How to shorten the wedding guest list


If you have your head in your hands because you want to shorten the wedding guest list, but don’t know how, here are some ideas on how to go about doing just that. Include the cousin or exclude the friend?

Who’s paying…

Who’s paying for the wedding or helping with its costs? If the bride’s parents are paying for the wedding, than they are entitled to invite more guests – that’s the reality of the matter. If the wedding is being paid by the bride’s and the groom’s parents equally, than each family is entitled to the same number of guests. Decide on the exact number of guests that each side of the family can invite and stick to it.

Start big

Another option is starting with a list of all the guests you’d like to have present at the wedding – the dream list. Then, simply start eliminating names until you get to the number of people that is in agreement with your budget, as well as with the style of the wedding.

Contemplate the priorities

What is more important: the type of the wedding or the number of guests? If you’d like to have a small and cozy wedding or an intimate and luxurious one, than inviting 200 people might not be the best idea. Decide what is more important to you.

Put your feelings of guilt aside

The idea behind a wedding is not to invite people you haven’t seen in 10 years. A wedding is a day to be shared with loved ones. Even though both of you shared a desk in school with many friends, if they are no longer in your lives you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite them. Otherwise, you’ll end up inviting the nice bus driver that takes you to work every day.


For both the wedding ceremony and reception, hire babysitters to take care of the smallest of guests. At weddings, children don’t pay a complete meal, nor do they imply as many costs as an adult. Together with the caterer, plan a special menu for the children, as well as a different room with kid’s activities, such as coloring books, toys and games, so that all the children may eat and play together.

Do not invite children

Usually, this is a tough decision, but if you decide to have an adult-only wedding, the invitations should be directly addressed to each couple or person (Mrs. Mary Smith and Mr. John Beck, instead of Mrs. Mary Smith and Mr. John Beck and family). If the guests respond to the invitation with the intention of taking their children, say yes, but that you would prefer it be an adult-only party. Always have someone to look after children, especially for those parents who don’t have anyone to leave their kids with.

Distribute guests by tables

Make a layout of the room where the reception will be held, decide where and how to seat guests and come up with a final number. Place an odd number of guests at each table because people tend to talk more if they are not in pairs. Verify the interest and compatibilities of each guest. Place guests who enjoy dancing, close to the area reserved for dancing – that way you’ll have people ready to dance when that time comes.