Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Creating a Wedding Guest List

You've decided to limit your wedding guest list to 150 people. However, your list seems to be growing and growing...

Your first priority is to list family and friends for the both of you. These are your most important guests and you want to ensure your venue can accommodate. Then divide whatever is left between the two families. For example, if you have 100 combined family and friends that you definitely want to invite, you'll have 50 'other' guests. Each side can invite 25 additional guests.

RI wedding reception site
Image by Stacie Kirkwood Photography

If you are still having a hard time trimming down the list, here are a few suggestions:

  • If you have a large family, cut the list off at aunts and uncles or first cousins. You can then have an informal family reception for any uninvited guests at a later date.
  • If you have a lot of single guests, do not allow them to bring dates.
  • Don't go inviting the entire office. Eliminate your office friends and keep it personal.
  • Do not invite any children under the age of 18.

Here are a few ways that you CANNOT trim your guest list:

  • You cannot trim your guest list by failing to invite the clergy or your officiant and their spouse to the reception.
  • Do not fail to include the parents of your ring bearer and flower girls. Also, do not fail to invite the spouses or fiancé of anyone in your wedding party.
  • You cannot trim your guest list by inviting some guests to the ceremony only and not to the reception. However, if your ceremony site is limited to a number of guests, you can invite guests to the reception only.
  • You must invite guests who have attended a pre-wedding party or shower. You do not have to invite coworkers who gave you an office shower (unless they are close, personal friends).

Suggestions on inviting co-workers:

  • If you've decided that you just can't afford to invite all your co-workers due to financial constraints, don't be afraid to tell them. Just let them know that you don't want to hurt their feelings but have decided to invite immediate family only. Don't worry - most people will understand.
  • If you've decided not to invite co-workers to the reception, DO NOT invite them to the ceremony only.
  • If you've decided to include your co-workers and you work in a small place of business (and are relatively close to all of them!), then invite them all. Don't leave someone out - it may cause tension in the work-place.
  • If you work in a large office and only want to invite a few people, make sure you tell the guests that you are inviting not to talk about it. You don't want to make it an awkward situation for your other co-workers.
  • Not sure whether to invite the big boss? If you have a good relationship with him/her, why not invite him/her? However, you shouldn't feel obligated to invite anyone.
Wedding Tip: check with your wedding reception location for minimums and maximums. Your guest list may grow after booking the wedding reception location!

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