Couples are faced with many decisions when planning a wedding. One often overlooked decision concerns the guest list. Ideally, couples would love to invite all their friends and family to share in their special day. Realistically, however, budget often dictates just how many guests a couple can invite.
That reality has led to a disagreement or two over the years, as both the bride-to-be and her future husband make their case for who makes the cut. To help avoid such disagreements, couples should consider the following tips when paring down their guest list.
* Make a master list as early as possible. It's impossible to pare down a guest list if there's no list to begin with. Once the planning process begins, couples should separately write down all the guests they would like to invite. Once each is finished with their list, the hard work of paring that list down can begin.
* Consider who's footing the bill. If Mom and Dad are paying for the wedding, then their suggestions for the guest list should carry most of the weight. Weddings are very expensive, and if Mom and Dad are paying they should have a significant say who will in attendance. The same principle can be applied if the couple is paying for their own wedding. If the costs are being split down the middle, then both the groom- and bride-to-be should be allowed to invite the same number of guests.
* Ask that kids stay home. Many couples request that their guests leave the kids at home. While nieces and nephews might make the cut, it's perfectly acceptable for couples to state their preference that children not attend. This can be noted on the invitation, addressing friends as "Mr. John Doe and guest" or "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe." Guests should take the hint, but if any RSVPs with their kids, be sure to call them immediately and explain the situation. Friends and family should understand the preference, particularly in the current economic climate.