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May 4, 2016

Ask Abby: How to Cut the Guest List

By sdwedding
 Photo from Omni San Diego Hotel

When planning a wedding, one of the first things you need to establish is a guest list. For anyone who hasn’t already, most likely you will have more people to invite than you think. However, feeding 200 people compared to 100 can get add up quickly. Here are some tips on how to control the guest list and keep the self inviters to a minimum.

Guests’ Dates: When your single friends receive an invite in the mail to a wedding, they will consider a plus one. There are a couple ways you can discourage your cousin’s first date that she met on the internet being your wedding. How you handle this is up to you but some suggestions are to address the invitation specifically to whomever is invited and do not leave a spot for how many guests on the RSVP. If they then call to ask, it is acceptable to politely say no, we’re trying to keep the guest list to a minimum but thank you for your consideration!

Distant Family: The older you get, the larger and larger you realize your family is!! One trouble of weddings is how much of that family actually gets invited. If you have a large family on both sides between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, that alone could add up to 50+ people for one half of the couple! A good rule of thumb is if you can’t remember their name and they haven’t been an active participant in your life, then you don’t need to invite them. If you have the budget and would like to then that’s wonderful. However if you haven’t spoken to the person in the last five years, they probably aren’t expecting an invite anyway.

Parents’ Friends: This is a tricky one. The first determining factor is are your parents paying for the wedding? Because if they are willing to spend the money, then you can have a few more guests. But, if these friends are ones that you don’t know, aren’t comfortable with, or you just don’t want a big wedding then you need to say something. It’s never easy to stand up to our parents but ultimately you need to remember that this is your day and you should be celebrating it with people who care about you!

If you have a question you’d like to “Ask Abby,” please send an email to!