The home of UK weddings

30 April 2015

How to Trim Your Guest List - By Wedding Expert Matthew Oliver

When planning your wedding you’re going to reach quite a few certain high brick walls, which can be difficult to climb!  These can relate to your budgets, choosing suppliers, dealing with your mother and even juggling work!  However there is always one topic/wall that you’ll always come to again and again and again, and that is your guest list!

Some couples plan their weddings based on their guests, where others just base it on the location/area they like!  There really is no right or wrong and what ever you decide you’ll face problems with trimming the guest list to a comfortable number.

Most venues in the UK have ample space for up to 150 guests and I would say 80 – 100 is the average for UK weddings, though saying that I’ve worked with a range of guest numbers!

So on to the important topic of how you can trim the list, well it all depends on you and your fiancée, I think before anything you both should write a list of the important people you want there, in order of importance!  I know it really sounds brutal to have a list that has your guests in the order of favourites, but doing this will help when you bring the lists together.  Then determine and cross out the people that you feel you don’t want, but bearing in mind 30% of the people you invite can’t come, so you may want to start with a number and then see what happens.

Us wedding people need to know your numbers as it helps us with the plans, and to determine if we need to bring extra staff!  So if you have an idea this will really help you and also us - what is the point of visiting this amazing castle when it can only hold 80 guests and you have 120 in your head!  You’ve got to be practical and do the research before!

Now this is the difficult part…

Once you’re comfortable with your numbers, you’re going to find people asking ‘can I bring my new boyfriend or girlfriend?’  From the start you need to make it clear if people have a plus one or not.  You can’t say yes to one and not the other, no matter how much you dislike the partner of your best friend!

Also you’ll find if your parents have contributed to the wedding that they expect a certain amount of their friends to attend!  Again make this clear at the start, as you don’t want their friend Betsy who you’ve never met to come. It’s your wedding even if they’re contributing and you should do what you’re comfortable with, and invite the people who are special to you.  Why would you invite your second cousin who you’ve not seen in 10 years?  And just because they invited you, does not mean you have to invite them.

Bear in mind you will probably upset someone with your decisions, but I believe if you know this to start with then you’ll be fine. 

Stay true to yourselves and stay strong. You can even book a backup ticket to elope to Italy if things get too rough!

Thanks for reading and good luck with all your wedding plans.

Matthew Oliver xxx  

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