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For Brides

September 30, 2021

FOR BRIDES | Who to Invite to Your Wedding


Updated: September 30, 2021

It’s been over 4 years since we originally posted this article about who to invite to your wedding. Well, we have learned A LOT since this first post. Not only have we photographed a lot of weddings, but we’ve also helped friends through the wedding planning process. After reading through this article again, we decided we would change a few tips and add some more thoughts!

I wanted to do a short series of posts called “For Brides” to help people during the wedding planning process. During the planning of your wedding, I’m sure you will have questions and want some advice. I have been there and I know it can be the most exciting season of your life, as well as the most overwhelming! Enjoy and feel free to ask me questions. 🙂
Other Posts from the “For Brides” series: 

  1.  Wedding Day Details
  2.  Should you hire a videographer?
  3.  Should you hire a wedding planner?
  4.  For Grooms: How I proposed
  5.  What to wear for your engagement session
  6.  First Look vs. Traditional Aisle Reveal
  7.  Should you invest in bridal portraits

Okay brides-to-be, I’m talking to you. Some of you may have realized already that forming a wedding guest list is a difficult task. Here are some practical tips to help you decide who you should invite to your wedding.

Make a List of EVERYONE

For us, a helpful tool was google sheets. We wrote down family, friends from high school (a small group), friends from college, college roommates, church friends, etc. This is the list where you basically write down everyone that you’ve ever met in your life.

When you’ve reached the end of your list, don’t freak out at how many people you’ve written down. You won’t be inviting all 127,203 people (unless you want to, of course).

What’s the point of writing everyone down? This helps you ensure you’re not forgetting anyone. It’s easy to forget a cousin, coworker, or old friend in the middle of the planning.

If you sit down and write down everyone who you MIGHT invite, not only does it make it easy in picking who’s in and whos out, but it also can prevent you from forgetting someone you’d like to have there.

Separate Your List Into Groups

We wanted to see how many people we were inviting based on certain groups. For example, did we Katie have a lot more people from Logoff than Mitchel did from Liberty?

This can show you some groups of people that are getting way more attention than other groups and how to begin cutting the list in half.

Because I had been at my job for 4 months when we sent out Save the Date cards, and Mitchel had been at his job for less than 2 months, we didn’t invite anyone from his work and we only invited 4 people from mine- the people I work with directly in my office.

Be careful when you’re inviting coworkers. You can fall into the “I invited so-and-so, which means I HAVE to invite another so-and-so,” and before you know it, you’ve invited your whole office.

How Many Guests Can Your Venue Fit

We looked at how many the church and country club could comfortably hold. We made our prospective guest list first and then picked a venue.

This helped us rule out venues that were much too small for around 150 people. After that, we started listing out people by the importance of them being there.

We asked ourselves who absolutely needed to be there, and if we would be sad if certain people didn’t attend. There are some people you can’t imagine not being at your wedding, and there are others you know you probably wouldn’t be as concerned about years down the road.

There may be some people that you’re on the fence about. You may not be excited about them being there, but you can’t bring yourself to exclude them from your wedding. In this case, we asked ourselves two questions:

  1. “Are they going to be a part of our lives after the wedding?” and if we thought that we wouldn’t see them again in the future, then we decided not to invite them to the wedding.
  2. Would I be sad if they weren’t able to come to my wedding? How would you feel if that person were busy and couldn’t come? If you don’t think you’d be upset, they can be cut.
  3. Secondly, this series of questions was helpful: “How long have I known this person? How have they influenced my life? And has my fiancé ever even met them?”

There are going to be some tough calls when you’re going through the guest list, but you need to remember that this day is about you and your future spouse. It’s not a day for the guests. You invite the people that are going to make you happy.

Cutting Wedding Guests

COVID has impacted the number of guests, average guests list sizes, and how people approach wedding guests. We have seen a lot of new trends.

One of those is smaller weddings. Instead of having 200 – 300 or more people, most couples are opting for 100 or less. No longer are couples inviting every single person they know because they feel like they need to.

If you want to have a small wedding, don’t feel guilty about not inviting more guests. Regardless of your reasons. Maybe it’s for health, money, or you just don’t want a ton of people on your special day. It doesn’t matter why – do what will make both of you happy.

If you’re wanting to save money by having fewer guests, you can always invite those closest to you and then live stream it for everyone else! That way, everyone gets to enjoy the ceremony, but you don’t have to spend the extra money on the food, drink, and larger venue.

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