Written by Katie Byrne, published 24th mar 2017
If you're strapped for space, and aren't sure who does and doesn't make the guest-list cut, this will help. Promise!
Oh, the wedding guest-list. Arguably one of the most controversial aspects of a couple's wedding plans (followed in a close second place by its equally frustrating little sister, the table plan), the guest-list can be a tricky beast to tackle.
Whilst you might have a limited number of people you can invite - whether owing to venue capacity, budget or, more simply, a desire to keep things intimate - other factors can come into play. Namely, expectations from family members, plus-one requests from friends, distant relatives enquiring where their invite is...
Ugh. But hey, it's cool: here, we've rounded up some of the people you should (and shouldn't) keep on your guest-list.
#1 The long-lost relatives from America
Or from wherever, really! If you haven't seen them in a long time and they're not immediately on your 'safe' list, they're an obvious option to cut. If you're concerned about offending your parents, explain to them that you're tight on space and wouldn't want to inflict upon said long-lost relatives the time and expense of their journeys. Technically, you're being thoughtful, no?
#2 That work colleague who's listened to you talking about your wedding for the last six months
This is entirely at your discretion. If they've been a constant source of support and always showed an interest, you should at least invite them to your evening reception; although, if you invite one work colleague, it's a slippery slope to the whole office expecting to receive an invite.
#3 Your mum and dad's best friends
If space allows, go for it. Chances are said friend has known you since you were a little gir, so it's only natural she'd be thrilled to be included in your big day - plus, it'll make your parents happy, too. (However, impose a limit: one friend with a plus-one, per parent, perhaps.) If there are any extras who they'd like to invite, remind them of your space or budget limitations and see what they suggest.
#4 The old school friend who invited you to their wedding three years ago
...Especially if you're not that close! If someone invites you to their wedding, it doesn't stand to follow that they're automatically invited to yours, too. Their circumstances could be different to yours; for example, they could have had a larger venue, a bigger budget or fewer family members to invite. Consider the weddings you've been invited to over the past few years; if there were any invites you were surprised to receive, don't invite them to your celebration. (Unless, of course, their wedding served as a bounce-board for you to reignite your friendship, obvs.)
#5 The ex you're still chummy with but your fiancé isn't so keen on
Imagine how you'd feel if your partner was insistent on inviting his ex-girlfriend to your wedding - how would you feel? Whilst you and your former love might be great friends now, that's not to say it wouldn't be a little bit awkward to walk down the aisle in front of them. This is very much a case-by-case decision: talk to your partner and make a proper decision.
#6 Your bridesmaid's new boyfriend (who you haven't actually met yet)
If your budget/space restrictions allow it, do it. After all, she's one of your closest friends - and she'll appreciate the favour!
Decide early on what your policy regarding children is, and stick to your guns. If your guest-list is so restricted that you don't feel you can invite kids, tell people promptly so as to allow them time to find suitable childcare; babies and young toddlers are slightly different as they will generate less expense (it sounds brutal but it's true: they'll be in prams or highchairs, and certainly won't be tucking into the gourmet three-course wedding breakfast).