(Closed) Small weddings: how did you keep your guest list down?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@regit45:  That’s tough. We are doing ours in my home state, which is a 2 hour flight or a 12 hour drive from where we live/my fiance’s family is from. It’s also in a city that is 2+ hours from where my extended family lives, so I don’t have too much to worry about.

We invited our immediate families, closest friends and a couple of cousins/aunts/uncles on each side that we are closest with. The way I see it, if the others were that close to us they would call us on birthdays/holidays or we would visit each other, which we don’t except for when the whole family gets together. 

We deleted our facebooks shortly after becoming engaged to avoid a lot of the drama. No stupid passive-aggressive updates or awkward comments that everyone will see. Also, it’s really refreshing not having a facebook. 

For the people who we really do regret not being able to invite, we have tentative plans of having a get together afterwards where they would be invited to celebrate with us and gifts would not be expected. Just a pot luck with some alcohol and music probably.

Post # 4
Member
8818 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@regit45:  draw the line, say first cousins only.

who do you really want to be at your wedding, that is what is most important.  if you are really keeping it small, people should understand.

Post # 5
Member
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

“who would help us bury a body?”

I’m convinced that the effort a true deep friendship takes necessitates the fact that we actually all only have a small handful of them, at best.

Post # 6
Member
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

FAMILY – First, if there is a large extended family cut at first cousins (invite their spouses but not their children).  If that isn’t enough cut out first cousins.  Still not enough?  Cut out aunts, uncles, and first cousins.  This should leave you with parents, grandparents, and siblings only.

FRIENDS – First, have you seen them in the last year or two?  If not, do you chat with them by phone, text or Facebook at least once a month?

CO-WORKERS – Do you spend time with them outside of work?  Do you invite them over (or do they invite you over) for dinners and/or get-togethers a few times a year?  If you only see these people at work and nowhere else, they’re not your friends, they’re just co-workers and there is no need to invite them when you have a limited guests list.

FINAL TEST FOR STRAGGLERS – Do you AND your FH know the person?  Could you and your FH pick them out of a lineup?  I will be able to pick out every one of our guests, even the ones I haven’t met yet because they are FH’s friends from the UK because he shows me their pictures and we chat with them online through Facebook and Skype.  If I see someone I don’t know at my wedding then I know they are crashing my wedding.

Post # 7
Member
1877 posts
Buzzing bee

@regit45:  Who says you can’t?  One of the many reasons I am getting married in Maui is so I don’t have to invite those unwanted relatives, etc. that  I’d otherwise have to invite. We are keeping our wedding at 50 people tops.  I want to invest my wedding money on luxury and high quality, not on quantity. That said, I have 6 sets of aunts and uncles, and I only sent a Save the Date to my favorite Aunt and her husband. I don’t know if the other Aunts and Uncles yet realize they aren’t going to be invited, but when it comes up, I have an answer ready.  We are aiming for an intimate, romantic affair with only those we are closest to.  Only those we are closest to will be coming.   If  anyone doesn’t get the hint at that and is so brash as to persist, I will then say point blank that if we don’t talk to you on the phone at least twice a month, and don’t see you in person more than once a year, you aren’t invited.  It’s  not fair to include you on such a small guest list when so many people we see every day aren’t being invited.  I guess the key is, you don’t have to care if people get upset.  I don’t care if they are upset if I am not close to them in the first place.  If we are close, they are invited.

Post # 8
Member
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I didn’t invite people I don’t talk to – family or not.  I have several cousins who live in state that I don’t talk to.  Same with Darling Husband.  We invited people who are special to us, and our current friends.  Immediate family.  Wa la.  Were there hurt feelings? Sure, but it was our wedding and we held it at our home.  You can only hold so many people in your backyard.  I don’t feel bad about any of it one bit.

I think the thing that irritated me was cousins I haven’t talked to or seen in YEARS asking my sister on facebook (since I’m not on facebook) if they can come to my wedding.  Um, no.  You don’t care enough to get in touch with me but you find out I’m getting married and now I matter? Too bad.

Post # 9
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@ajillity81:  My finance & I added up first cousins only/aunts/uncles, and are at just over 200.  Big families are hard to cut down.  Both of our families live close to us, and close to where the wedding is.  If her family is anything like mine, this is something we are REALLY struggling with too.

Post # 10
Member
1877 posts
Buzzing bee

@futureMrsCPT:  + 1!  I am always put off by how many people ask my other family members if they are invited.  It’s a blessing though, because at least they can get a confirmed no without me having to talk to them.

Post # 11
Member
4770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@regit45:  make it a DW?

Post # 12
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Our wedding was a destination wedding for most people, so that made it easier to keep our count down (though because it was a place many wanted to go, I think we had several say yes just so they could make it a mini-vacation in a discounted hotel room).  But, it was in DH’s home state, so he had lots of relatives.  The test for him was, who does he actually talk to.  Yes, he felt guilty and worried that old Aunt Soandso that he hasn’t talked to in 10 years might find out and be offended, but I made clear that she doesn’t really have a right to be offended if she hadn’t talked to him in 10 years.  It’s a wedding, not a family (or work) reunion.  Invite the people YOU really want there.  We had around 70 people, and it was great.

Post # 13
Member
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

There will always be some kind of drama and hurt feelings, so you’ll have to be prepared to deal with them as they arise.

 

For my wedding (65 total), we invited all parents,siblings, Aunts & Uncles…and a select few first cousins. My one Aunt DID say something to me when we visited her table, as her daughter (but not her sons,who were always no shows to every family event) was invited as well as another female cousin (an only child). I simply told her (after my shock at being confronted) that they haven’t come to anything in years anyway, so we thought they really wouldn’t be interested. She rolled her eyes, but was OK with it.

 

Sometimes you can’t win when planning, so you might as well have the people there you know will want to be there.

 

Post # 14
Member
9671 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@beachbride1216:  +1 to all of this

Post # 15
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@regit45:  my advice likely wont help as my guest list only included parents and siblings. My dad and mom did ask about inviting their siblings and I said no because aunts lead to cousins and in laws and kids -nope- patents and siblings only please. 

 

Post # 16
Member
2428 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@regit45:  we had 70 people, and we only invited aunts, uncles and close friends. no cousins (cos u invite 1 u invite all) and people who didnt have partners/SOs didnt have a plus one. which is acceptible where i live. it worked well and was a massive party 🙂

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