(Closed) Help- making my guest list

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1639 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@MissCaraMia:  Etiquette says those married, engage, and living together are social units that are to be invited. If you have those family memebrs like me who have common law spouses, they are invited too.

I read once there are many layers in wedding guests lists. Those who are absolutely invited are parents, grandparents, and siblings. Cousins and aunts are then added. Next are close friends.

The guest list is the HARDEST part if you ask me.

I didn’t invite some cousins because we are not close, and yeah they got upset. Of course, I never said a word when I wasn’t invited to their events!!


Post # 4
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Those that are married, engaged, and living together get invited as a couple. I am personally inviting all couples regardless of if they are just dating because I am not judging the seriousness of their relationship if they hae a SO they are invited, but ettiquitte wise it is just the first three groups. As for inviting the cousins some people invite in circles to make it easier only first cousins, first and second cousins etc. If you do not talk to these people and have not in years I would not invite them but if it causes too much drama maybe sick to first cousins only. A wedding is not a family reunion just because you are related does not mean you need to invite them all but if you invite cousin jane her husband john needs to be invited too.

Post # 5
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would also advise, leave cushion.  You may find out one cousin is engaged, etc.  It may be counter-intuitive, but it may be easy to have 60 rather than 100.

Post # 6
5664 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Yes you have to invite their spouses. Better to not invite those that are not close to you if you don’t have room for their spouses. 

Post # 7
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MissCaraMia:  Yea, you’re kind of stuck with inviting the spouses if you invite the cousins.  It might be easier to cut them all together if you aren’t that close, or see if you can increase your 100 person limit.

Post # 8
48 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

i made sure to invite (by name) anyone living with/ engaged/ married to one of my guests and give a plus one to certain guests.


i did not, however, feel obligated to invite “boyfriends/girlfriends” of specific guests. i know the ettiquette is everyone gets a plus one or nobody does…

but finding out the best man was trying to bring an escort was the final straw.

Post # 9
4042 posts
Honey bee

We have a 110 max. We’re ot inviting an uncle, on each side, nor the aunts and 1st cousins who go with them. We don’t communicate with them at all, so why send an invitation? We’re also limiting those under 21 – 4 who are in the bridal party, including his niece and nephew, plus my honorary little brother and sister (15 & 18).  If our guests ask to bring an adult guest, the guest will be issued a separate invitation. We are not issuing any invitations to “and guest.”  I hear that setting the guest list and waiting for RSVPs are the two worst parts of wedding planning. Good luck!


Post # 10
967 posts
Busy bee

I am not married or engaged but I have learned a lot on ettiquette. If it were me when it came down to plus ones, I would only do married, engaged, or live in SOs. If not apply then the only expection would be if I’m friends with their signifant other. If I’m not friends with their signifant other and they aren’t married, engaged, or living together then I will not invite their so. Now as far as family goes I would issue a plus one if they are in any kind of serious relationships because they are family and their so could be my family someday. 


Post # 11
967 posts
Busy bee

As far as who to invite I would invite family and as far as friends go ask yourself this question. Do I have their phone number in my contacts. If not then don’t invite them. If your doing a slideshow then if you don’t have a photo of them them I would either b list them or not invite them at all. 

Post # 12
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I would invite close friends before cousins.  My layers of invites were 1) immediate family, 2) close friends, 3) aunts & uncles, 4) cousins who I grew up with in my hometown (they are scattered all over the country), and 5) close family friends who come over to my parents’ house annually for Christmas & 4th of July.  The next two layers were friends from grad school and cousins beyond those who I am close to, but we just don’t have the space.  I actually feel worse about not inviting some of my grad school friends than not inviting distant cousins, but we are doing the reception at my mom & dad’s house so we really can’t invite more than 100 (hoping we get about 85-90).

Post # 13
1689 posts
Bumble bee

You may find it easier if you follow the traditional etiquette for putting together a guestlist:

Make a date to visit your mother for coffee and bring along your visiting-book (also known as an address-book, or a laptop/tablet with good contact-list software). Have her get out her visiting-book (or Christmas card list) and copy the names, addresses, spouse and children’s names, and preferred titles for every name on her list that you even vaguely recognize.

Repeat the process with your future mother-in-law. Repeat with any step-mothers et cetera, as necessary. Repeat with you fiance.

You now have your future family’s master social list (contact list) with all necessary information.

Export the contact list to a spreadsheet (or write the names on the backs of your old visiting cards which will be obsolete when you get married) and sort the names in order from nearest and dearest — the people that you or your fiance cannot imagine getting married without — to more distant relatives and more casual acquaintances keeping any married, engaged, or equivalent-to-married couples together. Go all the way through the list doing this, just to make sure you don’t miss any near-and-dear names. Then, starting at the near-and-dear end, count up ninety entries and draw a line. If your line goes through a difficult breakpoint (like the middle of one set of cousins) back off a little and increase your cushion.

Just be ruthless and objective, and it will all come out right eventually.

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