The ultimate guide to helping you beat guest list anxiety.

Putting together a guest list of all your important family and friends is essential when it comes to planning your wedding. Between the people in your life, your partner’s life, as well as your parents’ and your in-laws’ lives, that list can become quite long. Based on your venue, budget and health regulations, you may find yourself having to cut your guest count. While this may seem next to impossible, it is absolutely doable. We are outlining our best tips and tricks on how to take on this task without losing your sanity.  The key is to keep things simple, have a strategy in place and not feel guilty if you find yourself cutting important people. 

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1. Sort your guests out into three categories A list, B list and C list: A-list is for immediate family. They are the people you cannot get married without. B List is for close friends. Your wedding day is a celebration of your future, so invite the friends who will play a role in your future life together.  C List is for everyone else you want to invite depending on how many spots on your guest count are left. Remember to stick to the number your venue can hold, your budget will allow and the health regulations that have been put in place for safety. 

2. Cut out plus ones. Only consider giving a  ‘plus-one’’ to unmarried guests if they are in a long-term relationship that you feel will last. 

3. Eliminate children from the guest count. This can really help cut down your numbers while also giving the parents a night out.

4. Work friends & neighbors. You may be in close proximity to these people on a daily basis, but you are not obligated to invite them to your big day.

5. Your parent’s friends. While you will be expected to allow your parents and in-laws to have a guest list of their own (especially if they are helping you pay for the wedding), it is still OK to create boundaries. Good rule of thumb is to give them a max number of guests they can invite. If you have never encountered this guest before, they are cut from the list. Be fair but firm. 

6. Don’t assume your guests will say no. Most of them have been cooped up inside for months, so they may take this opportunity to venture outside. Only invite the number of people your budget, venue and health regulations allow. Quick tip: include the invited guest name on the RSVP cards. This will ensure that they are not penciling in a plus one without asking.

Image by Sarah and Ben

7. Include your initial guests in live steaming. This is a great opportunity to share the special moments (ceremony, first dances, cake cutting, etc) with your guests who are not able to attend.

Image by Rad Red Creative

8. Elderly or vulnerable guests should stay home. While we would love for all of your loved ones to attend, the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our society is of utmost importance!

What happens if the invites have already been sent out?

Once you have followed steps 1-8 to decide who makes the final cut, sharing the news with your previously-invited guests is your next task. 

  1. If you have a website or Facebook group, we suggest that you put a message up notifying guests of your plans. 
  2. Based on your cut guest list, determine which notification style is best when reaching out. Whether it be by phone, email, or through a card in the post. 
  3. This may seem like a daunting task, especially if you had to dramatically make cuts to your guest count. Reach out to your parents, in-laws and siblings for help! 
  4. Keep the conversations between you and your guests brief, but feel free to be open and honest about the reasons behind downsizing. 
Image by K & K Photography

Your guest will know and understand the situation. Let them know that you look forward to celebrating with them in the future at another time. Remember, you are getting married to the love of your life and the most important people will still be there.

All-Inclusive Carriage House Stable and French Country Inn Wedding Package. Planning, Decor, Floral, Coordination & Venue by Cross Creek Ranch.

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