3 Questions to Ask When Cutting Down Your Guest List

The wedding guest list.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. It’s the hardest, the most time consuming and challenging part of your wedding planning process.  Where do you start? And the bigger question…where do you end?

I’m sure you have the essentials on your list…(which reminds me, don’t forget to put your parents on your guest list because believe me, they want an invitation)…but where do you draw the line?  Here are three questions to ask yourself when you’re cutting down your guest list.

Cut Down Guest List Dana Osborne Design

1. How many can your venue hold?

The last thing you want at your wedding ceremony and reception, is standing room only.  This is your wedding, not a Justin Timberlake concert.  Make sure you have a seat for everyone you invite.

Let’s say your venue can hold 150 people.  That doesn’t mean you send out 150 invitations (remember, invitations usually are for a couple or family…more than one person).  That also doesn’t mean you send out 125 invitations with hopes that most people will say they’re not coming.  It’s unlikely that 50% of your guests will not come, unless it’s a destination wedding (which is for another blog post).

Here is a good rule of thumb…20% of guests invited will not come to the wedding.  That is a safe number to count on.  So you can send a few more invitations than you have room for knowing that rule of thumb.

2. When is the last time you talked to this person?

I mean, I’m sure your babysitter who watched you as a four-year-old would be touched to receive a wedding invitation from you.  But when is the last time you actually talked to that person?  And when I say talked, I mean TALKED TO THEM FACE-T0-FACE (not Facebook message or a comment on your latest Instagram post).  If you have not talked to this person in the last year, consider them on the chopping block.

3. Would you buy a $50 meal for this person?

Hey, sounds brutal but it’s something to keep in mind as you’re cutting down that guest list.  Essentially, inviting them to your wedding means you’re paying for a nice meal for them.  Do you know/love this person enough to invite them to a sit down dinner with you?  Would you have enough to talk over this dinner as well?  If you’re like…meh…not really…consider them on the chopping block.

Ultimately, you want the people who will support you in your marriage at your wedding.  How many people are there and who those people are, are up to you.

cut down guest list, wedding guest list, dana osborne design
cut down guest list, wedding guest list, dana osborne design

2 thoughts on “3 Questions to Ask When Cutting Down Your Guest List”

  1. Your article made me realize that I can remove a lot of people from my current guest list considering if I can buy each one of them a nice meal. My husband and I will be holding an outdoor wedding, so although we can always add chairs if there are any additional guests, we want the entire ceremony to be shared only with a few close friends and relatives. We’re also thinking of renting portable toilet services for their well-being, so we really need to come up with a good and accurate list.

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