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Trimming Your Wedding Guest List

Determining your guest list is the first thing you should do when wedding planning, and is one of the most important tasks on your wedding planning checklist. According to The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding guest count is 131 people. While the overall number of guests at weddings has been slowly but steadily decreasing over the years, having a bigger wedding is the expectation for many. Numbers add up very quickly: first your family, then your partner’s, friends from both sides, oops, we forgot all the nieces and nephews! It’s easy for the number to spiral quickly. Sometimes, that big number fits, but other times, you may find yourself in a position where you need to trim your guest list.

Photo by Katheryn Jeanne Photography

Why Trim the List?


With the global pandemic among us, keeping it small is your best choice in being safe and healthy. While there are measures you can take during your wedding to keep the environment safe (social distancing, wearing masks, etc.), it’s better to stay cautious with a smaller guest list.


The general rule of thumb is, the more guests, the higher the costs. If you are on a tight budget or are wanting to use any extra money for a honeymoon, having a small guest list is more ideal. You can save money or use any extra to upgrade an area of the wedding important to you (venue, dress, bar, etc.)

Desire for a more intimate wedding

Weddings are personal. By keeping your guest list small, you create a more intimate affair, which allows you to spend more time with each of your guests. You may even find that you’re able to let go a bit more emotionally on your big day!

How to Trim the Guest List

When trimming a guest list, it all boils down to a few questions to ask yourself. Consider the following questions to help you determine which guests are vital:

  1. How do you know this person? Family? Friend? Coworker? Oftentimes guests come in groups- which groups are most essential?

  2. Have you spoken to this person within the last year?

  3. Do you have a close relationship/get along with this person?

  4. Would you be upset if they didn’t invite you to their wedding?

  5. Can you imagine your big day without them?

Smaller weddings may be what you imagined in the first place, or they might be a necessity of the times, either way, small or micro-weddings are BEAUTIFUL and full of love.

Best of luck curating your perfect guest list!

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