Creating a guest list is one of the most stressful things about planning a wedding. Thoughts such as “But she invited me to her wedding”, “But they’re FAMILY”, and “I don’t even really know them” will circle around your head until you feel dizzy. We’ve put together a handy list of the people you can definitely consider leaving off the list.
The Awkward Relative
You know the one: they might get too drunk, make a scene, cause fights, make awkward or inappropriate comments and a whole host of behaviours that make you cringe. If someone has put you offside, you have no obligation to invite them unless uninviting them would cause a total family breakdown.
Family Members You Barely See/Know
If the last time you saw your relative was back when you were kids swimming in the same paddling pool, then you don’t need to invite them. Yes, they’re blood relatives but if they haven’t made a meaningful contribution to your life then you can leave them off the list. Many relatives will understand that weddings are expensive and every cousin you have won’t be on the guest list.
That Friend Who Hates Weddings/Your Fiancé
If they don’t believe in the institution of marriage, why are you inviting them to be a part of yours? Similarly, if someone doesn’t like the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with, then that person shouldn’t be standing by while you say “I do”. You want to be surrounded by people who are excited for you on your special day, not ones who are shaking their heads.
You’re inviting a couple of work colleagues, so it’s only polite, right? Wrong. Unless you’re friends with your boss, that is. You don’t need to invite them, or all your office mates, unless you’re close. Keep the wedding talk on the down-low at work and maybe avoid gratuitous tagging on Facebook so you’re not rubbing it in the faces of any co-workers who didn’t make the list.
Ted from How I Met Your Mother said it best when he said, “Kids, usually a moral comes at the end of the story, but this one is so important I’m saying it now: never invite an ex to your wedding.” Seriously, unless the two of you are best friends and your fiancé hangs out with him on a regular basis, inviting an ex to your nuptials is a recipe for disaster. No one wants to be thinking of the past when you’re planning for the future. And your partner may not want to admit it but having an old boyfriend watching over the proceedings could make them seriously uncomfortable. Move on.
The New Squeeze
Do you have to invite your bestie’s new beau if you’ve never met them? What if you’ve met them once or twice but the coupling is still pretty green?
Here’s a good rule: if the relationship has been going on for less than half the time you’ve been planning your wedding, you have any doubts about the pair lasting, or you simply haven’t met the new beau, you can politely ask your friend not to have a plus one. If they’re a good friend, they will understand.
The exception to this rule is if your friend won’t know anyone else at the wedding; the give them a plus one if budget will allow. Remember, your wedding photos are permanent and you don’t want to be wondering who the heck is standing in the front row 10 years from now.
You know, that girl you’re super friendly to even though you secretly hate each other. There’s no way you want to fork out the big bucks to have her at your big day. She’ll probably tell you you’re SO brave for wearing THAT wedding dress. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life, let alone at your wedding.
Anyone who has a history of getting trashed at weddings
Bar tabs are finite, people. You don’t want anyone at your reception who will drink the event dry and then proceed to fling their shoes off and dance on tables while insulting anyone who tries to stop them.
An old friend whose wedding you went to
Weddings are not a form of currency that needs to be paid back. Just because you attended a friend’s wedding doesn’t mean you’re obligated to invite them. This is especially true if you haven’t spoken in a while or aren’t as close as you once were.
Your friend’s kids
A flower girl or ring bearer is one thing, but inviting everyone’s tots can get expensive. “But they won’t eat much and they can sit on my lap,” your friends may say. But that “not much” still needs to be paid for. We know this is a hard one, but if you set your rules early on kids, everyone will know what to expect.
All your parents’ friends
If your parents are paying, they will have some say over who is on the invite list, but if this isn’t in the case, you need to lay down the law early on. Your parents are excited and they will want to show their gorgeous daughter off, but you can’t afford to be bankrolling their pride. Pick the friends you have a good personal relationship with, but leave out the lady who plays tennis with your mother once a month.
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