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How to Narrow Down your Guest List

Second cousins, work friends, an old friend’s new boyfriend, oh my! When putting together your wedding guest list, it can be difficult to decide who makes the cut. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by the “how many guests should I invite to my wedding” question by taking the following steps to find the right guests and the right number.

Create Tiers in your Guest List

When taking a first pass at your wedding guest list, you want to write down any and everyone you can think of, to make sure no one gets missed. Once you have that overall list, however, it can be helpful to separate your list into different categories based on how important it is to you for each person to be present at the big day. A three tiered system (Definitelys, Probablys, and Maybes, for example,) can help your prioritize.

Choose your Wedding Venue

The size of your wedding venue goes hand in hand with the number of people on your guest list. Have the numbers of your three tiers in your head as you are looking at venues, and determine how many tiers each venue can fit. If you fall in love with a smaller venue, take another look at your “Maybes” list. If the venue is worth the smaller guest list, acquaintances will understand that you had to limit your headcount. (Having a larger bridal shower or engagement party can help to include those guests who you might not be able to invite to the wedding!)

Limit “Plus Ones”

Although wedding tradition often dictates that guests be invited to bring their own guest to your wedding, many couples are moving away from the “plus one” option. Not only can this offer you significant savings, but it’s your day, and you want to be surrounded by people you know and love! When considering whether an unmarried guest should be given a plus one, consider the following:

  • Do they have a significant other that you have met previously?
  • Have they been together with their partner for over a year?
  • Will they be a stranger to most of your other wedding guests?

If the answer to all of the above questions is no, this may be a guest who doesn’t need to receive a plus one invitation. A single guest who will be among friends at your wedding will have fun on their own, and will understand the limitations of your budget!

Overall, having a good understanding of your budget and keeping open communication with friends and family about your vision for your wedding will help you find the perfect sweet spot of guests to have at your big day.

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