The Wedding Guest List


Aww… the wedding guest list… another controversial topic when it comes to wedding planning. Full disclosure: since we are paying for the big bulk of our wedding on our own, we have full control over our wedding guest list. We also have laid-back parents who are not dictating who we invite which means, it’s all up to us. Before we even got engaged, we always said that we would have a small low-key wedding at one of our favourite locals (Pharmacy). When we got engaged, I told that idea to my sister Emily and she immediately said “But you can’t! You guys have too many friends!” So we began making a potential guest list and we realised that we really do have a lot of awesome people in our lives who we wanted to include in this.

Once you have your wedding venue chosen, you can start making the actual wedding guest list because you will then know just how many people you can fit in that room (or how many you want to pay for!). Keep in mind that out of the people you invite, the average that won’t be able to attend is about 20%. But really, this number depends on who you are and how awesome the people in your life are. For our list, Josh and I sat down and wrote down anyone who was of significance to us as a couple. It’s a list that we have debated for months. It’s a serious thing. How many times have you heard people talk about how they are no longer friends with half the guests who were at their wedding that took place only a couple years prior? The answer is: quite often.

The Wedding Guest List |

The Questions
When it came to making the final guest list for our wedding, we asked ourselves the following questions.

  • Do we have an actual relationship with them? Have we known them for long enough to actually know them?
  • Have we actually spent quality time with them in the last couple of years?
  • Have we invited them to our house? Have they ever come? (You know that we love hosting!)
  • Are they someone that have been supportive of our relationship?
  • Are they someone that we would like to spend hours of our time with?
  • Are they someone that we know we can call on a whim for a beer or an ear for listening or the other good friend stuff?

The Plus One
As we got our invitations ready to mail out, we  debated about whether to include a “plus one” for some friends. Bar Isabel has some rules for their staff parties and if significant others are allowed to come. One of them is, “Has he/she ever been to your house at 4:37pm?” It’s totally a valid question and I just love that. Ultimately our decision came down to the idea that we didn’t want a single person at our wedding to be unknown to us. So we opted to not include many plus ones. (This has also allowed us to keep the numbers as low as humanly possible and still include all of the people who we love.)

4 Replies to “The Wedding Guest List”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! We were thinking along the same lines but influences have led to a bloated list. This is a much needed reminder to trim, trim, trim!

    1. Do it! There’s all less pressure on the day of that way!

  2. I love the 4:37 rule! But as someone who is not married, I can’t tell you the number of wedding receptions I’ve been to where I stood around awkwardly by myself, wishing I had an automatic person to talk to or dance with like the rest of the people there.

    1. I 100% agree with that! Anyone who has not been given a plus one or was invited solo to our wedding will know at least six other people in the room. Most of our friends are friends with each other hence all of the love and friend-time!

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