One of the most difficult aspects of wedding planning is deciding on your guest list. Your choice of venue and the size of your budget will play a large role in determining final numbers so make sure you have these two tasks in line before starting. Some couples prefer to have just immediate family and close friends at their ceremony and then open up the reception to many more, while other couples are the exact opposite. Either way, here are a few things to keep in mind when making the final cut on your guest list.

1. Extended Family

Family is important and you want to have them there, but consider how close you actually are to your extended relatives. Ask yourself, “Do we make an effort to stay in contact?”, “Have we gotten together in the past year?”, or “Will my relationship with them be ruined if I don’t invite them to the wedding?”. If the answer to those questions are yes, it may be a good idea to include them in your guest list.

photo-1439218162959-f94eda3a382a2. International friends & family

Since most engagement periods last around a year, telling international friends and family as soon as you have a date set is very important. However, before asking them to “save the date”, ask yourself the same questions as above for extended family. Take into consideration the cost they would incur to attend your nuptials, especially if they have children and you are having an adult’s only reception. The cost may be at their discretion but you want to avoid putting them in a awkward situation if they feel pressured to come.

3. Long lost friends

We all have friends from high school, college or university that we stay in touch with, especially since social media makes it so easy these days to get caught up on each other’s lives. Maintaining relationships is important, but do you just Skype, text, FaceTime or WhatsApp one another? Or have you spent time face-to-face, keeping up with what is currently happening. If yes, then keep them on the list as it’s great to have those “pillars” of friendship from your past. Chances are, however, if they’ve gotten married, had kids, and possibly moved to another province, these relationships may not last the test of time.

photo-1454023989775-79520f04322c4. Co-workers

Those you work with on a daily basis can easily become close to you, sometimes as close as family. It’s only natural to want to have them at your wedding but be sure to distinguish between your closer coworkers versus those you are just friendly with. There can be a temptation that if you invite one, you have to invite them all, but remember you may be inviting someone to be polite that could take up the spot of another friend or family member. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t hung out with them outside of work, they probably aren’t as close as you think.

However you choose to put together your guest list, make sure that the right people are in attendance – those who know you well, who know your partner, and who support and are happy for you both. Happy Planning!

by Ashley Victoria Guy

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