The 5 Challenges to Guest List Etiquette

January 3rd, 2013 by Kathy Posted in Wedding Planning Help, Wedding Stationery Advice | No Comments »

The initial excitement of compiling your guest list as a newly engaged couple is something that most married couples will remember with a lot less enthusiasm. It’s so lovely to embark upon those first discussions however it can quickly become a minefield if you are not clear on your guest list etiquette.

That’s where we hope to help! BEFORE you can send your wedding invitations and save the dates out there are 5 areas to consider when compiling your guest list. Otherwise you may end up feeling like it is less of a pleasure and more of a chore.


Some parents have strong ideas on who THEY would like to invite; this is worth considering before you allow them to invite their neighbours or colleagues whom you barely know. If you are planning to have a large wedding, then allocate an appropriate number of invites for your parents to distribute, or let them know that they can have X number of choices. They are bound to be excited and proud to announce your special day so try not to be too militant with them and remember everyone is going to have their own ideas but it is down to you as a couple to have the final say – even if they’re footing the bill!


This situation depends entirely on your working environment and your relationships at work. If you work with a huge number of people then it is unlikely you will be able to afford to invite all of them. As a rule of thumb it is much better to opt for all or nothing. There is nothing to be gained from excluding certain colleagues; you will only end up feeling bad when the others in the office chat about what a lovely time they had.


Ok so this can be where it gets tricky, you have both the bride and the grooms’ family to consider and again it is best to apply the same rules to each side to avoid bad feeling so if you decide to invite the groom’s cousins then you should also invite the bride’s. If one of you has a larger family than the other then consider inviting a larger number of friends to ensure it doesn’t feel too one sided.


It can be very difficult to decide whether to include children or not. It is worth considering numbers, ages and your choice of venue. If you are having a laid back informal wedding then it will be easier to accommodate children however if you are opting for a more formal sit down meal for example then it can become tedious for the children (and the adults tasked with looking after them or keeping them quiet during the speeches!).

Plus Ones…

Again this will depend largely on your numbers. If you have a large number of single friends who all know each other then there is no reason to offer plus ones, but it is generally a lot nicer for your single guests if they do not know many people to be offered a plus one. Putting yourself in others shoes is the best way to approach this scenario.

If you consider these elements before you pick up that pen and paper it may make for a much pleasanter experience!

One last vital thing to remember when ordering your wedding invitations is that you will need an invite per family or per couple rather than per person – so for example couples inviting 100 guests will usually order around 70 invitations.

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