(Closed) Where did YOU draw the line?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: To keep guest lists down did you...

    say "no kids"?

    eliminate "plus ones" for those not in serious relationship?

    cut down on relatives you never see?

    Other, please explain below.

    And by popular demand! ALL of the above, but please explain.

  • Post # 17
    1373 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    We actually ended up with a LOT fewer guests than we expected, so maybe we cut down too much, but we did a little of all of those.  (um, maybe it’s the “be an a-hole” strategy for reducing guest list numbers.)

    We have small families to begin with, and cut that down further by not inviting anyone we didn’t like.  Which was kind of harsh, but I’m not going to invite my mom’s brat cousins who my parents hate and I don’t know.  There’s some relatives we’re basically estranged from we didn’t invite, and my husband eventually decided against inviting the three more distant relatives he liked, because he didn’t want to cause drama.  We ended up with a bunch of siblings and cousins who we’re pretty much friends with, 8 adult relatives, and 2 kids.  But it was all relatives we really, really liked.

    We allowed people to invite kids, but warned them that it would be highly non-kid-friendly.  I think having a reputation as not being kid people helped here and people knew it would be a crazy party so people with kids (except family) either didn’t bring them or didn’t come.

    We didn’t invite non-serious significant others on the invitations.  We had 3 people ask us if they could bring dates (who at the time of the wedding they’d been with at least a few months) and we said yes.  Once we looked at the response rate, we realized we would have said yes to anyone who wanted to bring a guest, but we didn’t want people thinking they should find a random one.

    We also had the wedding where we lived, which is 3000 miles from where a lot of our guests and most of our relatives live.  This is the biggest thing that cut down on the guest list, because we told distant relatives that we didn’t want to make them feel obligated to come.  It also meant a bunch of people we wanted there weren’t there, but that’s their loss.  Those who showed up had a great time!

    Post # 18
    173 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    We didn’t invite kids, give plus ones to people who were single, and cut distant relatives.  Also, we had our wedding in a city where 90% of the invitees didn’t live.  So, the convenience factor led to a lot of no’s too.  In the end we invited over 300 people, but slightly under 200 attended.

    Post # 19
    348 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I chose all of the above. It’s really hard to cut people and be scared of hurting people’s feelings, but at the end of the day hopefully they are understanding enough and it all works out! We had no kids, limited +1s and didn’t invite obscure family members (such as second cousins, etc.) and to my knowledge there hasn’t been any backlash. That’s not to say that people aren’t talking about it behind our backs though!

    Post # 20
    5165 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    No kids and no plus ones for except for married, engaged  & serious relationships

    Post # 21
    711 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    This was my hardest cut back:  I limited the # of people (including relatives) that I didn’t know well that I invited out of a sense of obligation to other family members.

    Post # 22
    210 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    We basically did “all of the above”…

    – We didn’t offer plus ones to anyone who isn’t seriously dating someone or engaged (although we would have said yes if they asked). 

    – We didn’t invite kids.

    – We limited relatives to aunts, uncles and first cousins.  We didn’t invite those who live extremely far away and never attend family functions.

    – We didn’t allow our parents to invite every coworker and neighbor they’ve ever had. We limited it to close friends that they actually keep in touch with or socialize with regularly. 

    – We also didn’t invite any of our own coworkers that we don’t socialize with outside of work or college friends that we’ve sort of lost touch with. 

    Each of FI’s and my siblings had 200-300 people on their guest lists.  We were able to shave ours down to 150 using the above guidelines and only 100 rsvp’d yes, which is a much more manageable number for us). 


    Post # 23
    1860 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We did a destination wedding so all of the above could apply HAHAHA

    Post # 24
    1646 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    we cut some family we never see and cut +1s for guest not in serious relationships. we did invite kids though because there weren’t many kids among the list in the first place–we ended up with only 3 kids there! there were more babies among our guests, but most the parents had babysitters since it was an evening reception/past their bedtimes.

