As a wedding planner, I get a lot of questions about guest lists and guest list etiquette. Should I invite this person? Should I invite this person with a plus one? Should I allow this couple to bring their kids? Should I invite kids?
Guest Lists often cause fights among families. You fight with your significant other, your in-laws, your parents, your friends! A lot of times, there is no "right" or "wrong" way of choosing who you invite to your wedding. However, throughout this blog, I will cover a few questions you need to ask before finalizing the guest list.
"Making a Guest List will be the most political thing you do besides run for President!" This is one of my most favorite, and accurate, 'wedding quotes'!
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding your Guest List:
A lot of couples get upset when parents start inviting their friends and coworkers to the wedding. However, if the parents are paying for the wedding, they do get a say in who is, and is not, invited. If the parents are not paying for the wedding, their guests can get added to the 'B List'. Yes, you will have an 'A List' and a 'B List'. If you are sending out Save-the-Date's you will only mail them to people on your 'A List'. Your 'A List' should consist of immediate family, close friends, and the bridal party. Your 'B List' will consist of plus ones, family friends, and co-workers. These are usually people that you would like to invite, however you need to see if your budget allows to it. Also you will need to keep in mind how many people your wedding venue can hold. It the venue holds a max of 200 people, do not invite more than 200 people. Not only will your venue be unable to accommodate this many people, your guests will be crammed in your venue. Do you want your guests to talk about how squished they were on the dance floor? Or how they had to wait 40 minutes to get a drink? You need to think about these things before your start inviting more than your venue can hold.
If, for some reason, you have a 'C List', throw it out. That's right. Throw it in the trash! People on your 'C List' just aren't going to make the cut. And that's okay. A lot of times these people wouldn't even expect to be invited to your wedding.
I get a lot of questions like, "I was in this persons wedding ten years ago but we aren't close anymore. Do I have to invite them?" Nope. Truth be told, they might be relieved to not get an invite.
Another question I often get: "We're having an Adults Only wedding, but my friend is breastfeeding and asked if she could bring her infant." Nope. Adults Only means Adults Only. If you don't want to offend this person just tell them you are already at max capacity. If your friend wants to attend your wedding, they will find a way to attend. If you feel uncomfortable explaining this to everyone, you can simply write "Adults Only Reception" on your wedding website and invitations.
"I just got a new boss a month ago. We aren't close, but I am inviting other co-workers to the wedding. Do I need to invite him?" Nope.
Here's a tricky one: "We invited my elderly aunt who lives an hour away. She doesn't drive and asked if she could bring a plus one so that she can someone to drive her. Should we invite her with a plus one?" Proper etiquette would say to invite this guest with a plus one. If you have another family member who lives close by, you could invite that family member with the understanding that they will drive your aunt.
"My cousin lives on the other side of the country and I know he won't attend my wedding. Should I still send an invitation?" Yes, you should still technically invite this person so they know you care about them. Plus, you might get a gift out of it!
"I am good friends with one of my co-workers. However, she won't know anyone at the wedding. Should I invite her?" This is one of those 'it depends' situations. If you really want this person to attend your wedding, invite them with a plus one so they will have someone to talk to. And seat them with people who they will have something in common with.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before adding someone to the Guest List:
If you answered 'no' to two or more of these questions, scratch that person from your list.
Ultimately, you and your fiance decide on who gets invited. Just use good judgement, keep in mind simple etiquette rules, and don't get upset. And consult a wedding planner for some unbiased advice.