Teems
Super October 2009

The "Small" Wedding: How do you keep your guest list down?

Teems, on May 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Posted in Planning 35

I was having a small wedding... but before I knew it... I told too many people about my engagement and found myself having a hard time saying "NO" to people coming. I cut my list but now its jumping back up From (100-150). Between feeling guilty and family additions I have become this softy- lol I...

I was having a small wedding... but before I knew it... I told too many people about my engagement and found myself having a hard time saying "NO" to people coming.

I cut my list but now its jumping back up From (100-150). Between feeling guilty and family additions I have become this softy- lol

I have so many people that I care about and would like to share this day with but its not financially possible to provide the quality that I imagine as the list rises. I feel so caught up that I am actually looking forward to people declining the invitations. Sad right?

Is anyone else struggling keeping their guest list down? Vent with me... lol

35 Comments

  • SharonandDarrin
    Beginner June 2009
    SharonandDarrin ·
    • Flag

    We're having a small wedding. He doesn't have a lot of invites on his side and mine filled the page. We both agreed that we would stick to our budget and based on the budget, we made the list. For those who are not invited, we politely told them that the wedding was intimate and only close family/friends are invited. One suggestion my sister did was to have a bbq over the summer to celebrate their union. To save on cost, they supplied the food (sandwiches, bbq, chips, soda) and people could bring a dessert and their choice of spirits.

    • Reply
  • Gloria
    Just Said Yes September 2009
    Gloria ·
    • Flag

    I had to get to the point of arguing with my mother about this one! My list started bigger (about 160-170) and I found the reception hall and added up the cost. TOO MUCH! The problem was my mom kept inviting people for me. I cut all kids from my list except for the FG & RB. That helped, I also had to be strong and explain to everyone that this is my wedding "recession" and I must keep the price down. If they aren't close to me enough to at least call me or see me a few times a year, they should not be invited. My mom is STILL trying to add people lol... it just never ends!

    • Reply
  • BeckiO
    VIP June 2013
    BeckiO ·
    • Flag

    We had the same problem, however my in-laws told us to cut the majority of FIL's family (b/c they're in South America and won't come) and I chose because my Stepmom's whole side of the family and extended family on my Dad's side to cut them all (our guest list would have easly been 400. Right now I just have it as immediate family on both sides, grandparents, aunts, uncles, 1st cousins (and their children and spouses), and the list of friends at least right now is around 70. I'm hoping to keep it now to 100 or less and I know it will be less since I know some of them won't come. It is hard to say no, and know who to cut from the list and who to add, but hopefully you're able to get your guest count where you want it. Good luck.

    • Reply
  • BeckiO
    VIP June 2013
    BeckiO ·
    • Flag

    We originally got married by a JOP June 1, 2007 and our budget was $1000 (the majority of the cost being our rings) and it was just us and our son still in my tummy. I think the Marriage license fee was $30, JOP Fee $50 including tip, our rings were over $800, My Dress $40, Shoes, $12, I did my own hair, I think my nails, lip waxing, and eyebrows were $50-60, and our Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory was $100. Maybe we went over budget a little bit, but it was worth just spending that little at first and then save for something larger for an Anniversary for a larger Ceremony and Reception for 100 guests or less. We didn't drink at all on our Wedding Day (hubby had a smoothie and I had a Virgin Strawberry Daquari), no flower bouquet, no wedding cake (we each chose a different flavor cheesecake for dessert).

    • Reply
  • FMS, the barefoot wife!
    Master August 2010
    FMS, the barefoot wife! ·
    • Flag

    OMG YES! I orignally made my list and it was 135, I've cut a few people and changed some people, my FH said it can't be that hard making a list! LOL well, he made his, we went from 135 to 307!! Mind you that quite a few people he had on his list are invited to the ceremony and dance, not the reception. I even forgot a few of my friends, and I have to add them!! LOL I know that inviting people just to the ceremony and dance is rude, but these are people who might show up for the ceremony and will only come to the dance

    • Reply
  • wonderful moment
    Master March 2010
    wonderful moment ·
    • Flag

    I am trying to control my list. I was trying to have an max of 130 people, which right now its 145, which I know a few out of town guest will not come and some may not bring their children. I am also counting how many kids will I get for free or half price. In addition, I just spoke to my FH about this the other day, because his mom is telling everyone about our wedding and saying that is were we all have to be at next year. I told him that is not going to happen and you make sure you talk to her or I will. Its one thing of knowing these people and another thing of never seeing these people in my life. I am not going to spend all of this money just because you are an cousin and we never seen you before. My wedding is going to be very control with an list at the door with tickets with your name on them. If you are not on the list and do not have your ticket than you can not get in. On this day I do not want an bill. So I feel were you are coming from.

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Savvy May 2009
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    Bottom line is its your wedding. People will get over you not inviting them. I had to really think about who I invited with only wanting 75 guests. Immediate family and VERY close friends. People who I hadn't seen in over a year didn't really make the cut unless they were old friends who didn't live in the area anymore.

    Don't get overwhelmed and don't feel guilty. People will get over not being invited trust me.

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy June 2011
    JennJenn71706 ·
    • Flag

    I at first had issues with the guest list, but not really now. It got easier because I said if I hadn't talked to them in 3 months, there was no reason to invite them! I got pregnant with my first son when I was 19 (and we got married about 2 months later at the DMV) and there went 90% of my friends. Still have yet to make any friends really, and we're finally having our wedding! If they can't take the time to talk to me or answer or phone call or text from me within 3 months, they aren't worth my time, nor should they be invited to our wedding!

