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How to cut your guest list and not alienate people

In guest list on June 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm
The biggest wedding headache; the guest list

Cutting your guest list is the single easiest way of cutting down wedding costs. It means a smaller venue and a leaner food and drink bill. And you could even get to fuss the people you invite more.

On the downside, you could end up alienating friends and creating family feuds which last for generations if you cut the guest list without being sensitive. Here’s how not to offend everyone you know…

Find a natural cut off point. Not every guest list finishes at an exact multiple of 50. If you’ve got 43 family and 23 close friends, then go for a guest list of either 43 or 66 rather than a round 50. Realsimple call it ‘creating tiers’.

Create blanket policies and stick to them. No one cousin will be offended at not being invited if you have a no cousins policy.

Bin anyone you haven’t seen for a year (unless they live abroad).

Scratch any would-be friends i.e. people you’re thinking of inviting because you’d like to be friends with them in the future.

If they didn’t invite you don’t invite them. If they didn’t invite you to their wedding you are totally off the hook. Unless their wedding was before you met them.

Don’t invite any work colleagues. It’s just not professional anyway to let them hear your Dad’s story about the big poo you did in public when you were a toddler. It won’t advance your career.

The biggest wedding headache – the guest list

Always refer to your wedding as “a small family affair”. This is a perfect white lie, and prevents either side from embarrassment.

A very small family affair

A very small family affair

Do block un-invites. If you don’t invite anyone from a whole social group, then there’ll be less awkward conversations.

Only invite people you’ve met. This means no ‘plus ones’ and if you haven’t met someone’s partner there’s no need to invite them. People you don’t know yet cant get offended about not being invited, surely.

Don’t invite people you don’t like. This rule isn’t really about not alienating people, it’s about making sure you and your guests enjoy themselves. If you wouldn’t want to sit next to them at dinner, probably none of the rest of your guests will.

Limit parents’ friends. Even if they’re paying for the wedding, their friends list needs to be kept in check.

Shrink the kids. NFI anyone under 18.

Stagger the invites. Naughty, but efficient.

Smaller weddings mean no wedding crashers. Yay.

Smaller weddings mean no wedding crashers. Yay.