Authored by: Jim Emerson
June 4, 2010

Most wedding couples today are on a very tight budget and are looking to reduce costs wherever possible. Since catering is traditionally the largest component of the wedding budget, it seems like the best place to start. You know that 250 guests are too many, but how do you pare down your list without offending your oldest high school friend or favourite aunt? Truth be told, most can’t afford to invite everyone to the wedding, so trimming the guest list is a necessity not an option. But where to start…

Begin by compiling a list with your fiancé of potential wedding guests and put each guest into category A or B. The A’s are the absolutely must-invites and most likely include family and your closest friends. The B’s are the other people you would like to invite. Now reduce your B list by asking yourself some of the following questions: “When last have you seen or spoken to this person?”; “Would having this person absent or present at your wedding significantly impact your enjoyment of the day?” Answers to such questions will help you make your decision.

The following ideas will also help develop your guest list:

• Make your reception “An Adults Only” event, thereby cutting out all those under 16 years of age.

• Invite singles without allowing them to bring a date or partner – seat them in such a way that they will have an opportunity to mingle with other singles.

• Don’t feel obligated to invite co-workers or business associates.

• It is natural to feel disappointment at not inviting all your friends to participate at your reception. This does not however, precluded them from attending the ceremony.

• Don’t invite guests just because you were invited to their wedding.

• Book your reception at a smaller venue that only caters to limited size groups.

Your good friends will understand the choices you have made and will support and celebrate with you at your wedding ceremony and not make you feel guilty because of financial limitations.

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About the Author: Jim Emerson

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