Written by Chillisauce.com
When you're engaged and getting into wedding planning mode, everyone knows one of the most stressful aspects is trying to figure out who should attend the wedding. Should they attend the whole thing, should they just be invited to the reception, or not receive an invite at all?
It's easy to start fretting about offending people, but it's wise to remember that it's YOUR big day.
First things first you need to figure out how many people will be attending the ceremony and how many more you can invite to the reception. From here you can start making two lists. Here's our top tips on deciding whether or not to invite someone to share your special day.
Who's paying for the wedding?
If you and your partner are paying for the wedding yourself, don't feel obligated to let your folks invite those they want there. However, if they're contributing, it's a common courtesy to allow them a few names on the list. That being said, you want to ensure you know them, or they're at least close to your parents - you don't want to look back at your photos and wonder who they are.
Don't feel pressurised into inviting a long-lost aunt or uncle that you met when you were a baby just because your parents would love them to see you walk down the aisle. Ultimately you have to pay for the guests to attend your wedding, and if you don't know them then you're well within your right to put your foot down and say no.
What's your policy for children?
If there aren't that many, or any, children in the immediate families, it's acceptable to say that you want a child-free wedding - especially considering the cost for children to attend when they won't necessarily appreciate the day or be on their best behaviour. If you've got lots of children in your immediate family, it's advisable to invite them, but you can put a restriction on friends bringing along their children - just be sure to sort the wording out. You don't want to accidentally offend anyone.
One key factor for children not being invited, other than behaviour and cost, is that the parents are fully able to let their hair down when attending and won't have to leave for bedtime.
Would you buy them dinner?
When you're trying to decide on inviting friends, old or new, it's always worth asking yourself if you'd quite happily buy them dinner. If the answer is yes, then you clearly care for them and should invite them to your day, but if not then don't feel bad about only inviting them to the reception.
Do you allow plus ones?
If a friend has a tendency to change partner often, it's perfectly fine to not allow your friend a plus one, especially if they're a new partner or you've not met them. If your friend, however, is married - whether you've met the partner or not - it's only polite to invite their spouse along too.
If they choose not to go, that simply frees up a free space, so you can invite someone else.
These are, as you'd imagine, just a few starter questions to ask yourself when looking to fine tune your wedding guest lists - if you're still struggling to get your lists down to the correct number of people then consider when you last saw the person, if they make time to fit you into their busy lives, if you would consider inviting them to your hen/stag do, if you'd miss them on your big day, and so on.