The People You Don’t Need To Include On Your Wedding Guest List

Photo courtesy of Sara Petrak, as seen in this real wedding.

The guest list is definitely one of the bigger beasts of wedding planning, and knowing how to wrangle it is key to event success! It is the one variable of the day that is most difficult to manage—as you start compiling guest names for your event you will noticed how quickly it grows until you are likely well outside of the magic number you have set for your party. With weddings comes a certain sense of obligation of who you need to invite. While there may be pressure (from your family in particular!) to include many people, you need to give careful consideration to who you really want to have there with you on your day. Here’s an essential list of who to consider inviting to your wedding and the etiquette surrounding extending (or not extending) the invitation.

Work Mates 
This can be an all or noting situation. It can get sticky if you invite some but not all of your colleagues and the question of inviting your boss is also a big one—it really comes down to your personal relationship with them. 

Old Friends
Planning your wedding may bring up a lot of memories and people from your past. After your engagement they may have wished you and your partner well, bringing up your past friendship and making you feel like you need to send an invitation. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t spoken in the last year or more, they’re okay to leave off the list. 

Your Parent’s Friends
Even if your dad is asking you invite his bowling buddies or the guys from work, this is your day. Your parents will understand (or they should!) your need to limit your guests and can’t include special additions that they have. 

A Relative’s Plus Ones
It’s becoming more and more common to allow young people a plus one, even if they aren’t in a relationship. If you haven’t met someone’s significant other it’s okay to extend a single invite.

Extended Family
If you’re looking to keep the guest list small you don’t need to include any extended family. However, if you aren’t including one cousin you should treat them all in the same way to keep things fair.

Everyone Whose Past Wedding You Attended
Just because you’ve been included in their wedding bliss does not mean you are required to share yours. Everyone treats their guest list differently and this should not make you feel that it’s necessary to add them, particularly if space is an issue.

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