Wedding Prep
Discover How To Simplify Your Wedding Guest List Without Sparking A Silent War

I Do Cake Topper

I Do Cake Topper

Five years down the road, your childhood best friend still won’t talk to you because you’ve committed the unforgivable offense of failing to invite her to your wedding. The fact that she’s been unreachable for more than a year is of no consequence.

Weddings are one of those special occasions that attracts drama like no other. And there’s no bigger culprit than the dreaded guest list to ignite a cold war. Who gets invited and who gets cut will still be remembered long after your wedding pictures have faded.

Here’s how to simplify a wedding guest list while minimizing casualties all around:

Settle on a budget first.

Wedding expenses are notorious for getting out of hand fast. If you fail to plan your wedding around your budget, you just might find yourself billed an exorbitant amount at the end of the day.


Check this handy reference guide for wedding details.

Use a wedding guest list tool like Microsoft’s Wedding Budget template. It’s downloadable so you can track your expenses as you plan your wedding. It also has a wedding guest’s tracker template, and other useful templates such as Wedding planner to assist you with wedding details.

Call vendors and suppliers early on to get specific costs on wedding details such as venue, reception, entertainment, favors, photographer, etc. You might also want to look at available wedding accessories online to save on time and costs. Note all the information down in your wedding tracker.

Determine who pays for what and which.

Traditionally, it’s the bride’s family that pays for the wedding but today, it can be the groom’s parents, the couple themselves, or both sets of parents. The rule of thumb is, whoever pays has a say in coming up with the definite wedding guest list.

Set the ground rules right away before your parents get on the phone and invite people they want to attend your wedding (but which you don’t.) to avoid conflict. Word of mouth invitation can spread like wildfire so better curb it early on.

You might want to check out how to pare down costs on wedding details here.

Divide Invitations by percentages

Save the Date Card

Save the Date Card

Now that you’ve allocated an amount and have specific figures of various wedding expenses, you have an idea of how many guests you’re able to invite.

Let’s say both sets of parents chipped in twenty percent each for your wedding expenses. Your total budget can cover up to 150 guests. Allow each set of parent to invite up to 30 people, or 20 % of your total guest list. Of course this isn’t set in stone. Their list may come up short, and as a rule, 20% of invited guests don’t show up.

The guest list

Create a master list of all the people you’d invite. Divide guests into tiers of importance to you and your partner into the following categories:

Immediate Family
Parent’s siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews belong to the top tier and must be invited.

Close friends
These set should be people closest to you both, as well as your individual friends list. You might want to aim for a specific number each.

Co-workers/Family Friends
Think hard on inviting co-workers. If working in the same office is all you have in common, don’t feel guilty for cutting them out of your guest list. The same holds true for family friends but which you’re both not that close with.

Distant relatives/Acquaintances
When undecided, it’s best not to invite people on this tier, unless they’re great conversationalists and can hold conversations among different guests during the reception.

Slash your way upwards and you’ll see a much clearer picture of who you’d like to witness your special day.

The Rule of Plus Ones

Narrowing your guest list may mean doing without plus ones. While some advocate inviting the spouse or partner of a friend, it’s a practice you can do without. Be upfront and say while you’d love to do so, your budget is limited and you’ve invited only those who are closest to you. This makes your guest feel special and you’ve managed to avoid ruffling feelings.

Throw a small wedding.

This strips the guest list down to immediate family and absolutely close friends. Of course some feelings would get hurt in the process but you can always give a simple party for everyone else after your honeymoon.

Paring down the guest list is one of the most stressful period before your wedding day. The key to successfully pulling it off is an eye on your budget, and a lot of tact and diplomacy when people ask why they’re not invited to your wedding.


At,we know how important planning a wedding is, and we’re here to take care of your wedding details. Visit us today!

By Sandy Rubias

Comments ( 1 )
  • […] Deal with the matters that weigh you down emotionally, get them out of the way. Now you can plan your wedding with a clear head, and focus on the excitement of wedding planning. Wedding venue and decorations,  wedding themes, what to wear?  Will it be a vibrant summer wedding or white winter wedding? Which font should you use on your wedding invitation? Do you send a save the date card or not? Now the fun begins! Read more on how to go about making a wedding guest list properly. […]

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