Ideas and Advice • Wedding Planning • Guest List

Nailing Your Wedding Guest List (Without Feeling Guilty)

January 28, 2024 | Grachelle Gregorio-Andoy

wedding guest's chair in a garden venue

You’ve found the love of your life, you’ve said yes to the ring, and you’re ready to plan the wedding of your dreams. But there’s one thing standing in your way: your guest list. Who do you invite? Who do you leave out? How do you deal with the guilt, the pressure, and the FOMO (fear of missing out)?

We know, we know. It’s a nightmare. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to nailing your wedding guest list, without feeling guilty. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be able to enjoy your big day with the people who matter the most to you.

Tip #1: Start with your vision and budget

Before you even think about your guest list, you need to have a clear idea of what kind of wedding you want and how much you can afford to spend. This will help you set realistic expectations and boundaries for your guest list. For example, if you want a small, intimate wedding, you may only invite your closest family and friends. If you have a limited budget, you may have to prioritize quality over quantity and only invite the people who really matter to you. And if anyone complains, just tell them that you’re saving money for your honeymoon or your future home, and watch them shut up.

Tip #2: Create a guest list criteria

To make your guest list more manageable, you need to create some criteria or rules to help you decide who to invite and who to leave out. For example, you can only invite people who you have seen or spoken to in the last year, or people who you can imagine being in your life in the future. You can also exclude people who you don’t have a close or positive relationship with, such as distant relatives, former colleagues, or exes. Having a consistent and fair criteria will make it easier to justify your choices and avoid guilt. And if anyone questions your criteria, just tell them that it’s your wedding and your rules, and that they can suck it.

Tip #3: Divide and conquer

One way to simplify your guest list is to divide it into categories, such as family, friends, work, and plus-ones. Then, you can assign a number of guests to each category, based on your vision and budget. For example, you can allocate 50% of your guest list to family, 30% to friends, 10% to work, and 10% to plus-ones. This way, you can easily see how many people you can invite from each group, and avoid going overboard. You can also use this method to negotiate with your partner and your parents, and make sure everyone gets a fair share of the guest list.

Tip #4: Be honest and polite

If you have to decline or rescind an invitation to someone, you need to be honest and polite about it. You can explain the reason why you can’t invite them, such as space limitations, budget constraints, or COVID-19 restrictions. You can also express your appreciation for their understanding and support, and offer to celebrate with them in another way, such as having a dinner or a video call. Being honest and polite will show that you respect and care about them, and that you are not trying to hurt or offend them. And if they still don’t get it, just tell them that you’re sorry, but not really.

Tip #5: Focus on the positive

Instead of dwelling on the negative feelings of guilt or FOMO, you need to focus on the positive aspects of your wedding and guest list. Remember that your wedding is a celebration of your love and commitment, and that you are inviting the people who love and support you the most. Think about how much fun and joy you will have with your guests, and how grateful you are for having them in your life. Focusing on the positive will help you overcome the guilt and FOMO, and make you more excited and happy about your wedding. And if anyone tries to ruin your mood, just tell them to go away and mind their own business.

There you have it: the ultimate guide to nailing your wedding guest list, without feeling guilty. Now go ahead and enjoy your wedding, and don’t let anyone spoil it for you. You deserve it!


Need more help? Download THE GUEST LIST by the Bridal Booklet spreadsheet here.