We tackle the hardest part of the wedding planning process – making the final cut…
There’s always one element of wedding planning that causes more headaches than anything else – the guest list. Not only is it the one area that may cause rifts between you and family members, it will also take a huge bite out of your budget. So how are you meant to decide who makes the final cut? Are you inviting children? What about plus-ones? Or your auntie and uncle you haven’t seen since childhood? The potential pitfalls are everywhere, and you can bet your bottom dollar everyone in your family will give you their opinion.
Before you even cross that bridge, you must choose the venue of your dreams and see how many people they can cater for. This will then give you guidelines to work with. Do a rough guest list before you book to see if the numbers can add up. Next you need to discuss costs per head and find out exactly how many people you can afford.
Now comes the tricky bit; choosing who will fill those precious spaces. It’s very easy to say it’s your day so it must be your decision, but in reality that can’t always be the case. Whether your close family has invested in your wedding or not, you should consider their feelings about other family members. Sit down with your nearest and dearest before you decide and explain to them about the financial implications of inviting everyone to your big day. It won’t be the easiest conversation you’ll have, but at least there won’t be any nasty surprises when the invitations come out.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve created some top tips to help you decide who should and shouldn’t make the final cut…
When did you last see them?
As a general rule, if you haven’t seen or heard from someone in more than a
few years, they probably shouldn’t be invited. And consider this: would they invite you to their wedding?
Consider a small ceremony
The latest guest cutting trend is to have a small ceremony with only your closest family, then an earlier ‘evening’ party with everyone else. With a lower cost per head, it’s the perfect way to not offend anyone and ensure that all family members are with you for the majority of the day.
Don’t invite children
This one can ruffle a few feathers, but cutting out the cuties will save you lots of money and any distractions during the ceremony. You might be pleasantly surprised – the opportunity for parents to have the ‘night off’ and let their hair down may go down really well!
Get married abroad
It may seem a bit extreme, but getting married abroad will definitely mean that only the people who you really want there will make the effort to come, and those who don’t can’t be upset that they weren’t invited. You could always have an evening-style reception back home on your return to invite everyone who couldn’t make it.
Imagine yourself a year from now
One of the best ways to decide who makes the final cut is to picture yourself a year after the wedding. When you look back at your photos, are they going to be filled with people you still see, speak to and love? Or if certain guests are there will you be annoyed at yourself for feeling pressured to invite them, having most likely not spoken to them since the big day? This is a surefire way to help you make up your mind. No one wants to look back at their wedding photos with any regrets.