Guest List Dramas


A sensitive subject for many couples during wedding planning is the streamlining of the wedding guest list. The politics of not upsetting a family member you haven’t seen for 5 years; or colleagues that you don’t really class as “friends” is often too much for some Brides to bare – they bite the bullet (it consequently blows up in their mouth) and they open the floodgates to distant relatives, tenuous acquaintances and others who’s only real link to the bride or groom is that they rubbed shoulders on the street way back when… Before you know it, your budget has tripled and you are on the road to losing control of your Big Day!  And so the stress begins…

Listen up girls – it does not have to be this way! Planning your guest list can in fact be an enjoyable experience, as you reflect on all the lovely friends and family that you DO want at your wedding.

So how is it done?

  1. Decide on your ideal wedding size with your fiancé. Is it a cosy affair with 50 of your nearest and dearest? Or are you going all out with a party for 500? Also you need to decide at this point whether you want to invite children and whether you will have separate evening guests.
  2. Split your chosen number in half so that you have you a quota for the Bride and Groom separately.
  3. Individually write down all of the friends and family that you would like to invite.
  4. Now prioritise them… Remember – each person on your list will have a considerably large pricetag. Use an excel sheet to highlight those that are absolutely non-negotiable. Then highlight your second rung in a different colour – those who you would really like to be there for the whole day, but you could live with yourself if they were bumped to an evening invite.
  5. Now tally up your numbers.
  6. You may have to go back over this process a few times to achieve your perfect number – but it IS doable.

The main thing to bear in mind throughout is that this is YOUR big day – with a bit of luck it will be the only one you have! Yes it is important to be sensitive to family politics, and you will have to make some hard choices – but don’t lose sight of the fact that THIS IS YOUR WEDDING. Enjoy it!

I found this very useful (if slightly brutal) guide on


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