Arguably one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is tailoring your guest list. Sure you have to consider you and your spouse’s friends and family members, but there are also gray areas such as plus-ones, co-workers, kids and so on. In the world of weddings the more guests equals more money (and less personal), so the easiest way to save money on your wedding and make it more intimate is to shorten your wedding invite list. Here’s simple ways to shorten your guest list.



Considering a destination wedding? Great choice. The further away you host your wedding, the easier it will be to shorten the guest list. Having an intimate wedding in Napa Valley makes it easy to take people off, and less people are likely to make the trip. Having it in a far-off location makes it a lot easier to leave people you’re not as close with off the list. Instead, throw an intimate party for those who want to celebrate and congratulate you.

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All venue’s have a capacity limit, so blame it on the venue. Tell people you’re having a very small ceremony with just our closest family and friends. This will make your wedding sound romantic, rather than exclusive. If uninvited friends keep prying about where their wedding invite is, tell them you unfortunately couldn’t invite everyone you wanted due to capacity. It takes the blame off of you.

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Come to an agreement with your fiance on where you draw the line with plus one’s. For example, only if you’ve met them, if they’ve been dating over a year or any other kind of factor that makes you feel comfortable. This is acceptable as long as you keep the rule consistent and don’t make exceptions for anyone. With a rule like this in place, you can easily cut your guest list down.

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No, you don’t have to invite your friends kids to your wedding. Allowing kids can really up your head count fast. By not allowing children it will allow all your friends and family who are parents a stress-free time. Plus they can be spendy. From kids food to activities and a separate table, it’s just one more thing you have to account for. And there’s nothing like a toddler crying hysterically to ruin your ceremony or first dance. On your invitation list out specific names of who is invited to your wedding from each household.

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In The A, B, C’s of Sending Wedding Invitations I break down how to do this effortlessly without anyone even knowing. Think of your guests as in three categories. Your A-list is made up of your closest friends and family you cannot get married without, like your best friend growing up, your close relatives, etc. Your B-list is made up of people you’d like to have there. These might be college friends, extended family, etc. Then finally, your C-list is a group of people you can add to the list if you have extra space. These people might be co-workers or childhood friends you haven’t seen in a while. This will help you a whole lot when it comes to making cuts. When sending your wedding invitations, send of the B’s and then C’s as you start to get some declines back in the mail.

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If your friend from college invited you to her wedding two years ago but you haven’t spoken to her since, you might consider removing her from the guest list. An invite to someone else’s wedding does not secure them an invite to yours, especially if you haven’t spoken in a long time. Don’t let the guilt of leaving people off the list consume you.