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When I was a little girl, I had a lot of dreams about who I'd mail wedding invitations to. I wanted to write invites to all my school friends, my family members, as well as all my future spouse's guests as well.
By the time I got married, my wedding list of invitees was whittled down considerably. In fact, I ended up eloping and choosing to have three smaller parties instead of one large wedding in a church.
Now, you might be wondering why I decided to work on three small parties instead of a large one. Part of the reason why I made that decision was the guests themselves. Many of my wedding guests either had volatile schedules, didn't get along, or were just unable to attend.
The more I talked to others, the more I realized that dealing with guest list troubles wasn't uncommon. A lot of people pulled me aside to tell me that they wished they did a similar thing for their own weddings. Some openly admitted that their invite list was a mistake.
Speaking as someone who listened to the grievances of others, I learned that there are definitely some indicators that show it's time to trim your wedding guest list. Here are some of the biggest warning signs you should cut names off the invite list.
You're being guilted into inviting people.
The pressure to invite people you don't really want in your life to your wedding can be very strong. This is especially true if you have overbearing family members who just "must see them there!" This is an awkward problem with wedding guests, but there is a solution for it!
Sending out an invite might seem like it just keeps things civil, but is it really worth it? You're pretty much paying money for food and seating for people you don't have to invite to your big day.
My advice would be to quietly trim your wedding guest list of these people. Chances are that they won't notice—and if they do, they probably won't bother you much after the wedding happens.
There is a legitimate reason to believe they may act out during the wedding.
Sometimes, you just have to be honest about a person's party track record. A person who's known for starting fights, making a scene, or making others uncomfortable is not a person who you should want to invite to your wedding.
I've personally seen wedding party members act like they were trying out for a season of Jerry Springer. It's not pretty. You might want to just tell them it's a private affair.
You haven't seen them or spoken to them in years.
Friends aren't always forever. They can be, but at times, people just drift apart. We all have that one buddy from college we desperately wanted to be at our wedding, but lost touch with.
Honestly, inviting someone who fits into this category is almost always a bad idea. It gets awkward, you wonder where things went wrong, and you always end up feeling a little bit cheated out of money.
They aren't listening to your requests.
One of the most common reasons why you may need to trim your wedding guest list happens when you're trying to throw a childfree wedding. Parents just don't seem to understand that they need to hire a sitter, and that they need to respect the happy couple's wishes.
I know this because I have seen two childfree weddings end with parents crashing the party with kids. In both weddings, the bride and groom are no longer on speaking terms with those guests.
For some reason, people feel like they're entitled to bring kids or strong arm the couple into "making an exception" for their brood. If you find your guests acting like they may crash your childfree party with kids, it may be better to revoke their invite. Who knows? This could be an effective way to cut your guest list in half.
You recently had a falling out with them.
Weddings are going to have a certain amount of drama associated with them, but there's a difference between drama and drama. If you and your friends recently got into a major argument that changed the way you see them, you need to rethink their invitation.
A wedding invite is an honor—not a right. If they recently disrespected your union, made it a point to hurt your feelings, or otherwise harmed you past the point of no return, you don't need to invite them to your wedding.
You honestly can't invite all the people who you want to invite.
This is a harsh reality you really can't ignore, no matter how much you may want to. Money matters, even if it is your big day. You simply can't throw a party you really can't afford.
Out of all the reasons to trim your wedding guest list, this is one of the hardest to cope with. It's really hard to have to admit that you can't keep your head count on budget, but trust me, it's better to be honest about it than to deal with going into debt over a wedding.
If you aren't willing to reduce the cost per person, you will have to trim that list. There is no easy way to call who makes the cut. No matter who you exclude, make sure they just have the impression it's either close friends or family only.
Your friend got engaged and is already turning this into a competition.
Just like we all have that one friend who we drifted away from, we also have a friend who cannot stand seeing anyone other than themselves in the limelight. Trust me when I say that newly engaged friends who act this way are often pretty bad about keeping positive vibes during your wedding.
If you have a friend who got engaged that's now giving you a major one-upmanship run, you have every right to trim your guest list of their name. At the end of the day, it will be better for your sanity and your bank account.
The guests in question don't approve of the marriage.
I had this happen. Around four of our guests didn't approve of our marriage, and we shredded their names off the list. No remorse there on my part.
A wedding is all about celebrating your love and finding The One. If your friends can't get behind that, they probably shouldn't be in the wedding party, let alone on the guest list.
Your guest is known for making really rude remarks.
I call this having an "Uncle Gary." Uncle Gary is the kind of person who can't keep their mouths shut about topics that rarely ever go over well, especially among people who are more progressive.
Adding an Uncle Gary to the guest list is almost never a good idea—unless, of course, you want to hear about how he's "owning the libs." For the sake of the poor guests who would be stuck at the same table as him, you might want to drop Uncle Gary from the list. Otherwise, you might wind up having wedding guests who won't speak to you again after the festivities are over.
You're already trying to cut ties with certain guests.
Remember when I said that friends aren't always going to be around? Sometimes, you need to be the one to call that shot, especially when you're trying to trim your wedding guest list. If you are already working on separating yourself from a group, you might be better off just not inviting that group at all.
Sure, they may appreciate the invitation, but at the end of the day, it's not an invite you'll feel good about later on.