Who can we leave off the guest list?

Putting together your wedding guest list isn’t quite as exciting as choosing your wedding gown or menu and cake tastings, but it is a job that must be done! Sometimes it isn’t easy, with venue or budget restrictions that mean you can’t invite every person you love, or who expects to be invited.

So, who is it ok to leave off of your guest list?…

Family you haven’t spoken to in years – Your wedding is not a family reunion, it is about celebrating you and your marriage with those you love the most, so don’t feel obligated to invite everyone that you happened to be related to.

Friends who haven’t been there – You may have friends that you haven’t spoken to for a while or people that you have grown apart from, and may be tempted to invite them as a way to ‘get back in touch’. As with family, your wedding isn’t a place for a reunion. You will be busy getting around and speaking to all your guests so won’t have times to catch up or fix friendships.

Friends of friends – There will be people that you spend time with in a group setting regularly, but be sure to consider whether they are your friends, or friends of friends. If you wouldn’t spend time with them without your mutual friends there, don’t feel the need to invite them!

Plus ones – “No ring, no bring” is a good rule, but not always realistic, with many people in long term relationships who aren’t planning on getting married, however, if you haven’t met their significant other or even heard about them then it is ok to say ‘no’.

Kids – There are many strong opinions that become very clear when you bring up the topic of kids and weddings. Just remember that it is your wedding, and it is ok for it to be a kid-free occasion. Also, consider restrictions of the venue and your budget before you decide to invite them along.

Colleagues – While you see your work colleagues every day and spend a lot of time together, you don’t have to add them to your guest list, especially if you are restricted on numbers or budgets. However, if you spend time with your colleagues regularly in a social setting or imagine that you would still hang out with them if you no longer work together, then put them in the ‘friends’ rather than ‘colleagues’ category!

Friends of your parents – Your wedding is not just an exciting time for you, but also for your parents, and they may have different ideas about who should be included on your guest list. Just remember, once again, that it is your wedding, and not EVERYONE can be invited. Be sure to be open with your parents and discuss the limitations of your guest list, venue and budget.

Anyone who is on the list just because you would feel guilty if you left them off – Unfortunately, you can’t invite everyone. Be sure there aren’t any invites going out just because they invited to your wedding, or just because they are friends with lots of your friends. Guilt is not a good reason to extend your list or stretch your budget!


Quick tips

  • If you can’t decide whether or not to invite someone, you probably shouldn’t.
  • Don’t invite anybody simply out of guilt
  • Be ruthless in cutting your list down if it is getting out of hand
  • Be organized with your guest list and record names and addresses, and keep track of RSVPs
  • Remember: It is YOUR wedding, and ultimately YOUR decision

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