The Slimming Effect
Key ways to cut down your guest list
Whether you're on a serious budget–or looking for a way to justify purchasing your dream dress, cutting down your guest list makes an easy way to conserve funds when planning your wedding. Be decisive and uniform in your decisions. Chances are, if you and your family are second and third guessing an invite, it probably shouldn't make the cut. Separate your list of yes invites from your list of maybe invites. Examine all of your maybe invites and look for common factors among these individuals. From here, you can use the trim-down rules below to determine who will make the cut.
The caveats: be sure to take the opinions of your fiancé AND those paying for your wedding into equal consideration. A wedding is never a one-person show. That said, keep in mind proportion rules over equal division. If the bride or groom to-be's family is larger than the other's, it's only appropriate that each is allowed to invite a proportionate number of family members. And finally, abandon all guilt. Between budget, venue size restrictions and level of event intimacy, there are plenty of perfectly acceptable reasons why no one should be offended for a non-invite. Make peace with your final list and move on.
Photo: Kristin Vining
1. Minor manners
Though the elimination of children from the guest list can cause some scrambling and inevitable complaining among guests, it's an easy way to make a serious dent in paring down your list. When the guilt sets in, just imagine a wailing baby during your 'I do's.' A happy and appropriate medium is to choose an age cut-off. Let's say, no guests under the age of 12.
2. Working Girl
Colleagues can be a tricky subject when it comes to invitation etiquette. The best solution: blanket statements. It becomes too difficult when inviting certain co-workers and not others. Close with some but not with your boss? Not an option. Between social media and inter-office gossip, having a boss discover he or she did not make the cut when others from the office did: not a good idea. It's best to inform those at work that you'd like to keep the wedding extremely intimate between just family and close friends. If you absolutely must invite friends from the office, be sure to include your boss.
3. Numbers Game
Never met your college roommate's boyfriend? Don't feel obligated to give all your guests a plus one–especially those not married. Eliminating plus one's from invitations opens up space to give invitations to others. You and your husband to-be are the couple of the night, not anyone else. For those without long-term boyfriends or girlfriends, don't extend the extra invite.
4. Family Tree
Another way to edit your guest list: create a rule of relation. This works especially well for especially large families. By eliminating anyone further in distance than first cousins, you are likely trimming down a significant number of guests. A second option: edit by geographic proximity. Extended family in Montana and you live in North Carolina? Save the postage.
5. Round Deux
Plan a post-honeymoon soiree for distant friends and family. This way those who didn't make the cut will still feel as though they were able to be a part of your special day. Pick a day and extend invites prior to your wedding to soften the blow for anyone who might be offended for not having been invited to the main event.