Wedding Guest List Dilemmas: Your Problems Solved

A Q&A dedicated to helping you solve those guest list worries and dilemmas

Advice when it comes to creating the wedding guest list

At Bijou we’re always hearing about how frustrating planning a wedding guest list can be.  So, to stop your wedding guest list worries before they’ve even started, we’ve devised a Q&A to help you check this task off your wedding to-do list, fast! 

General Wedding Guest List Questions 

Question:

How far in advance of my wedding should I be planning my wedding guest list? 

Answer:

As soon as you start looking at wedding venues and thinking about the style of wedding you’d like to have, is when you should start thinking about your guest list. The number on your guest list will play a huge factor when it comes to choosing the right location and venue for your wedding celebration. There’s no time like the present! 

Question:

Do I have to invite someone to my wedding if I attended their wedding several years ago and now we’re not that close? 

Answer:

In short, the answer to this is no. Your wedding guest list should be full of friends and family members that you genuinely want to be at your wedding. Your big day will potentially cost you a lot of money, and it will also be one of the most memorable days of your life. If there are guests that you feel you should invite, then why not consider adding them to your evening reception guest list, or perhaps your B-list, in case you receive wedding regrets? 

Question:

Close friends of ours are getting married over the same weekend as us. Even though they would be getting married the day after, would we add them to our own wedding guest list? 

Answer:

In reality, your friends will probably be so busy getting ready for their own wedding that they will not be able to spare the time to attend your wedding. It’s probably worth discussing it between you both as they are probably having the same conversation at home in terms of their own wedding guest list. Bank on the fact that they probably won’t come, but perhaps celebrate both of your weddings over cocktails or dinner once you’ve both returned from your honeymoon. 

Questions Relating to Family Guest List Issues

Question:

My parents are divorced and both have new partners. I’m not that close with the children of their partners, but out of courtesy, should I invite them to the wedding? 

Answer:

It’s probably best to be open about this with your parents and their new partners about this subject. If they’ve been part of your life for a long time, even though you don’t see them, it might be nice to add them to your guest list out of courtesy, even if they don’t end up accepting. Alternatively, if you’re having an evening guest list you could always invite them to that part of the day? 

Question:

My parents are paying for our wedding, but they also have a long list of guests they want to invite. My partner and I now feel pressured into having a load of guests at our wedding that we don’t know, and are having to cut some of our own friends off the list, due to numbers. How can we compromise? 

Answer:

If your parents are paying for the wedding then they’ll naturally have a say in who they’d like to add to the guest list. Having said that, it is your day, so you should communicate your feelings sooner rather than later. Your parents may be willing to shorten their own list, or consider adding their guests to an evening or reserves list. In terms of your own friends, perhaps you could extend your evening guest list numbers to incorporate more people. Ultimately your parents will want you to have the perfect day! 

Wedding Guest List Questions About Children 

Question:

We’ve decided that we don’t want to invite children to our wedding. However, we both have nieces and nephews but don’t want to offend her or cause a family argument by saying that we don’t want them there on the day. How can we announce this information in the nicest possible way? 

Answer:

Anyone with children should respect your wishes and understand that a wedding is sometimes not the best environment for children to be around. Perhaps explain it in a sense of ‘you want them to let their hair down’ and enjoy your wedding without having to worry about looking after their children all day – even though you love them dearly. 

Question:

Do babies count as guests in terms of numbers that you have to communicate to your wedding venue

Answers:

Yes, anyone attending your wedding should be communicated to your wedding venue. Even if a baby does not require food or a place to sit, the venue will still need to know all of your guests names and your final numbers for their own records. 

Simplify your Wedding Guest List with these Top Tips 

  • Create your wedding guest list in a priority order 
    • Must-have guests you definitely want to invite
    • Family and relations that should be on the list
    • ​Friends, work colleagues, neighbours and anyone else
    • ​When you’ve reached your maximum numbers and need to start removing people off the list, start at the bottom and work your way up
  • Roughly create your wedding guest list with your partner and families as soon as you can, as this will determine the style of wedding and type of venue that you’ll be able to choose. 
  • Be ruthless – if you haven’t had any communication with a friend for over a year, then don’t worry about adding them to your guest list. 
  • Take in to consideration that if you plan on inviting a lot of guests to your wedding from overseas, that they may not all be able to make it. This may allow for a few extra guests to be added to the list, later down the line. 
  • If you’ve booked your wedding venue over a year in advance, think about sending Save the Date cards so that your guests can all reserve the special date in their diaries.