Chopping down your wedding guestlist can be like Hercules battling Hydra – cut one person and two more seem to grow in their place. Inevitably, a bigger guestlist means bigger wedding costs and more planning; it could spell the difference between a Champagne reception and your Uncle Gary’s homemade hooch.
The moment when you and partner clumsily combine wedding spreadsheets and the number is more than you ever imagined is a dark day. To avoid that disappointment and the savage cull that follows, try using our guestlist tool that does all the adding up, sorting and tracking.
But sadly, such clever guestlist tools can’t fight your battles for you (yet. We wish!) So if you think your other half is being unreasonable, or maybe you need to get something off your chest, we’ve got some ideas on how to traverse the tricky world of the wedding guestlist:
1. “Your parents have the longest list but they’re not paying as much as mine”
Dangerous territory. Both sets of parents will want to invite their friends who have watched you grow up, regardless of how much they can pay towards it. However, as a rule of thumb, if your other half hasn’t seen them in the past 10 years or they’re not immediate family, you have a right to question them…
2. “I don’t want children!” (And after a pause of horror…“At the wedding, not with you!”)
This is a dilemma loads of brides and grooms struggle to settle within themselves, never mind with each other. But you’re not a bad person for requesting this – lots of couples do. Not only does it cut costs and numbers but it gives the parents a night off to enjoy themselves too, if they so wish.
3. “You don’t even like your work friends!”
Work friends are tricky. Not only can it rub your fiancé up the wrong way, it might make for an awkward office atmosphere post-honeymoon! Why not invite a handful to the drinks and dancing – that way you’re not paying full whack.
4 . “Why are you inviting your ex-girlfriend?!”
This, my friends, is a ticking bomb. Unless you’re one of those lucky, mysterious people who’s on genuinely good terms with their ex (and who’s partner is on good terms with them too!), there’s no prize for inviting them out of awkwardness or weird obligation. Be wary of awkward conversation too: “So, how do you know the bride/groom?” “Errrr”. Our advice? Only do this in exceptional circumstances.
5. “It doesn’t feel like our wedding day any more!”
Managing a wedding is about balancing the bigger picture with the smaller picture, and this is never more apparent than in the guestlist. Maybe those extra 6 guests from Mum and Dad’s timeshare won’t feel like such a big deal on your big day but if it’s overwhelming you, you need to let your parents know.
6. “Shall we just bloody elope?”
Every couple will have this moment. Pour another glass of wine, it will be worth it in the end!
7. “We’ll have to not invite some of your family.”
Chances are one side of the couple will have a significantly larger family. Try and roughly assign portions of your guestlist to each partner, to see it in amounts that are easier to digest. For example, split it into quarters: one for each of your families, and one for each of your extras. That way, boundaries become a bit more obvious (as does overstepping them!).
8. “We can’t not invite her, they’ve just got engaged”
Lay down the law, and stick to it – avoid grey areas. For example, many couples have a ‘no ring, no bling’ policy, or you may want to keep your guestlist lean based on how long the couple have been together.
9. “They invited us to their wedding…”
It is not tit for tat, and do not feel obliged. Planning a wedding is hard and expensive enough, invite people you want to spend the best day of your life with.
10. “We’re treating our friends like they’re just numbers”
Don’t worry, the reality is this comes to all couples planning a wedding. Wedding guests, at one stage or another, become a walking cost with a pound sign hanging above their heads. Scrapping them means more booze, or flowers, or anything really! Don’t worry – this feeling won’t last forever – you’ll forget it as soon as they’re a very real, happy-crying part of your big day (they’re worth every penny!)
11. “It’s still too big”
If you feel like you have done everything you can but it’s still too big, why not split your guestlist into an A Team and a B Team? Sound cruel? Not at all! Many couples even print two sets of RSVP cards with different dates. The A Team date and the later B Team date (once some A Teams have said they can’t come.) One word of warning, try not to let the B Team know that they’re B Team…Whilst Cher Horowitz in Clueless get’s away with it, you might not.
Once you’ve smoothed over these ones, you’re pretty good to go. Send those invites out, and keep track of all the RSVPs we’re sure you’ll get flooding in on our guestlist tool – then you’ve just got the budget blow-outs to tackle…
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