I challenge any couple to disagree with me on this: writing up your guest list is one of the hardest parts of planning your wedding. The list grows…and so does the price. I know every time my fiancé and I have gotten a “Decline to Attend” RSVP, we do a little secret happy dance. Why? Because paying $50 or $60 or $100 per person is a daunting thing, my friends.
The best way to avoid overspending at your reception may be to keep your guest list trim, but with family politics and the like, how is it even possible?
Here are 5 tips to help you get that manageable guest list you need:
1 . Only Invite Current Friends
It seems harsh, but if you haven’t spoken to them in over a year, do not invite them. And being friends of Facebook does NOT count, by the way.
2. Set Strict Guest Rules
This can be difficult when you have single friends who are on you about showing up to your wedding dateless. The important thing to remember is the key phrase in that sentence: your wedding. Do not, I repeat, do not feel obligated to offer everyone on your list a “and guest” option. That will most certainly add up.
On the other hand, it is important to consider friends with long term significant others. If your college roommate has been dating a guy for three years – and you knew about it – then it’s only courtesy to invite this individual.
3. On the Matter of Children…
Look, I would never judge someone for inviting kids to their wedding. If kids are a big part of your life than, yes, invite them. However, if you’re feeling pressure to invite children NOT in the bridal parties, don’t feel like you have to give in. You can cut down your guest list substantially with this exclusion and save a good chunk of money.
4. Don’t Invite People From Work
Unless they’re good friends or you happen to work with your cousins for some reason, then do not feel obligated to invite co-workers. If you have a great relationship that you want them there, then more power to you! If not…do you really want to pay for the office drama queen to be at your wedding reception? I think not.
5. Have a Destination Wedding
This might seem a little extreme to some, but the absolute best way to keep your guest list small is to have a destination wedding. And I don’t necessarily mean fly to Aruba (although, if you can do that, go for it). Even “small” destinations (i.e., my friend just got married on top of Mount Snow in Vermont) can sometimes ward off guests who don’t want the hassle of travel. This will easily weed out those people and leave just those who truly want to be with you and your partner on this special day.
I wish it wasn’t true, but obligation becomes a large part of wedding planning. As difficult as it is, keep reminding yourself that not only is this your day, but it’s your money, as well.