Before you choose your perfect wedding venue, you need to decide the size of your party. There are lots of people you’d love to invite, but is it really necessary to invite your cousin’s girlfriend’s parents? You’ll need to make a few compromises along the way, so here are a few helpful guidelines to follow when you’re creating your guest list:
1. Keep it even
Make sure you’re both clear about the number of people from each of your families to invite. For example, let both of your parents invite their best friends, and make sure there’s an equal amount of plus-ones for both sides of the family.
2. Distant relatives?
Don’t feel obliged to invite every single member of the family. If you haven’t spoken to a second cousin for five years, could you live without them being there on your wedding day? Yes, you could! And if you find yourself debating over whether to include an estranged relative or a friend, choose the friend.
How close are you to your neighbours? If you’re in and out of each other’s houses on a daily basis and you socialise with them regularly then, yes, they should definitely be invited to your big day. But if you’re just sharing a morning greeting with them, don’t feel obliged to put them on the list.
4. Evening guests
Who should you invite to the evening reception? A good rule of thumb is to invite colleagues and friends you see less than a couple of times a month to your evening do. On the evening-only invitations, briefly add in a line about ceremony size restrictions so nobody feels snubbed by not receiving a full invite.
5. Avoid family friends or relatives who are famous for behaving badly
The last thing you want is to spend your entire wedding day feeling stressed or anxious, worrying that your Uncle Pete might cause a raucous scene. Avoid inviting anyone who has a history of causing trouble at family functions.
6. Make an ‘A’ list and a ‘B’ list
Separate the people you must have at your wedding (A listers) from those who you’d quite like to be there but it’s not absolutely essential that they’re part of your day. You might’ve been close to them at one point, but if the only contact you’d had with them in the past year is a Facebook “Happy Birthday!” then you’re not required to invite them.
Ready to tackle your wedding guest list? And what about your venue? For inspiration, play our What’s Your Wedding Style Quiz, which comes with a downloadable venue checklist!