    Post # 25
    29 posts
    • Wedding: August 2008


    I was very strict about this – I kept it to No Kids and did not make any exceptions except for my neice and our first cousins. Not only does it cut down numbers at the wedding, but you then don’t have children crying during your ceremony, first dance, speeches, etc. If someone couldn’t come because their child would have to join them, I totally understood. You could also arrange for babysitting nearby or at the hotel if that’s where you’re getting married. If they could come, they had a break and enjoyed. People make it work and should understand. If they don’t, they’re making it more about themselves than you and that’s problematic for a whole seperate reason. 

    For guests, we were also strict about that for single peeps. Only engaged, long time or serious relationships where they’re living together were invited. We have two people RSVP with a guest that weren’t invited with one and we let that slide. It also depended on the person that did that! 😉 I know it seems rude, but it’s your wedding.

    My hubby and I had a destination wedding to cut down on the number. We still had 85 people! It was perfect though, because it was all people that we loved dearly and that we truly wanted there. Not people that were there because we felt obligated to invite them. 

    One other thing we did was request that our parents cut down on the number of friends that they invited, considering they’ll have family there too. If we didn’t know the people and know our parents hadn’t spoken to them in years. Cut! We also went through the list and if there was someone on our list that we personally hemmed and hawed over because we weren’t sure, cut! If you’re not sure, you can cut them out. It hurt us in some respects and may have hurt others, but in the end, it was perfect for us and we had the most amazing day and weekend. 

    Best of luck and congratulations!

    Post # 26
    98 posts
    Worker bee

    We didnt invite kids, relatives that I dont stay in contact with, ppl my parents wanted me to invite but I dont talk too, partners that I had never met (unless they were coming from a different state).

    Be really firm with your parents, especially if you are like us and paying for everything yourselfs. My mum wanted a bunch of ppl and I said no. She has asked if she can pay for 4 ppl and thats fine, its her money and its not like I wouldnt mind seeing them but we aren’t close enough to invite ourselves.

    Post # 27
    2637 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    we really didn’t have that many kids invited. not including babies, we have like 7 in the range of ages 12-18, and none younger than that (out of 200 guests!) so we didn’t eliminate them. Nor did we eliminate relatives, cuz our parents are paying for it so they get to invite their relatives. (but if we were paying for it, we certainly would not invite all those people I barely know!) So we didn’t give plus ones to those who aren’t in relationships. Only one person casually mentioned they would bring someone, so I was able to correct them, and no one actually rsvp’ed for someone they weren’t dating.

    Post # 28
    72 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I said no kids exept my imediate family, only a select few were entitled to a plus one (thats my bridal party, and Fiance sister, and two girlfriends coming from out of town who will not know anyone else), I cut all the family who i dont see very often.. even then I was actually suprised by how many people i was SURE would come ended up being unavailable…To eliminate the kids i specifically addressed the invited to Mr and Mrs… so and so… that Way they pretty much got the hint and most people will ask you if they arent sure… If you are really concerned someone extra might attend fill out the response card with the person’s name I did that on a couple and it gave the look of complete individualized attention (if its a couple with no kids I sent them two reply cards – one each with their names on it… It worked out perfectly)

    Post # 29
    646 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    Well we don’t have any kids that would possibly be invited except FH’s 15 year old cousin, so no help there.  Any of Future In-Laws and my parents friends that are single are not invited with a +1.  And then we have relegated FH’s grandmother’s friends to a B list (I don’t even know why they need to be invited at all) and until we get declines, they are not going to be invited.


    Post # 30
    431 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    @mrsbruff2b: Us too! Getting married in Haiti has made the guest list a non-issue. Now, when we have our reception in the US, it could be an issue.

    Post # 31
    1345 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I think we will be severely limiting the number of kids who are invited. We are also not hiving out random plus ones (people in relationships only)

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