Ah, the wedding guest count—one of the biggest headaches and one of the first few action items I recommend to all of my couples. It can also be the most expensive decision you will make as you plan your wedding- so choose your guests wisely! Now more than ever, knowing how to cut your wedding guest list is essential. After all, with many states limiting the head-counts on large gathering this year, your guest count could be the difference between a wedding this year and a postponement.
There are so many resources and online flowcharts that try to help you filter down your guest list, but they are often confusing and time-consuming. Let's cut right to the chase! Here are 5 hard-hitting guest list questions to ask yourselves while figuring out your all-important guest list.
1. Have you talked to the person in the last 6 months?
Let's start with an easy one, have you spoken to this person in the last six months, or even the last year? If it’s been well over half a year, they probably haven’t congratulated you on your engagement or made an effort to reach out since then. If you haven’t checked in on them during a global pandemic either, you’re probably not as close anymore-and that’s okay. NEXT!
2. Do you know their last name…?
How about another easy one? If you don't know their last name, they probably don't know yours either, and if they aren't the significant other of your bridesmaid or cousin, you can take them off the list too!
3. If they invited you out to dinner next week, would you even want to go?
I’m talking a pre-global pandemic dinner on a random Wednesday night, or their family BBQ on a holiday weekend. THAT’S love, and it means you really really like them. If you are questioning your guest list, get your pen out and cross off a few that don't meet this criteria, either.
4. How would you feel about spending at least 10 minutes talking to this person on your wedding day?
Does the idea of listening to them talk about Ronda from accounting and their cat's 5th birthday party ad nauseam make you roll your eyes back from boredom? You are going to be BUSY on your big day. Between the photo list, speeches, cake cutting, dinner, and dancing, you don't have time to waste talking to people you don't even really like.
5. How would you feel if you weren’t invited to their wedding?
This question is better than the very common question, “did they invite you to their wedding?” Whether they did or didn’t may have nothing to do with you – maybe they wanted to keep things small. Maybe they had budget restraints. Or, maybe you weren’t as close then? Simply assess your friendship with them now. Would you be sad if you saw their photos on social media and weren't there to support them on their big day?
If someone else is contributing to your wedding, you can ask them these questions about their guest list as well. Just because they were invited to their friends kids wedding doesn't mean you need to extend an invite to them.
Inviting someone to your wedding is a big deal, and a very personal (and expensive!) choice. At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone. Use these questions to cut your wedding guest list to special guests who are meaningful to you and support your union.
Good luck, bride or groom to be!