Curating Your Guest List

Making decisions about your guest list can be an intricate process and one that will depend largely on your venue and budget. Take some time to sit down with your partner to put together a wish list of wedding guests. Once you have this wish list made and begin thinking more about your budget, you’ll more than likely need to make some cuts. 

Here are some considerations to help decide who to cross off the list:

  • Relatives you haven’t seen in years
    This can be hard and I’m sure your mom or dad won’t entirely love this idea, but your wedding is about you and your loved one – it is not a family reunion. Have a discussion with both your partner and key family members about where to draw the line in terms of extended family.
  • Old friends you are no longer close with
    Although this person may have been your friend at one point in your life, if you’ve grown apart and have not spoken in quite some time; it is not worth adding them to the list. There won’t be enough time to catch up with them during your wedding night, and let’s be honest, do you really want to focus on what someone else has been up to for the last few years on one of the biggest nights of your life?
  • Co-workers
    If you only see your co-workers around the office and your partner has never met them, maybe consider crossing them off the list. If you have a little wiggle room at the end for a few more additions, then you might be able to still invite your 9-5 acquaintances. 
  • Plus-ones and children
    Consistency is key when allowing plus-ones and children at your wedding. Have you met your guest’s significant other? Have they been dating for 6 months+? Having a system in place for determining a plus-one will relieve the feeling of needing to give every single guest a plus-one, because you definitely don’t want to look back at your wedding photos to see a room full of people you barely know.

    A good rule of thumb if you don’t want children at your wedding is to implement a cut-off age. Allowing ages 14+ at your wedding might be a good way to avoid inconsistencies and guests getting upset that their young ones cannot attend. 


Another tip to consider when making your guest list is to color code the spreadsheet. His family, her family, hometown friends, co-workers, college friends, distant relatives. This will make your list easier to sift through to see who you might have forgotten and who is really important to you. Creating a visual reference for each group can also help when it comes time to create a seating chart so that you can seat groups with each other.

Finally! Remember that this day is about celebrating YOU, so when it comes down to it, make sure you are surrounding yourself with the people that you love most. And if you happen to be planning a wedding during COVID, take this even more into consideration and possibly offer a virtual option for older relatives that might not be able to make it. (COVID might actually benefit you from a narrowing-down-the-list standpoint if you aren’t sure how to tell your mother that her best friend’s sister won’t make the cut).

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