(Closed) Slashing Your Guest List In Half: Who Are The First Folks To Go?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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ambitiousgirl4:  Anyone who is not close family – meaning you haven’t seen them in 2+ years.

Anyone who isn’t family – friends, coworkers, etc.

Anyone who you don’t talk to at least once a week.

lol that’s a big cut! But anyone who falls in those categories would get the boot if I downsized that much

Post # 3
745 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I have about 75-80 people. Started with immediate family, added one friend at a time til we got to this number. It was hard. I have a lot of local extended family and a wide circle of friends. I would say my guest list is a small selection of both. But I really want a small wedding. 

Post # 4
3527 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2017


People you havent seen in 2years or more.

People you havent comunicated with 1 year or more

If thats not enough… 


2nd cousins


Post # 5
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

For family we only invited immediate,  aunts and uncles.  We don’t have any living grand parents and didn’t invite any cousins.   We only invited our closet friends that we have known a long time and see and talk to regularly.

No coworkers,  no acquaintances.  Once you tell people you are only having 60 guests they understand means essentially family only.

My parents didn’t really get the concept.   They wanted to invite an uncle we hadn’t seen in 10 years, some of their friends I barely knew and insisted on some of the single people getting plus one’s. 

As for tough decisions there were some friends I wanted to invite, but if I invited them then I had to invite these other people too, then the list would keep growing.   So I only invited friends that we had spent time with individually.  We have a lot of friends that are part of the group that we see at parties.  It’s also hard because people talk and put stuff all over Facebook and we didn’t want people to feel like they got invited and I didn’t. 

Post # 6
9333 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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ambitiousgirl4:  we did no coworkers, no long lost friends or family we haven’t seen in years, and no one we don’t like. I know that sounds obivous “don’t invite people you don’t like”, but family pressures can be tough on that point…

Post # 7
1619 posts
Bumble bee

My suggestions would be to trash your first guest list and start over.  So mark out a piece of paper with 60 slots and begin filling them in.  Once all slots are filled then you are done.  I find that doing it this way is a lot easier then striking people off your original list, because a lot of times you will see names and then second guess yourself about whether to delete or not.

Post # 8
3897 posts
Honey bee

Friends of the parents that you really don’t know, friends you invited out of obligation, coworkers (unless they are close friends), extended family. I’d really look at who is meaningful to have there and who you know would really want to be a part of your day versus being there because its a social event.

Post # 9
1974 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

If I was inviting everyone I wanted to, my guests alone would be up at 200 before the other half even got a look in. And most of that is family. We’re looking at a venue for 38 guests. It’ll be immediate family and best friends only.

Post # 10
584 posts
Busy bee

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ambitiousgirl4:  Slashing a guest list is really tough – I think starting from scratch is the way to go.

Others have given good guidance on how to narrow your scope, but can I ask, what is the reason for wanting to cut the list in half?  I think it’s really hard to choose an arbitrary number and fit your list into that.  While I loved the idea of a more intimate party in theory, the reality is I love my big extended family and it wasn’t going to be a wedding to me without them.  So we had a somewhat larger (140-ish people) wedding and got to include all the people who were important to us.

Post # 11
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

When we had to cut our guest list the first to go were kids, which was an easy decision because I did not want to have a bunch of kids at the wedding (hubby has a few young cousins, so they were the exception, as well Flower Girl and RB). Second to go was plus ones (I know this is not popular with the Bee’s) but anyone not in a relationship did not get a plus one (I also did not want people I do not know at my wedding), the exception to this would have been anyone traveling to the wedding from another state. Third were cousins, I have cousins that I only see on christmas, and probably do not even speak a word to, we did not grow up together, and I would not expect to be invited to their wedding.
I also marked on my list those that would most likely not attend. I have a few co workers that I felt I should invite because others were being invited (people I work closely with everyday) but I was pretty confident they would not come, so I could send the invite but not count them on the guest list.

Post # 14
2125 posts
Buzzing bee

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ambitiousgirl4:  You’ve gotten great suggestions so far. I agree that you should start from scratch. Add in immediate family, then if you have room, add in aunts, uncles and cousins. For me, this put us at 100 guests alone and we stopped after that. If you have less than 60 with this group, then start adding in friends one (or two, if they’re a couple) at a time.

Post # 15
2050 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Pretty similar to previous posts. We started with immeasuate family but imediate family is a different definition to each of us. I have a huge extended family that we see regularly, as in my grandparents siblings and their kids I’ve seen on both parents side within the last 11 months. So for me, immediate meant aunts,uncles and first cousins only. For my partner, immediate family meant the cousins for who we knew their name and had seen in the last 10 years (he has a massive family but really isn’t very close to them). Most of my cousins are younger, so even though they have boyfriends and girlfriends we said no plus ones. We’d make an exception if they’d had a baby with/got engaged to/moved in with their SO at the point of doing invitations. Friends – anyone we hadnt spoken to for the last two years. It’s rough and we expect some fall out, especially as we’re the first in our friend group to get married but if I can’t tell you where they’re currently working or what they’re roughly doing and if they’re seeing someone – we’re not close enough. Finally, plus ones for single friends (with the exception of where they would literally know nobody), we explained this to them and they all understood and often said that getting a plus one felt like they had to find someone to bring. That has brought us down to 54! We probably could have been more ruthless with his side but it’s not a bad number. I’d say what helped us was making rules (no plus ones for cousins unless engaged, living with or having kids with). What also helped was using each other as an excuse (we would have to do the same for his/my side so it’s not just another 4, it’s another 20) and then finally blaming the venue (it’s quite a small room) if anyone questioned it.

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