    The final invitation count is 80, the most people I can have in attendance is 75. I won a "nearly free wedding" in which the location pays for about $4000 worth of stuff. I have to pay for my dress (which my mom is buying), cake, photography, flowers, I'm having a cookie bar for my favors. Cookie bar kind of like the candy bar with the takeout containers, but cookies..........

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy June 2011
    JennJenn71706 ·
    • Flag

    And of course the tux rental, gifts for the wedding party, and that's really about it. I'm really glad I was able to win all that stuff. It's this place called stonebrook manor, in Thornton, Colorado. if you wanna see how i won it go to their website. stonebrookmanor dot com. super super awesome of them to be helping out people like they are.

    So in the end about 3k will be coming out of my pocket, nor sure how, lol. We have 2 kids, and kids are expensive. But we will figure it out! Weddings are too stupidly expensive. And no one is helping pay for anything. My MIL is a beeotch to say the least. She was like why are you even doing this??

    Well thanks for letting me vent ladies!

    • Reply
  • Gershelda
    VIP October 2009
    Gershelda ·
    • Flag

    As I said, we are having the same problem, along with the actual wedding becoming a monster. My therapist suggested that me and Fh spend some quality time alone together, without anyone elses influence and talk about what we wanted when we began to plan the wedding. To become an outside party and envision the way the wedding will look when we go to it and write it down. Then we are to regroup and 1. figure out what exactly we want, and what we want the wedding to look like and the feel of the wedding, 2. figure out what we can afford from here on out, and 3. utilize the items we have in the most productive way. Then, put it together..including the guest list. We are to figure out who is most important to us, write down WHY each person is important to us and do we really want that person there at our wedding. We are to spend from now until September 1st doing this and nothing else. Oh, and we aren't suppose to tell anyone anthing about our plans. Should be fun.....

    • Reply
  • Linda
    Super April 2010
    Linda ·
    • Flag

    I know exactly how you feel. I'm having a very intimate wedding with only 50 people at the ceremony/reception. It was so hard because my fiance and I have been together for 11 years and have made so many friends throughout the years.

    I would recommend not to talk about your wedding (i know it's hard b/c your so excited) around the people who you don't plan on inviting.

    After dinner, I've worked & negotiated the bar pricing because I plan on inviting the remainder 50-100 guests to the "party." I've explained to the "self-invited guests" that I'm only having family and very close friends to the "wedding" but that I would love to have them celebrate with me on the dance floor. (That's what people really want, alcohol and dancing-lol)

    • Reply
  • Kia Martinson
    Kia Martinson ·
    • Flag

    Over the years of going through this with my of couples, I've come up with a simple rule for them to keep the parents in check. Right from the start say that they get to invite 5 freebies, 5 people you don't need to know why or who they are just that your parents want to invite them. So then you go through the lists of family and close friends and if your parents come up with more people you JUST don't know, they know they have to pay for them. It isn't rude, it isn't being mean, it is a simple fact that you can't afford to pay for people, you don't know, have no connection too or a relative that no one sees anymore shouldn't be attending your wedding at your cost.

    Remember also that some venues have a limit on space and you can't stick more people in, so you may consider giving your family a lesser number to cover yourself.

    • Reply
  • D
    Savvy January 2010
    Dewtrell ·
    • Flag

    From the outset, we knew we wanted a small wedding and since we're paying for everything, it was easier for us to put limitations on the guest list. We wanted immediate family and close friends. The main rule, if we haven't spoken to X person in over a year, they were not on the list: includes family and friends.

    We started with 50 guest and the finale list is 64 guest - at least 5 will not come, so 58 when all is said and done. Given that we're paying for the wedding, our parents could not dictate to us who we should invite - at least my mother understood that. My fiance got stuck adding two people who really shouldn't be invited, but I'd rather keep the peace. However, most people have been very respectful. My uncles and cousins, whom I am not in contact with, have no reason to be invited, and I haven't even told the. My father, mother or sister can relay the message that we are having a small and intimate wedding, as long distance relatives are not my concern.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Jayjohn
    Master August 2010
    Mrs. Jayjohn ·
    • Flag

    I'd like to keep my list down as well. I've heard that only about 50% of the people you invite actually come but the facility I'm having my ceremony and reception at requires a minimum of 100 people so that means I'd have to invite 200 people BUT if all 200 RSVP and actually come I'm going to have to pay a lot more. I wish some places did the buy one get one half off/free thing. I think I'm going to make my list to top out at 175 (If I can come up with that many people Smiley smile ) It's a fine line we as brides walk and I completely understand and wish you the best of luck! Let me know what you decide to do.

    • Reply
  • Jamie Striplin
    Jamie Striplin ·
    • Flag

    Just thought I would put out a few suggestions... I noticed that a lot of you decided to cut children out of the invitations to save on the budget. One way around that (if you don't mind having children at the reception!) is to talk to your caterer about reduced priced children's entrees. For sit down meals you can have in your invitation say children will be served chicken fingers, etc. or for a buffet they may set up a table of children's favorites which can be half or more than half the cost of an adult meal! I have been to both children and non-children receptions and for my husband and I when we got married we didn't want to exclude anyone... Watching the children dance and have a good time was worth having them there in my eyes!

    We also got married in our new state when most of our family lives in another... because of the time of year we figured that would cut our guest list down... and we were right! We were able to invite approx 250 people and only 150 came!

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