How do you eliminate people off your guest list?

by DIY wedding planner on September 21, 2012


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We are trying to keep our headcount at about 30 due to budgeting. The problem is who do you pick to eliminate?! Right now we are at about 50 guests. Mostly family and good friends. We really want our friends there but we really want family there too. We love all of these people but we just can not afford 50 people unless we take out a small loan. Most all of our wedding is DIY and we are staying on a very strict budget (spending 6000.00 with the rings, 3400.00 with out the rings). We have already cut most all flowers (accept boquets) and favors and anything we see unecessary. Thoughts? Please don’t say elope. Thanks!
I typed in the wrong $$ the wedding is $4400.00 and we have already put down non refundable depsoits on the site. It is beautiful. As far as the rings that includes the engagement ring. $2000.00 in total is not bad. The biggest expense for me is the photgrapher. We have cut way back on that too. I guess there is no proper answer on how to cut people out though. They are all going to be mad no matter what.
Gages mom. Thank you. You answered what I was asking. I do not want to know what else I can cut out. I have cut out everything that I can think of. I want to know how to cut down on people……its just so hard with everyone harrassing us!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristy September 21, 2012 at 6:07 am

You are going to spend $2600 on wedding bands? Maybe re think that to cut down costs a little bit more. You shouldn’t have to spend more than $1000 at the very most.(for two wedding bands) Perhaps cutting The cost down you will only have to cut out a few people and the decision might be a little easier.

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daVIDica September 21, 2012 at 6:22 am

Eliminate distant relatives first (cousins) and then friends you don’t speak with very often or you know will not be able to make it. If they ask, explain to them your dilemma. And $3000 on rings is A LOT.

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ck September 21, 2012 at 6:47 am

You might not want to hear this, but I think you need to cut back further on expenses. I’m having a wedding with about 40 people and I’m doing it for well under $3000, rings included. You need to think about cutting big budget items like photographer and food. Get a cheaper photog, family friend, or photog student to take your pics. For food, choose cheaper catering or do it yourself (family and friends cooking everything). If it’s your venue that’s setting you back, choose an outdoor park or cheaper indoor place for a reception.

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CindyLu September 21, 2012 at 7:19 am

Pick the 20 most important people and then put the rest on a list. Throw darts at list and fill the 10 extra spots and be done with it.

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jenn September 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

Prioritize… what’s more important.. the things you are spending money on or the people?

If you really want the 50 people consider some ways to save money – - find a new location, change the time to afternoon (2 or 3) and just have cake and nuts no food at the reception. Really I would imagine the people are way more important than the flowers or food or whatever. Who cares about that stuff if the people you really care about aren’t there to see it?

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Danismum September 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

i don’t know what you want me to say. your asking the impossible. you can’t have a nice wedding for free. try holding it at a private home and ask the guests to pay for their drinks. charge extra to make some dough.

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GagesMomColie September 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

We are eliminating our ceremony list by cutting out cousins under the age of 16 and only inviting the absolute closest friends. So we will have immediate family, grandparents, aunts uncles and only a few cousins. Plus about 3 friends each.

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alliecat138 September 21, 2012 at 9:49 am

Wow…that is an expensive wedding for such a small group. I believe some of the previous answer’s had it right…look at other ways to cut costs. If you have friends where money is tight, ask them to help out with wedding stuff instead. My sister had a Huge wedding, big reception and the family catered it…hello Sam’s Club. In fact, I’ve known several people to do that. One of my other friends had someone make cupcakes for the groom’s cake and another had donuts. In the world of digital photography…there are lots of people who can assist in taking pictures. And if there are any colleges or technical schools nearby…see about services they might have. And I would reconsider the rings. You can always save up for expensive ones after you’re married.

