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Plus None? 5 Practical Ways to Draw the Line

Some couples dream of massive weddings with everyone they know in attendance. Others prefer a smaller affair; perhaps a destination wedding, or a small elopement with two attendees who have been through the most stringent of selection processes (namely dating and engagement). One thing that both separates and unites these types of affair is their guest list, each requiring careful thought and planning.

The guest list is (in general) the single biggest chunk of the pie that is a wedding budget, so it is important to keep a tight rein on it at all times. Here are 5 Practical Ways to Draw the Line.

1) No Kids
This one can be controversial. There are parents that would never DREAM of being separated from their little lovelies for a day, and there are ones that are gagging for a day off. No doubt you will have both types of parents on your guest list. Ask yourself: is a wedding the right place for kids? If the answer is no for you, then make the decision not to have them and stick to it. Which leads us nicely on to…

2) Rules are Rules
Your wedding is your day, and there is no point in getting yourself into horrendous debt for a few extras you can take or leave. This includes chocolate fountains, ice sculptures and copious amounts of plus ones. Come up with a few hard and fast rules for your guest list – and don’t make exceptions. Examples of these include:

  • No plus-ones for single people who will know a lot of people there.
  • One, or two cousins from each family (usually the eldest).
  • No children (see point 1, above).

It’s unlikely that the thought of lots of people you don’t know celebrating your special day with you will set your heart racing (unless you’re Kate Middleton). Explain the reasons behind your guest list choices to your guests, be tactful – but be firm. If your budget or venue cannot accommodate plus ones, it can’t.

3) Put the Shoe on the Other Foot
Ask yourself if you would be hurt if you received no invitation to their wedding. If it’s a no, let them go (from-the-guest-list that is, not to-the-wedding).

4) Size Matters
The size of the wedding is one of the first things you will consider in planning. It will dictate the type of venue you will be able to have. If your wedding is going to be an intimate affair, make it known. Likewise if it’s going to be an evening celebration after a small ceremony. If you tell your friends around the time of booking, they will know where they stand from the outset. If you don’t want a big wedding, don’t book a big venue.

5) Be creative
Some of your friends or colleagues may prefer an invitation to the afters with transportation laid on for them, to an invite to the whole day, having to make their own way there and back. Going as a guest to a wedding can be very costly when outfits, drinks, gifts, accommodation and transportation are taken into account. Booking a minibus to transport evening guests from a designated point to your venue and back can mean you can invite a large group of people, rather than cherry-picking a few for the whole day.


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1 Comment

  1. Siobhan

    I think we’ve all been there with invitations to weddings of cousins who you don’t know ie they invited the other two people in your family and thought i better not leave her out!! :) I think you shouldn’t be introduced to anyone on your wedding day.. maybe a cousin’s girlfriend but obscure neighbours etc are just ridiculous to have at your special day.

    One of my friends lately got upset ther boyfriend of 4 years wasn’t invited to a wedding she declined going but hindsight realised she wasn’t expecting an invite so she could hardly be annoyed about plus one not being invited. They went away that weekend and instead of spending the 500 quid on dress, hotel room, hair done, drink money they worked on their own future :)

    I think the afters of a wedding was kinda stopped during the boom due to number restrictions at a lot of venues (with a lil bit of greed where hotels decided to increase your full day guest list rather than leave anyone out) Some of the best weddings I’ve been to are just the evening part.

    Weddings are like marathons you’re up early, slap on, hair done at 11 in the morning, in high heelsand some satin kinda dress, then the mass, then a trip to spar for breakfast roll cos you missed out on breaky to go to you hair appointment and you know the bride is dragging the wedding party to timbucktoo for wedding photos, you eat dinner, you’re sleepy from wine, you’re dancing, your feet hurt and its only 8 pm! :)

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