Creating Your Wedding Guest List

My Fiance and I actually had the deposit on our venue the day after we got engaged (we had picked the ring out together and were waiting for it to be sized — in the mean time, we had talked about plans). We had a specific date in mind, needed a larger venue and wanted a venue that was fairly centrally located. And centrally located may be putting it loosely — we are inviting guests from all over the country. It did not take us long to realize that we cannot please everyone. For some, the venue is in walking distance. For others (provided they choose to come), it will be a plane ride across the country.

Now that we have the venue, came the though part– just how many people were we going to invite? Our guest list started out with a very high number — in fact that number was so high that it would have easily put us $10,000 over the estimated budget. I was quick to jump on Pinterest and see what the 100s of pins about choosing your guest list had to say. Honestly, I was extremely shocked at what some sites deemed to be appropriate etiquette. Here’s my take on some of the most common wedding quest list questions. Warning: When I write, I speak my mind and tell it like it is!

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1. Do I Have to Invite Kids to My Wedding? Most websites will tell you invite everyone’s kids or no kids. This I disagree with. I will have kids at my wedding, but I will not be inviting everyone’s kids. What kids will be invited to my wedding? Obviously, the children in my wedding — these are going to be nieces and nephews — I think they should definitely be there. I will also be inviting older children in my family that we are close with — the family members I see all of the time. And one final addition to my kids list will be the families who will be unable to travel from out of town if they cannot bring their kids with them. Am I likely to offend people? Yes, but I am keeping in mind that this is our wedding, our budget and our rules. No matter which rules I play by, I am going to be offending someone and we’ve come to realize that that’s just how it’s going to be. If having certain adults attend our wedding, means that we are going to have to invite certain children, that is how it’s going to be!

2. What’s the etiquette for plus-ones? This question drives me absolutely crazy. I found this answer on and love it–for the most part!

You should invite guests who are in long-term, committed relationships with their significant others. But for friends who are casually dating or single, you don’t have to invite them with plus-ones – again, as long as you’re consistent. Of course, those who are living together, engaged, or married should be invited as couples – even if you have yet to meet the significant other.

There is only one thing I disagree with….do I really have to the girlfriend of an under-age family member who is sharing an apartment with his girlfriend during college? I’m going to say no. If I do that, I might as well let my high school-aged cousins bring their “boyfriends.” You guys know what I am talking about…the boyfriend that they RVSP with is likely not going to be the boyfriend that they actually have when our wedding date is actually here. High school relationships change all of the time…at over $100 a head…I’m not paying for someone’s high school boyfriend or girlfriend.

I’m planning on implementing the same plus on rule across the board…whether you are 30 or 60, we just don’t want people bring a date for the sake of bringing a date — if it’s a serious committed relationship (even if we haven’t met your significant other…great! We cannot wait to see you with the love of your life).

3. What about co-workers? Most of the articles I’ve read said invite everyone, no one (and don’t talk about your wedding at work) or only invite those who you see outside of work. I work in a very large department. Inviting everyone (and a guest) would mean inviting probably 150 additional guests. That’s just crazy…plus I am not inviting individuals who call me every other name under the sun but my own name! What I’ve decided? I’m inviting the small group of individuals that I work with only a daily basis (we are a team, work together and get along great). I’ll also be adding a few other individuals in the department that I have a relationship with outside of work. I’ll be asking everyone to keep things quite and keep the wedding talk to a minimum (especially when others are around). Weddings are exciting and hard not to talk about!

That’s my take on wedding etiquette and honestly, I’m not so sure that there really is a thing as appropriate wedding guest list etiquette. There are no rules anymore…it’s your day! Do what makes you happy and what’s in your budget. What is your least favorite thing about creating your wedding guest list?