How to Reduce Your Wedding Guest List

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

One of the most difficult parts for couples who are planning a wedding is who gets an invite and who gets left out. A guest list can easily spiral out of control and with the guest count impacting around 80% of your budget it can make or break your wedding.

If you’re just starting to plan your wedding guest list, it’s important to understand your absolute maximum guest count. This will be dependent on a few things – the capacity at your chosen venue and your budget, it will be useful to know a rough cost per head.

You may find it easier to make an initial list of all potential invitees so you know exactly how many you need to cut. Does the wedding guest count include you? Yes, it does! So, don’t forget to leave two spaces!

Now you’ve got your first list, whether you’ve written your list by hand or compiled on Excel or on an app, make a note of your non-negotiable guests – your wedding party, immediate family, close friends.

When cutting down you wedding guest list, firstly, you have to remember that your wedding is YOUR day and the guests you choose to invite should be there because YOU want them there and they'll make your wedding better.

If you're paying for your wedding yourself then you shouldn’t feel pressure from any third parties on who you should invite.

I've made a handy flowchart below to assist you with making your guest list decisions:

Coming up next... how to decide whether to give your guest a plus one or not, check it out here.

Need any more advice or have a question? Email me at

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Based in Somerset, UK and covering the rest of the South West, Leah Olivia Weddings provides wedding planning services to modern couples.

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