
271 posts
Helper bee

I totally agree with Jenn, we’re having an intimate wedding of just 35ish. We’ve friends who’ve sobbed with us during our low times and laughed with us during our highs. counting them on more than two hands leaves me feeling full. Those are the friends I want with us on the day we celebrate. To put it simply, those are the ones I want to treat like kings and queens, rather than spread my budget  thinly over the masses.


Although I love most people who’ve come into my life, inviting each and every one just doesn’t make sense, if, however, I was a millionaire, I might just have a 7 day wedding and invite the whole town, because, now that would be fun 😉

Post # 16
2475 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t personally know of anyone that has purposely not invited people that they cared about to their wedding so that they could afford nicer things.  On the contrary, I’ve been to many weddings with a HUGE guest list that seems was just made up to have as many people as possible there to be impressed at the grandness of the event.

I felt like we kept our guest list down, but certainly didn’t exclude anyone that meant a lot to us and that we really wanted there.  We just didn’t go about inviting everyone and their mom just because “we should”. 

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