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Writing your wedding guestlist is arguably one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding. You and your partner may disagree on who should attend and who shouldn’t. If your parents are paying for the wedding, they may want a say in who attends. Are family more important than friends? Should friends be able to bring plus ones? It’s a minefield. So, here are a few tips on how to narrow it down.

Your Budget

The budget you have for your wedding will be a deciding factor in how many people you can reasonably invite. After all, your venue will have limited space and your budget will give you an idea of how many people you can afford to feed. Some people make the mistake of inviting more than they can afford because they believe it’s likely some people will rsvp no to the invite. That’s taking a risk you can’t afford…literally. Stick to the number you come up with via your budget.

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Family and Friends

It can be difficult to come up with a guestlist for family and friends, so it’s important to set some time aside with your partner to discuss it. You may have a bigger family than your partner, but your partner may have more friends to invite. Decide who is a non-negotiable when it comes to invites. You may not want to see your drunk uncle dancing with the live wedding bands, but it could start a family war if he’s not invited. Write down who must be invited and figure out how many spare invites you have left.

Plus Ones

This can be a tricky one when it comes to inviting people to your wedding. Inviting every single person to bring a plus one could increase the wedding numbers significantly. However, inviting a friend who has been in a long-term relationship to bring their partner is a wise thing to do. People won’t often attend weddings unless their significant other is invited to go with them. Invite long-term partners first and see where your numbers end up when it comes to other plus ones.


Unfortunately, there aren’t often cost differences when it comes to paying for children and adults at weddings. That means, couples often have to seriously think about inviting children. Some couples choose to not invite children just based on the fact that children are likely to cause disruptions during the day. However, if you do intend on inviting children, the children should be close to you. For example, nieces, nephews or children of your own.

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Friend of Parents

If your parents are helping to pay for the wedding, you may not have much choice when it comes to inviting their friends. However, if your guestlist numbers are small enough that inviting them means you have to sacrifice your own friends, you should talk to your parents about it. In the end, parents want their children to have a memorable wedding day, so a solution should be easily found.

Top tip: Don’t start inviting people until you’ve completed your guestlist.

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