(Closed) Guest List Guilt – how did you deal?

posted 4 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
Member
694 posts
Busy bee

No one really insinuated to me that they thought they were invited. Even if I had all the money in the world, I’m not sure I would want a big wedding. When people asked about our wedding, I would tell them our venue and how my husband originally wanted to elope, but instead we compromised and decided to do something small in our hometown. Usually, when I got to the word “small,” I was hoping they’d get that they weren’t invited if they weren’t.

I didn’t really feel bad about not inviting people.

Post # 3
Member
1009 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: The Retreat at Bradley\'s Pond

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chevaldame:  
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queennen:  She hit it right… just keep mentioning that you’re excited about your small and intimate wedding. We wanted under 100 people, we invited ~120 and had about 90ish which was perfect. But at least 50% of that was family. Most of our friends know how weddings go (as we are among the last to get married in our groups) so it was no harm, no foul. Closer to the event you can tell people that you’ve love to have them. I invited several friends without guests but closer to the event I saw who was/wasn’t coming and talked to them directly about being offered another invite if they wanted. 

People are going to ask about the wedding out of politeness not because they’re always looking for an invite- yes some will do it, but most are asking out of social graces. 

Post # 4
Member
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Ballroom

We only had a handful of folks who directly made reference to expecting an invitation who weren’t even close to making the cut (far-flung acquaintances, crazy neighbor of my in-laws).  I tried to not discuss the wedding with those who weren’t being invited, that way there was no awkwardness.  You are asking for people to make assumptions that they are getting an invite when you talk to them about the details. For the occasional times we were directly asked by those not being invited, we would just say, “We haven’t finalized the guest list” and “The budget is tight”, just to try to get them off the subject matter.  It is awkward, but you can avoid making it extra awkward by keeping your chatter to a minimum, unless it is with someone you are definitely inviting. 

Post # 5
Member
2506 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t feel guilty? We are inviting the people that are important to have there. Why would I feel guilty about not asking anyone else?

Post # 6
Member
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

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chevaldame:  Our wedding was primarily family, and just a few really close friends. No one assumed they were invited, and for coworkers and such, we just said that we were excited about our small family wedding back in my hometown. 

Post # 7
Member
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

It is what it is.  We’re having a 65 (or so) guest wedding.  I made a decision that picking a venue that would be “easy” was more important to me than having a big wedding. So I chose the closer, easier, but more expensive option which limits my guest list out of necessity.  Both our dads have HUGE families (my dad is 1 of 7, his is 1 of 11).  Inviting aunts and uncles alone would have bumped our guest list to almost 110 (assuming everyone came).  Inviting FIRST cousins and spouses would have bumped our guest list to almost 200.  Everyone who has hinted at an invitation would have come after at least aunts and uncles and likely after cousins – so they wouldn’t have been invited unless we were having a 200+ person wedding.  So, for us, it’s been easy to say, “We’re having a very small wedding.  We aren’t even inviting most of our aunts and uncles!”  This seems to have worked for the most part, although I think some of my fi’s aunts are a little upset.  Oh well. They’ll get over it!

Post # 9
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee

This has been one of the most fascinating parts of wedding planning. I told very close girlfriends I envisioned a small wedding and they asked if they would be invited. These were the women on my must invite list! And they were polite enough to consider that sometimes tough calls have to be made. 

Contrast that to people I haven’t spoken to in years. They have all assumed they are invited. They’re going to be disappointed for sure, but I can’t say I’m incredibly upset about it. I know a married couple that said they wouldn’t invite anyone the other person hadn’t met before they got engaged. So basically, if X person were truly important to you, we would have met by now. Not a perfect measure, but telling.

Sometimes you don’t have space or budget to invite people you want to invite. But sometimes it’s an easy signal to demonstate that you are acquaintances and not friends. 

