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How to create a wedding guest list without any stress

Having the right people there on your wedding day is crucial to making it the day of your dreams. Scroll down for a step by step guide to creating your wedding guest list without any worries or stress.

who to invite to your wedding

Three rules to creating a wedding guest list

  • Create your wedding guest list with your partner only, it is your day (not your mother, father, brothers, sisters or best friends).
  • Decide on a logical ‘cut-off’ point for guest numbers based on a) what you can afford b) the size of the wedding you want to have.
  • If you have any awkward family or friend situations, use one trusted and wise family member to consult with (who you know will put your interests first).

Essential questions to help determine your wedding guest list

Often when deciding on who to invite it is worth creating a decisive statement or question that you can apply to each person, for example; "Would I want to spend time talking with that person on my wedding day". Other questions could be:

  • Would this person’s attendance make our day even more special
  • Does this person care about you as a couple and wish you well
  • Would/did I go to this person’s wedding

Related articles: child-friendly weddings - save the dates

who to invite to your wedding

Step by step creating a wedding guest list

Below is a trialed and tested approach that many couples use to create a wedding guest list.

  • Create a list of your favourite people
  • Combine the two lists and work out your core wedding guest group

If this fulfils your budget and size restrictions stop. If not:

  • Look at extended family or other friends that were not captured in your ‘favourite people’ list. This is the list to discuss together over a bottle of wine, no one will ever know that they were on this list.

If the above two lists have not exhausted the number you want at your wedding then it is worth looking at connections and work-related acquaintances.

who to invite to your wedding
Do I need to invite partners I have never met?

No, this is your day and you should feel comfortable and relaxed. If friends or family members have long-term partners it is wise to arrange to meet them before the day so they can be invited though.


Do I need to invite my work colleagues?

No, it is important to make a distinction between friends and work colleagues. If any truly overlap then do invite them. However, otherwise, it is much easier to draw an easy line between work and home life.

who to invite to your wedding
Should I invite children or not?

There is no formal etiquette about whether kids should be invited or not. The decision should be yours. This decision is often based on the following factors:

  • If you have children yourself
  • If you want an adult only day or a family inclusive event
  • The number of friends/families with children you are close to
How few guests is too small?

There are no rules on how many guests to invite and any judgement from others on the numbers chosen should be immediately discounted. This is your day and for some, this may only mean a handful of guests to ensure it is the best day ever. For those wanting a truly intimate day, the minimum number of guests should be two excluding the bride and groom in order to have witnesses.

who to invite to your wedding
How do I avoid the awkwardness if I haven’t invited someone?

If you have made the hard decision not to invite a friend or family member due to a genuine reason, it is worth considering a gentle way to let them know so they do not get upset. Even if they do, dealing with this directly will make any fall-out very temporary.


An easy way to soften the blow is to ask a mutual family member or friend to mention casually in conversation that you are having to restrict numbers or have had to restrict friends due to family numbers. This will mean that when you mention it at a later date they will already be prepared.


Related articles: wedding save the dates - guest list tracker



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