Cutting the guest list for your wedding day is an already stressful and long conversation, but let’s add a global pandemic restricting your guest count. Whether you’ve always dreamed of a smaller, more intimate celebration or you’re now facing difficult decisions on who to cut to still be able to get married in 2020, this list will hopefully help! See below for our top tips in cutting down your wedding guest list.
The number one step is finding out your max number limit and the cost-per-person. Your max number could be what your state allows as an acceptable gathering number or what your venue mandates as their limit. While having a smaller wedding might be able to save you some money, a majority of your budget is still tied to your guest count. Each seat, cocktail, food item, favor etc. all adds into your final cost. Trust me, that cost-per-person number does help in deciding who to invite and not invite. (i.e. do you want to spend $75 on that person from high school you haven’t spoken to in 2 years?)
The A List
Your A list is for all the primary players. These are people who you cannot imagine getting married without. Close family, best friends, etc. – basically, the first people you told you were engaged to. If you’re having an intimate wedding, minimony, or elopement, feel free to stop here.
Now on to the B list.
These are the people you’d like to have there, but aren’t exactly must-haves. Think your extended fam, your dad or mom’s friends (given that they may be helping you pay), or your work wife that keeps you sane during the week. If you still have room in your max count, you can include some of these guests.
Another avenue is to send out a batch of invitations to your A list a little earlier (think 10 weeks) and wait for some “regretfully declines” to come in to be able to include more of your B list. But do make sure you send out invitations to the B list in a reasonable time-frame! No one likes to feel like a second thought.
Lastly, the C list.
These are the people that maybe you’ve not spoken to in years, but feel obligated to invite because of your history. They are distant relatives who you’ve met only a few times. Your boss or coworkers that you don’t see outside of work. For this C list, go ahead and cut. It’s not personal, it’s just numbers. When it comes to hurt feelings or harsh reactions, explain that you have to keep it small for budget sake or venue allowances and that you could celebrate in a different way together later.
Good Rules of Thumb
If you’ve not seen them in person, spoken on the phone, or have had any regular communication in over a year, cut. You can also make some hard & fast rules on cutting down the list like adults only, no coworkers, and no plus-ones especially if you’ve never met them. Remember this wedding is about you, your spouse-to-be, your love story, and your future. Whether it’s 200 people or 20, it’s more about the marriage in the end. And a good way to think of it is if you can plan a wedding in 2020 and still want to get married at the end of it, you’re set for life!
For a quick reference, check out our Pin-able checklist below!