The question of who should be invited to a wedding is one every bride wrestles with. If you’re paying for your own wedding, you have complete control over who gets an invitation. The guiding factor in your decision-making should be your budget. Reliably, 10%-15% of the guests you invite won’t be able to attend your event, but you should leave a little room between your budget cap and your invitation list to be on the safe side.
Immediate family members and their spouses or significant others should receive an invitation, unless there is some valid reason not to invite them. Negotiating this point may be difficult, especially if some enmity exists between you and your immediate family members. Blacklisting a family member could lead to problems later on. If the situation permits, invite the troublesome family member and assign a close friend or two to help keep the peace.
Extended family members should receive an invitation, if the budget permits, and if extended family members are traditionally invited to family weddings. Check with aunts and uncles about the relationship status of adult cousins before you write out your list. Cherished family friends from both the bride and groom’s families may be invited. Don’t feel pressured to invite people you know only casually, or haven’t seen in years.
Friends from school or work can be added to the list as the budget permits. You’ll need to verify relationship statuses and invite guests accordingly. For acquaintances from work, you’ll need to consider the size of your office or department. If you work for a large firm, invite those whom you consider to be friends outside of work. You may also have to bow a bit to corporate culture, if the job demands it. Be very careful about whom you invite from work. Weddings are rarely a good place to make a positive impression on the boss.
Your guest list is the place to make or break your wedding budget. Do not unnecessarily inflate the guest list if you’re trying to save money on the overall event. Keep in mind that each guest represents a separate charge for food and drink. The size of the guest list also determines the venues you can use for your event.
Don’t let outside influences pressure you when it comes to your guest list. Unless you’re receiving financial help from family or friends, you should have the final say on who makes the guest list and who doesn’t.