Weddings are about love, commitment and the gathering of all your dearest friends and family to celebrate the love you have for each other.
If only it were that easy! With social media, texts, email and workplaces with thousands of employees, we can be "friends" with hundreds and hundreds of people.
So, how do we narrow it down to our ideal number of wedding guests? And how do we make sure we have an enjoyable day, surrounded by all the people we love -- and not all the ones we don't?
First things first, make some cuts. You couldn't possibly invite everyone you have ever known, nor would you want to, so here are a few examples of people you have my permission to cut from your wedding guest list.
Photography by Joe Bickerton.
1. The ex
Your ex may have been a major part of your life for a long time, and you may have remained "friends," but this is the start of your new life. Move on, give him the cut.
2. Your friend's kids
Flower girls and pageboys are an adorable addition to your wedding ceremony and your wedding photographs. But, just because you are inviting one or two of your beloved little tots, it doesn't mean you have to invite every child in your life. This is an area that you may find very challenging; everyone thinks their kids are the best (I know I do!), but you have to be strong. Set your guidelines early, and stick to them with all your might.
3. An old friend who's wedding you went to...
When your roommate got married back in university, you were invited, so you have to invite her to yours, right? Wrong! It's been 10 years; you hardly talk -- give her the cut. Invite the people who you love now, not people you knew a decade ago.
4. The new girlfriend
Or boyfriend. Does your brother, best friend or bridesmaid have a new main squeeze? Don't worry, it's okay not to invite them. I think a good rule of thumb is: If the relationship is less than six months old (remember, you have been planning your wedding for twice as long), you have never met them or if you aren't sure their relationship will go the distance, politely ask them to sit this one out. There will be plenty more weddings in the future.
5. The embarrassing relative
Is there that one relative that just makes you cringe when you see them at family functions? Does this person drink too much, make inappropriate jokes, always argue with their partner and cause a scene, cause fights, create their own embarrassing karaoke show or display any other cringeworthy behavior? If so, quoting one of my favorite lines from my new guest list guide: "Better to have them unhappy at home than to be ruining your special day."
6. Your boss
This is a tough one. Ultimately, whether you invite your boss depends on the nature of your work, your personal relationship with him or her and your other colleagues. Are you inviting the rest of your work team? Do you usually socialize with your boss outside of work? Would you feel comfortable with your boss seeing all the antics of your closest family and friends after a few glasses of wine? Will you be able to enjoy your wedding day under your bosses watchful eye? If the answer to any of these is '"no," then make your excuses and give your boss the cut.
7. Your parent's next door neighbor, once removed...
No, you don't have to invite them, or anyone else you don't want to! You will have countless requests for wedding invitations from your parents, friends, distant relatives, colleagues, etc, etc. Only invite the individuals that you and your fiancé want to be a part of your special day.
When It comes to your guest list, get ready to get asked awkward questions, get dirty looks and maybe even be the "bad guy." In the end, you have to do what is best for you. It is your wedding day after all.
Here are a few scripted lines you can memorize to help you when you get asked those awkward questions:
"I'm sorry, we have sent out all our invitations, and our wedding plans do not allow for any additional guests, I hope you understand."
Then the back-up line...
"We have had to say no to other guests in your similar situation, and we don't want to offend anyone."
Hope this helps. Good luck!