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Nicole Lynn September 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

The only thing I can say is go with a cheaper photographer! If you want those extra 20 people there, you are going to have to compromise somewhere. Look at local schools and find a photography student that is wanting to beef up their portfolio. Many of them take GREAT pictures for less than half of what a professional would charge.
If you really don’t think you can cut anything out, then you are just going to have to sit down and figure out who to cut. Some things you can try are asking children not to attend and cutting out people you haven’t talked to in a while. OR you or your fiance could get a second job for a while to cover the expense of these extra people.
Just pick what is most important to you.

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Anne September 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

Is it likely that all 50 of the people on your current guest list can actually come? You can usually expect maybe 2/3 of your invited guests to show up. I invited all of my aunts and uncles, fulling expecting none of them to show up and they did decide not to come (live out of state).

I guess I also don’t really understand how those extra 20 people add that much cost. I had a 2pm wedding so I wouldn’t have to do a full meal. Cake and finger food shouldn’t cost that much more for just 20 more people but I don’t know your situation.

Other than that, I would recommend you have a family only wedding and maybe have a reception a couple weeks later with the friends that you couldn’t invite due to budget concerns. Then you can tell your hurt friends, “Sorry, we really only could have family there.” and then they can’t feel as bad that they were excluded.

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Adrienne September 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

I’m having the same problem. We can only afford 60, but the list is at 110. I had to cut distant relatives. Then I cut friends I haven’t seen in 6 months or spoken to in 3 months. Then we cut all children except mine and his. Then we cut the guest bringing guest. Unless they are married or in a serious relationship. Then the last option was to cut relatives I really didn’t hang out with, but felt like I had to invite them. I have some cousins over the age of 50 that I really don’t talk to. They are my first cousins, but we have a 25-35 year age gap. We have nothing in common, so I decided to have my close friends, rather than cousins I don’t hang out with.

My wedding isn’t until April 3, 2010. I know i’ll be in hot water once the invites get mailed. My father is on my side, so that’s good support. We simply refuse to take out loans or work 2 two job just to pay for a wedding. I wish I could invite everyone, but we only have 6k.

You’ll never be able to please everyone. Honestly is the best policy…explain you are paying for everything yourself. Your budget will only allow for 30 people. Maybe next year you can have a big one-year anniversary party. Very casual like a BBQ in the park.

I wish you the best of luck. Everything will be alright.

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Jennifer P September 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

we are having less than 35-40 people, we cut it from 50 people too because of budgeting. it was hard but i had to cut some people, and inviting them to the ceremony only. only immediate fam for the lunch reception. we rented out a beautiful resturant. i would definatley cut back on the rings…i got a friend to photograph, 300 bucks. other photographers are too expensive, and i requested a CD of the pics from him, and i’ll make books on picaboo.com; and the invitations we’re getting from vistaprint.com. not necessary to spend money on something they will probably trash after the wedding. and no favors, and the flowers im doing myself, going to a wholesale place..and no cake, we are doing cupcakes, which im going to do w/ my mom. Michael’s has the stuff to do gold frosting, etc and also the stuff to make the bouquets and other flowers…and harrasing i understand i had the same issue, i decided it’s MY wedding, y feel bad? when we get back from our honeymoon if they wanna take US out because they want to hang with the new couple, then that’s fine….but other than that im on a strict budget and that’s that

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Bubbles September 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

1. We cut out everyone under 18.
2. Cut out anyone you have NOT spoken to for 6 months. I don’t care if it’s your best friend from 10 years ago….
3. Cut out friends that need to travel- most of them RSVP to come and didn’t to my wedding! What a pain.
4. Tell people politely- you can’t bring that guy you know for 10 days…. invite as many people single as you can.
5. No cousins…..
6. Don’t invite people you don’t like but feel you have to- just don’t do it! If your aunt is a grouch- then let her B about it at home… your really just giving her something else to do.
7. DON”T CAVE in- my husband gave into to his mom and we had 20 complete strangers at our wedding we never saw again.
8. Completely Stuck- flip a coin or pull them out of hat- just make the decision and stick to it.
9. MOVE up your RSVP date- this way if you get some NO right off- you can keep inviting.

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