Congrats! You just got the ring. Or maybe you got it a while ago. Regardless, you’ve been showing it off all over social media and making promises left and right to virtually everyone you’ve ever met that “of course” they’re invited for your big day.
Unless you have an unlimited budget and a killer memory, chances are, you probably won’t be able to invite everyone you’d like (or even remember to invite half the people you promised an RSVP to.) A guest list is a highly curated thing, made even more so with a tighter budget or a small venue.
Here comes the all-important question: how do you filter who makes the cut? How do you distinguish cousins, friends that you might’ve not seen in a while, coworkers that you occasionally get lunch with? What about your hubby? Does he have a large social circle? Should the amount of invites you both get depend on how many people you’re thinking of inviting?
Need guest list help? We got you, girl.
Let your parents handle it
We’re not talking about handling the entire guest list, but if you or your spouse have a particularly large family, it might be best to hand some of the guest list making to your parents. They probably have a better grasp on the who’s who of your relatives and know who to owe an invite to.
With that said, don’t forget that it’s your day, and while Mom and Dad might want to invite third or fourth cousins, you have final say on who’s in or out. What parents can be useful for is mitigating any awkward situations (say, inviting a family member that recently got divorced) and for keeping a back list of relatives to invite should you be stuck with a bunch of declined invites.
What about plus ones?
Chances are if you’re a bride in your 20s or 30s, a good chunk of your friends are single. And while your knee-jerk reaction might be to let them invite a guest should they want to, they will most likely be better off going solo. After all, a group of single friends without plus ones are more likely to mingle and not feel obligated to spend the ceremony and reception with someone they just met while swiping away on Bumble.
As for friends that have recently coupled up, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is whether or not you hung out with the pair when the two were an official couple. If not, let your friend know that you have limited space but you’d love to meet their partner one day soon.
Don’t forget your co-workers!
If you work in a small office or are a part of a tight-knit department, it might be a good idea to invite them. Your lunch buddy or work wife sees you nearly as much as your actual partner does, so they deserve an invite. If you’re in a larger office, however, don’t feel pressured to extending everyone an invite, especially considering that you’ll also have to allow them to bring their spouses out of respect.
No kids? No problem
It’s your wedding, and you can go child-free if you want to! Instead of explicitly stating that you want your friends and family to leave their little ones at home, give your family-oriented loved ones a call once they’ve submitted their RSVPS letting them know about your kid policy. Cite venue regulations and offer to hang out (with kids in tow!) instead.
Don’t tack anyone on last-minute
Except for very special cases, everyone’s invitation should go out at the same time. It’s tacky to throw someone an invite at the 11th hour — no one wants to be a B-lister!