Who do you invite? Making a Wedding Guest List

Coming up with the guest list for your wedding can be tricky or maybe even lead to a fall out or two. But if you are struggling to with who should (or should not) invite to your wedding, well we can help.


Times have changed when it comes to invite etiquette. Traditionally, guest lists were divided into three: third of guests invited by the brides’ parents’; third of guests invited by the groom’s parents; and the final third, guests the couple would like to invite. Nowadays, this guest lists tend not to follow this pattern.


Discuss with your future spouse to be on roughly how many people you should invite. Getting an idea of numbers now can help with your search for a wedding venue – hotels or castles are ideal for larger parties, whereas if you are looking to have a smaller wedding, then you can find smaller, more intimate venues, or even allow you to be more creative.


Once you have decided on a rough number, you can then begin the talks of who you wish to invite. It would be lovely to invite every single person you know, however that is both impractical, impossible and frankly, expensive. So, the best way to tackle this task is to break it down: must be there no matter what; would be lovely if they were there, but not the end of the world if they weren’t able to attend and meh – in other words, not that bothered if they are there or not. Or you could label it A, B and C.

  • A-LIST: MUST BE THERE NO MATTER WHAT– these tend to be family members and extremely close friends – the people who you cannot imagine not having at your wedding or who you have asked to be part of the wedding party and most you will most likely be distraught if they are not there.
  • B LIST: WOULD BE LOVELY IF THEY WERE THERE – with this group you are thinking of friends, and some family, who you would love to have at your wedding. But, if they were unable to attend for any reason or had to cancel at the last minute, you feel upset but would not let that ruin the day.
  • C LIST: MEH – finally the last category guest. OK, meh sounds a bit harsh, but this list tends to be people who you would be more than happy to invite, but at the end of the day, you are not that bothered about if they are there or not. This tends to be maybe work colleagues (obviously this does not apply if you happen to be good friends with them), neighbours, friends that you have lost touch with over the years and those really distant relatives that you never see   – except maybe the odd funeral. No point inviting someone just for the sake of inviting them or if they invited you to their wedding eons ago.

Once you have established who are hoping to invite, you can separate them again into day and evening only guests.


You and your partner have talked it though and you have clear plan as to who to invite, but there are a couple other areas that need to be discussed:

PLUS-ONES – If a lot of guests on the A and B list are already coupled up, and both you regard them both as friends – fantastic! But, what about the guests that are single: do you offer them to bring a plus-one? Adding the odd plus-one here and there can increase the cost of your wedding. Also, bringing a stranger to your wedding could be awkward for both you and them!

CHILDREN – this can be a sensitive issue, but some couples may prefer to not have children at their wedding. Whatever you choose, when it comes to children: you either invite them all or none. Only extending invites to certain children may create unnecessary tension.

PARENTS – It is always a courtesy to show the list to your parents and ask if there is anyone they would like to invite. This is a lovely gesture, especially if they are financially contributing to your wedding.

At the end of the day, the most important people that show up are you and your fiancée.