How To Control Your Guest List - Part 1

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Let’s assume you would like to have 300 guests at your wedding. You have to involve all stakeholders in putting together your guest list. So the bride has her list, the groom has his list, and parents on both sides have their lists. You put all these lists together and you end up with 800 guests in total. This can be a nightmare to deal with. Maybe you do not have the finances to host this number of guests. Maybe you do have the finances, but you don’t want a huge wedding – and you don’t know even half of the guests that are on the list. Before you start working on your list, you need to explain to all stakeholders what your vision is for your wedding. Getting your parents to understand is not always easy, so make sure you approach them with caution.



When it comes to wedding planning, parents need to be handled delicately. Yes it’s your special day, but it’s also a very special day for them. They are excited and would want all family members, friends and church members to be at the wedding. It is your duty as a couple to explain your vision to them. You will have to give your parents a specific number of invitations and limits to the number of guests they can invite. Give them valid reasons why you have given them a limit. Do not restrict them without an explanation, and do not treat them like children. Work on their lists with them if possible.




Invite only your current friends to your wedding. We all have “frenemies” on social media - you know - the ones you want to invite to witness your wedding because they once told you that you will never get married, or they rubbed their wedding celebration in your face while you were still single. Do not invite them. And are all your Facebook friends really your friends? If you haven’t spoken to them in more than a year, you don’t email each other or even chat online, do not invite them.


There are friends you used to be close to and they invited you to their wedding 5 years ago. You haven’t spoken to them since then. Do you really need to invite them?


If you are going through a diary from the year 2008 looking for people to invite, then get rid of that diary right now! 2013 and 2014 diaries are acceptable.


Don’t feel sorry for all your single friends by allowing them to bring a partner. They don’t have partners. Let them be single and mingle at the wedding. You can extend a “plus one” to friends whom you know are in serious relationships. Good luck with this one!


Remember, when you are feeling guilty about all the people you left off the guest list, you will never be able to please everyone, no matter how many guests you settle on. So focus on having the wedding that you want, not on “people-pleasing.”

Written by Ms Rufaro Mushonga, and originally published in The Standard Style Magazine