Wedding Planning Etiquette: The Guest List

As you plan your wedding, you’ll come up against all sorts of etiquette questions. From who to invite to how to invite them, I’ll be tackling the most common dilemmas over the coming weeks. This week, I’m taking a look at guest lists.

Creating your guest list is something you’ll need to do early, and can be a huge struggle. First off, find out how many guests you can invite. This can be determined by the budget and your venue’s capacity.


It can be helpful to write down a big list of possible invitees, then put them into A, B, and C lists. The A list should be close family and best friends who are must-invites. The B list is your close friends and more distant family. The C list should include co-workers and others who you could cut from the guest list more easily.

At the end of the day, your guest list should be the people you most want to spend your wedding day with. If you and your fiance disagree about the guest list, talk about why you want to invite (or don’t want to invite) a particular person. In general, you shouldn’t invite any exes, or anyone who will make either of you uncomfortable.

If you’re planning an intimate wedding, be ready to explain this to friends who might feel slighted, but don’t give out invitations to anyone you don’t want to be there! If you do want more people than you can really afford, consider offering invitations to the evening celebration, where guests can pay for their own drinks.

For more advice about creating your guest list, give me a call today (212-595-9263) or contact me through my website.

Check back next week for my advice about invitations, including how to handle plus ones and kids!

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