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How To Shorten Your Guest List

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Mom? Check. Dad? Check. Uncle Steve? Check. What about your college friend who you see every four months or your cousin who just comes to big family events? When it comes to creating the guest list it can be a bit stressful to make sure you have everyone special to you while not inviting 400 people you know. We’ve come up with four ways to narrow down your guest list so you can have everyone you want at your big day without breaking the bank!

Above: Luke and Ashley Photography

Knowing Your Budget

If you already know your budget then see how many guests you can invite without breaking the bank.  Once you know your budget and create a preliminary guest list then talk it out and cut the list down keeping the budget in mind. This is helpful when you are deciding on a small or big wedding while also getting quotes from caterers and venues.

The A and B List

We know, we know, it sounds terrible to categorize your friends into who you’re closer with, but it truly helps! For the A list, write down everyone that you could not imagine the day without, and once that list is done, create the B list. This list will be people you want at the wedding but you wouldn’t be too upset if they didn’t come. After you have both lists written out, you have two options. One – move certain people from the B list to the A list; two – go ahead and send the invitations to the A list only and if you receive a “no” RSVP from anyone on you’re a list, start to invite people from the B list.

Triple Threat

This option will even keep the parents happy! Once you think about how many guests to invite without going over budget, divide the number up into your guests, your parent’s guests, and the in-law’s guests. Then, everyone make a list! For example, if you have a guest count of 150 people, you and your fiancé would have 100 guests and each set of parents would have 25 guests to invite. This allows for you to invite the majority of the guests while your parents can still invite their friends to celebrate the big day!  

Left: Dustin Lewis Images


It can become so hard to cut down the guest list when everyone wants to celebrate the biggest day of your life with you, but sometimes, you just can’t invite everyone and their grandma and that’s okay! Celebrating with the people you absolutely couldn’t do the day without is what will make the best memories! So if you need to cut the list, just use one of the options mentioned and, we promise, it’ll still be the best day of your life!


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