How to Cut Your Wedding Guest List

Flowers and card with a white bow

What’s the hardest part of planning a wedding? Choosing a dress? Deciding on the food? Finding a venue? Ask any newlywed, and they’ll probably tell you that trimming the guest list is one of the trickiest tasks that you’ll undertake.

You don’t want to offend anyone, but you don’t want to find a budget and a venue to cater for everyone you’ve ever met either. How do you choose who makes the cut and who doesn’t?

Our wedding team here at Salomons Estate, one of the premier wedding venues in Kent, has got this advice if you’re struggling to crunch the numbers.

Make A and B lists

The people you love most in the world are on your A list. They are the people you cannot imagine your big day without. They get an invitation without a second thought.

Your B list is people who you feel a bit more mixed about. This is the group you need to cut down to size.

Remember that your spouse will have a B list as well – the last thing you want is to fall out over whose friends get to attend. Applying the same rules to everyone will help avoid squabbles!

If you want to go one step further, you can break guests into A, B, C and D lists!

Flowers in a jar on a table

Consider a micro-wedding

An easy way to avoid stress around your guest list is to keep it close with no more than 40 guests.

There’s a growing trend for these micro-weddings, which can be more intimate as well as reducing cost. Plus, it gives you the perfect excuse for slashing your guest list.

Apply the one-year rule

When you’re not sure whether to invite someone, think about when you last spoke to them. If it was more than a year ago, it might indicate that this is someone you can safely leave off the list.

Of course, you might still want to invite old school friends, but this exercise can help to focus the mind. Another approach is to only invite people you see yourself being in touch with in five years’ time.

Dump the exes

Former partners might have shared important years of your life with you, but do you really want to catch their eye as you walk down the aisle?

Even if you have a good relationship now, there are probably some complicated feelings involved.

Red and white heart shaped balloons flying up the sky

Deduct plus ones

It would be a bit rude if a friend introduced you to a new partner, then demanded you buy him or her dinner at once.

Extending an invite to an unknown plus one is basically opening your special day up to a stranger.

Keep them off the list but consider saying a single guest can bring someone if you have space nearer the day. Or perhaps just to the evening celebration?

Cut out work colleagues

This is a tricky one because while important friendships can be formed at work, if you invite one or two colleagues then you can cause offence for those who are left off the list.

Do you really want to end up inviting your whole department? Your wedding is a personal occasion, so keep your professional life out of it if you’re short on space.

If you must invite colleagues, it’s a good idea to keep it to those on a similar level to you. Inviting your boss might be a bit awkward.

Trim off distant relatives

Second-cousin Janet used to send you £10 in a card every birthday – does that mean you owe her an invitation to the biggest day in your life?

The truth is, if you’re not in regular contact then distant relatives might not find out about your wedding anyway.

If you think excluding relatives might upset your parents, give them a set number that can be invited and sit down with them to make the choice.

Table full of glasses of champagne

Keep OTT friends in the pub

Drinking buddies don’t always make the best wedding guests.

If you have mates who don’t know where to draw the line, it might be better to just knock them off the guest list rather than risk a lot of drama.

Behaviour that might be amusing on a night out bit it’s not so funny if it spoils your special day.

Exclude children

This is a tricky one, as many parents won’t attend without their little ones. On the other hand, some might see it as a great opportunity for a night off and a chance to let their hair down.

Consider your friends and family and how they might feel if you choose to exclude children. Holding your wedding on a weekday during term time might help to trim some guests.

Whatever you decide, make it clear to your guests so they don’t just assume their little ones are welcome too.

Opt for a weekday ceremony

If you make it a little harder for guests to attend, you can lose quite a few of them. The ones who really care about you will be the ones who make the effort to come.

If guests need to take a day’s leave to attend, some people will decline, helping you trim your B list.

Man hugging woman in wedding dress holding a flower bouquet

Hold an evening wedding

Rather than spending a whole day and evening celebrating with guests, why not go for an evening-only do?

You can still enjoy all the same elements of the wedding, but it’ll work out much cheaper and some guests will turn down the invite, for example if they have young children or don’t want to travel for an evening do.

Looking for wedding venues in Kent?

Whatever size of wedding you’re planning, the team here at Salomons Estate has the experience to make your dreams into reality.

Salomons is one of the most picture-perfect wedding venues in Kent. The elegant Victorian mansion is set in stunning grounds and provides the ideal backdrop to your wedding photos.

Why not get a quote for your special day at Salomons Estate today?