The No-Stress Guide to Wedding Guests Lists

When asked to identify the most stressful part of wedding planning, the majority of couples will answer “the guest list”. Trying to strike the right balance between staying on budget while also avoiding hurt feelings is a mammoth task. This process can be an etiquette minefield and couples-to-be often need to make a number of tough decisions that will require a great deal of sensitivity and tact.

Many couples find that the first draft of their guest list looks completely different to the finalised version. While it would be nice to have everyone you know watch you walk down the aisle, the initial draft usually has to be cut down in order to satisfy budgetary or venue limitations. Deciding which names to remove can be a painful process, however, there are a few tricks you can try to make the decision easier.

One good idea is to create different streams of lists. Your “A-List” should include people who need to be there such as your closest family and friends. Anyone who you really want to invite (e.g. friends and extended family) should go into your B-List. Finally, the C-List will comprise of those who you will only invite if your venue capacity or budget permits. Generally speaking, your cuts will come from this group.

Once you have sorted your guests into lists, then you should sort them into sub-groups. Some examples of these could include distant relatives and friends of parents. It is often best to cut out these groups as a whole, so you won’t get anyone asking: “why them and not me?” This process can be brutal, but the after-party provides a silver lining. Take advantage of this to invite anyone who you couldn’t fit into the ceremony guest list.

For more tips on how to manage an overflowing guest list, take a look at the infographic below from

The Wedding Band Shop.

no stress guide to wedding guest lists

Author Bio

My name is John Cunningham and I am the owner of an Irish wedding ring company called The Wedding Band Shop.  Our store is a specialist wedding jeweller located at the very heart of Dublin, Ireland. 


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