(Closed) To invite or not invite? What was your criteria?

posted 5 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
3080 posts
Sugar bee

My daughter only included a few guests under 21 (in the bridal party), but their dream venue only held 100, so we had a few rules. If the couple or their parents didn’t have a guest address, they were not going to be invited. This ruled out an uncle/aunt, on each side; we don’t even exchange Xmas cards, with the one on our side.

I would definitely leave off all your cousins, except the 3 you like. Chances are, if you don’t have a relationship with them, they won’t drive a 6 hour round trip for your wedding, anyway. My son in law’s side had a 3.5 hour drive and half of them declined. And we planned the wedding 1.5 hours from our side, so we could be fair to his side.

Post # 3
7440 posts
Busy Beekeeper

If she is a great friend how will not inviting her effect the relationship? She may be a “hot mess” but this could really hurt the friendship you have. Think about the consequemces. If you can live with it and move on then do not invite her. If she will be hurt and it isn’t worth losing the friendship over then do invite her. 

As for narrowing done the guestlist- separately make an ABC list. A list being parents, grandparents, best friends and people you have to have. B is people that would be you would prefer to have, cousins, friends. C list are those that would be nice but not necessary, co-workers and distant relatives. Then you both sit down with your lists to create the final guest list with what you can afford.

Post # 4
1740 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with your BFF. I would NOT worry about who wants/expects to be invited, I would only invite people you actually WANT to invite. That was my one real critereon– Do I WANT them there? Or does DH want this them there? All other critereon fell to the wayside for me…  Some people I hadn’t seen in the past year but I was really excited to see them (long distance friends). 

I think that was one nice thing about waiting so long to get married, I really didn’t care too much what people thought or expected. I didn’t invite all my “family” that I don’t know well (extended family in another state that I’ve met only a few times in my life) I invited the family members I know and love. Same with our grad school friends and work people. We work an industry that it project based so we’re constantly working with differnet/new people. We are friendly with lots of them, but to be invited to the wedidng I have to consider them friends. 

I don’t agree with “has met fiance” though because there are some people who may important from childhood or college your fiance has met or vice versa. (Or family members) Though I think the way it worked out, we ended up not having any (or more than 1 or 2) in that camp that came. 

I would invite your sickly sad friend becuase it sounds like you are actually friends and because I don’t want her cutting herself over not getting an invite! Nobody will bring you down on the big day so I wouldn’t worry about the debbie downer attitude at the wedding. 

One more thing that I keep telling Brides on this site is that I regret over thinking my guestlist and giving my DH a hard time about his guest list because they didn’t all come. I wanted it to be  around 125 people  we invited around 150 and we actually had on the day 86. I would be shocked if all 200 were going to drive 3 hours and put themselves up. I know exactly how you feel becuase I felt the same way, but the reality is they won’t all come.  I really wish I hadn’t sweated the numbers so much becuase we were more than fine and could have invited more (that said there are only 1 or 2 people I wish I had invited that I hadn’t.

Post # 5
1617 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

The first thing we did was exclude all friends. Period. NO friends. Family only. We’ll be throwing a celebration party (or just a party, lol) for our friends, at some point but the actual wedding is only blood. That step seriously helped. Although we each have friends we’ve known forever, it’s amazing how quickly things change and we didn’t want to have someone in our photos we wouldn’t be talking to in a year. FTR: We initially started the GL with friends and I no longer talk to TWO of them – one was to be a  BM – for valid reasons (both moved and communication dwindled). Fiance cut 1 out (he was a little toxic), but the rest of his friends were tied to that person (in the same group) so it just got messy.

We left each other in charge of our own families. A strange choice, but it’s much easier to manage a “your” side then both sides.

The next – and by far most controversial thing – I did was to not ivnite family members that I didn’t think would be happy for me and proved (through comments, etc.) that they weren’t happy for me. The second I told my mom, she told her sister (my aunt that I didn’t plan to invite) my feelings, my aunt talked me and wham – problem solved. (There’s like a 60 year age gap between us so a lot of it was just miscommunication, but I had no problems saying adios to someone who wasn’t going to be happy for me.)

I’m 99% happy with my GL and although FI’s have been the most stressful they’re his problem lol

Post # 6
1617 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

And I SPECIFICIALLY chose a venue with a reasonable limit, lol. That was the main thing i looked for in a venue!

Post # 7
1397 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017 - Ocean front

YIKES…that sounds horrible about your friend, I hope she gets help and its nice you care. 🙂

I am starting to go through some of the same issues you are..what if I dont invite this one or that one…i dont want to hurt anyone but me and FH agreed we could only afford and just wanted a small and intimate wedding (just fam and close friends who we see regularly and know as a couple specifically) it started off seeminly easy enough as we both have small families (I have a few more than him but that just is what it is) with regard to friends, we have a nice mix of friends (some single) but most are couples from his life before meeting me, and visa versa who we now consider close to both of us, so in total about 75 total with us.

I am realizing that outside of this, I do have other girlfriends who I consider close (current, past jobs, just met through life etc…) and stay in contact with but if I start including more it will: # 1 be above what we agreed we could afford and desire for a small wedding….#2  I would then have more guests than my FH there, and wouldnt want that either as its pretty even for both now. 

I have even deliberatly not interacted (as much as I typically would) with some girlfriends since getting engaged (which sounds horrible as I am typing this) cuz I feel the wedding would come up, and they are likely expecting an invite…how would you expain that you chose certain other friends over them….uuugh. 🙁

So I feel your pain….once you start going outside of that set # whether it be for financial reasons (we are paying ourselves too) or just that you desire a small intimate wedding…it gets tricky!

