It can be difficult to choose who to invite to your wedding. On one hand, you want to ensure that everyone is included, but you also don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many guests. So how do you decide who makes the cut? Follow some of these etiquette rules.
How Many To Include?
Determine a limit of guests before you even get started on choosing who to invite. Find out the venue’s capacity and budget for how many plates you can afford.
Then, write down all of the people that you would potentially like to invite, but divide them into categories. Have a list of must-haves (bridal party, close relatives, etc.), would-like-to-haves (friends and extended family), and maybes (coworkers and distant relatives.) Tally up the number of people in the first two categories, and see if you’ve already reached your limit. If you’ve gone over, you may need to separate the people in the second category into sub-categories. If you still have some wiggle room, discuss the others that you’d like to include with your fiancé and parents.
The list of remaining people that you wanted to invite but couldn’t can be used as back-ups for those who can’t come. Consider sending out a second round of invitations to make up for the people who don’t RSVP.
If you’re having difficulty deciding between the maybes, set a time limit rule. If you haven’t seen them within the past 6 months or year, then nix them from the guest list. Your wedding guests should be made up of people that truly want to be involved in your life.
Another way to determine which friends and relatives to invite is to hypothetically swap places for a moment. Would you be upset if they didn’t invite you to their wedding? If yes, then invite them to yours. If not, chances are they won’t be too bummed to be excluded.
Rules on Children
Children are typically not included on the wedding guest list unless they are in the bridal party. You may choose to invite the children of immediate family, but be sure to let other guests know that this was your decision so they don’t assume that they can bring their kids or feel slighted when they see other people’s children at the wedding. Address the invitations to only the parents, and the etiquette is that only the parents will attend.
Allowing for plus ones is when a guest list can really start to get long. Only invite couples that are involved in a long-term relationship. While some single friends might complain that they don’t know anyone, let them see it as an opportunity to meet other singles.
Getting the Parents Involved
Depending on who is paying for the wedding, it will in some ways determine who gets to choose who to invite. Traditionally, the parents of the bride and groom would each invite half of the guests of their choosing. Now, especially if the bride and groom are the ones funding the wedding, things may go a little differently. If your parents are chipping in for the wedding, it is courteous to allow them to help with the guest list.
If the bride and/or groom’s parents continue to add friends and distant relatives to the guest list, make sure to explain that this is your day, not theirs. While you can let them know that you will definitely take their suggestions into account, you will have the final say. Tell your parents that you will add those people to the back-up list.
All in all, while it is important to consider everyone else’s feelings when creating your guest list, remember that this is a day of celebration for you and your fiancé.
If you are still in the process of planning your wedding, we invite you to visit The Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, MA. Ours is the perfect venue for a wedding of any size, since we have a chapel, large reception area, and top chefs. Learn more about us today!