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

posted 5 years ago in Guests
Post # 16
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Invite the people you are closest to, the ones you can’t imagine spending the day without.  Just because they are family doesn’t mean you HAVE to invite them.  Invite who you really want there 🙂

Post # 17
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

We started with family. My family is pretty big so we did my parents, my half-brothers, their children and partners and my ex-SIL (she was with my brother from when I was 3-19 so as far as I’m concerned she’s my sister). We did Aunts and Uncles on both sides. I’m inviting my cousins on my Mum’s side as they’re both children and they live in a different country (within the UK) and it seemed rude to ask my Aunt to travel 8 hours and leave her children. We’re not inviting cousins on Dad’s side, my Dad was nearly 50 when I was born so most of my cousins are old and have kids and grandkids of their own and I can only name a few of them and many I’ve never met.

FI’s family is smaller so his parents, grandmothers and Aunts etc. Cousins on Mum’s side only again – some are disabled and can’t be left whilst his parents fly to our wedding. Also, one of them invited us to her wedding so we’re reciprocating. On Future In-Laws side all the cousins are married, but didn’t invite Fiance so we’re not inviting them either.

Friends wise we both picked who we wanted. I’m mostly inviting Uni friends and their partners. Of my school friends (4) one is my Chief Bridesmaid. The other 3 invited me to their Evening dos only so they’re invited to our evening.

FIs friends are mostly from school (about 25), all of whom (bar 5) I haven’t met as Fiance and I both moved away from our respective home towns. But Fiance meets up with them several times a year. Some more will be invited to the Evening (the ones he’s not as close to).

That gives us just shy of 80 (including us) which is average for the UK. We will send invites out early – if we have a few declines we will start inviting work friends of mine. Fiance doesn’t want to do his work friends as he’s moved teams a lot (on a graduate programme) and can’t invite them all and it would be harsh to pick some. But as I’ve got fewer guests than him overall, and fewer friends we will invite my small group of work friends (about 7) if we get enough declines.

Post # 18
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I had a fairly specific system.  

There were some family members we had to cut out right away (for specific reasons).  My fiance and I each made those decisions for our respective sides.  Then we included the rest of the family members.

For friends, I only included those who I had spoken with or seen in the past 1-2 years or who had had a significant positive role in my life prior to that.  

For +1s, we mainly included those who were married, engaged, or in serious dating relationships. It didn’t matter if we had met their SO or not. If it was commonly known (aka facebook official or otherwise commonly known) they were in a serious relationship, they were included.  I specifically included the guest’s name in every instance I knew it, even if I hadn’t met them before (this required some facebooking haha).  I also made an exception for those traveling alone from out of town who didn’t know any / many people at the wedding. A couple of my single friends who are flying across the country for my wedding are bringing their friends as their +1.  It ended up working out because we had a lot less RSVPs than expected (due to the fact that half our guests live across the country).  An exception to the exception was family members. For single family members traveling from out of town / coming with their families, we didn’t give them a +1.  They would be with or know family there anyway.  

We ended up inviting 220 guests. Of those, 125 of those RSVP-ed Yes.  We’ll see what the final number is at our wedding next month!

Post # 19
406 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Mine was easy, it was mostly family. My closest girlfriends don’t even talk to people in their bridal party anymore…so number 1 thing was am I going to still know you in a year… Or 5. It was important for us to have an intimate setting and it may not work out like that for you but I suggest don’t invite people who you “think” you should. Invite people who have been a positive influence in your life and supported your relationship.  Not some random coworker because you’re inviting your important coworkers type thing. 

Post # 20
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

After deciding we would rather put our wedding budget towards buying a house, we cut our guest list from 80 to 36.

Our criteria was simple; If we didn’t care to tell them personally that we were engaged, then they didn’t make the cut. After that, we chose our VERY best friends. I know some of our close friends will feel slighted, but they’ll get over it *shrugs*.

Honestly, don’t worry about who you think “should” be invited or hurting people’s feelings – it’s YOUR day, invite the people you WANT to be there.


Post # 21
18 posts
  • Wedding: August 2016

We were a bit ruthless with our guest list. For financial reasons our wedding is very small! We couldn’t afford to invite all family and all friends, so we decided to only invite the side of the family we’re close to, and not the side we don’t ever see. We both have a few friends we’re very close to and couldn’t imagine not being there, so we added them as well. We also eliminated the +1s.. I know this option isn’t as popular with people, but we decided that anyone not married or in a serious relationship would only be invited themselves. Our justification was that the few people who are “single”, all know each other, are the same age, and will be seated at the same table anyways. Also since our wedding is so small, we wanted to keep it intimate and filled with people we were close to, which +1s just aren’t. We only invited 33 people so adding an extra 10ish people we don’t know adds quite a bit to that number! We told our families this is how it is and no one has said a thing about it which is great! Haha

Post # 22
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

View original reply
mrsbrizz2017:  I actually made my BFF cry when I helped her cut her mock guest list. Not on purpose obviously, but she got upset. But, she was more prepared when we did her real guest list. Her parents got the most say since they paid. But the rule with hers and her FI’s friends was, if they hadn’t seen/spoken to that person in the past year before they got engaged, they were cut. 

My own guest list, it’s a destination and Fiance and I are paying for it, so I had a little bit more free rein on what went on. But we’ve also been together a really long time, so if I haven’t met you, or you haven’t met my Fiance, you’re also cut. Unless you live in a different country, I think you should have already met him.

Post # 24
2343 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Our venue holds 120 maximum (including Fiance and I). We started with immediate family and bridal party (plus their SOs), then extended family and family friends, then friends, and then others (such as coworkers and parent’s friends). When we finished with one category, we did a quick tally to see where we stood in regards to our maximum capacity. In the end, we’re sitting on about 112 but there are still a few “plus ones” that we’re thinking about adding. One thing that definitely helped us keep numbers down was to have an 18+ wedding (this is the legal driving and drinking age where I live) – Fiance and I have stacks of younger cousins whom we just aren’t close to because of the age gap, so taking them off the list freed up space for other guests we’d rather have there.

Post # 25
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
mrsbrizz2017:  We started with first, family. How far do we extend family? I come form a big family, I have 9 aunts and uncles on just one side. So, parents, siblings, aunts uncles all cousins same went for Fiance, we ended up with a similar number and still under our number we were comfortable with.

Then since my parents were hosting they received a number of friends they could invite. But keeping in mind when both Fiance and I and my parents starting asking friends we really asked ourselves, do we want these people to be here, when was the last time we saw them, and how close are they to us. By asking those questions we really narrowed down our list.

The best advice I recieved was if it is someone you have not talked to in over a year, they probably shouldn’t be on the list.

The only issue we had was FI’s mother wanted to invite people that she hates or to get back at them for not inviting Future Father-In-Law and Future Mother-In-Law to their weddings. I had an issue with that but it was two couples and I have some plans for the table seating arrangements to make her wish she didn’t do that if they decide to come.

Post # 26
448 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

We’ve only invited people we genuinely want to be there – nobody who “should” be there but secretly you wouldn’t be upset if they weren’t.

I see so many posts here about people’s parents dictating that the whole extended family and their own friends have to be there or they won’t pay or attend etc and I always feel so lucky that our families are 100% “you do you”.

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

Find Amazing Vendors