Don’t start with the list Before you go anywhere near an excel spreadsheet or notepad, first go back to that image of your wedding day and decide together the type of day you both want, and then stick to your guns! A small, intimate gathering isn’t going to be hugely achievable when you realise you have a wedding party of over 200. So first decide what type of wedding feels right for you, as this will then shape who you invite to your celebration.
Parents A wedding can be a lesson in diplomacy, particularly if your parents have contributed to your big day. Before parents get carried away it’s worth sitting them down and talking to them about your plans. Adding on a few family friends that will enhance your parent’s day is one thing, but when your parents come with a long list of their own it is time to delicately remind them it’s your day; the day YOU have been dreaming about, and the day YOU will remember for the rest of your lives. It’s not a gala dinner where you get to buy a table, yes, money might be exchanging hands but it shouldn’t be at the cost of changing your day. Parents want us to be happy, so don’t forget to tell them what will make your day special.
When did we last speak? If the answer is over 12 months ago, this can be a guide on who makes the list and who doesn’t. There are some friends where 10 years could pass, and nothing changes, and you have a fabulous time with them no matter what. They are a different, treasure them. But if you only communicate by ‘liking’ and haven’t spoken for over a year then consider if your wedding is really the time for an overdue catch up. Your day will pass in a flash so making small talk and catching up on the last few years could be saved for another time.
Do I have to invite someone just because they invited me to their wedding 9 years ago?!? No, absolutely no obligation, you can remain guilt free.
Work colleagues, yes/no? Unless your colleagues have turned into weekend friends, they are for evenings only.
Divorced parents There is some simple advice here, if tensions are high amongst divorced parents keep them away from each other at all times. Ushers and bridesmaid can be most useful here.
How to deal with extended family? Treat extended family like your friends – if you like them, invite them!
How to do deal with singles and plus 1’s There will be friends who during your wedding planning might find a life partner of their own. However what you don’t want is random people making up plus one numbers, so if your friend is single when the invite goes out make them the only name on the invite – they’ll soon tell you if they become coupled.
I don’t like some of my partner’s friends Unless your dislike is going to ruin your day, then give and take begins before your wedding on this one. They’re friends for a reason.