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Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll have to cut your guest list. Deciding on who will make it to the final list can be nerve-racking and painful too. In your mind, you might have pictured a perfect wedding full of friends and family. When preparing your guest list, reality hits you hard. So what do you do when making the tough decision on who to invite and who to leave out? Here are tips to help you finalize your guest list.
Put guests in categories
It’s always good to start by including everyone you and your husband-to-be would want to invite on your list. Divide the list into two categories A and B. Category A is for those people you can’t imagine not being part of your wedding. This category should mostly include close family and best friends. Every other person should fall under B.
Next, get a marker and start crossing out some names from your B list. Set some parameters when deciding who to remove from the list and stick to them. Some of the questions to ask yourself are: How close are you to this person? Does this person know you’re engaged? Have they ever met your fiancé? Did they invite you to their wedding? If the person is a co-worker or business acquaintance, does your friendship extend out of work or business? Your answers will help you reduce your list.
Give a specific number to both sides
It is common for parents to pressure couples-to-be to invite more people than they had originally planned. It’s your wedding so you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite someone just because of your parents. A great way to avoid bowing to this pressure is by allocating a specific number of guests to your family and the groom’s family. This may make waves but try and give them an explanation like your venue’s capacity or your budget.
You can keep things equal by allotting the same number of guests to both sides, especially if they are making an equal or no financial contribution. However, splitting 50/50 may not be the best thing to do if one side is contributing more to your wedding budget. In this case, allocate the number of invitations according to the percentage of the wedding they are paying for. By making your parents stick to the allotted number, you’ll have limited the number of people they invite from their B list.
Make it adults-only
Kids can be a lively addition to your weddings. However, they may make you have to incur additional expenses like hiring special entertainment for them such as a clown. They also take up seating space. If you’re looking to cut costs or reduce your guest count, consider making your wedding an adults-only event. Invite only those kids that are part of your wedding party.
The only people you should invite as couples are those who are engaged, married or in a long-term relationship. Don’t extend the plus-one option to single friends that found a new flame recently.
People in your now and future
A good rule of thumb when cutting your guest list is eliminating anyone who does not play a part in your present life and won’t be part of your future. As much as you may be friends with your exes, inviting them to your wedding may be inviting drama. Old friends you haven’t seen in the past year or two and don’t expect to see in the near future should not be invited. On the other hand, your partner’s relatives are going to be part of your future. It is, therefore, wise to invite them and even include some of them in your bridal party, even though you may not know them that well at the moment.
Cutting your guest list is not an easy thing. You’ll have to battle a lot of guilt when doing it. You can make things easier by working with your future spouse and ensuring the both of you are on the same page about the ideal size of the guest list. Remember the day is about the two of you and not the wedding guests you’d like to invite. Don’t allow them to compromise your happiness.