Minimizing Your Wedding Guest List

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Wedding guestsComing up with your final guest list is definitely one of the most frustrating aspects of planning a wedding, mainly because it involves the intersection of money and people’s feelings.  And in this economy, it can be even more problematic as couples everywhere seek to cut costs.  I’ve written previously about how to calculate the number of wedding guests, but what if your goal is to reduce that number?  Well, read on and find out!

Probably the most important thing to remember is that this is your wedding.  Thus, although no one ever wants to hurt anyone’s feelings, this desire is secondary to the reality that it’s your wedding and you need to please yourself first.  If you need to hurt a few feelings to have the wedding you desire, then I say so be it.  Never add guests simply out of guilt.

One way of going about this guest list ‘pruning’ process is to pick certain categories of guests for omission.  For example, you might want to forego sending an invitation to co-workers, kids, friends or acquaintances you haven’t spoken to for over a year, or your parents’ friends.  You could also make it clear that ‘couples’ include only spouses, fiancés and live-in partners, not regular boyfriends or girlfriends.  Regarding the parents, it’s often a good idea to give them a limit – say, 15 guests each (of course, if the P’s are funding the wedding then this limit is going to be up for some serious negotiation).

A good way to buffer the pain of omission is to invite your omitted guests to an after party.  The beauty of this is that it will get them involved and make them feel like they are important in your life, yet it won’t break the bank because an after party is obviously less expensive that a full blown wedding reception.

In the final analysis, given the average cost of a wedding these days, it makes sense to limit your guest list.  Not only will this save you money, but it will help to ease the overall planning process as well – 2 things that will help your sanity!

Yes feelings will get hurt and frustration will ensue, but at the end of the day, you have to be true to your own needs and wants.  And if you want a smaller wedding, then no one – and I mean no one – has any right to tell you that you can’t.  Good luck!

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