(Closed) Cutting the guest list naturally?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
3374 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Just make sure that the people you NEED there can come and everything will be fine!

Post # 4
29 posts
  • Wedding: April 2013

Is there any way you could put a cut off on the family? Maybe invite (the same for both sides), your siblings, parents, grandparents, your parents brothers and sisters, and first cousins only?Would you be able to eliminate children maybe under the age of 13 or maybe even 18 if you’re really stretched?

I too am hoping for a few regrets, but in the back of my head I need to be comfortable with the idea that what happens if everyone I invite says they are coming?

Post # 5
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I think your idea is a really bad idea. Sit down and make a guest list of who you want to pay for and be done with it.  Making it inconvenient for people doesn’t mean they won’t come, but for those that are important to you, it will still be inconvenient.


Post # 6
2790 posts
Sugar bee

@RunningHusky:  I most certainly guarentee you are going to ruffle some feathers but if you would rather do that then choose to cut the list then have at it.

Post # 7
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t think it is a good idea.  Will you invite 150 and ‘hope’ they won’t come. What if the venue you choose won’t fit 150 and they all decide to come? You should decide how many guests you are comfortable paying for, what venue you really love and invite only that many people. Don’t feel pressured to invite all of the family; if there are aunts and uncles you are closer to, invite them and don’t invite others.  It is your guest list.

Post # 8
5295 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

Recognize that you may lose out on grandparents, aunts, uncles, other cousins, etc.


I probably still wouldn’t be comfy with inviting over the venue max.

Post # 9
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I would advise against this for several reasons. One- letting guests cut naturally- last week I received a yes rsvp from someone I never expected to attend our wedding- people may surprise you and do whatever they can to make coming to your wedding happen!

If I was one of the cousins, I’d be unhappy that you chose the same month as mine. Some guests could chose your wedding over theirs. The cousin would probably be less offended if you hold the wedding later in the spring, and don’t invite children, or cousins.

Or- you’re better off selecting the relatives you’re closest to. Can you afford a 100-person wedding? Then you and Fiance each get 50- up to you to figure out how to split it. 



Post # 11
959 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@RunningHusky: It’s not easy to cut down a wedding guest list but if your budget doesn’t allow a huge amount of guest then cut has much as you can. From personal experience, we originally wanted 50 guests. That went out the window when we included our parents especially FI’s parents. We were up to 120. We decided to cut down the list because we were going to go over budget (not by a lot but still) and it was just causing us but especially me a headache.

It got to the point where we said [email protected]# it, lol! We knew we didn’t want a large wedding, something intimate with our closest family and friends. We told told our parents what we wanted and told them it would help us maintain our budget and they understood. Fiance and I looked at our list and only included close family members: grandparents, immediate aunts/uncles, close first cousins (a handful), long-time friends of the family who always been there for us, and close friends.

We discarded any first cousins who we aren’t close to anymore and it was a good move because we would’ve been stuck inviting their kids. The only first cousins that are coming are because they are adults with no children (one cousin’s child is part of the wedding court) and those who are 15-yrs and older/young adults who live with their parents. If the remaining family who isn’t invited is upset with the decision we have made well then oh well. Fiance and I are paying for most of our wedding and we would like to invest some of our money into a new place for us.

We ended up with a guest list of 57 guests until FI’s parents intervene and had a conversation with us telling us we had to invite his aunts and uncles and some very close friends of the family who have helped them especially during the time FI’s dad was battling with cancer. Before I could have said a word, his parents told us they would pay for our catering and anything else we needed help with. It works out and I don’t have a problem because they will be paying for it. Our total guest list is now 85 and no more, lol! I’m sure there are some people who won’t be able to come so it isn’t has bad as 120.

My suggestion to you is to sit down with Fiance and ask him who you two want to share your wedding day with (despite if they can come or not). Make sure that whoever you want to be your guests fits within your budget. Also, devise a small plan b guest list if those who you want to come cannot come then you will have a backup.

Good luck!

Post # 12
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@RunningHusky:  I think that if you haven’t actually written down everyone that is on your and your fiance’s “Must Be Invited List” (ie. the people that you wouldn’t get married without them being present such as your parents, grandparents, siblings and their spouses, bff…) I would say that both you and your fiance should be able to have all of the people on both of your lists.

Then you can halve the remaining spots between you and your fiance and make a second list of “Possible Invitees” the other people that you might invite if you had the space/ money. If you only have the budget for 100 adults plus kids, and you don’t want to change venue/menu then only plan to invite 100 adults. 

Since you are asking for tips on how to cut this part of the list here are some suggestions.

  • Know that with wedding invitations reciprocity is not necessary
  • Do not include “Plus Ones” unless they are married, engaged, or living together
  • Include people that know both you and your groom over people that only know you
  • Do not include coworkers
  • Include people that are actually a part of your lives and help contribute to your relationship
  • Do not include people that you haven’t had any contact with for more than 1 year, 2 years, etc.


Post # 14
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@RunningHusky:  I was just reading a really useful book (Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding), and she made a point that I find germane and really agree with: people should be the most important consideration. You should choose your venue and tailor your budget to accommodate your guest list, and not the other way around. I get that a certain amount of tailoring your guest list to your budget is inevitable – but I think it makes sense that you opt for less expensive food, fewer/cheaper flowers, compromise on the venue, etc, in the interest of including more people.

That said, we have something similar on our hands. I have a huge family, both Fiance and myself are from out-of-state, and we’re holding the wedding in the city where we met and now live. (It means that both sides will have to travel, not just one, and anyway the city where we live now is a vastly more interesting place to visit than either of our hometowns!) We know that as a result, the people to whom it matters the most will self-select in, the others will “regretfully decline” (or not-so-regretfully), and we are hoping to end up with our target number. It’s a gamble, though – and we’re planning accordingly. We are scaling down our expectations on a lot of the frills, we have a venue that can potentially accomodate a bigger-than-expected crew, and, depending on how many people we end up with, maybe we’ll add some things back in, but we agreed that our rule of thumb is “more important to include more people than to have a bigger/fancier/more expensive (fill-in-the-blank).”

Finally, I know that this is probably going to be seen as a crazy suggestion, but would one of your cousins ever want to consider a double wedding? Nowadays weddings are seen as a really individualistic thing, but it wasn’t always so, and in previous decades families would hold double weddings if (more often) sisters or (occasionally) cousins got engaged around the same time. It almost never happens any more – but it’d be really unique!

Post # 15
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I wasn’t able to read everyone elses replies. 

But here’s something you could do. 

Stagger your invites. Such as decide on how many people, and who is “1st string – immediate family” 

Then send invites to those people, and when you get responses then send out 2nd string invites, to grandparents and aunts and uncles… then maybe third string to cousins who live on their own. Etc. Maybe you don’t need that many “strings” but it was just an example.  

So that way you know who is coming and you can get the top number of people you want to invite. 


Post # 16
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We are having the same issue. My moms mom has 9 married brothers and sisters. Which means a lot of extra people. I don’t have any of their numbers and don’t communicate with any of them now, but growing up I could actually count 3 of the 9 siblings that I actually went to their house and had conversations with. My mom decided it was either invite ALL or NONE.  Basically, she said there would be confrontation within the family if I only invited the ones I wanted to come. Keeping in mind that my mom had a wedding a few years ago in our home town and most of them didn’t even show up for that and they are her Aunts and Uncles. So I guess I really don’t have an answer, exact maybe all or none. We cut down to just Aunts and Uncles, no greats (aunts uncles), no cousins.

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