Arguably one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is making your guest list. Not only do you have to consider both you and your spouse's friends and family members, but there are gray areas such as plus-ones, co-workers, kids, the list goes on.
In the world of weddings more guests = more money, so the easiest way to save money on your wedding is to shorten your guest list. Here are a few ways to do that:
Consider the location
The further away you host your wedding, the easier it will be to shorten the list. Having an intimate wedding in Mexico makes it easy to take people off. Telling people, "We're having a very small ceremony with just our closest family and friends" will make your wedding seem romantic instead of exclusive. Having it in a far-off location makes it a lot easier to leave people you're not as close with off the list. You can always throw a party before or after you head off to get hitched if you know you'll have friends who want to celebrate and congratulate you.
Blame it on the venue
Unless you're getting married in someone's backyard, your venue probably has a capacity limit. If uninvited friends keep prying about where their wedding invite is, tell them that your dream wedding location has a very strict policy on guest count, so, unfortunately, you couldn't invite everyone you wanted. Even if you stretch the truth about the capacity limit just a bit, it takes the blame off of you.
Create a rule for plus-ones
Giving everyone a plus-one can fill up your guest list quickly. If you're not sure how to approach this issue, consider making a blanket rule that applies to everyone. This rule is completely up to you and your spouse. A few examples are: you can only bring a plus-one if we've met them, if you've been dating for more than 6 months, or any other kind of variation that makes you comfortable. This is completely acceptable as long as you keep the rule consistent and don't make exceptions for anyone. With a rule in place, you can easily cut your guest list down.
Make it an adults-only affair
No, not inviting kids to your wedding does not make you a mean person. It means you want your guests who have children to relax and enjoy themselves, instead of worrying about their kids. A lot of extra costs can incur if you include little attendants. From kid food to activities and a separate table, it's just one more thing you have to worry about. Plus, there's nothing like a toddler crying hysterically to ruin your first dance. List out specific names on the invitation when sending them to large families so the recipients know who specifically is invited.
Make an A, B and C-list
When you sit down to make your list, think of people in three categories. Your A-list is made up of your closest friends and family you cannot get married without, like your best friend growing up, your cousins, etc. Your B-list is made up of people you'd like to have there. These might be college friends, relatives, etc. Then finally, your C-list is a group of people you can add to the list if you have extra space. These people might be co-workers or childhood friends you haven't seen in a while. Breaking it down this way will make things a whole lot easier when you have to make cuts.
Don't invite people you're not close with (even if you got invited to theirs)
If your friend Jane from college invited you both to her wedding three years ago but you haven't spoken to her since, you might consider removing her from the list. An invite to someone else's wedding does not secure them an invite to yours, especially if you haven't spoken in a long time. Don't let the guilt of leaving people off the list consume you. If you invited everyone you ever knew, you'd have a sky-high bill at the end of your wedding.
Think carefully about who you invite and make sure they are important to you, those are the kinds of people you want around you on the most special day of your life.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Sarah Title is a travel & wedding writer and editor living in Washington D.C. She also works part-time at a bridal salon in Georgetown helping women find the perfect dress. When she isn't working, you can find her at the closest oyster bar enjoying a glass of rose or catching up on the latest celebrity gossip.