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Wedding Guest List and How to Cut Down | Wedding Tips for Brides

The wedding guest list is a daunting task if nothing else.  Planning a wedding can be stressful.  There are plenty of ways to have a stress free wedding, but in the end, the guest list is just as stressful on its own.  Who do you invite?  Are there people that you know you should, but know that you shouldn’t?  How do you politely say “no” to a family member or friend?  In the end, is it worth it?

Each year, the cost of having a wedding increases.  Catering has its own set of surprises for your budget.  Photography on its own is another thing.  Tastes are different, and how to choose a wedding photographer shouldn’t be held back by a budget number.  Marta and I know how wedding budgets work.   A large chunk of that leans on the number of people attending your wedding.

How to Cut Down a Wedding Guest List

With cousins and second cousins twice removed trying to attend the wedding, what do you do to keep that cost down?  How do you politely say “no” to them?  Here are a couple things that you can do to help keep that wedding guest list down as well as the price tag on your wedding.

  1. Elope and Celebrate Later.  We’ve talked about working as destination wedding photographers in Europe for this exact reason.  People want to have that romantic, unique, and gorgeous images in exotic places.  So elope, get the portraits that you want.  Then hold a reception at a later date with all your friends and family in your home town.  The beautiful thing is that you can plan on a date that isn’t super busy for the wedding industry.
  2. Use the 2 AM Call Rule.  When Marta and I talk about our close circle of friends, we always consider whether or not we feel comfortable calling them at 2 AM in the event of an emergency.  If you’re going to elope, the wedding guest list is generally a little smaller than other weddings.  That isn’t always the case, but it’s common.  In the event that you have a big list of people that you want to cut down, ask yourself if you feel comfortable calling them at 2 AM in the event of an emergency.

    “A weekday wedding truly is a double edged sword, but it’ll help get your wedding guest list down.”

  3.  Have a Weekday Wedding.  This is such a double edged sword.  You’re going to get people that are willing to work with you on price.  Having a wedding on a weekday (excluding Friday) is a great way to help with the price.  You’ll also get people that won’t be able to make it.  A lot of wedding venues and vendors will also be able to work with you on price because of the fact that it’s a weekday.  Keep in mind, that not all vendors accept weekday weddings.  Even if they do, they might not provide a discount.  A weekday wedding truly is a double edged sword, but it’ll help get your wedding guest list down.

Planning a wedding alone is crazy, so we always suggest getting a wedding planner.  Planners have a way of working things out like no other wedding vendor.  They can help with cutting down the wedding guest list as well.

In the end, your wedding guest list is completely and totally up to you.  Who are the people that you want to share this special day with?  These are the witnesses to your promise to each other for the rest of your lives.  Make sure that it’s awesome and with people that you truly want to share that with.

wedding guest list

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