Wedding Guest ListIt is only natural that many couples wish to share their joy with as many people as possible on their wedding day. The reality is, this can become a very expensive proposition. Guest lists have a way of running away from people, and the problem extends beyond the expense. Before they know it, a couple may have inflated their intimate event to a cast of hundreds, with every fourth cousin and former co-worker set to witness their union and enjoy a sit-down dinner. Somehow the invitation has become a symbol of recognition rather than an invitation to share an important personal event. Blame it on a runaway wedding industry that promotes a betrothal as the party of a lifetime or on a digital society in which even distant associates are referred to as friends. Regardless, a couple can choose to opt out of the cast-of-thousands extravaganza and trim the list to include the people who mean the most to them. The following are a few tips to help whittle it down.

Invite People You Know

This one sounds obvious, right? Believe it or not, it is possible to meet people for the very first time at one's own wedding. Often this situation is the result of sending out invites to a large extended family, many of whom may not keep in touch except for big events such as these. Or someone's parents may feel the need to invite long-time business associates who have no regular connection to the individuals getting married. Once a couple has made the decision to ask only those people they actually know, it becomes easier to lop these invitees off the list. An alternative idea is to throw a simpler, additional party that includes co-workers and others.

Invite People You Actually Talk To

Again, this one seems like a no-brainer at first, but in practice it can prove tricky. Some event planners suggest limiting the list to people one has seen in person or spoken to at length in the last year or so.

It Is Not a High School Reunion

If a best friend from senior year still makes it for coffee once a week, then that person is someone who remains a part of one's life and by all means should get an invitation to the wedding. Other relationships from the past may not have shown that kind of staying power. While the guest list may reflect where one comes from as well as where one is in life now, there is no need to invite people from the past if they are not likely to be a part of the future. Ask the following questions:

  • Do you keep in touch?
  • Do you still share common interests?
  • If you moved, would you let them know?

Invite People You Like, With Exceptions

Of course, the ideal is to be surrounded by friends, family and loved ones on the big day. Couples should feel emotionally supported by and comfortable with the people at their celebration. That said, it is still prudent to invite the crusty uncle or aunt along with the rest of the clan. A good rule of thumb is, if they show up at other family events on a regular basis, they should get an invitation.

Remember It's a Wedding, not a Coronation

For most people in the United States, a wedding is not a community-wide event. It is easy to fall into the mindset that a ceremony is an opportunity to acknowledge everyone in one's life, past and present. Overextending the guest list, however, can lead to unnecessary stress and expense. There may be certain obligations a couple feels they need to meet, but when they look out into the gathering, the majority of faces should be friendly and familiar.

Category: Wedding Planning

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