When a bride plans her wedding, it may be difficult to stay within her budget. Keeping the guest list to a manageable number helps. Neverheless, it can be difficult and overwhelming to reduce a guest list.
Brainstorming guidelines with your future spouse to restrict your list can help ensure that your wedding reception stays affordable. Resist the temptation to make exceptions to your guidelines, since you and your groom may feel differently about borderline invitees. You will both have to stick to them.
Consider these possible guidelines:
• No guests from the workplace
• No neighbors you do not socialize with during a weekend evening
• No family members you have not seen in the last two years
• No infants or children under a particular age
Additionally, you can limit the number of guests that in-laws and parents can invite. If you are paying for your wedding, tell each set of parents whether they can have any close friends and, if so, how many. Keep in mind that this can become difficult if parents are contributing to the wedding.
Decide wherever you will allow single friends to invite a guest. Including a guest will require you to pay for people you do not know. However, your friends are more likely to come to the wedding and enjoy themselves if they can bring a date. You may also decide to include guests for friends if they are in the wedding party, or single friends who are engaged.
Once you decide on your wedding guest list criteria, you may still have a few potential invitees that fall in a gray area. To deal with this, you can create a second guest list. Send your invitations out a few weeks early, then take the time to prioritize your secondary list with your groom. This will avoid conflicts if you are unable to invite everyone later. If you receive a few declines, you can send out some invitations to your wedding late, and your guests are unknowingly to know that they were on the secondary guest list.
Narrowing down your list can be quite stressful, but you can do it. Be open to compromise when you and your groom disagree. Remember, neither of you may be able to invite everyone you want to your wedding reception, especially if you are under very tight budget constraints, but your wedding can still be everything you dreamed it would be.