When it comes to wedding planning one of the first things you’ll probably think about is the guest list. A lot of my friends who went through wedding planning said the guest list was the most stressful part of planning. The crazy thing about weddings is that it forces you to essentially rank your relationships. You have to choose your maid-of-honor, your bridesmaids, your closest friends for the bridal shower/bachelorette, and then your “a-list” and “b-list” wedding guests. It is a crazy process that forces you to evaluate your relationships. So how do you decide who makes the cut? Here are some factors we considered to make our wedding guest list process less stressful.

Things to consider when deciding who to invite to your wedding:

Did you go to their wedding? If you got invited to their wedding and went, you should invite them to your wedding even if you barely talk to them now. I had 1 guest in this category and that I haven’t talked to in years and invited them since it was proper etiquette. It turned out that they didn’t even end up going so it worked itself out in the end.

Have you seen or talked to this person in the past year? We all have people in our life that we used to talk to frequently, then life happens and you’re not that close anymore. It happens. If you haven’t seen or talked to this person in over a year and have no desire to catch-up, it’s probably a sign you should not invite them. I know this gets tricky especially when it comes to groups of people, which brings me to my next point.

When it comes to groups of people, it’s usually all or a select few: I have a pretty big group of friends. During my freshmen year of college I had a close-knit group of about 15 friends but over the years the group exponentially grew and now there’s 40 of us. There was no way I could invite all 40 so I only invited the ones I’m really close to and from my original group of 15. It sucks because people may have felt left out, but you should not invite someone just because they are friends by association UNLESS you have the capacity to invite everybody. When the people who weren’t invited found out who else didn’t get invited, it also made sense and no-one got butthurt. This also goes for family members and co-workers. You should either invite everyone or just the people closest to you.

Who gets a +1: So Josh and I set some baseline rules in determining which guests got to bring a +1. I talked to several married friends and this seemed to be the proper protocol. If they are married or engaged they get a +1. People who really want to trim their guestlist usually make this their strict +1 rule. Josh and I ended up inviting more +1’s though based on the fact if we were friends with their +1’s too. If their +1 was someone we were friends with outside of the relationship we invited them.

At the end of the day, the guest list is a hard and personal decision. People, especially those who have not been married before also have a hard time understanding how tough the guest list process is. My biggest advice is to think about your relationship with this person and if they are someone you genuinely want there. Since your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, surround yourself with the people that uplift you and want to celebrate your new chapter in life. It’s not easy, but hopefully this blog post helps!

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