Post # 10
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I am in this same situation. We are having a small wedding by choice and will only be inviting about 20 people. My mom and I had issues because she would say things like “well I don’t know how I’m going to tell your Aunt and Uncle they aren’t invited” or “you need to at least send them an invite” I finally had to put my foot down. Another family member said we need to wait to get married until we can afford to invite everyone. We can afford to have a big wedding but then we couldn’t afford a nice ring, a honeymoon, a house and baby next year. We prioritized what was important to us and the actual wedding itself was bottom of the list. We don’t like to be the center of attention and so we thought we would just elope on our honeymoon. When our parents found out they asked us to please at least do something for them to witness. His parents are divorced and both remarried. He has a sister and 4 step siblings and they are all married. We are only close to two of them but I thought how do you invite 2 and not all 5? When our friends heard of our engagement they immediately started asking when the wedding was and asked about being bridesmaids and groomsmen. I was constantly dodging questions. Last week we finalized our guest list. It consist of the people that are most important to us and the ones that we talk to on a regular basis not those that we just see at Thanksgiving. We are doing family only. I know it is going to be hard when everyone finds out but we will say “Well were going to elope but decide to at least do something for our parents to witness so we are to just have a small and quick ceromony. I wish we could of invited everyone but weddings are just so expensive.” Thankfully all of his step sisters recently just had big expensive weddings, bought houses and had babies so I honestly think they will understand and say we are smart for saving our money. I wish you the best. I think the guilt is just part of having a good heart.

Post # 11
Member
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Keep it short and sweet.  Just say, we’re looking forward to our small wedding with family.  THat’s how we were able to compromise and most guests are understanding.

A good example is a good friend was getting married but she only invited immediate family and 2 close friends.  I had no objections as it was her wedding and she did whatever she wanted.  I got to listen all the details during the planning and after the wedding.  🙂  If they’re good friends, they will respect your decision but make it clear from the beginning.

Post # 12
Member
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Good friends will understand. I wish I could invite everyone, but I am learning to not feel guilty. Weddings are expensive and most people know that.

Post # 13
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

My DH and I had only 30 people at our wedding (immediate family and grandparents and 2 close friends each of ours in the BP), and it was a destination wedding – but that’s what we wanted… The Destination Wedding was in DHs mom’s home state (still 6 hours south of where shes from) so she was mad we didnt invite her entire family (an extra 75 people).. but really we only had issues with his folks, who were mad we didnt invite everyone under the sun.. including people from back home.. and one aunt actually freaked out and started crying to my DH at a gathering we had beforehand (DHs mom forced us to have a reception before the wedding with her side of the family)… honestly the aunt that cried and made a scene looked like an ass… DH hadnt seen her in over 10 years, and it was the first time I had ever met her… I didnt even know what what happening as she was so hysterical.. I just stood there with an awkward smile on my face and that was really awkward for everyone else there too.. but other than that, people understood what we wanted.. and respected our wishes… anyone who doesnt understand is pretty selfish.. weddings are about the bride and groom – not everyone else.

Post # 14
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I have the same problem! We are not having a small wedding, but we are also not having a huge wedding, so we simply can’t invite everyone. I am careful not to talk about the wedding to people that we are not positive are on the guest list.

Unfortunately, it has become clear (too late for me to stop her) that my Future Mother-In-Law has been word-of-mouth inviting people (when people I met for the first time told me that they can’t wait to attend our wedding). And, of course, some not-so-close friends have also assumed that they are invited. I know that I am not obligated to invite any of these people, but good grief, the awkwardness! The guest list and people that assume invitations are, by far, the most stressful part of wedding planning. 

 

Post # 15
Member
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017 - Ocean front

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chevaldame:  I totally relate!!

FH and I agreed we want a very small intimate affair….even the # we are at now, 70 ish seems like too many! LOL

I also feel bad about people who I’m friends w but had to leave out after our initial “must have” list was done. Honestly, we hate being the center of attention plus are paying ourselves so budget is a big factor too. 

I get anxious talking to a friend I can’t invite but we started first with immediate family then w lifelong friends, and those we are obviously closest to and see most often. I feel horrible ranking levels of friendships….but it was necessary none the less.  :×(

I think mentioning needing to have a small wedding for financial reasons, people should understand….at least I hope anyways.

 

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