How To Slim Down Your Guest List

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Knowing whom to invite to your wedding can be a tricky
business…and it comes down to a combination of several factors: your
budget, your locations, what’s typical in your social/cultural circle,
and your relationships with your family and your fiance’s family.


one, budget, is the one which for practical reasons must be addressed.
If you have no set budget and the sky is the limit, then you may feel
free to invite whoever will make you, your fiance, and your families
happy. If your budget does have a set limit, however, you need to
consider first how many people you can accommodate at the type of
wedding and reception you wish to have, with that set amount of money.

next thing to consider is the location at which your ceremony and your
reception will be held. Can each place hold the number of people you
wish to invite? Your ceremony and reception locations should have
information on the number of people that each can comfortably
accommodate. Remember that you want to make sure that your guests have
an enjoyable time, and it will be difficult to do so if they’re packed
into a too-small space.

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Another item to take into consideration is
social and cultural tradition for weddings. In some cultures and social
circles, it is customary to invite huge numbers of people to weddings,
whether or not the bride and groom know them well. For others, weddings
are family-only or highly religious affairs, at which the guest list is
strictly limited. Think back to recent weddings in your social set; this
will give you an idea of what is typical and act as a general guideline
as you move forward with your plans.

Finally, and most
importantly, remember that your family relationships are important, and
it’s vital to make your families feel involved and respected. You might
ask both sets of parents to create a wish list of everyone they would
like to invite, and then ask them to divide that list into “must
invite,” “would like to invite” and “could be left uninvited if
necessary” categories. Then follow the same list-making process
yourselves. In doing this, you’ll come up with a set number of “must
invites,” which will serve as a base number of guests.

Some people
may not be willing or able to categorize their guest list this way, but
be firm. Chances are good that there will be limiting factors, such as
the size of your location(s) or your budget, that will help you make a
final decision as to whom you invite. Do your best not to alienate
anyone during this process; each family may have different ideas about
what a wedding should be, and anything surrounding a wedding can be come
very emotionally charged.

Be courteous, warm, and firm as the
occasion demands, and remember that the financial support of one person
or another may make them feel entitled to certain concessions. It is up
to you and your fiance to decide whether or not to allow this, or to
simply make other arrangements.

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