12/19 Real Bride Holly: The Perks and Pitfalls of a Tight Guest List

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Credit: Juniper Photography

I’m sure many people have ideas about how they want their weddings to be even before they start planning them. Maybe they know for sure they want to get married on the beach, or they’ve always known they would wear a family heirloom that has been passed down for generations. I had ideas like that too — my matrimonial must-haves, if you will. One was that I wanted to get married outdoors. I knew that I wanted to look really, really hot in my dress (I know! SO WEIRD, right?). I also knew that I wanted a smaller wedding, with just close family and friends.

I have attended smaller weddings in the past and appreciated how much more time I got to spend with the bride and groom. I had also been to larger weddings where the extent of the interaction that I had with the happy couple was a quick “Hey! Congratulations!” before they got swept back up in all of it. For me, I really want to be able to have enough time to see everyone, and do all the fun wedding things, if thats possible.

For some couples, this may not be doable — they may have a very close, large extended family. However, for us, it wasn’t an issue. The degrees of removal from our extended family had natural borders: We invited aunts and uncles and cousins, but nobody necessarily expected inviting second cousins. When we chose our venue, we chose one with a maximum capacity of 75. We had run the numbers prior, and knew with that limit we could just accommodate all of our close family and close friends, and we would save a lot of money having a smaller guest list.

However, our engagement coincided with a move to a new city, and in the last year we’ve begun to make some new friends. We are now realizing it would be really nice to include these people in our celebration, but 75 is beginning to feel a little snug. We’ve already sent save-the-dates back in September, and there’s nobody we want to take off the list. We don’t want to risk inviting more people than we can actually hold, in case everyone actually RSVPs “yes.”

Our safest bet will probably, unfortunately, involve having a conversation with our new friends that we made the list before we got to know them well. It will be a bummer, but it won’t be the end of the world, surely they will understand. We will plan a fun night out with them in lieu. 

Take note, BABs. Give yourself extra wiggle room with your g-list. The time between booking the venue and when the invites go out might be a long time, and in that time, new people may come into your life!