How to downsize your wedding guest list
Covid-19 has thrown up all kinds of questions you never thought you’d have to answer about your Wedding Day, from how to store your dress to how to mark your original wedding date from home. But for many of you downsizing or adjusting your wedding plans means looking at your guest list in a new way. So today, I’m sharing tips for how to make your guest list smaller, where to start with downsizing, and who should still make the cut.
How Many People Can We Invite To Our Wedding Post-COVID-19?
Alas, this isn’t a question I can answer just yet. What we have been told, however, is that the process of ‘getting back to normal’ will be a slow one. So we can assume, that given that mass gatherings were one of the first things to be curtailed, it will be some time before they are re-introduced. The Scottish Government has produced a route map that is being updated regularly.
We may see small weddings return sooner and permission for larger gatherings scaled up slowly, so depending on when your wedding is, it’s worth making lists for several different scenarios, eg: An immediate family guest list, a 50 person guest list and a 100 person guest list.
So the question to start with, is, “Who can we not get married without?”. These are the friends and family who, if you were getting married in the morning, you’d need to have there. Once you start with those people, every additional guest will feel like a bonus!
Who Should You Cut From Your Guest List?
The C and D List
Anyone who was late to be added to your guest list in the first place, will likely to be the first to go. We’re talking the C and D list, people who you’d love to have on the dance floor, but are not vitally important to your experience of the day.
- These will be different for every couple but may include guests like work colleagues, friends of your parents, extended cousins, friends’ children, or old school pals, particularly any ‘obligatory’ invites.
- Plus ones that you have never met or new relationship plus ones.
Vulnerable and Elderly Guests
I know the idea of cutting your granny from your guest list seems extremely harsh. But in the coming months, even as restrictions lift, we’re all going to have to play a role in safeguarding the most vulnerable in our society.
- If you have vulnerable guests among your non-negotiables (like parents or siblings), it might be worth keeping some element of your wedding to immediate family members so you can accommodate and protect them.
- Any elderly and vulnerable guests you can no longer invite will understand the situation. They may even be relieved that they aren’t expected to attend.
- If it’s someone you’re close to (like a grandparent or close relative) think about visiting them in your wedding day attire, or sending them a bouquet of flowers to they know they are missed on the day.
Guests Travelling from Overseas
Again, I’m not suggesting you have to uninvite your best friend who lives in Australia. After all, most guests who planned on travelling for your big day are likely to be close pals or relatives. But if we’re realistic, it will be some time before international travel resumes with any regularity and may still require quarantine on either side. Letting your international guests know that you don’t expect them to attend your wedding will likely relieve the pressure on them, and certainly, lighten your guest list.
How To ‘Uninvite’ Guests To Your Wedding
If postponing your wedding isn’t an option. Try not to be disheartened, you can always have a big celebration down the line. Keep perspective that you’re getting to marry your other half, and the most important people will be there.
Don’t worry about offending guests by ‘uninviting’ them to your wedding. Everyone knows and understands the situation, so being clear and upfront is a good rule of thumb.
- There is no hard and fast etiquette for this unprecedented time, but sending a personalised message rather than a blanket email is always the most polite thing to do.
- That could be in the form of a phone call, a text, an email or a card in the post.
- If you had yet to send invitations or save the dates, you don’t need to do any formal uninviting, though there may be some would-be guests you want to reach out to individuals to explain your change of plans.
- To soften the blow, you can always come up with ways to virtually include your friends and family from afar let them know that you look forward to celebrating with them in another way once it’s safe to do so. I’m all about throwing a big first-anniversary bash.