Whether it be because of new COVID restrictions, venues’ social distancing guidelines, budget constraints, or you simply just want a small intimate wedding, it’s always a challenge to condense your wedding list. Between you and your partner, there are likely many family members, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances that you’d consider having at your wedding. However, when it comes time to sit down and make the list, and eventually make some cuts, how do you decide? We have some tips to help you condense your list, whether it be right from the start or cutting down your list due to COVID, after the original invitations were already sent. We’ll also give you some helpful hints for delivering the news to those that didn’t make the cut. 

Start With A Full List

When you first start with your guest list, you’ll want to write down a master list. This should include all potential guests on both sides, including all distant relatives, friends, acquaintances, coworkers that you can think of. It’s easier to make cuts from this initial list than to add people in later on. You’ll want to make a copy of this list. Once you start narrowing down, you’ll simply prioritize. You don’t ever want to delete people from the list completely, as space may open up and you could invite them later on. Some people even recommend having an “A” list and a “B” list. This means you’d sent out invitations to your “A” list first, give them about a month to RSVP, and then based on the number of regrets you receive, you may be able to send out a second round of invitations to the “B” list. Be sure to change the RSVP date on the second round of invitations to give your guests enough time to decide. It’s a general courtesy to have all invites sent out at least 6 weeks prior to the wedding. 

Set a Criteria for Yourself

When you start narrowing down the list, it’ll make it easier for yourself if you set criteria beforehand. For example, if you both have large families, you may want to set a cutoff for family members. Perhaps it’s that no one after 1st cousins are invited, or just immediate family members. When it comes to friends, maybe you set a limit on the number of college and high school friends invited. For coworkers, try limiting it to just a department or your immediate team. Remember, you don’t have to invite every single friend, relative, or coworker. This is your wedding, and the guest list is ultimately up to you.

Decide a Rule for Plus-Ones and Children

Sometimes it can get tricky with plus ones and children. To avoid any confusion later on, set a rule upfront. Maybe it’s that only people married or in a long-term relationship get a plus one, or children over a certain age. An easy way to avoid any confusion would be to include a checklist with all names invited on the RSVP card.

Tips for Delivering the News

Ultimately, condensing your wedding list can be a difficult task. If you’re delivering the news to guests who were previously invited but had to be cut due to COVID restrictions, it can be extra uncomfortable. The most important thing you can do is communicate effectively and efficiently. Don’t put it off until the last minute. Tell them why you decided to lower the guest count, how it makes you feel, and how you came to the difficult decision. Let them know that if things were different and COVID was not an issue, you’d be more than happy to have them at your wedding. Unfortunately, people may take it more personally than you intend, so you’ll want to prepare for hurt feelings. 

Contact Justice Lydon & Co

Cutting down your wedding list may be tough, but there’s something incredibly special about small intimate weddings, surrounded by your closest friends and family! If you’re planning a small wedding in the Boston area, check out our chapel, located in Quincy MA! Contact Justice Lydon & Co to learn about our wedding packages and what we offer.