Guilt Free Guest Lists

Your current guest list for your wedding is too long. Trust me, I have yet to read through all the names as your wedding planner, but I promise you I am right, it is way too long. Those wrinkles that magically have found their way to your furrowed brow from whether or not you should invite your third cousin you barely remember from the ’92 family reunion or the girl from college you met in bio class can be erased. No need to buy wrinkle removing creams or products from the drug store, just cut your guest list down and those worrisome lines can be gone forever, well at least until you have kids.

Here are 2 reasons why a “Guilt Free Guest List” is one that has been trimmed to fit your wedding!

Reason #1: A Smaller Guest List Saves You Money

Short and simple, weddings are expensive. Let’s pretend you are planning a 304 person wedding versus a 240 person wedding. Check out a few sample figures:

304 Person Wedding Mock-Up
Tables: One 60” Cocktail Round Seats 8 comfortably – 38 Tables Needed – $8 per table, Total: $304
Tablecloths: 38 – $10 per table cloth, Total: $380
Chairs: 304 Ghost Chairs – $15 per chair, Total: $4,560
Food: $45 per head for buffet, Total: $13,680 for Buffet
Total: $18,924

240 Person Wedding Mock-Up
Tables: One 60” Cocktail Round Seats 8 comfortably – 30 Tables Needed – $8 per table, Total: $240
Tablecloths: 30 – $10 per table cloth, Total: $300
Chairs: 240 Ghost Chairs – $15 per chair, Total: 3,600
Food: $45 per head for buffet, Total: $10,800 for Buffet
Total: $14,940

Savings? If you shave your guest list down by 64 people in this quick mock-up you save almost $4,000! That is a lot of money back into your pocket, a honeymoon for sure! And if you dropped your list down to an even 200? You would save over $6,000. That is a down payment on a nice car or enough money for your honeymoon and one year anniversary trip! Need I say more? Trimming down your guest list saves you money.

Reason #2: Not Everyone Matters In The Long Run

I say “the long run” for a good reason: marriage is for the long run. Invite people that have added to your life and will continue to support your marriage in the long run. Inviting people because you feel you should is a fast way to add guilt to what should be a guilt free day. You are marrying the love of your life, not their entire family and friends. I want you to take a breather, and imagine your life with your lover 5 or even 20 years from now: who will you still want around to support your family and marriage? Does your best friend’s brother and girlfriend make the cut? Or what about the aunt who you saw once at a funeral? Anyone who does not add positivity to your life or support your marriage should be left off the list in my opinion. Life is short and your wedding is even shorter so much so that you have no room for negative people who could spoil the day. Guilt makes us feel obligated to invite our mom’s best friend and her family, but your budget cannot handle all the extra fluff. Be choosy. You were choosy about who you wanted to marry, so why can you not be choosy on who will have the joy and privilege to celebrate with you? Seriously, let go of the guilt and just make a decision not to invite whomever it is you are struggling with inviting.

How Do I Know Who to Not Invite?
Here are 6 Easy Steps!

  1. Draw four concentric circles. You will need your current guest list handy to write down names.
  2. In the inner circle write down the names of everyone who is a must invite, those vital people in your life. This includes your parents and closest current friends who have supported your relationship 100%. This circle should be small with a short list. These people are those you would want with you if your wedding was reduced to signing papers at the courthouse and those rooms are not huge.
  3. In the next ring surrounding the inner circle write the names of people you want to add to your inner circle of support. These people are best friends, extended family members and other important people that again have supported your decision 100%. These are people you have seen in the last year. These are people who you have talked to about your relationship on multiple occasions. Simply put – they know the name of your partner and not just from a tagged Facebook photo. If you have not talked to them over the phone in the last year more than once about your relationship or seen them in person in a year, maybe they are a better fit for the next ring.
  4. In the third ring, write names of people you would like to invite if your budget allows.
  5. In the outside ring list anyone you have yet to add to your first three circles. This final circle is for people you feel obligated to invite. Maybe you feel obligated to invite your boss or some long lost friend or family member. Maybe your parents handed you a list of people they believe should be at your wedding, people you barely know. Everyone in this circle is being invited out of guilt, compulsion, or fear of family drama.
  6. Now that you have all the names from your current guest list in one of the four circles, shave your guest list down to only the names in the first 2 circles and only some of the names from the 3rd circle. That’s right, only the first two circles really belong, but if you have the money, some from the third circle can attend. I know this seems harsh, but it is necessary. Why pay for people you were guilted into inviting?

It will be tough at first shaving your list down to a manageable size, but it’s your wedding, your budget, and your happiness on the line if you don’t!

Featured Image Credit: Wedding Happy


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