Cutting your wedding guest list

Cutting your wedding guest list without feeling guilty

I’ve recently got engaged and am in the process of developing my own guest list for the wedding! As a wedding photographer I more often reap the benefits of a well culled wedding guest list well after the sweat and tears that goes into actually cutting your wedding guest list.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so it stands to reason that you’d like to be surrounded by friends and well wishers that you care about! Chances are however that you don’t actually want or even like a lot of the people you might be expected to invite Feeling pressure to add your second cousin twice removed whom you haven’t seen in 20 odd years since you were 5 years old is common, and it’s stress you just don’t need. So here are some tips on cutting your wedding guest list without feeling guilty about it.

Tips for cutting your wedding guest list

Consider your venue

Possibly the easiest way to justify not inviting people are the physical limitations of your venue. You can’t fit 200 people into a reception hall that only holds 80 people right? This doesn’t necessarily relate to your ceremony venue however, having less people at your reception is quite a common occurrence and can be used as a pretty compelling reason to limit invites to your reception, saying that they can come to the ceremony proper, but just cant justify them at the reception.

Don’t let your parents run the show

The source for a lot of the invites you may be pressured into may come from your parents trying to dictate who can or cant come you your own wedding. Yes they are probably helping out with the cost of the day, and you’re probably very thankful for it, but when actually cutting your wedding guest list you need to have complete control over who is invited and who isn’t. It’s your wedding day, you should be the boss. Give your parents a quota of friends they can invite, this way it’s a bit of a compromise from them inviting everyone they know and nobody at all.

Set a time limit

Haven’t spoken face to face with someone for more than, say a year? Then don’t invite them They aren’t really in your life at any meaningful level. exceptions may be for people living overseas, etc. But if all you’ve ever done with these people are like their status updates on Facebook since high school, then do you really need to shell out $100-200 for them to be at your reception?

Kids should stay home

We were just talking to the owner of Middlebrook estate for our own wedding, and she was talking about another wedding that were going to bring upwards of 30 children to their reception. This was about 1/4 of the entire guest list so they figured they’d hire carers and set them up in their own separate party. This sounded reasonable until you realise that children’s meals at wedding receptions are no cheaper, and that there is a legally mandated ratio of carers to children in this kind of scenario. While having kids at a wedding is often difficult to not have for purposes such as flower girls or page boys, bringing them to a reception is just asking them to get bored and whine about having no wifi.


If you socialise with co-workers outside of work then wouldn’t you consider them to be your friends? There isn’t much expectation for co-workers who only see each other at work to invite each other to something as intimate as a wedding.

Stick to your rules

When it comes right down to it, cutting your wedding guest list to something a bit more manageable is only going to be as successful as you are at sticking to the rules you set out for yourself. Don’t feel guilty not inviting someone to your day, because it’s YOUR day! you can celebrate it however you damn well please. Sit down, write our rules and stick by them. This will make the process so much easier.

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