Post # 9
2067 posts
Buzzing bee

I started with all of our family bc they are most important to me, it was also important to me for all adults to have a guest or date.  I had few spots left for friends so only have about 5-6 of my best girl friends with their husband/date. Fiancé has a smaller family so he got a little more leeway on friends and invited some that he isn’t as close to as the criteria I used but only one friend with wife, that I haven’t met.

Post # 10
3649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

We started our list with family we wanted to invite. Now, that did not include ALL family. Extended family we aren’t close to (with the excpetion of one “gimmie” at my mother’s request) are not invited. We also aren’t inviting children to the wedding, as doing so would increase the guest list by about 30 people and we have a self imposed soft limit of 85 and a hard limit of 100 (Our list is currently at 84 including ourselves and estimated number of vendors). After that we added family friends, people we were both friends with, and then our individual friends.

We added in the vendors as a few venues we looked at said they would include vendors in the head count so we just wanted be sure our numbers were right.

We have accepted the fact that there might be some hurt feelings but at the end of the day, we just didn’t want a massive wedding with a bunch of people. If WB has taught me anything it’s that you can never make everyone happy when it comes to wedding planning.

As far as your friend goes, that’s really up to you. There may be hurt feelings if you don’t invite her, but I feel the people invited to your wedding should be the people you truly want to have celebrate the day with you.

Post # 11
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Our maximum guest list is 50 people. We immediately cut out cousins, aunts and uncles. We are only inviting people that we talk to on a regular basis- meaning people that we actually call, text, or message at least once a month. We refused to invite any of our parents friends unless we were close with them also. We did not invite anyone that we didn’t know their phone number and address. I want to be surrounded with people who we REALLY know and love, and No one else. 

Post # 12
868 posts
Busy bee

I would not invite anyone who brings me stress. Just explain that it’s a small wedding (imply that ti’s smaller than it actually is) and that you’re very sorry you couldn’t invite friends. 

As for the rest of the guest list, you mentioned that you are getting married 3 hours away and you think everyone will RSVP yes. 

We got married 2.5 hours away from where we live. We anticipaited (and could afford) 120 guests, we thought we might go as high as 128 

His parents went psycho, and invited people without our knowledge (that’s a story for another day) so we ended up with 158 invites. This horrified us.  For weeks we were freaking out about how we would pay for 158 guests if everyone said yes. 

We ended up with 116 RSVPs saying they could make it. We were releived!! 

Then… in the last 10 to 12 days before the wedding, several people got sick or had a work crisis and couldn’t travel. So we had several drop offs at the last minute. (Thankfully, we didn’t have any no-shows. Everyone contacted us to let us know. I always hear about no shows. I can’t believe how rude that is!) Our final guest count was 105.

I suggest you only invite the number you can afford. But I PROMISE not everyone will show up! 

Post # 13
1509 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

View original reply
mrsbrizz2017: We can only have 80 guests, so our guestlist (which isn’t finalised) looks like this so far:

General rules:

+1 for all guests who are married, living together, or dating over a year.  

+1 for guest who have to travel interstate, or won’t know anyone else at the wedding (this is only a couple of people)

Children under 18 are only invited if they are family, if we have been actively involved in their development, or if they are on the boob.  This doesn’t exclude many children.


Family was first priority for invitations, as in our experience friendship groups come and go, but family is always there (whether you like it or not)

-All parents (except my mum, long story), siblings, grandparents

-All Aunties, Uncles and cousins who have been roughly kept in touch with over the last few years.  I have a few Aunties and Uncles who I haven’t seen for years and have no interest in keeping in touch, so they will not be on the list.

-Other random extended family like grandma’s brother etc who we actively keep in touch with.



– Our closest circle of friends is about 10 people and are mutual friends to both of us.  They are first priority.

-No friends that the other person hasn’t met, who live locally.  It basically means they haven’t been in touch with us for 5 years.

-No school friends or old friends that we don’t have much in common with these days, or are drifting apart from.  We may still catch up from time to time, but there’s a good chance in a few more years these relationships will drift into obscurity.  There are friends we rarely catch up with due to work schedules or distance, but when we do it’s like no time has passed.  They are invited.

-Coworkers are only on the list if we hang out outside of work.  FI and I are close to all the people we work with, however he won’t be invited any of them, and I will only be invited three girls that I regularly hang out with outside of work.  

-Family friends are only on the list if we have good relationships with them ourselves, not just them with parents.  FI has lots of family friends, however we will only be inviting about 4.  The loose criteria is that we will seek them out to chat with them at a family gathering, have them on FB (they all have facebook) or have seen them outside of family gatherings to catch up independently.  I will be invited a couple of my dads friends who I don’t have much to do with, out of respect as he is contributing to the wedding, although he didn’t ask for it.


What we haven’t used as a deciding factor on the guest list:



-social behaviour

-wealth (ie. who’s going to buy the best gift?)


On our list there are drunks, people with tattoos, a person with cancer and has a largly misshaped stomach from it, someone who’s missing most their teeth etc.  I don’t really care what others think about some of the people on our list.  At the end of the day they are our people, we love them, they love us and if one particular Uncle gets drunk and falls on the wedding cake (again…)  then we will have a funny story to tell our kids.

Invite your friend OP.  

Post # 14
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Sassafraz in Toronto, Ontario

Basically, “Do we see them at Christmas?” + one friend each + plus-ones for those in relationships.

The result, a 45 person guest list which was managable for us.

Post # 15
1029 posts
Bumble bee

We were super strict with our guest list. We only did family we like (screw the family politics), no kids, only +1s for married and engaged friends or friends whom we hang out and like their SO. It’s not for everyone but it worked for us. 

The topic ‘To invite or not invite? What was your criteria?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors