I think anyone who has planned a wedding would agree that the guest list is one of the most stressful parts. It definitely was for me! In fact, it would probably the only part of wedding planning that really caused me a great deal of stress and the only part that caused me to shed any tears. Basically, it sucks trying to narrow down everyone you know to fit into one guest list. One of the things that can make it so stressful is the pressure you’re going to face from friends and family regarding who should be on the guest list. You’ll have people ask you if they’re invited when you really had no intention of inviting them. Your parents will call to make sure some distant relative you’ve never heard of is on the guest list.
I’ve been there, and I can help. To make the process slightly easier, I’ve put together a list of 7 people you don’t have to invite to your wedding.
This one can be controversial, so let’s just get it out of the way first. Some of you might remember this post where I spoke on why it’s okay to have a kid-free wedding, and I still firmly believe that. It’s your wedding, and you get to decide if you want kids there. I guarantee there will be parents who are unhappy and refuse to come without their kids, so you’ll have to be prepared and can’t blame them if they choose not to attend. But kids can add a lot of cost to weddings and frankly, some weddings just aren’t kid-friendly.
It can be tricky to decide whether you should invite your coworkers and your boss! In general, it’s not required. Unless you’re friends outside of work, it’s doubtful their feelings will be hurt. They also know you aren’t friends outside of work, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
The bigger pickle comes when you want to invite some coworkers. Is this okay? Basically, yes. But you have to approach it the right way. Basically, keep the wedding away from work. Don’t bring it up at work, don’t hand out invitations at work (send them to their homes), etc. That will avoid any office drama or hurt feelings.
3. Parents’ Friends You Don’t Know
Your parents might disagree with me on this one, but these people really don’t have to be invited. You can certainly invite them if you’re willing and have the room, but it’s not required. If they’re important enough friends to be on at YOUR wedding, you’ve probably already met them because they’ve been around for years!
4. Your Ex (Or Your Fiance’s)
Even if you’re still friends, they don’t have to be invited. If you aren’t friends, it’s an easy decision. If you are still friends, here’s a good way to handle it. Let the person who did NOT date them decide if they’re invited. For instance if you’re still friends with your high school boyfriend, your fiance decides if he should be on the guest list. Because frankly, it’s not worth inviting someone that your future spouse isn’t comfortable having there.
5. Friends From Highschool
Or friends from any point in your life who aren’t friends anymore. There were friends from high school I was going to include on the list. Then I stopped and thought about the last time I saw them or spoke with them, and whether I anticipated seeing them again in the future. When the answer was a resounding never, I cut them from the list. The people who are still apart of my life from high school and college were left on!
6. Distant Relatives
Every family is different, so you might be close to your second or third cousins. But those distant relatives whom you know in name only? It’s fine to leave them off. I’m very close with my first cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., but don’t really have a relationship with anyone past that. So it was easy to cut the list off there.
7. Plus Ones
As great as it would be if every single person could bring a date to every wedding, it’s not always feasible to offer a plus-one to everyone on the guest list. Yes, you still need to invite significant others of those guests who are in relationships, but not every cousin needs to bring a random date. You can create your own system for this. We decided that family members would not be given plus-ones, but friends would. It worked well and we didn’t have any complaints!
Who do you think it’s okay to leave off the wedding guest list?
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