Wedding Discussions On Cutting Your Guest List


A wedding ceremony in beautiful cathedral.

Of all the difficult decisions involved in planning a wedding, finalizing the guest list is one of the trickiest. During this delicate balancing act comes the realization of just how many people we are either unwilling or unable to invite. Since many of the people who won’t make the cut for your wedding guest list are people you need to maintain a healthy relationship with, such as extended family, let’s explore the best ways to keep the peace with a wedding discussion on cutting your guest list.

A wedding ceremony on a grassy cliff overlooking the ocean.

Host a Destination Wedding

If you’re early in the planning process and are finding yourself feeling uncomfortable with the inevitable discussions that come with cutting your guest list, consider the idea of a destination wedding

If your wedding is on a tropical island or on the cliff sides of Ireland, everyone would love to join in the fun, but the number of yes’s you’ll receive from your wedding guest list will be cut down significantly. Chances are you will still get some complaints about not making your wedding more accessible, but in the end, your decision to have a dream wedding in a stunningly beautiful location is one that is easy to understand.

Although, if you do decide on a destination wedding, be sure that the intimate feel is exactly what you’ve been hoping for. While this option allows you to invite as many people as you want, knowing that only a handful will actually attend, there is a high probability that a few friends, that you truly want to be there, will not be able to make it.

A group of people raising glasses of wine in cheers.

Have a Post-Wedding Party

If you’re feeling uncomfortable with cutting Aunt Susie off your wedding guest list, but simply don’t have the space or capacity to invite her, consider having a post-wedding party. Although some people’s motivation to attend your wedding may be driven by a desire to feel included, most of your friends and family simply want an opportunity to celebrate with you. After taking a few weeks to relax and enjoy the married life, a fun way to include those guests that couldn’t make it is to have a post-wedding party. During this time, you could highlight your honeymoon and focus on them being a part of your journey into marriage.

Some great ideas for a relaxed get-together include:

  • A potluck at yours or a relative’s home

  • Dinner at a local restaurant

  • BBQ at a nearby park

  • Cocktail hour

  • Brunch

Maintaining a laid-back atmosphere keeps expenses to a minimum, and removes the obligation people may feel to bring a wedding gift, all the while giving them the chance to share in the moment by spending some quality time with the happy newlyweds. This way when questions arise about your wedding, they will be with genuine interest rather than bitter undertones from feeling left out.

Wow Them with Logistics  

If your event is quickly approaching and you’re worried about difficult questions from your relatives, it’s time to cut to the chase about why you cut your guest list. Unless someone has gone through the effort of planning a wedding, they are completely clueless when it comes to the ins and outs of wedding planning. In their minds, including more guests is as simple as adding an extra table and sending out a few more slips of paper in the mail. Obviously, this isn’t the case, but the only way for them to understand is for you to explain it to them. 

If you are prepared to be upfront with your budget, the limitations of your venue, the cost per person and the amount of time and effort you spent planning, most people will come away with more knowledge about the process and a deeper respect for the decisions you made in creating your guest list.

A man on stage with a sign reading #itsgonnabefine

A No-Regrets Guest List

With all the stress of planning a wedding, it can be difficult not to become overwhelmed with expectant guests. Try to remember that most people have limited knowledge of proper wedding etiquette and it’s natural for feelings to be a bit hurt when that wedding invitation never comes. If you understand where they are coming from, and deliver your explanation in the most polite way possible, you can both come away feeling better about the outcome.

So, craft your guest list in a way that makes you feel comfortable, and head to your holiday parties with no fear and no regrets, knowing you are prepared for any wedding discussions on cutting your guest list that come your way!

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